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.