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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sketching in Oil Pastel

The photographs show the standard box of pastels and this indicates the colour range I'm working with.The sketchpad is a relatively cheap A4 visual diary but with acid free paper.Together they would cost no more than $15

This is another example of a house lower down the ridgeline set amongst the trees. Similar in technique with small strokes defining the tree leaves in pure colour and mixing the colour and using longer marks for deeper shadows and tree trunks,the house walls and roof.

To begin a drawing I make a loose light pencil sketch on the paper to establish the basic proportions and relationships of things within the page.
I try and pick an interesting aspect of angles and vegetation and do the loose drawing in pencil as above.When I'm happy with the general composition of the sketch I begin to render the colour. Generally I begin with the higher key colours, pinks lighter blues and yellows working the colours loosely all over and mixing a little of each colour in each area within the dominant colour of the different areas,(for example some pinks with the green of foliage or green within pink of house wall, blues within greens etc)

Gradually the colour is built up using the darker colours.the darker greens,blues and purples to create the contrasts. Oil pastels being a dense medium can very quickly build up and unless the paper is very "rough" can become slippery. The way to avoid this on a smoother paper is to work very loosely with lots of white paper left between strokes until you are ready to really establish the dominant colour of any particular area.

The pastel is worked more densely increasing the contrast by adding the colours at the lower register of values, deeper purples, blues, working the brighter into darker values and vice versa, this will give the half tones necessary for the sense of transition from darkest to lightest. Finally adding the darkest touches and strengthening the drawing with perhaps touches of browns and on the next post to see more examples........more examples too can be found on the post entitled "More Sketches in Oil Pastel"

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