Similar to dry pastels, oil pastels or oils crayons are great art tools to work with as they are soft, rich and colourful. One of the differences between the two kinds of pastels, is the way the oil pastels (crayons) blend. This blog is about drawing with oil crayons using short strokes, using either similar colours or very different colours, to create the illusion of colour blending.
There are several ways to use oil crayons. The two samples at the top show, on the top; a drawing with oil crayons on top of a painted surface. Before creating the drawing, the surface, the paper, was painted in several tones of pink using watercolours or tempera. The paper used for these pictures is called cartridge paper a white drawing paper between 95 gsm. and 120 gsm.
We use cartridge paper or even brown papers for oil and soft pastels. What is important is that, ideally, the surface should be primed with Tempera paint before using, but if not possible any paper with a bit of texture will do. The image at the top is of a strange landscape with enormous cacti growing in the desert. Students used a dark colour crayon to draw the image.
Instead of applying solid colours, they applied short strokes of similar colours like for instance, several greens on the trees and several pinks, yellows and ochres on the ground to produce the blends.
The picture on the right is a repetition of bird shapes, to create a pattern. The colour was applied in a similar way using short strokes but this exercise was a study of cool colours and warm colours.
Some students used warm colours for the background and some others did the opposite.
This landscape was painted as a watercolour and when dried, colour was scribbled over the watercolours using oil crayons. The oil crayons application gave the picture more definition and interesting textures.
This technique can be done with different themes, such as portraits, still life, sea scapes and urban scapes to name some.
Note: Just recently I found a book called “A town like Paris” that is based on the drawings/paintings of Australian Artist Bernard Ollis who uses only oil crayons.