Most helpful positive review
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Pastel painting explained by a true master
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.