Finally! I know, I know it - you guys are saying 'what the heck took this girl so long with the Oil Pastel Tiplets?'. Well, here they are. Before reading further - it's important to say three little words to yourself. This. Is. Fun. Just in case you thought you were in college or being graded or tested or interviewed for that spot next to PICASSO - YOU ARE NOT. This is strictly for fun and for stretching your mind and remembering what it's like to have fun with colour.
My goal here: to get you to create something with your own fingers, perhaps in a medium you are unfamiliar with - TO REMIND YOU THAT THERE IS AN ARTIST IN US ALL. Let's go wake her up.
Okay. Quick introduction to Oil Pastels... They are vibrant, passionate suckers that are really kinda fun once you get over the fact that you're GONNA GET MESSY. No joke - it takes me a good 10 minutes of playing with these guys before I can relax into it and remember how much I like it. You're going to get oil pastels under your fingernails. You're going to get in on your table and perhaps on the floor (and if that floor is white carpet, you're screwed - sorry). You're gonna be frustrated for a while - because they don't always DO WHAT YOU WANT... don't fight it - go with it. NOTE: Finishing an oil pastel piece can be done in a few different ways... you can go to the art store and get a shellac type product to harden and preserve your work OR you can TAKE IT TO A PROFESSIONAL to have it taken care of and framed. I'm not too fussy about preserving my art... for me - art is a moment and moments last forever in my heart - not my hands. BUT. Another great way to cost&time-effectively preserve these buggers is to secure a piece of clear acetate over the creation with cool brads, tape, staples, ribbons, threads - whatever is your stick-together of choice. Be creative. As long as the oil pastel is under something protective - it's pretty safe. Be forewarned that unprotected (preserved) the oil pastels will rub off or onto whatever they are next to including photos, other artwork, clothing, pets, walls and other things you might not like to have messed up. You have been warned.
Alright - let's get to know oil pastels. This is just to get you started. Remember, I'm the Goodwill Ambassador of Pencil Crayons, Watercolour pencils, and NOW OIL PASTELS! I'm not an expert or a teacher or even a little bit worried doing anything by the books. I'm sure you have a set of these badboys somewhere in your craft room and now it's time to get friendly with what you might have been afraid of before.
Step 1: Get the goods. Go find your oil pastels - you probably already have some. It doesn't really matter what kind you have. I have about 7 different brands and as you can see - one of these boxes cost me a whopping $1.50 (CANADIAN!!). Go on - do it right now. *This is the first art medium I remember being given by my mom. She had a box that she didn't use - and I HAVE THE SAME SET today.
Step 2: It's all good - and what I mean by that is IT REALLY IS. If you're getting ready to CREATE SOMETHING then you're 60% there already. I couldn't find a pencil so I grabbed a ball point pen. Look how technical I am!! I had chip board within reach instead of canvas or scrapbook paper - so I'm using that. GRAB something.
Step 3: Draw anything. For this - keep it simple. Oil pastels are harder to do fine work (at this stage anyways) so just keep it simple and forgiving and open. Don't start with the Eiffel Tower. Don't set yourself up to get frustrated. I'm going to working on two pieces in this Tiplet. A lemon. And SURPRISE, SURPRISE - a pear! Try it.
Step 4: Lighten up, Larry. Seriously. This is where everybody freaks out. Don't freak. Don't say OR EVEN THINK - I can't do this. Because if you think that - YOU'RE RIGHT. Because I'm using chip board and it's a darker colour - I'm going to laydown some white because that will make my colours stand out and pop a little. Be loose.
Step 5: Block in colours. After I get the white where I want it - I throw down some base colours in the backgrounds. I like messy - SO I AM MESSY. You can be whatever you like. You can call me Miss Messy and I will still like you.
Step 6: Keep going. Yup. Dont' give up yet. Just keep adding and moving the colours. You will find that the oil pastels might bond together once it gets too thick for the tooth of the paper - and it might LIFT or SLIDE off. Bummer. It will leave a bit of a space in your colour. This happens. No worries. The greater the tooth in the paper (ie watercolour paper or canvas) the less this will happen. PLAY with it. It's not the end of the world OR the end of the drawing.
Step 7: MORE! This is where I start to add the accent colours... like a wee bit of black. I like to add contrasting colours as accents. NOTE: at this time - if you are using less compatible colours together (ie purple and orange or red and green for example) they might be mixing up to create an ass-like hue. Just keep an eye on what you're mixing... and stick to the colours that make lovely-to-you combinations.
Step 8: Use colours to blend. When the piece is getting more saturated - I start to use the pastels to blend the colours and create some nice textures. I LOVE the thick bits and the shavings. I think that's really sweet. You might not - go with what feels GOOD. Don't be afraid to put it on THICK. Experiment. You can blend it with your fingers. You can blend it with a tissue (clean-blenders!). You can blend it with whatever you've got hand... remember - NO RULES. Just do.
Step 9: grab a pencil! I love this part. I used an H lead pencil for this step (because it was handy). I drew my borders and lines that I wanted... I added a bit of a pattern. I also added some details and of course - some words to remind me of my thoughts during this exercise. Not too sure why I used these words - but, that's what came out - so that's what it is.
Basic, but still beautiful. I love these colours and I really like that AGAIN - the outcome is a little unpredictable... you've gotta loosen up and just let the oils do the magic that they do.
Good luck with that!