topiary cats

topiary cats

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wonderings (PRT)

On Tuesday, I faced a massive dilemma of indecisiveness:

Do I go to yoga or not?
All day I was in a state of not-able-to-think-limbo.

Sometimes, it is hard to tell the difference between what I should do (go to yoga), and what I need to do. Often, the answer to both is the same. But sometimes it isn't, and I couldn't tell, which was maddening.

If I did not go to yoga, though, I was going do some oil pastel testing and schedule a few blog posts.

Well, I ended up going to yoga in a last-second decision, so answers to oil pastel wonderings happened last night instead.

The oil pastel wonderings:
When I did the oil pastel rat portraits, I worked on un-primed archival vellum with my rather ancient cheapie Holbeins.  I used a solvent wash for the under-painting which dried almost immediately.  Layering was very fast and easy, and I could knock out a 9x12 portrait in 30-40 minutes. My ancient cheapie Holbeins are much harder then Senns and are very easy to control with the method I was using.

Ancient Cheapie Holbeins

So I needed to see combinations of ancient cheapie Holbeins and Senns on primed and un-primed paper, with grey and white color shapers, solvent and no solvent.

Carey also had the experience of solvent sitting on top of colorfix. I completely understand how it is dislike-able.

Basically, it is oil pastel workflow experimentation.

 Vellum, half primed with Colorfix

It's not supposed to look like anything

I primed some vellum with colorfix. The bottom is the plain paper surface.
Top row: Senns
Bottom row: Holbeins

Left to right: straight oil pastel, blended with white color shaper, blended with grey color shaper, turps wash

On Colorfix
Senns: I like both the grey and white color shapers, but the white a little more. The turps sits on top of the surface which I do not like at all.
Holbeins: Same, except I like the grey color shapers a little more than the white ones. The turps sat on top.

Senns: I like the grey color shapers a little more, the turps dried immediately! Love!
Holbeins: I like the white color shapers a little more. The turps dried immediately, but I already know that. :)

THEN... I had a Great Idea!


Now, I know you can use oil mediums with oil pastel, but acrylic?  Hmmm.  This is cool, especially if the medium is iridescent!

I added it to my sample sheet.  It dried quickly and additional layers go on nicely. It did not smear/dilute the oil pastel, which was my main concern.  But that makes sense since it is water-based.

So I put iridescent medium over the little piece I started on Monday.  It is drying and I will put another layer on it tonight.

More layers necessary


  1. Wow, good idea to put an iridescent finish on the work!

  2. Oh, I love the experiments!!


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