You may recall the workshop I attended in February run by David White where I tried using oil pastels for the first time and despaired at the result.
I don’t like being beaten by arts supplies, so for Mothers’ Day, I asked for a set of 24 Sennelier Oil Pastels – I decided to give David’s method another go.
First, I tried a sketch without any underdrawing to see how it would look.
I was quite pleased with it although I thought it lacked depth. I also found it difficult to get proper coverage with the black so the white paper showed through in bits.
Following David’s method, I created a charcoal underdrawing although on a much smaller scale than in his workshop. This is A3 size. I liked this drawing, so I approached the next stage with a teensy bit of trepidation…
I covered the drawing with a wash of ultramarine ink – a little difficult to see here but trust me, there is ink there.
Lastly I applied the oil pastels, breaking several sticks with my heavy-handed technique. I like it when there is so much pastel on the paper that it behaves almost like paint.
The result looks far better in life than in this photo (slightly less technicolour, perhaps) but I am pleased with the result. I feel that it has more depth and is more powerful than the first oil pastel drawing without the underpainting.
The conclusion? I’m not sure I have mastered the oil pastels yet, but at least now I can see the attraction. And I can definitely see the benefit of doing an underdrawing.