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Look inside Pastels for the Absolute Beginner
Gone Fishing Tutorial
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 01 October 2019
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782215639
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 450
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: £12.99
  • Series: Absolute Beginner Art
More Information

Pastels for the Absolute Beginner


by Rebecca de Mendonça (Author)

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Book Description

Take your first steps with pastels and learn how to produce modern, lively and colourful artwork with this exciting medium.

'This thorough guide to the rewarding medium of pastel will teach you much more than just the basics and may be the only pastel book you'll ever need!' - The SAA

Artist and teacher Rebecca de Mendonça offers the beginner a complete course in using pastels.

  • Easy-to-follow techniques for soft and hard pastels.
  • 8 projects broken down into simple steps.
  • Includes a wealth of finished paintings to provide ideas and inspiration.

Step-by-step exercises and longer projects help you to build essential skills and allow you to produce a range of pictures, including landscapes, still life, portraits and animals. Vital drawing skills are explained and demonstrated, along with an easy-to-follow guide to colour theory, and a huge wealth of finished paintings provide ideas and inspiration for your own future pastel work.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Materials 8
Setting up your workspace 12
Starting to draw 16
Pastel techniques 28
Bauble step by step 36
Teasel step by step 46
Colour 56
Rolling Fields step by step 62
Landscapes 70
Rocky Tor step by step 74
Billowing Clouds step by step 92
The Birches step by step 104
Life in your paintings 110
Child with Fishing Net step by step 120
Toby step by step 130
Composition 140
Index 144

About the Author

About Rebecca de Mendonça

Based near Exeter in Devon, Rebecca de Mendonça paints, teaches and writes. Her dynamic pastels capture the movement and atmosphere of subjects ranging from equestrian and landscape to figures and architecture.

After graduating in Theatre Design, Rebecca's early career was in theatre and interior design in London. She undertook portrait commissions of West End actors and dancers in English National Ballet. She is an Associate Member of the Society of Equestrian Artists, currently focusing her paintings on people working with horses, and moorland ponies. Rebecca has exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London with the Pastel Society and also as a finalist in the Artists of the Year Exhibition, 2019. Rebecca co-founded The New Pastel School in 2013.



This thorough guide to the rewarding medium of pastel will teach you much more than just the basics and may be the only pastel book you'll ever need!

Rebecca introduces new techniques in an eminently practical way, demonstrating detail and loose styles of working, giving you the chance to explore the medium as widely as possible.

Leisure Painter

Leisure Painter contributor, Rebecca de Mendoca, introduces pastels to the complete beginner in her new book, Pastels for the Absolute Beginner. Rebecca is an experienced tutor and understands the problems many people face when starting a new medium. Using clear step-by-step exercises she will show you how to begin-from setting up your workspace, and basic pastel techniques-to using colour, composition and adding life to your paintings. The range of subjects covered includes still life, landscapes, portraits and animals, and the many examples of Rebecca's works are sure to inspire you.

SAA Paint Magazine

Although this is a superb introduction to the rewarding medium of pastels, its also a whole lot more. Rebecca is a versatile artist whose skills run to just about any subject. Her results are breath-taking and this is one of the most thorough guides Ive ever seen. Id even go so far as to say it might be the only book youll ever need.

After the obligatory introduction to materials and basic techniques, the book immediately starts to get practical and you might be forgiven for thinking youve moved on to the exercises and demonstrations. In fact, youre still practising techniques, shading and textures, just not through the sort of geometric shapes that many books subject you to.

Once youre confident and competent, youll move on to full-scale demonstrations that cover landscapes, waterscapes, trees, skies, buildings, animals and people (I told you it was comprehensive!). There are plenty of steps and concise but thorough instructions, as well as hints and tips galore.

I really cant praise this enough. Its so much more than the title suggests and a must for any pastellist.

The Artist

This unassuming, but not insubstantial book is a bit of a wolf in sheeps clothing. Although billed as an introduction it is actually one of the best and most comprehensive books on pastel there has been in a long time possibly ever.

Books on pastel usually either cover landscapes, because thats the most popular subject and sales volumes matter, or are fairly simple technical introductions that can lack any real sense of creative endeavour. Rebecca de Mendonça, whose first book this is, is an artist of very considerable ability who is up to the task of tackling subjects that range from landscapes and beach scenes to figures, animals and still lifes. There is plenty of technical information, but also demonstrations and exercises a-plenty and so much to get your teeth into that youll never be stuck for inspiration or left feeling you want more.

Art Book Review

The idea of an Absolute Beginner series is a good one. Anyone taking up painting, or starting with a new medium needs a sound guide that is well-grounded in the basics and assumes no previous knowledge.

The book is certainly thorough. Subjects include landscapes, waterscapes, people and animals, with skies, trees and waves thrown in along the way. Rebecca is primarily a portrait and equestrian artist and this shows these are easily her strongest subjects. However, she is thoroughly at home with her medium and handles everything well. Her demonstrations and explanations are concise, but easy to follow. They will, I think, be of value to anyone at whatever level working with pastel.

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You may also be interested in:

The Pastel Artist's Bible

The Pastel Artist's Bible

By Claire Waite Brown


The Encyclopedia of Pastel Techniques

The Encyclopedia of Pastel Techniques

By Judy Martin


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