I paint with tenacity. What that means to me is I won’t give up on learning how to paint a subject that gives me the toughest of challenges. I have a need to conquer and here is my nemesis, painting a group of flowers. Tiny realistic details are difficult to achieve with oil pastels when a painting is smaller than 11×14. The question for me, do I go loose and painterly or tough it out get every detail and be a realist painter. For me an impressionist style seems to be emerging in my works and I’m finding this interesting.
Oil pastels don’t dry, while they may slightly harden the OPs will never become bone dry – so it doesn’t take much to smear and create mud (as soon as the temperature rises they start to melt in my hands). Oil pastels come in many colors, the colors are already mixed (unlike other mediums), this way less blending takes place and for many Oil Pastelists more pure colors emerge in their works. One problem with pre-mixed colors you don’t always get what you might want for a scene, and then some blending has to take place for colors like dark greens or pale hues (purples, peaches) and you run the chance of creating mud.
Some Oil Pastelists use solvents with oil pastels to mix color combinations, thin the OPs either for making smooth brush strokes, or creating a glaze like appearance depending on the amount of solvent used. As a personal choice, I don’t use solvents with my paintings because I haven’t read any good conclusions on the effects to a painting years later if solvents were used.
I’m working on three purple flower paintings. The first completed is called, “Dancing Purple” (12×9) is on Canson Mi-Teintes cream tinted pastel paper.
Reference image was from Paul Sherman, a fabulous photographer from pmp.