As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oil Pastel, the pain that keeps on smudging!

You may have noticed by now that I like sunflowers. And why not? Maybe Vincent really cut off his ear to show affection to a sunflower! (Hey it could happen, I mean, he did cut off his ear!)

I have used a few oil pastels in my time, and I have found that with the right amount of pressure and painstaking labor, you can fill in any gap ...that is, of course, if you want to...(make sure you have some aspirin lying around for the hand cramps).

Ideally, I suppose, the best paper to use for the finer details of oil pastel is a good medium weight smooth drawing paper, which allows for a very fine image and lots of detail.

But, I wanted a heavy impasto effect. I used acrylic linen canvas for this piece, which is a great heavy weight textured paper that will take on some serious paint. I also like it for oil pastel, but be prepared to use a lot of crayon. Above, I alluded to my tough attitude toward my paper, but in this case, I wanted the result to be a highly textural incredibly vivid image that in person looks like the style of painting I often enjoy: Sculptural!

About Sealing:
There are a variety of ideas I've read about with regard to sealing an oil pastel. You can use a fixative on your piece during your work in progress and continue working, but you will definitely want to seal it properly when finished. I used a UVLS satin lacquer and apply numerous coats so I can actually touch the surface (lightly) without digging into the soup that pastel artists love to hate.

About framing:
I frame my oil pastels behind glass because fingers can still damage the surface! (I'm sure you know not to put any painting behind glass unless it's watercolor!)

Here are a couple of places I googled and found some information on using and sealing oil pastels.

Oil Pastel Painting
Sealing Oil Pastels

Have a great sunflowery day!
(P.s. Looking for new oil pastels; please send them to the "Rubbed 'em in till they was gone" fund, c/o Rebecca Salcedo)


  1. Very nice painting. I tried oil pastels but found them to be a very ineffecient tool to create a painting.

    I think you should do one of a weed to give me along with a V-beer.

  2. If the person who won the painting on the blog party doesn't respond by midnight, you win it! :)

  3. Nice oil painting, I am somewhat on an oil painting frenzy right now! Especially since I've run into many different textures to compliment it. Keep it up!


Have something nice to say? Put 'er there!

Things to Ponder

Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. -Andy Warhol

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
-Walt Disney