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4.2 out of 5 stars
Painting the Landscape in Pastel
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2008
This is a wonderful book and I would recommend any serious pastel artist, amateur pro, to get it. What makes or breaks an art instruction book in my opinion is the skill of its author - and this is where so many of them fail, giving wordy explanations on how to create mediocre, uninteresting non-art - following the rule of "those who don't know how to do it teach it".

Mr. Handell's book is truly exceptional in this respect. Even if there was not a word of instruction in it, his paintings alone would make it a must-have, for they are beautiful, refined and full of insight and consummate craftsmanship. I believe that just by copying, one can learn a lot from this book.

The reason I give only four stars is that I wish there was more verbal instruction and that it was more specific. There are precious bits of insight here and there, but much of it is just basic and general information. I guess this slight shortcoming comes from the publisher rather than Mr. Handell - this is the way art instruction books are written today. It is assumed that the people who buy them shun words and precise explanations. This is by the way the reason why some old instruction books by Loomis, Bridgman or R.V. Cole are still so popular.

Mr. Handell mentions that he might write a dedicated book on painting trees. I hope he does so, I would be willing to spent a hefty amount of money on it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2010
If you paint with pastels but have had only limited help so far, as in most art books which tend to treat pastels as a poor relation to other mediums, then this book will be a real eye opener. The intensity of colour in the paintings shown is remarkable, and every aspect of the landscape (water, sky, rocks, trees, seasons) has a separate chapter on depicting them with pastels, including a descriptive step-by-step of how a picture of the subject was made. There is a chapter on specific techniques with pastels, and more general chapters on colour and light. As a pastel artist, this book filled a need for me, and has become my reference bible.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2010
I bought this book as I have recently begun to experiment with pastels and needed more help with painting the landscape in this medium. I really liked the loose but considered style of this artist and his choice of colours , and although the landscape is American the ideas can be translated to an English one.I particularly found the section on painting rocks helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a super little book.

Though there are a few brief demonstration pages, this isn't one of those step-by-step spoon-feeding, how-to books; rather, it mainly offers good technical advice, addresses a wide range of landscape topics and generally does it`s work by providing copious examples of Handell`s own bold and broadly-painted work - there are about 150 good sized colour illustrations.
Some aspects are a bit Americentric - suppliers, references to artists and societies etc., aren`t particularly relevant to UK readers - but the painting advice and examples are applicable no matter where you chose to work.

I teach art; I bought this as much for myself as for use with my students; it is a book that should prove valuable to anyone who uses traditional dry pastel or is just coming to the medium. It`s also the kind of reference I prefer to see students using as it leaves them to work from inspired example rather than just "build the Airfix kit" as a colleague once put it. I appreciate that this book may not be explanatory enough for the complete beginner, but I really couldn't see anyone fail to gain something from it. Use the "look inside" option if it`s available to see if the author`s approach appeals to you.
Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2012
Such an easy book to follow and good advice throughout. Only wish I had bought it sooner.
Love the examples given and easy to follow .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2013
I was attracted to the title and cover picture as I plan to paint landscapes using pastels and the tones of the cover image looked like the type I wanted to emulate. Sadly this was one of the best images and the rest were less inspiring. It also lacked useful insights into colour and technique. There are some useful insights and at present I am reading anything on pastel so its still better than over general all types of painting manuals.
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on 16 June 2015
An inspirational book. Hadn't heard of the artist before, even though he's been around for a long time. Beautiful pastel paintings. Hope I will be able to benefit from this book by loosening up my style of pastel painting. Lots of gorgeous colour pictures with comments by the author on what he was trying to achieve and the conditions under which he was painting. There are a few step by step examples but it isn't really that kind of book. Although the colours are so very vibrant, reflecting the part of America he lives in, it's an enjoyable book wherever you live. It's one to keep going back to.
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on 18 April 2013
As a very long-term user of the pastel medium, I found this book stimulated fresh ideas for subjects and methods of application. The American artist in general is well tuned to producing natural landscapes, capturing light and weather effects, etc. It is not a beginner's book. These types of books usually capture the artist's thought-patterns and mode of thinking as they work, which is valuable information for those trying to progress their work to another level. Publications by decent pastel artists are not overly numerous, therefore I recommend it for inclusion in a personal library.
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on 21 August 2013
exactly what I wanted, I am so pleased. A friend was so impressed when she saw this book that she asked me to order one for her (which I have done) and we will learn from it together, A really great book!!
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on 16 July 2015
Disappointed , too American based eg re light very different in UK
Too little intermediate info and staged sketches.
Supplier info all US.
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