Art & Design Lesson (Advance Oil Pastels Techniques)

Art and Design lesson on advance oil-pastels techniques for A level Art & Design curriculum. This tutorial explores the history, theory and practical appliance of the oil pastels medium. Created and modified by Michalis Varelias, Art teacher at The Grammar School, Nicosia, 2015.

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Art & Design Lesson (Advance Oil Pastels Techniques)

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Art and Design lesson on advance oil-pastels techniques for A level Art & Design curriculum. This tutorial explores the history, theory and practical appliance of the oil pastels medium. Created and modified by Michalis Varelias, Art teacher at The Grammar School, Nicosia, 2015.
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  1. Art & Design Lesson

    Slide 1 - Art & Design Lesson

    • Advance Oil-Pastels Techniques
    • for A Level Art & Design
    • Art & Design Practices/Theory/History Lesson
    • Art Department
    • The Grammar School, Nicosia
    • Copyrights Michalis Varelias 2015
    • Study by Michalis Varelias after Peter Paul Rubens
  2. Slide 2

    • Did you know ?
    • Dry pastel sticks are made of powdered pigment
    • and a binder, often oils ( just like in oil paints ).
    • This medium had been invented during the
    • 15th century in France, but it only became
    • popular during the 17th century.
    • Oil pastels were developed in 1921 (made of powdered pigment and a binder often wax) are considered the natural evolution of dry pastels.
    • They possess neutral pH, do not oxidise or undergo
    • discoloration over time and require no fixing. Surprisingly enough due to their versatility and durability they were championed and promoted
    • by Pablo Picasso.
  3. Slide 3

    • Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin. Self Portrait, 1771
  4. Slide 4

    • Edgar Degas, La Toilette, c. 1884–1886
  5. Slide 5

    • Odilon Redon, Baronne de Domecy, c. 1900
  6. Slide 6

    • Jim Giddings, Disappearing Rocks, 1992
  7. Slide 7

    • The Basics
    • The paper is as important
    • as the pastels themselves.
    • Only use paper with “tooth”
    • or degree of surface roughness.
    • To gain confidence experiment
    • with doodling by using a portion
    • of pastel on its side. Encourage
    • experimentation by gently rubbing and
    • blending the edge of complementary
    • colours with your fingers to achieve
    • tonal values. Pastels, just like oil-paints,
    • are fully utilised only when blended
    • and layered by additional accents. \
  8. Slide 8

    • Mind your composition
    • First thing first, composition arguably is the most daunting word in the artistic vocabulary, though not as scary as Vector Calculus!
    • By dividing the paper into thirds (golden sections) and positioning objects on top of them you instantly create focal points. Avoid symmetrical arrangements and objects only just meeting, instead either let them overlap in order to make depth. \
  9. Slide 9

    • Negative Space
    • Negative space is, quite simply, the space that surrounds an object in a image. Just as important as that object itself, negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition.
    • Negative space is particularly useful rendering preparatory observation studies. Positive space is the area or part of a painting's composition that the subject occupies. For instance, the positive space could be a vase of flowers in a still life painting. \
  10. Slide 10

    • Tutorial
    • STEP 1
    • Forms and outlines are the spine of any artwork. Firstly decide if the composition is a landscape or portrait format, mine here is in landscape format. Then, centralise the composition, measure and draw each object in relation with the rest. Start with the longest object of the composition. Do not rush this process.
    • Tip: Spend 2 minutes on each observation session and only 1 minute drawing, never indulge on detailed drawing
    • at this point. \
    • Artwork by Michalis Varelias
  11. Slide 11

    • STEP 2
    • Now, after setting the forms correctly in place it is time for the first layer of colour, or the underpaint. First, identify the primary colour of each object, then use a portion of the pastel on its side to fill in the space. Again, do not be tempted to start detailed painting at this point.\
  12. Slide 12

    • STEP 3
    • The next step perhaps is the most crucial to get the rich texture and brilliance of oil pastels. The main technique involved is “frottage”
    • or blending. Here’s how to blend.\
    • 1. Apply pigment
    • 2. Blend
    • gently
  13. Slide 13

    • STEP 4
    • Excellent you have mastered the
    • all-important technique of “frottage”, now you only have to keep practicing.
    • Using that technique allowed me to move quickly from one object to the other. Treat the metallic reflective surface of the cup as abstract as possible, don’t get absorbed into rendering details. Here, the tea-pot is getting treated just like the rest of the objects, first, I apply the first colour layer, then I isolate the reflective areas, and finally, I apply the second layer of blended pastel
    • to achieve the
    • illusion of solidity.\
  14. Slide 14

    • STEP 5
    • At this stage I apply the so called “finish” effect. Simply put, it refers to the degree of attention given to the actual working of the pastel in its final stages, at this stage we apply the highlights.
    • Tip: It is unwise to over-indulge in
    • detail by applying too many highlights. With practice you will learn to prevent the finish effect spoiling the unity of the
    • whole picture.\
  15. Slide 15

    • STEP 6
    • Treat shadows just like the rest of painting, mind that shadows are not plain black ornaments but contain a range of colours and temperatures.
    • Tip: To amplify local colours use
    • pairs of complementary colours (colours that when combined cancel each other out, and, when placed next to each other they create strong contrast) here for example I used cyan accents next to brown and beige and orange accents next to violet.
  16. Slide 16

    • I hope this lesson was helpful, before leaving you can either choose to speed preview an additional oil pastels tutorial or
    • move on to lesson’s final quiz
    • Preview Pastel Tutorial
    • Quiz
  17. Slide 22

    • End of lesson