Tag: pastel

Testing Oil Pastels and Grafix Drafting Films

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The other day, I realized that a crayon—in this case the Neocolor pastels—is an oil pastel. It says it right on the wrapper, but I never connected the dots. It’s pigment with a waxy/oily binder not encased in wood. If that was true, I also realized I have many oil pastels/crayons, Sennelier being the softest and Prismacolor Art Stix being the hardest. I could even take this a step further and say that colored pencils are probably oil/wax pastels encased in wood, but I’m not up on my art chemistry enough to say that. (Although I think I’m right.)

I used Stonehenge paper and blended all four various ways. The softest ones are truly stunning blended out with walnut oil. I love oil pastels because they’re beautiful and very satisfying to use on paper, film, pretty much anything. I’m frustrated with the softest ones, though, because I’m never quite certain how to finish or store them. They stay tacky, while the “crayon” Neocolor pastels are easier to store. I treat them like watercolors and store them in a portfolio, only I put a sheet of paper or glassine over the top.

I then tested both Neocolors. Neocolor I are water resistant and II are water soluble. The act similarly dry, but II are softer. I assume there’s gum arabic in them. They blend nicely with the Caran d’Ache or Derwent blenders. I absolutely love these crayons.

While I was in the testing mood, I pitted the less expensive, more available Grafix Duralar drafting film (left) against the Grafix drafting film (right), both the same thickness, double-sided, and matte.

Duralar doesn’t take nearly as many layers as Grafix, about seven compared to ten. The color is deeper and richer on Grafix, which is the overall winner. However, I’m partial to both. Duralar lets the colors shine, and Grafix needs more thought and care to keep colors from muddying. I also realized only certain markers and inks work. Some smeared even hours later, so test first before embarking on a big project.

More Drafting Film Fun

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I think you have to know horses to understand that Pete and his buddy are playing, not fighting. I drew these guys on Grafix drafting film using Caran d’Ache Neocolor II water soluble crayons. I tried using a little water on the first layer, but the color pretty much washed away. I may have to use fixative on this as I’m afraid of what would happen if a drop of water hit the surface. I’m considering buying the water resistant Neocolor I crayons just to use on this surface, which I love.

This one of our Pekingese is also on Grafix, but the Dura-Lar version. I used colored pencils with Pan Pastels.

For both drawings, I used the grid method to draw the initial image. It felt like cheating as I’ve never used a grid before. It helps tremendously with proportions, but adding everything else is up to you. Because drafting film is transparent, I created the grid on a separate sheet of paper and can reuse it.

She’s way cuter in real life.

Using Black Pencils

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I’ve been using the Conte Pierre Noire pencils for multiple sketches as I keep filling pages as part of #sketchendeavour on Instagram.

I bought the Conte Sketching Kit, which has several dark pencils as well as a few graphite and pastels.

After sketching this one of my horse, Pete, I used his same pose in a barn painting. I used pastels and dark drawing pencils on Pastelmat.

I needed to start new new sketchbook as my small 6″x8″ Stillman & Birn is full. I decided to use a bigger size, so I’m now working on 9″x12″ paper. I think it’s a great size for landscapes.

For a Year…

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…I’ve been painting, mostly watercolor. But I’ve also tried Inktense (blocks and pencils), water soluble graphite pencils, oil pastel, and soft pastel. These all needed a certain amount of experimenting. They’re all wonderful, by the way. Here’s a sampling of what I produced this year.