Ex 9 Drawing using oil pastel

For this exercise use a textured coloured paper A3 in size and equip yourself with a good range of oil pastels. Set up a colourful group of fruit or vegetables or a combination of both, concentrating on creating a group of contrasting colour, shape and texture. Select a number of pastels to form the main colours you plan to use, making sure to include lights and darks.

Not having used oil pastels before, I started by testing out the pastels in a mark making and colour study exercise, which wasn’t as successful as I first hoped.  Not having used this medium before, I found it strange and very unsure of how to use it.

oil pastel 1

oil pastel 2 oil pastel 3

The exercise asked for toned textured paper and because I was unable to find any (the coloured pastel papers didn’t seem to have enough ‘tooth’ to grab the oil pastels) and all the textured papers were white, so I stained an acrylic paper that had texture with tea to give it colour.

I chose a tomato on the vine, a yellow pepper and three raspberries for this exercise.

Light source is backlit from right hand side.  I drew the basic outline of the objects using the main colour.

oil pastel 5

I stared with the tomato, using a primary red, making the areas in shade a deeper tone.  As the tomato is very shiny I constantly looked for the reflections and highlight so as not to obliterate them.  As the tomato has loads of different colours, I tested mixing red and orange with an overlay of brown for the darker areas.  By laying over the orange and red over the brown I achieved a good colour gradation.  I attempted to achieve a gradual subtle change of colour by blending colours together using a roll of paper and a damp cotton bud.

For the raspberries, I experimented making different reds.  I put down a dark purple base, again leaving the highlight and overlaid with the primary red, this gave a pleasing colour, fairly representational of the raspberry and completely different from the bright red of the tomato.  Mixing red, orange gave a bright red toned down by brown.  I put in the shadows and overlaid different colours to achieve darker greys.

oil pastel 6 oil pastel 7

oil pastel 8

One of the issues I found was that sometimes the pastels smeared together making a muddy colour rather than sitting separately on top of each other.  If this happened, I scrapped off the layer of pastel (which gave a nice ghost colour) and laid the colour down again until I achieved the desired result.

I used a marble plate which is definitely lacking in this drawing and doesn’t looked finished.  I’m not sure that the toned stained background has added anything to this drawing or composition.

Final Drawing

Final Drawing


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