Burlington Fine Arts Association – Oil Pastel demo step-by-step

In September, I made a very abbreviated start on an oil pastel demonstration at the end of my presentation to the Burlington Fine Arts Association at the Burlington Art Centre. I didn’t have time to show the group much about how I work in the allotted time, but I promised I’d post it when it was finished. Here’s what it looked like in progress: 

I began by drawing in the major shapes and blocking in patches of colour.  

Wheat field and Willows Step 1

At step two, below, I emphasized the orange/pink glow where the sun shines on and through the wheat stalks.

Wheat field and Willows Step 2

By the third stage, I have worked into the shapes with more colour – building layers with my Sennelier Oil Pastel sticks and Sakura Cray-Pas Specialist Oil Pastel sticks, while also scratching into the surface with a palette knife and a bamboo skewer. I find that by using different brands of pastel I can manipulate the texture and colour better. I also use oil pastels made by Holbein and Caran D’Ache.

Wheat field and Willows Step 3

Finally, I refined the surface, added more colour in the sky, defined the shapes and shadows of the willows and added additional contrasting complimentary marks throughout, but especially in the foreground wheatfield. Notice the distant roadway as well – a last-minute addition.

Wheat field and Willows by Aleda O’Connor Oil Pastel on Wood Panel 18″ x 24″
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