In autumn 2010 I bought some copic ciao markers. I did some pieces with them during the rest of the year, but then I moved over to doing art with photoshop and somehow forgot them. Yesterday I suddenly felt like having a go with them again, and did this fish.
While I was painting away I had a strange feeling: I felt like working with my copics on a new level. I have been doing coloured pencil pieces and watercolour pencil pieces; I have been working with pastels (oilies and dusties), and I learnt a lot. I had done the fish with coloured pencils and oil pastels, and now I did it with copic ciaos, and each time it was a different fish.
I also know now that I have a range of mediums which I like, and I am happy that I haven’t to decide for one. I’ve got them all neatly stacked away (well, almost), but they are easy to get and use. What a bliss!
I created that out of my imagination. I had a devil /daemon / dangerous being in mind, coming out of the dark blue and suddenly being hit by the light. Okay, the dark blue isn’t dark enough, and the light is not light enough, but that’s due to my weaknesses in dealing with the oil pastels.
And the scanner is mercyless. Just now I am looking at the painting, and now I see all the white specks which of course shouldn’t be there. But I had fun doing it, and I’ve got the feeling that I am on my way.
This oil pastel piece is based on a photo reference from the Reference Image Library on Wet Canvas.
The more I do with my “oilies” the more I like them!
I did this after having thrown the piece before that into the trash can. It is like when you have been thrown off a horse: go and get on it again as soon as possible! I seldom throw a piece away, but the one I am speaking off hurt my eyes whenever I looked at it, and gave me the feeling of utter incapability.
I had a photo reference from the RIL on WetCanvas uploaded by Crias for the hornbill, which helped. I put the pastel paper on a rather hard cardboard this time which seemed to keep the oil pastels from crumbling too much. And I cleaned the oil pastels after blending with them very carefully with a paper towel and did the same with the paper stumps.
You wouldn’t call a hornbill a pretty bird, but they have a lot of personality!
I am still exploring the world of oil pastels (called ops or oilies). When I say exploring I mean actually experimenting, painting, doing colour swatches, and I mean reading posts on Wet Canvas, or looking at other people’s art. It is amazing what can be done with oil pastels!
Wet Canvas has got a monthly Challenge in its oil pastels forum. And I did it – I decided to participate in the April challenge with this fish. The original photo looks quite different, but I took my artistic licence with it, especially regarding the background and the colours of the fish.
This time I did a colour swatch with all my red shades before doing the actual drawing. And it helped a lot, because you have to see the colours on the paper in order to decide which one to take.
I think I will continue with these kind of studies for a while, just to get familiar with my new oil pastels.
This is not an art piece. I am not presenting it because I think it’s good. I am presenting this piece because I want to learn from my failures.
With this piece I learnt several things:
- You can shade by using a darker pastel over the lighter one. You can then leave the strokes as they are or blend them with a paper stump (or your fingers).
- When you use a paper stump you have to be very careful to use a clean one. Otherwise you get mud instead the lovely colour you are wanting to achieve.
- When shading you have to be sure where the light comes from and then continue to shade in the same direction.
- Imagination is fine, but doing a pencil sketch before painting with the oil pastels is not bad at all. It might be helpful for getting a decent composition.