More oil pastel experiments

Swirls closeup

I’ve just yesterday joined up to a community focussed on art journalling – another attempt of mine to get my art going and funnily enough it has worked for today. The above is a close up from a previous oil pastel experiment. As part of joining the community, I uploaded a few of the bits and pieces I have completed or played with that are as close to art journalling as I can get (I’ve never art journalled, so this is an adventure for me). I received a couple of comments on the photo this morning and so I thought, what the hey, I’ll get out that piece of work and continue experimenting.

This is what I came up with.

Swirl texture

It is oil pastel with several thin coats of acrylic paint and medium over the top, with the swirls scratched out with a nail file. The result does not push all my buttons, but it has some success and it certainly points me towards more experimentation. Perhaps not swirls next time, but zentangles or other more meaningful shapes. In any case, I think this technique has a lot to offer.

Things I’ve noted:

  • it works better with a foreground and background contrasting strongly
  • I should give more thought to the initial laydown of colour
  • I should experiment with more colour in the acrylics – I was working off the previous experiment and limited myself to pale, thin colours in an attempt to get a particular effect, which I did to an certain extent, but I think a lot more is possible with further experimentation.

Here’s some step by step…

Step 1- background

Lay down some oil pastel. My illustration board didn’t have enough texture to really grab the pastel, but I chose it because the usual canvas I use for oil pastel would not have been great to scratch out on. May try it at some point anyway.

Step 2 - swirl over design with white oil pastel

Not a great shot, but basically I swirled over the design with a white oil pastel to blend the colours a little and start the texture.

Step 3 - glaze with acrylic

Glaze over the top with a pale colour. I used glazing medium mixed with a few drops of yellow and white. After that was dry, I then swirled on some darker glaze – open swirls so some light was visible and some dark. The light glaze was also swirled to keep the texture building.

Step 4 - etch out second layer of design

Then I etched in the second layer of swirls. I really liked this result. It has so many possibilities. Here is a close up.

Step 4 close up

I love the colour.

After that, I simply repeated the previous steps, this time with the second layer swirls offset from the first.

Step 5 - another coat of light glaze

Step 6 - another coat of darker glaze

This is the pattern of the darker glaze. I neglected to photograph the first dark glaze step.

Step 7 - final etching

And then the final etch. This photo was taken before I added the final coating of self-levelling gel.

As a final piece, it is lacking, but once it is scanned into the computer, I’m finding that bits of it make interesting compositions. I really like the lighter and darker colours from the top half.

Swirl texture cut 1

Swirl texture cut 4

Swirl texture cut 3

Lots of lovely colour!

I definitely have to play with this texture some more.


(so happy to have finally done some art after so long)


6 responses to “More oil pastel experiments”

  1. Ooh this is lush and I am so happy you shared your process. I like to crop up my pictures digitally too. You get some interesting results. Have you noticed that in the red/orange one (3rd up from the bottom) there appears to be a shadowy figure??

    1. Ooh, thanks 😀

      I like to share my process, because that is half the fun. Also, the finished product sometimes doesn’t look as good as some of the stages along the way, so I like to record what happened 😀

      No, I hadn’t noticed the figure, but now you mention it 😀 That is something I like about layered work, the techniques give it such depth and movement, you can see all sorts of things.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, you fuel my creative campfire 😀

      (who is going to upgrade this blog to include emailing replies to commenters so decent discussions can occur here – I miss that aspect in Live Journal)

  2. Welcome back by the way! Where have you been??

    1. Hi, Lisa.

      I’ve been here, totally stuck with my art. Not really unmotivated, but more tied up in what I should be doing rather than what I want to do and that is great for creating arist’s block. Also, everything I had running here came to a screeching halt the moment I went back to work. I think I was over doing it and my brain decided it was time for a break. I’ve spent the last few months trying to find my way back to my art, and hopefully I have finally found it.

      Thanks heaps for the welcome back ::hugs::

      (who gets lost in the maze of her brain)

  3. […] same deal as a couple of days ago.  Oil pastel on illustration board, some swirly white on top to blur the edges of the initial […]

  4. This is awesome!!!! Just Beautiful!