For this exercise I will work with dry pastels (Sennelier soft) and oil pastels (Boehner studio brand and Caran d’Ache Neopastel artist quality). I do feel more comfortable to work in dry pastels from previous Drawing 1 unit. With oil pastels I had so far my troubles, too sticky, too bright, just didn’t got results I would be happy with. But I am open to learn perhaps a different approach to oil pastels in this unit, as to my understanding till now painting is more about color than markings. But perhaps I am wrong at all.
Experiment with dry pastels / water soluble
Experiment with oil pastels / turp. soluble
- Dry pastels behave quite differently compared with oil pastels. But considering right quality the results are similar.
- On a wet surface dry pastels have a more intense color.
- To use turp on oil pastels for blending turned out to be a critical measure for quality. The cheaper studio quality pastels do not have at all a good color intensity when washed down. Only with good artist quality pastels the color stays intense.
- Using my fingers with dry pastels feels quite intimate and like modelling with clay, quite sculptural. Good control on tone.
- Using a brush with turp. and oil pastels is a bit more tricky. Perhaps finger would give better control as well. With stippling with the brush I have more control.
- I can use oil pastels in wax resist technique for markings. Although it is better to be done with watercolour than ink.
- In combination with acrylic paint (underlayer) I feel that dry pastels do work better.
My paintings in pastels:
A) Dry pastels: working from photograph of a bronze statue in a local park (on dark grey pastelcard 30 x 40 cm)
=> I used a comb like tool for the markings in the hair. I applied first a thin layer of water with my fingers so that the markings stay denser. Incidentally some water rinsed down. Reminded me than of teardrops (although it is a statue). For the background I applied bolder abstract markings in green, blue and black. Overall I felt more at home with this piece. Wondering whether it would count rather as a drawing (because of the mark makings) or as painting (because of the color mixing on the body). I leave this question open. I think it is a quite successful piece.
B) Oil pastels: Working from photograph of a outdoor scene at local river (fall time) – on white A2 sized paper
=> I applied oil pastel marks and blended partly with turp. Perhaps a bit too illustrative. I left in the foreground more dry markings, washed down more the greenish color of the river. I feel the blue color of the sky is too intense, too opaque, contradicts the atmospheric depth perception. I feel that I am still a bit blocked by my previous experiences with oil pastels. I will see what else I could do with them. Important for me at this stage is that good quality pastels matter.
I consider this picture still rather as a technical study to learn more about how to use oil pastels and how to blend them.
- I enjoyed working on the two pastel pieces. The dry pastel one more successful. I felt more in my comfort zone there.
- Using my fingers was a good way to have control on blending colors. I am wondering how this could be pushed further.
- I like contrasting elements as:
– blending (statue, skin)
– mark making (hair)
– expressive simple strokes (background)
- I was surprised how close painting with pastels and painting with paint are to each other. The main difference I believe is the proximity to the surface. At times it is better to stand back and see the overall picture for make discerning decisions.
- Blending with oil pastels:
with fingers, cloth, tortillion, turn, others like scraping
Available from: http://www.oilpasteltechniques.com/blending-with-oil-pastels/ [accessed 19 Feb 2016]