AFM #2 Learn how to use Oil pastels

Crayons are rubbish.The only thing theyPastels 5 have going for them, in my opinion,
(I miss”The Good Wife”- when is it back on??) is that they are easy to use.
Oil pastels are like hard-to-use crayons.

All the same, I’ll give it a go! I had to do a bit of research having no idea how to proceed and I thought this article gave a good overview http://www.oilpasteltechniques.com/oil-pastels-for-beginners however he is adamant that cheapo oil pastels are a bad way to go. Hmm, I get the sinking feeling that my cheapo children’s pastels, from my ACTUAL CHILDHOOD, are not going to work very well. . .So, I decided to do a quick piece to suss out the quality issue.

Pastels 1
Difficult to blend colours; messy; difficult to do fine detail with big clunky pastels- DO BIGGER PICTURES!
Pastels 2
Pastels definately weren’t blending as described in the article, flaking off paper- GET NEW PASTELS!

Pastels 3
I suddenly remembered that I had 2 Oil pastels in a mixed-media kit somewhere; colours- Blue & Orange, Holy Moly! AMAZING THING #1
Pastels 5
I was having so much difficulty getting detail in there that I started scraping away the layers, revealing lighter colours underneath. Turns out, that IS a thing, woop. Then I threw out those old pastels. I suck at throwing things out. AMAZING THING #2

I bought some Faber-Castell pastels, as I’ve found their stuff good in the past. They had a wee leaflet in the box describing different techniques, so I tried these out for myself:

Oil pastel techniques    But really it was this video that helped me see what’s going on- you’re in it for the long-haul with oil pastels. Unlike a sketch which you add more detail and definition to as you go, building towards the finish piece; here you start with a decent enough outline and then proceed to smudge and muddy and blur and slur it and you just have to keep going until there’s a vague resemblance to that initial outline; and hope that it is, in fact, an apple!Or something. Watch the video:

So I have decided to work on two projects with the pastels, A bird-type creature on a small canvas that I will then overwork with thread and sequins and shit:

Pastel bird

And a scene that I have wanted to capture for a while now, of my second daughter jumping in puddles on our way to collect her big sister from the bus. This will be done on my handmade paper. More tomorrow! Slán.

rain baby sketchrain baby photo

 

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