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!

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