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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > February 18 > ART BOOKS

ART BOOKS

Reviewed by Henry Malt

Pastel Innovations

Dawn Emerson

This is one of the most interesting books about pastel around. Dawn Emerson uses the medium in very many non-traditional ways and this is certainly not a conventional painting manual.

Pastel is not normally associated with experimentation and the excitement comes from discovering exercises with colour and shape that exploit the properties of an opaque drawing medium to produce results you wouldn’t normally expect. In addition, Dawn combines pastels with other media such as monotype, charcoal and sumi-e ink in ways that could easily go wrong but, in her confident hands, do not. Subject matter mostly concentrates on figures and animals, but the ideas are universal and you should be able to apply them more widely with ease. The whole idea of experimenting with a medium whose use is normally quite narrowly defined is so intriguing that a little effort is definitely worthwhile.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our February issue with our extra 16-page guide to art courses and holidays for 2018, including Kevin Scully's article on what to take into consideration and what to pack to make the most of the opportunities offered by a structured course away from home. Our artists also offer plenty of ideas and inspiration for painting a variety of subjects in a broad range of media, including pastel pencil animals, a horse in watercolour, trees and an orchard in pastels, mixed-media collages inspired by old buildings, a photorealist self-portrait in oils and more. In addition, Hazel Soan starts her new three-part series on light and shade in watercolour by explaining how to train your eye to see and interpret tone, Judi Whitton demonstrates how to mix and exploit a wide range of lively greys in your watercolour paintings, while Paul Gadenne shows why and how acrylics can be the key to achieving greater spontaneity in your work. Be inspired and enjoy trying some new ideas under the guidance of our fantastic team of contributing artists!
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