To the Beach, oil pastels

Work continues with painting sand using oil pastels .  .  .  this week we start with another beach scene to take all of us land-locked folks to the shore.  Maybe we’ll have a clam bake, fly a kite or just sit back and read a good book ~

To the Beach, an oil pastel (9×12) was painted on an artist canvas board using mainly Senneliers, Holbeins and Mungyo-Gallery OPs.  Not my favorite surface, as the tooth fills up quickly, even with a coat or two of clear gesso – so for this particular painting a lot of scraping was done using a razor blade that helped to find textures in the grass and patterns in the sand.  Realizing I opened up the right-side of the painting between the grasses (not good for composition, gives the viewer an escape) a few springs of sea grass were added here and there to discourage leaving the painting before a visit down to the beach.

Please enjoy the sea breeze .  .  .  click onto the image for a larger view.

To the Beach The reference was from Carol Theologo an awesome artist and photographer with pmp.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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81 Responses to To the Beach, oil pastels

  1. restlessjo says:

    I have a feeling I was looking at your lovely paintings the other day and got interrupted, Mary. I must have missed this one. It’s beautiful.. I can just see myself tramping through those dunes. 🙂

  2. Resa says:

    No wonder this has so many likes… it is gorgeous!!!

  3. You know Mary, I didn’t realize there was a clear gesso! I love the soft edges of your dune grasses. They truly looks as though they are blowing in the sea breeze. Beautiful.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elena, thanks very much for your ncie comment. Yes liquitex has a clear gesso that has a nice mixture of sand in its formula to give the pastelist (oil or soft) the tooth it needs to paint. If I used the regular gesso OPs would just slide around on the surface w/o adhering to anything.

  4. ĽAdelaide says:

    Hello Mary, I’ve not been around for awhile but wanted to stop in to see your lovely paintings. And I wouldn’t be stepping OUT of this delicious beach scene. It’s just what I’d like to find when I turn around. Your work becomes more lovely as time passes… Hoping all is well with you!

    • Mary says:

      So great to see you Linda – been worried about the farm and vineyards with the drought and farmer restrictions. Hope you all are doing well ~ Thank you my friend for your lovely thoughts on my painting, really appreciate that you took a few minutes to visit. Take care and have a lovely weekend.

  5. Carol King says:

    I could walk right into this beautiful painting.

  6. Beautiful, Mary. Thanks for taking me away from my desk and to the beach for a few moments.

  7. aFrankAngle says:

    I like beaches that a wispy and not crowded.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Frank – I do like quiet and lonely beach scenes, always a nice change from the hectic pace that life can dish out. Glad you enjoyed. Have a wonderful weekend – perhaps some golf is in the cards?

  8. Jess says:

    The composition is great. I’d definitely take a long walk on that beach!

  9. Amy says:

    What a treat to admire these two beautiful paintings here! Thank you, Mary! 🙂

  10. Marick says:

    Hmm! For some reason I’d always assumed you lived by the sea, I guess given the amount of seaside paintings you produce! You certainly have a gift for bringing your images to life — I just love the shading of the sand on this one. This new ‘series’ is very peaceful and calming. Way to go 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Hi Pauline, thanks – I used to live in San Francisco and Maine along the coast, so I guess you could say that have both oceans very much in my blood. Really appreciate your thoughts on this piece – thanks again ~

  11. With simple oil pastels, this is such a wonderful creation!!!… the change of colors and the softness look so natural …. ❤

  12. Lovely painting. Great shadows on the left hand side below the grasses. They are just enough to show depth and that there is shadow but light enough to keep the painting airy. I would definitely lounge in that sand with a good book. 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. Mine was very busy, but fun with family.

    • Mary says:

      Janell I just love your wonderful and generous feedback on the painting – I really do enjoying reading how others see the work. Thank you so much. We had a wonderful weekend – thank you for asking. So glad you enjoyed the long weekend.

  13. dsaquarelles says:

    I am very interested to see how you created this very magnificent atmosphere!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Dsaquarelles for your beautiful compliment. I do have a series of photographs and maybe will show them in another post. Every painting is photographed many times during the painting process for a couple of reasons: 1) helps me assess how the painting is coming along (I also stand back many times to assess the piece), and 2) as backup documentation in the event there someone steals my image as their own.

  14. exiledprospero says:

    using oil pastels to paint sand… or, you could have used pixie dust (my recommendation) to paint the sand, as both, used conscientiously (and expertly in your case), can produce a magical effect.

    Please note: you should take my recommendations with a grain of salty sand, as I am not an artist and have no knowledge of oil paint, canvases, brushes, form in general, balance, or color.

    • Mary says:

      Always the one for words Prospero, I so enjoyed your comments. Ha, expert in painting sand? I’ve only got started, I’m just beginning getting a feel for it with oil pastels – I’ve found that laying on a thick slab of oil pastels with a painters knife goes a long way in creating that smooth sand look. I just knew you were waiting for a piece of technical info (lol)!
      You are so funny, some how I don’t quite believe your profession for a lack of artistic knowledge – you, the wonder of many interesting talents!! Thanks again my friend.

  15. lesliepaints says:

    Wow! You captured the very air of the beach in this one, Mary. I love the softness of this piece and the colors work so well together. Peaceful!

  16. Heidi Hjort says:

    Wonderful sandy scene! I would like to be on that beach. Thank you for sharing, Mary.

  17. Mary, I love your colors and design! Sorry I feel so jealous of your getting to go to the beach! 🙂

  18. Mary, your works ar so stunningly beautiful and with each one your painting just seems to grow. Thank you for sharing these with us, I always look forward to seeing what you have created!

    • Mary says:

      Your words have taken me to a whole new place – thank you very much. Can’t tell what your supportive and encouraging comments mean to me. I’m pleased you are enjoying the paintings – thank you again.

  19. Ah, what a place to be absorbing the sun rays!!!! Beautiful in every possible way, Mary!
    You’ve got me daydreaming! 😉

    • Mary says:

      Thank you my friend – reading your description brings me a lot of positive energy. I hope the painting brings to you the most magnificent of possibilities and brighter days ahead through your daydreams. Best wishes for a wonderful week Marina ~

  20. Gallivanta says:

    The atmosphere created by your beach scene put me in mind of some landscapes done by William Merrit Chase

  21. Such a delicious feel to this scene, Mary. I never tire of the sea and the beach!

    • Mary says:

      Sarah, you know how to make my day. A few more beach scenes will be coming out and then onto a new subject! Have a lovely and creative week ~

  22. Superb circular composition, fine textures, and perfect palette. Can you tell I like it

  23. pizzuti says:

    This is beautiful, it reminds me of my favorite beach 🙂

  24. I LOVE this one…you have really captured the feelings of dunes. I can imagine myself walking through them down to the sea. Thank you:)

  25. ladyfi says:

    Wonderful painting – looks inviting there.

  26. dorannrule says:

    I love the feel of the dunes as entryways to a beach vacation, and that very energy dominates this beautiful rendition.

    • Mary says:

      Love it Dorann – your words always gives me a boost. Thank you for the encouragement on these beach scenes. Don’t you think it’s time for a mini beach vacation!

  27. A.PROMPTreply says:

    I really love the “roundness” of this scene….how it all seems to come back together somehow no matter which direction you might choose to go. Also, dearly love those little dark brown “stick” shapes in the foreground…my eyes were immediately drawn there and then I couldn’t wait to experience the rest! Also, love, love, love the colours in this one……

    • Mary says:

      Hi A! – thanks very much for your generous comment and feedback. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the painting through your eyes – you are so right on the circle composition, for this scene it worked out well. Those foreground grass sticks were made with a razor blade and a painters knife – was great fun slabbing on thick paint and scraping it back off to see what patterns were revealed. Have a wonderful week.

  28. Nicodemas says:

    I love this Mary. You’ve captured the feel of it for sure!

  29. I love this Mary. The richness of the colors and the fair, wispy sky…..oh it puts me right there. Boy, I hope you keep these beach scenes coming! It does a soul good to see these. 💜

  30. Such an enticing scene, Mary. I did click to enlarge, and loved what I saw. 🙂

  31. Thanks for taking us to the beach, again, Mary. Actually, I think the composition is fine, even if it flouts the “rules”. The way the sand moves forward and turns left, is a lot like those winding country roads that curve and take us around until they disappear in mystery; and we do follow them there, into oblivion. In this case, I am moved to turn left down there on the sand to find just the right spot to settle on. Very nice!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Cynthia – glad you enjoyed your private beach spot today. This was one of those neat scenes to develop, from the dune hill sloping down allowing the sand path to wind around to the grassy foreground area. I love your description, makes me appreciate the vision of the place through your imagination.

  32. Mary, this is a real beauty. I know how difficult can be to work on those canvas boards, but you achieved a real painterly like effect that I just love. Really nice soft subtle changes in the sand colors. Love this one! ~Rita

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Rita for your feedback. I can’t tell you how many times I scraped the foreground grassy areas and each time new and exciting patterns came about – it’s always fascinating to use the razor. Still working on sand colors – this did get a bit away from me, but slabbing on Senns with a painters knife helped pull the sand areas together.

  33. Arts & Rhymes says:

    That’s beautiful, Mary! Your paintings inspire me to try oil pastels myself!

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