oil pastel

A few weeks ago in September I went to the Botanic Gardens to draw with a Meetup group.  I decided to use some Sennelier oil pastels that I have — just because — and it turned out to be rather a challenge.  Sennelier oil pastels, as you may know, are expensive and lip-stick like (when new) and corrosive to the paper (eventually) because of the oil in them.  I used them on Arches oil paper, and since mine are not new, rather than being lip-stick like, they were just sticky.  I knew then that precision was not the effect to seek and so I bashed the color around.  And it’s kind of pretty if somewhat incoherent.

oil pastel neopastel botanic gardens

For a second drawing, I used Neopastels (Caran d’Ache) which I love.  Not much detail or evident precision in this drawing either but by the time I began it I had been standing rather a longish time, balancing my box of pastels under the drawing itself, a very ungainly way to work!  The flowers are composed of little flowerets that cascade across in a ball.  I got the ball quality, but not the parts.  Still, not bad to get some if not all of the complex perception.

The gooey Sennelier drawing sits inside the closed Arches oil paper tablet.  The Neopastel sits propped against furniture on the studio floor where I can see it as I work. (I’m working on a largish painting of a moth at the moment).   Seeing it there it has begun to affect me with its bright colors.  And even though the kind of flower portrayed isn’t even evident from the drawing, I find myself wanting to go back to Botanic gardens and make more incoherent drawings like these.  And I’m wondering if I could make a whole incoherent painting of them, one made exclusively from drawings.

So, we’ll see.  But for now, I’m all moth.

Here’s a detail of the gooey Sennelier where you can see the texture available. It’s a very expressive material for a certain kind of work.  I wasn’t quite in the mood for it that day I used it, but its appeal sneaks up on you later on after the work is done ….

oil pastel oblique angle

The color relationships are not unlike those of the flower painting I made recently, which is now on the wall at the Virginia Art League during the month of October.

Oct 1 flowers (3)

 

7 thoughts on “between drawing & painting

  1. That last painting in particular is really beautiful. I love flower paintings, but cannot do them for the love of me! (…yet?). Keep posting Aletha!

  2. Thank you, Emma. I recommend Caran D’Ache Neocolors as a brand. They are pigment-rich oil pastels. A lot of oil pastels on the market look good in the box, but don’t really deliver their colors. Neopastels are a true artists’ material — very expressive in potential, densely pigmented — I love them. Most portable way I know to use rich color. Just open the box and start drawing/painting.

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