Archive | April 2012

Copics rediscovered

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!

Hit by the Light

Hit by the light. Oil pastels and coloured pencils. Ulla Hennig April 2012

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!

Bird. Oil pastels on pastel paper. Ulla Hennig April 2012


Hornbill. Oil pastels, Ulla Hennig April 2012

Hornbill. Painted with oil pastels on pastel paper. Ulla Hennig April 2012

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!


oil pastels

Fish. Oil pastels on pastel paper. Ulla Hennig, April 2012

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.

Flower Study

Flower Study. Oil pastels on pastel paper. Ulla Hennig, April 2012

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.

Oil pastels: Learning by Doing

Another experiment with 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.

New medium: oil pastels

apple. Done with oil pastels. Ulla Hennig April 2012

I bought myself a set of 24 oil pastels on Tuesday, and of course I had to try them out. I love the richness of the colour and how smoothly the pastel stick moves over the paper.

New medium: Soft pastels

Flowers. Done with soft pastels on pastel paper. Ulla Hennig April 2012

Some time ago my neighbour gave me a 72 soft pastels set. Up to last Friday I didn’t have the courage to use them. But suddenly – obviously encouraged by the soft pastel thread over a WetCanvas, I decided to have a first go. Actually I wasn’t too fond of them, and having no fixative I didn’t want to have my scanner get dusty with them.

Yesterday however I bought a fixative spray. Well, I must admit I wasn’t careful enough and got some nasty spots on the paper. Thanks to photoshop I managed to erase them. And here they are, my first pastel florals!

I neither had a photo or a real flower serving as reference. I just remembered some flowers and wanted to play with the colours of my pastels.

Wild colours

Wild colours. Watercolour pencils used wet and dry on watercolour paper, Ulla Hennig, April 2012

I hope you don’t think I’ve gone mad, but somehow I could not resist. No reference. I placed various glasses and other round objects on the watercolour paper, went around them with a pencil in order to get circles. Then I coloured them with dry watercolour pencils and applied a wet brush. At the very end I applied some dry coloured pencils. It was fun!