View Full Version : A question for OPs

07-10-2003, 11:48 PM
Since we're all still experimenting with the OPs I was wondering if you work dark to light or vice versa on your pieces? Or does it change with what you're doing? Do you have more trouble with highlights or shadows? I think I work more light to dark but I also go back over with light if needed. I don't especially have trouble with highlights but find they usually are a little too bright or big and have to work them back down...shadows just take more time to define...just wondering how you all work and what has been successful for you...
and one other thing while I'm thinking of it...has anyone tried using a pallette knife to do an OP? I really want to try it but will wait til I'm down to bits and pieces of colors that have been re-ordered...I'm betting could waste a LOT of OP that way.

07-11-2003, 07:24 AM
It's a while since I last did any OP work, and I didn't really stop to analyse my approach, but I suspect I'd work mostly light to dark, at least to start with.

I've not tried using a palette knife with them. Are you suggesting to actually scrape the colour from the pastels onto the knife before applying it, or just to use the knife to blend what's already on the paper?

I suspect that a palette knife would be most successful if you were working on a fairly non-absorbent surface, such as gessoed paper. It would certainly be worth trying.

07-11-2003, 09:18 AM
Yep...actually scrape the OP and apply it..it would have to be thick, I just think it would be interesting to see that much texture...I paint fairly smooth and every once in awhile a glob of Sennelier will come off on the painting...it seems to catch light quite a lot...sometimes I wish I could leave it.

07-11-2003, 09:19 AM
Dyin, from what I read I have understood that working from dark to light is the usual or common practice for OP.
I found myself working the other way round though most of the time as I seem to be struggling with getting my lights, skies and highlights light enough.
So maybe we're missing out on something or we'll have to rewrite the book?


07-11-2003, 09:37 AM
I opt for re-writing! With the Senneliers especially, the light colors are really transparent and let the color below show thru...fine when you are integrating that color, not so fine when you want the color to stand true...thanks for answering...sometimes you just wonder if others are experiencing the same thing as you are.

07-12-2003, 04:14 PM
Interesting question, I never really think about it when I'm painting, just apply the colours as and where I want them, but generally lay in darks first off, .....you are right about the lights being translucent, I only find this happens though on certain papers, ones that don't have much tooth... if I use Art Spectrum or Sanfix, generally I can lay the lights over the darks with no problem, but if the paper has a fine tooth like Cansons, then the pastels will slide around more.. or slip over the surface... very frustrating when that happens, so I resort to cooling the painting down... put it in the fridge for a few hours and the pastels too, it does help.

As for painting with a pallette knife , haven't tried that yet, I've used the knife to blend with, would you soften the pastel with a little turps or liquin before applying? Would be interesting to try this... let us know if you do, would like to see the results.


07-12-2003, 07:08 PM
Hmmm, softening with solvent first would probably help...never done anything with a pallette knife, just sounds intriguing...need to wait til I'm down to scraps on some colors though...ditto if you try...would love to see the results.