That’s When Learning Begins and Success Will Follow
I think all of us have favorites. It might be a favorite flavor of ice cream,
a favorite dessert, a favorite restaurant, a favorite vacation spot or maybe
just a favorite memory. Most of us have a favorite activity or perhaps a
favorite place to go just to get away from it all. So it’s no surprise that if you
are a reader that you probably have a favorite book. Perhaps you liked it so
much that you read it a second time. Just like you, I have many favorite
books and many of them are books about art. Art books on my shelf have
been read and referred to more than once, and they have become my
favorite place to find information.
One book that really comes to mind when I think of favorite art books isa book by the artist Lesley Harrison. This book is titled “
She is a pastel artist and this book was one of the
first books that I bought when I started painting with pastels. If you aren’t
familiar with pastels they are powder pigments that are ground together
until they are in a paste form using a gum binder. They are then formed
into sticks. (They are shown in the image) These sticks can be either hard
or soft. Most pastel paintings require the use of both in order to achieve the
desired effect. Harrison’s book is filled with beautiful paintings of animals
completed using this medium. Her favorite paper for her painting with
pastels is velour. I also love painting on this type of paper. It is a very soft
surface that feels very much like velvet. It truly gives your subject matter a
very different look and makes each animal seem very soft and touchable.
My favorite color of velour is light gray.
Inside the covers of this amazing book she paints beautiful horses,
dogs, bunnies, and cats. Illustrated pages in the book give step by step
directions to help you develop your own painting. She shows how to paint
ears, eyes, faces, and fur in all types of animals. Many times these animal
parts can be a huge challenge for anyone wanting to learn to paint, but with
her help and illustrations the impossible becomes very possible.
She is definitely a master at sharing a feeling and never having to say a
single word. Her communication is completely visual and the message is
unforgettable when viewing her pastel creatures. The animal’s personality
shines through in each and every painting. This is truly an incredible book
of pastel and definitely one of my favorites!
Even though I have many favorite books that I have read and love I
have found that it takes much more than just reading a book to become an
artist. You really have to continue to practice,and practice, and more
practice. It’s wonderful to try the techniques that are shared with you within
the pages, but until you actually hold the pastel or apply the paint with a
brush and develop your own technique, your art will not develop the way
you want. However when you pair the knowledge with experience then
many wonderful achievements begin to come your way.
So if you’ve ever thought you’d like to try pastel, then this is a
remarkable book and a great place to begin. However, don’t just read it, be
sure to try it. Also don’t just try it once because that’s never enough.
Continue to work at it through dedicated practice. That’s when learning
begins, and success will quietly follow on its own.