In the past I have used oil pastel often as a sketching medium, as a way of trying out ideas before committing myself to painting. But lately, particularly now that I’m using acrylic paint, I have been going straight to the painting to experiment with ideas directly there. Consequently I’m using oil pastels much less.
They’re a beautiful medium so I don’t want to neglect them entirely. I am enjoying the directness of just painting though. I find that I can blast away more with paint.
The drawing above measures 18 x 24.
I’ve been drawing the dog. I’ve been drawing lots of stuff. And I’m behind in my postings. But I’ve been having so much fun. Hope you’re doing the same. The drawing above is one of what I hope will be a series of Lucy drawings. My big painting has been on hold because of some household painting going on (painting the walls kind of painting rather than painting of pictures!). I’ve learned to use the spaces between spaces. Hence when I cannot do one kind of art, I do another kind.
Here’s some details.
Lucy’s face is wonderful to draw.
What I love about a motif like this one is the opportunities it offers for putting all kinds of color patches into the surroundings — even surprising colors like bright red or pale blue in small portions where the patches can enliven the whole color sensibility. There’s lots of chances to make little marks.
I work on the passages around the dog as much as I work on the dog — perhaps more so since there’s more not-dog here than dog.
The drawing is fairly largish — 24 x 18 inches drawn using Neopastel. It’s got a bit of tweaking still to go, but I have been photographing it regularly since the photographs help me see it better as a whole. Had to post it here because I’m so eager to share it!
I made a drawing of the compotier with lemons for the big painting. This quick drawing is on an 18 x 24 inch sheet of Strathmore drawing paper made using Neopastels. I had already made one study of the compotier in oil paint — and I’ll make others. Today’s light isn’t even right. I just want enough information to get the contours at least close enough for jazz. This one is close — still not right though it will be enough for me to use to paint some of the lay-in tonight.
The study in paint was more accurate in some respects, but it’s seen from the wrong angle. I set up a partial still life and also looked rather more closely at Bonnard’s image (I’m emulating Bonnard’s painting The Dining Room) and I find that I should be standing up when looking at the bowl. I was sitting for both the painting and the drawing, though I sought to prop myself up a bit higher for the drawing using a stool and pillows.
In any case I like the further engagement with the subject. It’s very satisfying simply to follow its lines and colors with the crayons.
I’ve pulled a 30 x 40 inch painting of a pine tree out of the rack. I began it a while back but I’m ready to finish it now.
Made this drawing above to sort out some questions I have about the top of the tree. The drawing measures 24 x 18 inches so the image is just a bit smaller than the related section of the painting.
The pine tree is an oil painting so I’ll be switching gears from acrylic to oil. The studio will soon be filled with the wonderful aroma of linseed oil. Soon!
Got a chance to see the January exhibit at the Virginia Art League and to photograph my oil pastel Koi Silk in situ. I love the framing which was done by Carriage House Framing. The whole thing measures 41.5 x 29 inches.
Here’s another view for scale.
The exhibit in historic Old Town Alexandria goes through February 4.
Here’s a link for Carriage House Framing.
I made a little pen drawing for a new motif, but it wasn’t as helpful for thinking through the forms as the pen drawings have been for other subjects. So I began a one-to-one drawing in oil pastel to use as my rehearsal. It measures 24 x 36 inches.
And here it is further along —
So when I painted the pond in oil the first time, I also made a drawing in oil pastel. I am really in Degas territory with this one: “il faut refaire la même chose dix fois, cent fois” – you must redo the same thing ten times, a hundred times.”
I must really like this motif.
The bird was a drawing before he was painted. And he’ll, no doubt, be a drawing again. And a painting again. Many times.
I like to practice things. Sometimes I feel like I need to figure an image out before I get serious about painting. But sometimes, as above, I just want to make the broad gestures with a tool. Just because. Drawing with oil pastel has its own raison d’être.
Many years ago I made this drawing en plein air using oil pastels. It’s one of several source drawings for the fir garden painting that I posted. They’re both about the same size, 18 x 24 inches.
Ah! That was a balmy day compared to now, now when it’s 15 degrees F outside! I paint to keep warm!