Forest Secret 1 and 2, oil pastels


Yesterday I was fooling around with creating a snow-scene painting using a straight-edge razor blade.  The fun was how quickly you can completely change a scene by scraping away the oil pastels, revealing new patterns that can give way to a completely new subject/scene.

Three scenes were created on this one piece of 7×5 Mi-Teintes pastel paper.  There technicals not correct in the two paintings below, that wasn’t my focus – these were merely quick experiments.  The first scene was a rather large, crude pine tree (in the middle of the surface), a gaudy-bright cobalt blue and whitish landscape for snow effects.  It really was something to throw away, like ugly gone bad, lol.  By mistake I forgot to take a photograph.

Not happy with the painting, I used a straight-edge razor blade and scraped 85% of the oil pastel off the pastel paper.  Enough color was left on the surface that i began to see patterns emerge so using oil pastels and my fingers I began to paint another scene – this one a path leading into a forest.

Called Forest Secret 1 - there is no evidence of the first tree painting and what’s below is from my imagination w/o regard to technical correctness I just wanted to let the painting take me where it might:

Forest Secret 1

Letting this painting sit overnight, my first thought when I saw it this morning was to go for a third painting.  So this time when I scraped I left much of the second painting, but strategically scraped certain areas added more sky w/blue notes, pushed the forest line back and added a river.  I found that while there was plenty of oil pastel mud, I was able to scrape enough that this new layer of OPs laid down very nicely.

This painting is called:  Forest Secret 2

Forest Secret 2If you paint with oil pastels, consider using a razor blade to add a new dimension of creativity to your painting as you explore design, patterns or totally start from scratch.  Straight-edge razor blades let you take your painting to new levels.

P.S.  I don’t like using the blade on gessoed hardboard, that I’ve prepared, it can scrape too much of the grit off.  But with pastel or watercolor papers the sky is the limit as you can scrape right down to the surface.

Sometimes a girl’s gotta have fun ~

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About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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32 Responses to Forest Secret 1 and 2, oil pastels

  1. Pingback: Oil Pastel – Materials and Techniques for Today’s Artist, by Kenneth Leslie – book review | Oil Pastels by Mary

  2. doronart says:

    Mary Like the experiment and the end result even much better. It is amazing to follow what you manage to create with your testing. have a super thanksgiving.

    • Mary says:

      This was one of the more successful experiments, thanks Doron. I really enjoyed working this painting. Thanks for the wishes Doron, I have a lot to be thankful for.

  3. Oh how I love an experiment! Again, I’m amazed at how well you are able to manipulate the oil pastel. Terrific.

    • Mary says:

      It’s an exciting medium, with so many possibilities – I haven’t touched half of them yet. I changed it one more time, slightly but enough to show a final level of improvements to the piece – posted under my landscape gallery. Thanks so much for commenting Elena ~

  4. poppytump says:

    Absolutely lovely Mary ! You paint scenes that I want to climb into the screen before me and take a wander through and maybe …. you’d be just round the corner :-)
    Great to hear your techniques ,my little selection of oil pastels are waiting for me Lol …for when the time is right …

    • Mary says:

      Oh my Poppy you have oil pastels – well now, you need to pull those sticks out and have some fun! If they are artist quality, there will be no stopping you with the soft, smooth and buttery feel. Hope you have a go! Thanks and we’ll see you in the next landscape, lol ~

  5. I think it has an abstract feel to it, but beautiful. Great tips Mary. Thanks for sharing,!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Patricia! Hey are you taking a break from posting, I haven’t been seen any come through since you changed the blog format.

      • Do you mean …from painting? I have done a few pieces, which I posted, but with all the events its been harder. I need a new plan…heehee. Paintings needs to be, or continued to be, my first priority. Hopefully next year I am better organized :D

        • Mary says:

          I’ve seen some of your new pieces, they are gorgeous – your signature bold colors (love it!). I’ll just check every now and then to see what’s new, was just wondering since I have seen anything posted. I understand about your priorities – you go girl!! Take care,

          • Thank you for asking Mary. You are right. Its been crazy around here lately. Preparing for the snow and now I have a construction project at home. Hopefully, I will go to painting and posting, next week… Heehee. Thanks again for asking. Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

  6. Rob Taylor says:

    Your “quick experiments” would be the equivalents of masterpieces for me. Very beautiful work….

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Rob for the comment and compliment, much appreciated. My experiments today, were little failures but lessons just the same – perhaps leading to a new discovery tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see.

  7. sefeniak says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful paintings and technique!

  8. Secret’s revealed in their beauty, Mary!
    Happy Monday, my dear and a wonderful new week! :-)

  9. I enjoy reading about your techniques. I like both of the paintings. Each one has a different mood and place, Annie

  10. Francesca says:

    The Forest Secret 2 is beautiful, Mary! :-)

  11. Thanks for these tips! Lovely results :)

  12. The painting came out beautifully Mary. I’ve never tried oil pastels. The process you describe sound intriquing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It came out beautifully Mary. I’ve never tried oils pastel, and this process sound intriquing.

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