Tag: caran d’ache

Rediscovering Oil Pastels

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Oil pastels on Sennelier oil pastel paper, 9”x12”

Only better than discovering a new medium is rediscovering it after a few years pass and liking it more than the first time around.

A student set of Studio, and two artist’s sets, Caran d’Ache Neopastels and Sennelier. I found the Derwent Drawing Pencils to be nice for details as long as the pastel isn’t too heavy.

I dusted off my oil pastels and sketched the cow portrait. I was so pleased with how it turned out I quickly decided to do a big project. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Yes, I did.

Oil pastel on a 20”x30” Stonehenge illustration board. The image measures 16”x24”. I prepped the surface with clear pastel ground first.

Although it isn’t the worst thing I’ve completed, it’s certainly not the best. Next time, I’ll stick to a smaller size and choose one focal point instead of having everything fight for attention.


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I haven’t felt much like sketching or painting until the past few days. We discovered a new park, and I snapped a photo of what I think is an American Tree Sparrow. My photo was a little blurry, but I had enough detail to finish this drawing.

This is in colored pencil—Pablo and Derwent drawing—on a background of Neocolor II. I used Pastelmat in a yellow orange color.

Coffee Warmer as a DIY Heated Surface

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A cheap way to try out using heat with colored pencils and crayons is to use a small, inexpensive coffee warmer. Mine gets up to 130 degree (F), which is probably too warm, but it works fine as a way to melt wax to see what happens.

I sampled a variety of pencils and crayons, finding the Neocolors melting the quickest, but all of them worked to some extent.

I chose a $15 coffee warmer that was smooth on top. This one turns on when there’s weight on it, and it only has one setting.

This very, very quick drawing was done on drafting film with melted Neocolors and then scraffito techniques. Certainly not my best effort but overall fun and very creative feeling.

Doesn’t this one look like a coloring book? I drew in the horse first and then melted it afterwards, blending the colors with a clay shaper. Honestly, I’m not certain I’ve hit upon a look I like with using heat, but it’s very intriguing all the same.

Grazing Time and Third Little Bird

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I finished another drawing using Grafix Duralar drafting film and Neocolor I crayons, this one our two horses grazing. Pete and Banner are close friends. Banner’s the leader, and Pete’s never far behind.

I left out the background other than a few splotches of color because I’m being a little dramatic but I’m also just beginning to experiment with backgrounds on drafting film.

I also finished this hummingbird, which is the final bird in the Three Little Birds series by the Virtual Instructor. He used Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils, which I have, but the only black paper I have is Canson drawing paper, not a great choice. I couldn’t layer enough so left it about half finished with very little definition, especially on the back and tail. Oh, well. I really enjoyed the series and learned so much about color choice, layering, and process. I carried this over to multiple projects already. Now, I need to decide which course to take next. Maybe pen and ink?