Pastel Painting Atelier: Essential Lessons in Techniques, Practices, and Materials

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Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, Apr 23, 2013 - Art - 192 pages

Revel in the luminous and vibrant qualities of pastel with Ellen Eagle’s essential course in the history, techniques, and practices of the medium. In this comprehensive yet intimate guide, Eagle explores pastel’s rich but relatively unexamined past, reveals her own personal influences and approaches, and guides you toward the discovery and mastery of your own vision.   In Pastel Painting Atelier, you will find:

   • Advice on basic materials: guidance on building, storing, and organizing a collection of pastels; choosing the right paper; and the importance of experimentation
   • Studio practice suggestions: ideas for creating your ideal working environment and recipes for making your own pastels and supports
   • Study of the working process: lessons on proportion, gesture, composition, color, application, identifying and correcting problems, and recognizing when a work is finished
   • Meditation on subject: cues for extrapolating the subtle details, presence, and temporal features of whatever you choose to paint
   • Step-by-step demonstrations: Eagle’s acute insights into her own works as they progress


A magnificent selection of works by masters such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Rosalba Carriera, Mary Cassatt, and Eugene Delacroix augment this guide, as do works by contemporary artists including Harvey Dinnerstein, Elizabeth Mowry, and Daniel Massad.  Aimed at serious artists, this guide enlightens, instructs, and inspires readers to create brilliant and sensitive works in the historic medium of pastel.


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i have read just about every pastel book i can get my hands on, and this book is by far the best, ellen eagle is a true master of the art, and also an incredible writer, most pastel books have similar info, but what sets ellen's book apart is her ability to describe her process in a way that is not only deeply interesting where other authors are very dry, but also in a way that makes visualizing and conceptualizing her ideas extremely easy. If you only get one pastel book this is the one to get! i read it over and over, her artwork is breathtaking and the book is beautifully well done...i honestly can't say enough about it, this book is a 10, and of the dozen or so others i've read no other can score over a 7 or 8...she specializes in portraiture, but her literature is useful for all types of subjects! 


Foreword by Maxine Hong Kingston
H A P T Ii R O N
a look at the genres
Establishing Whether the Work ls Finished
Pigeon Glanring
Dried Flowers Garlic Shins Fabrlz and Threads
Framing Pastel Paintings

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About the author (2013)

ELLEN EAGLE holds a BFA with Distinction in Drawing from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Her work is represented by Forum Gallery, New York, and has been shown in the National Academy Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Frye Art Museum, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and in the Lingnan Museum of Fine Arts in China.  Her paintings and writing have appeared in the New York TimesAmerican Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, the Pastel Journal and numerous other publications.  She is the recipient of several grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and the Dodge Foundation. A sought-after teacher, Eagle is on the faculty of the Art Students League of New York and has given workshops throughout the United States and in Italy. Visit her at

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