ImageOil pastels are about what I expected: waxy, blotchy, frustrating, weak. I watched some tutorials before I started experimenting, and I know just from watching others that it could be because my pastels are of average quality while the other artists were using very excellent quality oil pastels. They blended like butter; mine blend like, well, crayons. But even if I spent $300 on a new set instead of the $X amount I spent on these, I don’t know that I would be convinced. These are fine enough to get started.

ImageI began by mixing colors from the drawing I would like to make on regular drawing paper. It is a bit blotchy, but darker colors are decent. The “texture” I will call it (rather than blotchiness) could work to my advantage in this new drawing. I reminds me of the surface of rocks.

ImageLight colors require a reversal of my way of working in pastels. Usually I put the darker undertones down first, then go on top with the lights to smudge it all into a nice light color. Oil pastels require me to put the white down first and work the color into it. In the photo, the color on the left was made dark to light; the right one was made light to dark.

ImageBlending with a blending stump takes a lot of time to get a fairly even tone. And then you have to be sure to smudge off the excess or it just cakes and smears into the color. This is also different for me. I have never been one to clean my brushes between colors or wash my fingers between pastel smudging. I like to leave it there and let it play into the next color.

This is a bigger change than I wanted to believe. I am moving from velvet and butter and blending to faux leather and wax and smearing (ugh that just SOUNDS terrible). However, I’ve not given up on this new medium yet. I would like to try a full drawing first. They ARE safe for me and my family for my in-home studio, they ARE able to make complex colors, and they DO the job.

Sometimes I just need a pep-talk,


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