Dana came to play last week and showed me how to use my oil pastels. This was so much fun, I had to try it again. I used turpentine when Dana was here, and of course the smell knocked both Dana and me for a loop. Dana kindly left her turpenol, a turpentine substitute that doesn't have the foul turp order. I thought I would never try the oil pastels again, after the smelly first attempt, but decided to play and experiment with them while the tornadoes, hail, and severe weather swept across the plains on Saturday.
I began by gluing two pieces of single weight cardboard together and allowing them to dry overnight. Next, I slathered on a bunch of gesso and allowed it to also dry overnight. Patience is not one of my virtues, but I have learned sometimes you have to allow things to dry completely before continuing.
The first step in this process was to scribble some of the oil pastels onto the gessoed page. You don't have to get it completely filled in. Note how the pastels, which remind me of crayons, skipped when the hit any texture. Next, I dipped a q-tip into the turpenol and pressed it against the rim of the bottle, getting rid of as much of it as possible.
This is the blended portion from the scribbles above. You can see the q-tip in the background. As I blended the pastels, I was able to transfer some of the color to the areas that I didn't scribble on (the left side of the above photo). At this point my q-tip was too dry to do any more blending and I was starting to work really hard for no return.
Next, I added a bit more pastels in the form of scribbles and more turp to a new q-tip. I kept repeating this process until I had filled the page.
After a lot of blending and scribbling, I got this background. Although the green didn't show up as well as the red, orange, and yellow, I was still pleased with the result. Feel free to click on the photo, because the small image doesn't begin to show all the texture and subtle color changes you see in the larger image.
Have a safe weekend, and play with your art supplies rather than traveling long distances. It will be fun, better for the environment, better on your wallet, and you'll actually have something to show for your efforts when Tuesday rolls around.
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