Buy this one -- I have been learning how to do things via books all my life -- (and I am older than dirt right now). A couple of weeks ago I ordered three used pastel books on amazon and all three have now arrived -- one was pure dross and I left a report on amazon , another has wonderful paintings which can be studied for ideas and techniques, but the third takes all --
by Jackie Simmonds
If you are a beginning explorer of pastels (soft/chalk) this will set you on a productive and informed (and fast) path in a matter of a few hours -- below is an example of the start of the first work project and my piece which emerged at the end of the project (about 2-3 hours time).
This particular project is based on imitating
an "old master" -- i.e. van Gogh. (NOTE: this is not "copying" as you would do in an MFA program of study.) It is the first lesson out of ten in this workshop book. Here is my result.
And before the lessons start, there are 27 pages of concise information that the beginner needs -- about color, strokes, technique, materialas, equipment -- the regular stuff.
I only started looking into pastels just before this last Christmas-- I had taken a workshop about 7 or 8 years ago but had done absolutely nothing since then in the way of painting until early last summer, when I picked up watercolor again and then became sucked in by color pencils.
This is an incredible book.