Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jean's Lemons (three)

When I was working on organizing my art supplies this past week I came across a set of Holbein oil pastels. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with oil pastels. I like that they are "hands on" like regular dry pastels, and can be applied on top of other colors immediately in the same way - unlike acrylics and oils. I like that they also are basically never-dry so you can keep working with them, and I like that, while they do need to be framed under glass, they don't smudge so easily and immediately as dry pastels.

But they definitely feel more waxy and "crayony" - and go on more like a child's work in a coloring book. They don't blend and layer easily. I had not tried them in a few years so decided to give them a whirl a couple days ago on a sheet of 11x14 Richeson sanded paper, sort of a mustard color.

I wish I'd taken a photo of the earlier phase, because after multiple passes and attempts at layering the surface still looked like kids' crayons had run over it, with the mustard support showing through everywhere, and the Holbeins would not cover it at all. I even went over it with an alcohol wash as I had a vague memory that had worked previously in blending the oil pastels, but it was useless. Nothing happened whasoever.

I was about to junk it and make a paper airplane out of the Richeson or some such, when I first tried a swipe with my fingers, and found that finger-swiping actually blended the oil pastels! The lumpy bumpy crayons were melding together! So it took a lot of finger blending to get the colors to come together, but in the end they finally did. My relationship with oil pastels is still love/hate though!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

First Dance

I still am playing with acrylics, though I still feel like a kindergarten kid for the most part when working with them. I don't love them passionately as I do pastels, but I love the fact that when they dry there is no worry that they will smudge and smear, and that you don't need to frame them under glass.

Still they do take lots longer than pastels as you have to wait for sections to dry - but they don't take as long as oils! Anyway here is a painting I've been working on, off and on, for over two weeks. I decided to use acrylics as this is pretty big for me, 18x24, and I figured I would smear and smudge all over the place with a pastel that big - plus too heavy and expensive to frame a pastel that big. But a comparable pastel would have taken me a couple days at most, not two weeks!

This painting has undergone lots of changes in two weeks but at this point I think it's about as good as I can get, so declaring it "done" and time to move on to another project. :-)

Saturday, January 02, 2016

The Shape of Things to Come

My first painting of 2016. I loved these little boxes that just came from the Dollar Tree. My New Year's resolution should be to spend more time at the easel! I have a couple shows coming up which has gotten me a bit more motivated. This was done on a slate blue 9x12 sheet of Art Spectrum, mostly my old NuPastels. My 6-year-old grandson liked it so much that he decided he wanted to paint this view also :)  :