USING OIL PASTELS 16/10/19

Caroline introduced a session on oil pastels by saying that it is wise to use the best quality pastels. The ones she had were Sennelier (£3.50 a stick, or can be bought in boxes). For paper, a rough surface is needed and she was using a brown paper scrapbook (Seawhites).Caroline had a photo portrait of a long haired Roma male as her model for today’s demonstration.

Beginning with a dark brown outline, Caroline sketched his features with the edge of the pastel. She blocked shadows with dark brown, followed by red and green reflected on one side of the face by the grassy background. The green was toned down by use of yellow ochre on top. Various colours were applied and built up either by layers of pastel or by blending with fingers. A useful tool was a paper pencil-shaped blender, which could be dipped onto the pastel to pick out small delicate areas. This method was useful for sections of the eye, such as upper and lower lids, and for the light reflected in the iris.

 

 

 

 

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DEGAS – Pastels with a twist

Degas was one of the forerunners in impressionism. He preferred to work in his studio, and was not impressed with his contemporaries who painted en plain air. Born 1834, he was a little older than the others. He was a trained draughtsman, who then went on to study  at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He was a highly skilled sketcher, who liked to capture everyday people.

The new paint colours which were just becoming available were the main catalyst for the impressionist movement. Degas’ compositions were dramatic and quite experimental at the time, as in ” Dancers “, 1889.

Caroline used the top left hand figure from this painting for her demonstration.

She began by grating some pastels using a nutmeg grater

Combining acrylic paint (Degas would have used oil paint) and pastel, she started the painting by using a dark pastel to form the outlines. She then put in areas of colour, blocking them in and also using scumbling.

Scumbling is a method of putting one colour onto of another, but leaving some areas of the original colour showing through. All of this work is considered the underpainting

Then, using a white pastel, she went over the face making the colours appear more flesh like. She used small strokes thereby mixing the colours on the paper.

If your colours should come out too white at this stage you can add a bit of yellow.  Working this way she built up layers , getting thicker and thicker.

Finally using some flesh tone acrylic paint, mixed with some of the white grated pastel for texture, she applied this on top. She then mixed some blue grated pastel with the flesh toned acrylic paint, and so on with the other colours, until the desired dramatic effect is achieved.

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OIL PASTELS DEMO by Caroline Marsland

Caroline brought  oil pastels by Sennelier, which are an excellent choice as they are pigment rich and a delight to work with. Cheaper brands such as W. H. Smith are not so good as they are all wax and hardly any pigment.

Sugar paper is a good alternative to the preferred pastel paper and is cheaper. The most important thing is to use a paper with a good tooth to hold the pastel.

Selecting a colour that is closest to the mug to be painted, Caroline started by drawing a central vertical line to aid in the drawing of the mug. She then used good observation, not forgetting negative spaces, to make an outline of the mug. She squinted to see the reflected colours in the mug and then blocked these in. You can mix the colours on the paper, and then these can be deepened or lightened by layering until the desired hue is achieved. You may like to use your fingers to blend.

Caroline then worked the bottom half of the mug, building up layers . She made the inside of mug totally black as it appeared and then using the edge of the white pastel she put in the highlights round the rim and on the handle. She also used a torchon to make additional highlights and other small marks of colour. You can take off marks made with oil pastel using this tool, unlike chalk pastels (unless you scrape them off!). Using this tool she pulled out nice shapes in the reflected colours .

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Mixed Media Demonstration

Caroline Marsland demonstrated the use of mixed media to the Dupont Art Club  class on January 18th, 2017
It is important to chose the media to match the painting. Layering is the key to mixed media.
She pointed out that almost anything can be used in a this type of painting.
Suggestions for the first layer could be regular or water colour paper which could be painted, layered in tissue which is glued on, or use of old maps, newspapers, fabric, canvas, wood, metals, old books, etc.
Layered materials which can be used are all types of paints, inks, pens, pencils, charcoal, pastels, chalks, waxes, as well as fabrics, pieces of wood, leaves, wire, modelling paste used with stencils, etc.
In her demonstration, she chose a photo of a Maori painted face which she drew and layered with stick charcoal using a child’s birthday wax candle to highlight the eyes and added water colour to the face. She glued on hessian for the hair and painted it black.
She encouraged everyone to search online for demos using mixed media to find new ideas and other sources of inspiration.

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