Friday, July 19, 2019

Using Holbein on this Work in Progress

This is the same piece that's on my Hackberry Street Studio blog but I wanted to share my experience with other oil pastelists about my using only Holbein oil pastels this time around.  While I've always used the brand before in combination with others, such as Sennelier, Caran d'Ache and Sakura Specialists, I've never used them as the onlies.  The surface is Colourfix board (slightly gritty) and what a perfect combination this is!  I loved working with these oil pastels.  The appearance is more like that of a dry pastel.  I'm not a great photographer, but maybe you can see the strokes in this close-up.
I was so excited by the joy of using only Holbein that I went online to see if there were any good deals and was shocked to find that not only were there few good deals, there were hardly any Holbein oil pastels available - well, not in the quantities available in Sennelier or others.  So I went to Ebay and found a good number of them, many shipped from Japan, and opted for a bunch of barely used Holbeins which are going to be perfect for portraits and figures and which ship from the US!  I was worried about the heat, which is horrendous in Texas right now, and was thinking they could possibly get melty coming so far, maybe? I don't know - anyway the ones I ordered are on track to be here early next week!  There's little layering/building up with the Holbeins - I kind of like that for a change and I didn't miss it a bit.  Just one more oil pastel in my arsenal.  I have a LOT to do on this piece, but am looking forward to working with this lovely brand of oil pastels!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Cille - oil pastel portrait


Cille - I'm guessing it's actually Lucille - posed for a group I attended, but this piece isn't from life, but from a snapshot I took of her after the session.  I used Strathmore acrylic paper, which can give a looseness to a piece with some of the canvas texture showing through.  This one isn't so loose, but I do like the canvas peeking through.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Work in Progress - Geisha

I know, I know, I have so much work to do on this one, but this post is just to let it be known that I'm still around!  Sometimes it pays not to get the best position for drawing at the drawing group - some of my favorite things have been drawings and paintings of backs.  Of course, I never finished this one, but am working on it.  This piece is on Colourfix board, about 16 x 12", I think, slightly gritty surface and utterly wonderful for oil pastel!  This is where the camera comes in handy.  I would never be able to complete this without having a pic of the design on the kimono, plus the flowers she's wearing in her hair.  It could be tiring to contemplate all that needs doing on this, if it weren't such fun to use oil pastel.  And I have the kimono in my sights!  Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ACEO - Geisha - oil pastel painting

geisha on black in blue kimono holding a fan
I've spent lots of hours making ACEOs and having so much fun doing it!  Will be posting them often.  This was done with Sennelier oil pastels on black Art Spectrum Colourfix ACEO paper 3.5 x 2.5", although the area is actually smaller since there is a white border around it. Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Mixed Media Dancer - female dancer using colored pencil along with the oil pastel

Female dancer in flowered skirt kicking foot back in colored pencil with oil pastel
Okay, this is not totally oil pastel, but also contains lots of colored pencil along with the oil pastel.  I outlined her with a colored pencil, which gives it the sketchiness, then filled it in with the pencils and  added oil pastel.  I could have changed some of the outlines to make them tighter, but I left them alone because I think that adds to the liveliness and "drawingness"of the piece.  This is probably more pencil than op.  14 x 11".  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Nude Against a Flowered Screen - original oil pastel drawing of a nude

I love drawing nudes and I love patterned backgrounds, so when this pose was before me, I couldn't resist.  It was actually two pieces of similar fabric which met behind the model  - they were enough alike that I was pleased with the choice.  I used Sennelier with a few CrayPas oil pastels on an 8 x 8" sanded pastel paper panel.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Standing Nude - original oil pastel drawing of a nude model

I started this with a pencil then went over most of it with oil pastel and did a bit of "coloring outside the lines".  Also there is some restating, which I love to do - sort of a fun with line drawing.  Always so satisfying to me!  And it's on 8 x 6" Strathmore Blue, which, when I take the photo, comes out somewhat different than it is in real life.  Oh well.  Thanks so much for looking!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Girl Sleeping - oil pastel figurative painting

a girl sleeping on her stomach and is covered with red and blue quilt
This was done on 9 x 12" Colourfix paper, which, if you haven't tried it yet, you definitely should!  I think Colourfix now has probably three grades of grittiness.  This is the original and I love the way the Sennelier oil pastel just "melts" onto the paper.  And it holds a lot - and I mean a lot - of oil pastel!
Sleeping poses are always a pleasure to draw/paint because often the model actually does go to sleep and that makes it so easy to work.  She's comfortable and I just keep on drawing till she wakes up!  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

How I Start a New Ballet Drawing - beginning gestural figurative sketch of ballet rehearsal


This drawing seems so much more stark than in real life, but as I've mentioned before, I'm not the best photographer.  Anyway, this is another in my ongoing obsession with ballet.  I took ballet for years and years, through college and even after, so I have lots of memories stored in my head and lately, I also have sketches.  

My central characters are of course, the two girls in the center, the other two will probably show up in a later drawing.  Mainly, this is the gestural basis for my piece and now that I look at it, I think the figure on the left needs to be moved closer to the edge a little.  I was looking for a casual chat between these girls and think it's a successful gesture.  

This piece is sketched on grey Colourfix paper (9 x 12") and while I may end up doing a bigger version, this is it for now.  I just drew freely - my favorite part - and then will use my finger or my finger wrapped in a paper towel to smooth out the background - and also not leave it that white.  I have a big white Sennelier oil pastel and it's so easy to just madly scribble with it.  Usually I use the regular size Senneliers, but I do have some of the big ones and they are also great to work with.  Give them a try! 
Will fill this in day by day and post my progress here.  Thanks so much for sharing my oil pastel journey!


Friday, August 24, 2018

Three Blue Nudes - using Sennelier oil pastels over acrylic paint on acrylic paper

I coated a piece of Strathmore acrylic paper, which is a really nice paper, btw, with some acrylic paint in 'Light Blue Permanent' (Liquitex Basics that I bought at Michael's) and it's very turquoisy, so I love it.  Then I drew from life the quick poses that the model took before she settled down for a long pose.  First I noted where I wanted the figures to be on the page with graphite pencil, then I began drawing with my black Sennelier lipstick-like oil pastel. Originally I had intended to just use black and white, but then decided the piece needed a little color, so added flesh tones and some darker blues in the background.  One thing always leads to another!
A note about drawing with oil pastel on this surface (acrylic paint) - it's kind of slick and the oil pastel can really slide around, which can be good or bad, depending on how you like to work with this medium.  Also, I have some of these pieces on this same kind of surface and have never sprayed them with oil pastel fixative,  but I'm going to wait a couple of weeks, then spray this one and report back on how it accepted the fixative - (does it seem well-protected?).  Whether I'm happy with the fixative result or not, as long as I frame it under glass (plexiglass), it doesn't really matter.
I really do encourage you to try working over acrylic especially on acrylic paper if you haven't already - it's soul-satisfying if you're a lover of working in oil pastel because the sticks are even more responsive than usual - and that's saying something.  Of course, this one is done with the very creamy Sennelier oil pastels, but if you would rather not have the slick feel, then one of the less oily feeling ones should do perfectly.  This piece is 12 x 12" - thanks for stopping by!
NOTE:  I sprayed with fixative and it accepted the spray perfectly - no worries!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Tango Demo - original oil pastel figurative tango dancers

I have attended a few tango demos and have tried to remember all the other watchers, since it would be so obvious to be standing/sitting there drawing the other viewers.  This scene is from a tango studio which often featured guest dancers, who then gave instruction in the finer points of particular tango steps.  This piece is on 9 x 12" Art Spectrum Colourfix paper.  I used my unsharpened Sennelier oil pastels as well as a few CrayPas Specialists, which I really like to use on their sides.  They also have those corners that are good for details - maybe I should start using them in that way, too.  Not sure they would work very well over the Senneliers - will give that a try and report back.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Combining Sennelier and CrayPas Specialists



Just did this little sketch to show the CrayPas Specialist oil pastels in the background.  They work really well, especially with the square edges which lend themselves to drawing.  Plus they're not creamy, so the background greys are lovely to work with.  And they can also be used under the creamier brands.  I really enjoyed the Specialists and will keep using them.  PS - if you're wondering what the model was doing, she was smoothing lotion on her hands.  And, looking back at how I began this drawing, I've really changed her.  That's what happens when - in this case - I changed the channel, or when the drawing group is over.   Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

On My Easel - A Chat After Class - oil pastel figurative

A lot to do on this one, but I just decided to post it - I'm always spurred on to finish when I share the stuff I'm working on.  This piece comes from something I saw the other day - I had to remember it, because the "pose" was only for a minute or two and then there's the problem of being obvious when I sketch people, so it's a memory drawing.  On MultiMedia pastel panel, it's 8 x 6".  Thanks for looking!