Saturday, September 25, 2010

Paper Chalk and Cheap Oil Pastels! :D

Mixed Media on Watercolour Paper
8 1/2"x 12"

I'm feeling the urge to experiment with new media lately even though I still love my acrylic inks, it's time to change it up a little! I came across some conte, charcoal and paper chalk I had buried in a drawer in my studio and decided to explore them by making a little mandala and I absolutely love how bright the colours turned out, I can't wait to use them again! (despite how filthy my hands got :D)

I also dug out some "oil pastels" that I had never used. They came with a lovely wooden box of art supplies that I got for Christmas the year before last. The box itself turns into an easel - a pretty handy lil' portable studio! Anyway... as I had expressed in my earlier post, I wanted to explore pastels again, just to see what I thought from an adult standpoint. I couldn't resist the urge to try these never before used pastels, even though I had a hunch they were not of the best quality, couldn't hurt right?

Well, lets just say I have even MORE admiration for quality pastels and the people who use them successfully. I haven't written them off just yet as I'm pretty sure it was the quality of the pastels and the paper I used (they were pretty hard and a "no name" brand on water colour paper and did not blend well whatsoever). I did like how vibrant the colours were and it was fun to experiment and to feel like a kid again. ;)

Below is my very simple (nuclear zombie eyeball) mandala that I'm not proud of by any means, but am posting for the sake of sharing my experimentation with you :) ... it's terrible! LOL :D

I hope to show you some more "higher grade" pastel work in near future ;) I'm treating this as a lesson in art supply quality for sure...

Oil Pastel on Watercolour Paper
8 1/2"x 12"

Time to go shopping for the recommended "Rembrant" pastels! ;) I hope you all are enjoying your weekend! I'm off to do some blog hopping and see what you've all been up to this week! :)


  1. Ooh, I know the feeling of cheap art media vs. good art media.

    Oil pastels - are a completely different media to soft pastels. Oil pastels are like oil paints. They do best on a canvas-like base, and can be blended with turpentine or oil blending media (though you can get some water based oil pastels now, but they have the same kind of texture). Decent oil pastels are also relatively cheap.

    Soft pastels are chalk based and can be blended with water. When you say 'paper chalks' what are you referring to? The media sound familiar, and I'm wondering if we're getting caught up on international terminology. Soft pastels come in many grades and are generally expensive for the good ones. There are also hard pastels, but these aren't as vibrant and are generally used for details and drawing outlines. Pastel pencils are similar or somewhere between hard and soft pastels, but are in a pencil format.

    Some oil pastel work that I adore - and here is some of her in progress shots -

    All my work has been in soft pastel, but I have bought some oil pastels inspired by Rett Grayson and will be playing with them at some point.

    As for your two mandalas. I love the orange and green in the first one. That is something I adore about your work, your use of colour is always so vibrant and beautiful.

    The second one, I know you're disappointed, but perhaps you could use the graininess of the media (it isn't great for accuracy, I know. The colours are great. Did you know that something unique about oil pastel is that you can use a sharp instrument to etch designs in? Perhaps you could etch your designs into the circles. Check out the woodgrain on the trees in Rett's work. She etched them out.

    Anyways, loving your stuff, hope I haven't babbled too much. Izzy is demanding food.

    (challenged by oil pastels as well)

  2. It's always fun to experiment. Fun to see someone else who gets as excited abou tit as I do. :-)

  3. Oh this is gorgeous!!
    I havent tried oil pastels and haven't really done a lot in chalk pastels either. Don't know why they must scare me a bit. Time to get over my fear I think. You have inspired me.

  4. Wow, I have a lot to learn about pastels ;) I think I'll give the scraping trick a shot... maybe there's a design in there somewhere!
    The "paper chalk" is just basically conte, it says "paper chalk" on the box... not sure what the difference would be really, the colours are nice and bright and blended well, that's all I wanted, lol :) :)
    Thanks for the compliments and advice guys! Always appreciated! (Nutty, thx for the link, another great blog discovered!)


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