Green Curves. Oil pastels thinned with alcohol, on watercolour paper.
Another experiment I did with my oil pastels. As they are studio quality and quite hard to blend with the fingers I took a brush and my small bottle of isopropanol and blended them with alcohol. The difference between the single colours is amazing – red, yellow, orange and even the pink are still strong even when diluted, whereas the greens are losing their vividness. So I decided to draw the lines of the green curves with my polychromos coloured pencil after having sprayed a fixative on the painting.
Wood in the Water. Oil pastels diluted with baby oil on watercolour paper.
Some days ago I dediced to get an annual subscription for artistnetwork.tv. Actually it was on the last day before my vacation began, and I thought that I should give myself a present. I browsed through the catalogue and found out that they had videos on abstract art. I began to watch one and felt inspired to give myself and my oil pastels a try.
But I must admit that I didn’t like the crumbles you get (okay, that depends on the quality of the oil pastels, I know) and so I was looking for ways to get rid of them. I learnt that you can thin oil pastels with turpentine. I knew that baby oil serves as a thinner for coloured pencils, and I’d already done that with my polychromos which are oil-based. So I was very curious whether and how thinning would work with oil pastels and baby oil. You can see the result above. In reality the painting is a bit more on the greenish side; due to my scanner it’s got a more blueish touch.
However all in all I’m quite satisfied, and in addition to that it was so much fun to work with the paints!
I did this fish quite some days ago in a phase where I focused on oil pastels. I had no photo reference, just a vague idea and a lust for slinging colours.
Now that November has gone and the end of the year is approaching very fast it is the time to look back on 2013. The first half of the year was dedicated to prepare my first group art show, which not only meant producing the paintings I had to show but also thinking about frames and mats. All my exhibits were done with coloured pencils.
In October I bought Neocolors II, the watersoluble crayons from Caran d’Ache and played around with them. And I rediscovered my oil pastels, as you can see in the painting above. At the same time, however, I went digital again with Inkscape and did some vector pieces. I learnt a lot about gradients, opacity and blurs, and how to make a drawing look three dimensional.
In the end, I found out one thing: Whether I draw and paint with pencils, crayons or oil pastels or whether I do it digitally I want to tell stories with my art, and I want to do this in a way where the beholder looks at the piece and invents his or her own story which can be very different from the story which another person looking at the same piece will see in the painting.
I might be tempted to not only draw and paint but also tell a story going with the illustration. Maybe this is something I could do in 2014…
It took some courage for me to publish that oil pastel painting–it looks like a kindergarten painting to me. But I also feel that it is important to document the level I’m on. I had no reference for it, just an idea, inspired by the three words “golden”, “carnival” and “festive”.
I admit that I had fun doing it, although that fun was mixed with massive self-doubt. And I decided to continue to practise with my “oilies”, even if that meant feeling insecure and out of my comfort zone.
This is not finished yet. I saw those nice little stretched canvases and decided to have a go at them with my oil pastels. I am using Jaxon oil pastels, a brand which is very popular in Germany and quite cheap. I’d bought them some time ago because I didn’t know whether I would like them or not. It was at a time when my “art career” had just begun, tried one or two pieces and stopped using them because I could not go into detail with them. I also was not much experienced with colours.
Now, some time later, I rediscovered them. In the meantime I’d bought some paper tortillons and now I am using them to fill out all the tiny white specks. I haven’t progressed very far on the canvas yet, as you can see. I also found out the difference between the rather hard Jaxon pastels and the neopastels made by Caran d’Ache. They are so much creamier and softer!
Here I applied the Neocolor II first as a kind of underlayer, and then added some oil pastels here and there, I used watercolour paper as a support.
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.