Oil Pastel Work -a Process

Winter bushland in Amaranth
As I work with the pastels I have noticed elements that are becoming more consistent as I work through the challenges.

A few suggestions:

1.      Establish values with lightly pressured pastel and solvent or by under painting with watercolour or acrylic.  Washes may also establish temperature areas on which to add the pastel.
2.      Work with the tip of your pastel when putting in highlights or when you want sharp detailed lines.  I have a pencil sharpener ready for making the tip of the pastel stick sharper.
3.      Use the side of the stick when you want broad passages of color.  Try various angles of the pastel stick to get different strokes and effects.  Push small bits of pastel sticks that have broken off for yet other surface effects.
4.      Be aware of your pastel strokes as they leave marks like a brush.  These strokes add a textural quality and directional emphasis in the work.
5.      Blend with your fingertip to create a soft cloud like quality to the surface.  Other tools may be used for blending, giving different effects on the surface.
6.      Draw lines over blended areas to create depth and texture.
7.       Scumble one color over another color for more texture and visual diversity on the surface areas. 
8.      Composition and design elements are still the underlying structure for your work.
9.     The portability of the pastels and the richness of the colours are a bonus. 
10. Oil pastel art works are still a relatively hard sell.


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