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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mixing Oils with Pastels...A Great Combination!

'Splendor in the Meadow'    11x14         pastel        ©Karen Margulis
I don't like wasting paint.  Yesterday I had just a little bit of oil paint left on my palette. It was hardly enough to save yet too much to throw away. I could have covered it or put in in the freezer as was suggested to me... but I knew I would be out of town and wouldn't be using it for awhile.  It was however the perfect amount of paint to use for an underpainting for a pastel!

oil stain underpainting on Uart pastel paper
I love the effects I can get with a drippy oil paint. If you get the consistency just right your paint will drip and form interesting patterns or spiderwebs. I just mix turpenoid with the paint until it is the consistency of tea. If it is too thick the paint will clog the tooth of the paper and you won;t get much pastel over it. Ideally you want to have a nice transparent underpainting. I don't ever use white because it will make the paint too opaque.

I choose my colors based on what I want to express in the painting. Sometimes I will go with complementary colors. Sometimes I'll set up for atmospheric perspective, sometimes it is a value underpainting.  I just go with what I think will best support my goals for the painting. For this underpainting I put in my dark values and then some oranges as a complement to the greens that will come.

In the finished painting you can see some of the underpainting peeking through. I really don't have a lot of thick pastel layers. Most of the work was done with the underpainting. I did ad some magic pastel dust for my finishing touches!

As you can see oil paint makes a great underpainting for pastels. Even if you don't do oils it is worth having a few tubes just for doing these underpaintings. You do need to use a paper that will take a turpenoid/wet wash. I used Uart which is my favorite.  Read more about underpainting in my post here.

I am headed to Chicago for the weekend so I have prepared some posts sharing some work I have not yet posted. I hope you will enjoy and I'll be back to regular posting next week. Be sure to sign up on the sidebar so you don't miss a post!


Shinhuey Ho said...

Great post! I knew the concept but often don't remember to apply it. Thanks for sharing!

Cindy Michaud said...

lovely results. its funny how a little bit of stingyness can help us create something wonderful!

Anonymous said...

It's a dream of a painting. :) I always adore what you've done. Greets from Germany