I didn’t quit, in case you were wondering. I don’t hate oil pastels that much. I just don’t love them yet, and I was putting the whole thing off. It’s amazing what I can find to do instead. But I’ve started this thing now. At first it was painfully slow, taking an hour to get the first color. Actually I’m still not sure I got it right, but it is close enough to come back to later. A palette knife was the game-changer, since I can scrape away what annoyed me the most about the medium: the smears. I’m still struggling to get an even tone. But I sort of like the resulting texture. It reminds me of a grainy old photograph.
Here is the original again. I’m starting at the bottom left and working up.
And maybe I’m starting to enjoy it more than I want to admit. I think the break was good for me. It gave me enough time to forget soft pastels and to anticipate working again.