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Playing with Oil Pastels – Try Something New Every Month

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I am trying something new every month - for March I played with oil pastels!

It is Try Something New Every Month time! This month’s theme was painting – I initially wanted to play with watercolors but bumped into this clearance set of oil pastels and opened them up. I don’t remember using oil pastels before, in art class or at home, but I had aspirations of dreamy, blended colors. You can see more details about TSNEM 2016, and join in with us, in this post.

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Pentel oil pastels

I’m not sure what I was thinking/planning when I picked these up – there is something irresistible about a clearance sticker on arts & crafts supplies!  It looks like they are easily found on Amazon, too.* The back of the box talked about using a wet paintbrush to blend colors, so I dug one of those out too.

sunshine pastel

Faced with a blank page, I drew what might be one of the most mundane things ever – a sun over a horizon. I used really stark lines and thought the paintbrush would smooth it all over beautifully… but it made no discernible difference! I’m not sure if it was the paper, the amount of water, or something else.

color gradient oil pastel

Next up I tried a more abstract (aka scribbles) color bar with some of my favorite colors. I tried more water, but still couldn’t tell a difference when I applied the brush.

oil pastel apple

After my first two solo attempts, I decided to search for a tutorial. I bumped into this apple exercise on The Virtual Instructor and tried my hand. I think it photographed better than it looks in real life? Still, I had more fun trying to follow their techniques than improv sketching. Instead of using the paintbrush, I blended these with my finger and I liked that effect more.

I’ll hold on to the pastels until my son is older, so he can experiment with them, but I don’t anticipate any more drawing sessions for myself. I’m not sure if it is simply lack of experience, or lack of passion, but staring at a blank piece of paper and pastels/paint  makes me anxious -whereas looking at a stack of fabric makes me feel excited!

If you paint, how did you get into it?

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