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Feb 25th
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Home Art Art Gallery Working with Oil Pastels
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Working with Oil Pastels


oil-pastel-artist-01Oil Pastels are one of a few versitile art supplies you can ever work with. Just about any medium intended for use with oil painting will work well with oil pastels. You can get similar effects of oil paintings using oil pastels on canvas or illustration hardboard.

Making Marks
Expressive strokes, scumbling, hatching, drawing and blended smooth passages are all possible using oil pastels dry.

Sketching using Oil Pastels
Begin with sketching a drawing on sanded pastel paper, watercolor paper, illustration hardboard or your choice of surface.

Underpainting is also a useful technique with oil pastels. Adding a flat underpainting  or wash under different areas eliminates the white flecks from white paper and creates a much more richer color.

Palettes or the page can be used to mix oil pastels. Blend them together to create smooth gradients.

Wet Effects
Watersoluble oil pastels can create various opaque and transparent wet effects buy adding plain water. Heavier applications can be smoothed with a blend or wash.

Tonal Layers
Smooth tonal layers created without thick or think stroke areas is a technique for realism. Layers of broken color can work well by alone or get blended into smooth looking transitions with a lighter color.

Grass Texture
Using short vertical strokes can be used to create textures for various types of grass.

Reflections and Shadows
Shadow shape and color of reflections is part of realism. When used properly the effects can be very dramatic.

There are many ways of creating detail with oil pastels. Realism requires small details or accents to accomplish this.

Temperature Tricks
Altering the  temperature of oil pastels will soften or harden both what is already on your painting and the oil pastel sticks in your hand. A warm oil pastel stick on chilled artwork gives it better coverage. A heated drawing surface will melt the oil pastel stick as you apply it for an effect closer to encaustic painting. I haven't done encaustic, but I've seen it done well and it shouldn't be that hard emulating it with a heated drawing surface.


"Cherry Lull Fandango"

By David Arredondo

MATERIALS USED: Oil pastels & oil based colored pencils on (15" x 20") rag surfaced illustration board of medium weight.

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