Posts Tagged ‘Oil Pastel’

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Lip Balm Tube Holder for Oil Pastels

September 9, 2016

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Okay, here’s my latest experiment. I was online looking for some more gum arabic powder to make some gouache, and I found a new supplier to try out, Mountain Rose Herbs, who had a good price. While on their site, I saw they had various containers too, including empty lip balm tubes. (People make their own lip balm? Okay.)

As some of you who have been following my blog may know, I make my own oil pastels. Seeing these empty lip balm tubes you can probably see where my idea went, so I bought a few to try out as oil pastel holders. The order came in the mail yesterday.

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The first thing was to melt the block of charcoal pastel I had made into a liquid using a coffee cup warmer and a muffin tin. I thought I might want to make the pastel a bit harder, so I shaved off a bit of encaustic wax too. I found a piece of plastic from some packaging that made a better funnel by using a snipped off corner, and poured the wax into the tube.

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So, how well does it work? Not bad. It poured in fairly easy, but the wax hardens quickly, and this left some air gaps in the tube. I need to find a better tool to push it down and fill it with more wax. The tube is small (1/2 x 1″), but they’re cheap (.30 each) so I can make several at once. The cooled wax will easily push up, but not back down by turning the dial at the bottom. It does make a nice holder, and is not messy to use.

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Painting Finished: Elizabeth Stretches version 2

August 11, 2016

I’ve got the painting all finished now, I believe. I gave her a floor stand on so she wouldn’t float so much. It’s hard to get a good photo of it, but this is fairly accurate. Acrylic paint and oil pastel on 24 x 12.5 inch illustration board.

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Reworking a Painting: Elizabeth Stretches

August 9, 2016

I dug out a painting I had finished about a year ago to make some changes. I wanted to add a broader tonal range of values with more highlights to her figure and a darker background. I’ve photographed the background unfinished so you can see some of the process.

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The black acrylic paint was reflecting too much of a satin sheen, and adding matt medium wasn’t helping, so I tried using oil pastel instead. That seemed to do the trick. I used a pink and white pastel on her figure, and for the background I first used a blue then black pastel. I mixed the blue and black together with a paper towel dampened with mineral spirits to blend it together. To get around the shape of her figure, I used a cotton swab dipped in the spirits.

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Drawing Final: Angela with Shawl

June 27, 2016

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Here’s the final state of the drawing. I just need to carefully scan over it to make a few touch ups.

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Drawing Update 2: Angela with Shawl

June 26, 2016

I’m a little further along on her face with more to go. I started using a gray Neocolor II oil pastel instead of just blending black and white, and that’s helped with the middle values. A white Craypas pastel is being used in the large white areas, but I found that I can also brighten that up more with a white PITT shellac marker. Several mediums in combination going on here.

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After this one’s done, I think I might make up my own oil pastel gray colors as I did with the black. That will help me avoid that bluish color shift. Not that I mind it here so much, but it’s not always desired.

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Drawing Update: Angela with Shawl

June 24, 2016

I think I’m starting to figure this new drawing out.

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I decided to use ink to tone the background, and went with cool gray Prismacolor layout markers to keep it as a drawn look instead of brushing on acrylic ink. I used a warm gray marker for her hair.

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This area I’m covering with a homemade block of black oil pastel. I’m also using a palette knife to smooth and scrape it down, and the wide tip of a carpenter’s pencil to get around the form of her profile. A Neocolor II black pastel also helps me get sharper lines.

Well, that was the easy part. Let’s see if I can keep it going.

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Testing Oil Pastels for New Drawing

June 20, 2016

I wanted to do some testing on the surface of the new drawing to see if my method was going to work the way I expected it to. I used a 2″ strip along the outer edge of the drawing as my work area.

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I quickly see that the tone of the paper is not dark enough for the white pastel to show up as intended, so I use some Liquitex acrylic ink, neutral gray #5, to make it darker. The black oil pastel I’m using is my own, made with charcoal. The white oil pastel only brings up the ink value slightly, and gives a bluish tone, which I still think I can use, but it’s not as bright as I’d like to go. Since the paper has been sprayed with a coat of shellac primer, I can scratch through the ink to the paper below, which is a shade brighter. The bluish tone could give me a nice penumbra transition between white and gray.

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The next idea I had was to test using graphite as my gray undertone instead of ink. This would keep everything in a dry media texture. I was able to easily scratch through the graphite to the paper below, but when I drew across it with a white pastel, the pencil lines got darker. That is not an effect I want. I’ll have to sit on this for awhile to decide which way to go.