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catchafairy
04-04-2007, 04:50 PM
I just read an article in February 2006 American Artist magazine, concerning the artist Brook Anderson and his use of oil pastels and oil paint.

Here is a quote from the artist:


"I block in pure colors using unmixed oil pastel. I then layer transparent oil paint combined with a lot of medium."


And:


"When I have to mix oil pastels with oil paints, I do it on the palette, never on the canvas, because that can make the color muddy."



From what I have read, oil pastels do not dry. Therefore using them in an underpainting is a bad move. Am I correct in thinking this? If I am, then this artist's paintings will not last.

Also, I don't understand how you can mix oil pastel with oil paint. I can't see how this can be done. The oil pastels are solid, the paint is more of a creamy substance. How can they be mixed?

Here is a link to the artist's work:

http://brooksandersonart.com/pages/events.html

If I did want to use the two media together, what would be the correct procedure? I would plan to use the oil pastels on top. But would I have to wait for the oil paint to cure before I did this? And would I then need to put a frame on the canvas?

Any information you can give would be much appreciated.

LJW
04-04-2007, 06:32 PM
I'm sure that you are not supposed to mix OPs and oil. I think its fine to use oil pastel over an oil base, but I'm not sure whether you have to leave the oil to cure or just to surface dry. I believe Pat uses OPs over an oil-stick base. I agree with you that I'm not sure how you would go about mixing OPs and oils on the palette and I don't see why you'd want to. I've just tried mixing Dorland's wax medium into oil paint and that works well, giving an icing-like thickness to the oil paint. It extends the paint and yields an impasto effect. Jane

laika
04-04-2007, 08:40 PM
From what I have read, oil pastels do not dry. Therefore using them in an underpainting is a bad move. Am I correct in thinking this? If I am, then this artist's paintings will not last.

sounds like a recipe for disaster permenance-wise. that's not the way to build an oil painting that's gonna last.

catchafairy
04-04-2007, 10:39 PM
And would I then need to put a frame on the canvas?



I meant to say, would I then need to frame the canvas with glass?

Thank you for the information, Jane.


sounds like a recipe for disaster permenance-wise. that's not the way to build an oil painting that's gonna last.

So who will tell this confused fellow that his paintings are not archival?

AnnieA
04-05-2007, 02:55 AM
You raise a question I've raised before, because it's not just this artist who I've seen mention mixing OPs with oils, yet all the reasons people have mentioned in this thread for not doing so make sense.

It's a mystery.

Pat Isaac
04-05-2007, 08:51 AM
I'll have to go back and read that article. I wonder if he is confusing oil pastels with paint sticks which are oil paint. I have used oil pastel over an underpainting of oil paint glaze and that works quite well, however, I don't know about mixing the two. I will check it out some more.

Pat

redclare
04-05-2007, 09:07 AM
It's my understanding that it's okay to use oil pastel under oils as long as the OP is applied very thinly. I have tried this with a couple of paintings, and so far (after 6 months), all seems fine.

In his book "Oil Pastel - Materials and Techniques for Today's Artist", Kenneth Leslie says the following: "Oil paint will spread previously laid oil pastel or oil stick in much the same way that turpentine will. Oil pastel can also be drawn into a wet layer of oil paint. It will melt into the paint surface..." He goes on to say "You must be very careful, however, about using oil paint on top of an oil pastel surface. Sennelier cautions against this, because although oil paint dries into a hard inflexible film, most brands of oil pastel can hardly be said to dry at all. Dried oil paint on top of the more flexible non-drying oil pastel is likely to chip or crack as the two layers expand and contract differently.... This should not occur if you use the oil pastel only lightly, in the beginning of a work, to sketch things out... this amount of pastel will dissolve into the paint and not present the problem that distinct layers might."

So possibly, if Brook Anderson is using the oil pastel as a very thin underpainting, it would not be a problem.
I've never tried mixing oil pastel and oil paint on the palette, so don't know if that's a good idea or not.

catchafairy
04-05-2007, 09:33 AM
I'll have to go back and read that article. I wonder if he is confusing oil pastels with paint sticks which are oil paint. I have used oil pastel over an underpainting of oil paint glaze and that works quite well, however, I don't know about mixing the two. I will check it out some more.

Pat

That is a possibility.

When you use oil pastels over oil paint, do you wait for the paint to cure, or is it just dry to the touch? Technically speaking, what is the correct way to use oil pastels over oil paint?

Thank you for the info, redclare. It seems like taking chances when you put the oil paint over the oil pastel.

catchafairy
04-05-2007, 12:28 PM
I wonder if he is confusing oil pastels with paint sticks which are oil paint.
Pat


I was looking through the article, and it says that the artist first outlines the major forms using large sticks of Sennelier and Holbein oil pastel.

Holbein doesn't make paint sticks. So he must be using the op's.

starblue
04-05-2007, 12:43 PM
Then it's probably OK. John Elliott does the same thing: he shows a OP sketch that he paints over in oils in his book "Oil Pastels for the Serious Beginner", p. 107. I notice he only did an outline in OP the way a watercolorist might lay in an initial sketch using pencil, not a full grasaille underpainting.

laika
04-05-2007, 04:23 PM
i'd love to use my Prussian Blue OP for a base sketch for an oil painting, but oil paint over a non-drying medium... i dunno... maybe a very light sketch fixed with re-touch varnish would work, but i imagine that a purist would say no.

i try to remain open to correction, but i vote no. i'd love to be found wrong on this, though.

redclare
04-05-2007, 06:11 PM
When you use oil pastels over oil paint, do you wait for the paint to cure, or is it just dry to the touch? Technically speaking, what is the correct way to use oil pastels over oil paint?

Maybe I shouldn't take everything Leslie says as the gospel truth... but as mentioned in the quote in my previous post, he says it's fine to apply oil pastel over a wet layer of oil paint - "it will melt into the paint surface.." But my own experience with this is limited..

Thank you for the info, redclare. It seems like taking chances when you put the oil paint over the oil pastel.

I find that when I use oil pastel in combination with turpentine -- applying a thin layer of OP (on a gesso-primed sheet of paper), then spreading the pigment around with a brush containing a small amount of solvent -- these areas of the painting dry completely, unlike areas where OP alone is applied. So likewise I would think if a bit of turpentine is used with oil paint as an initial lean layer over thinly applied OP, there shouldn't be a problem... the OP "will dissolve into the paint".

Anyway, I haven't seen the article, and I don't know exactly what this fellow is doing. Maybe his technique is risky. I guess because the medium hasn't been around very long, there is still a lot of uncertainty about its handling characteristics and permanence issues when combined with other media.

redclare
04-06-2007, 05:36 PM
i'd love to use my Prussian Blue OP for a base sketch for an oil painting, but oil paint over a non-drying medium... i dunno... maybe a very light sketch fixed with re-touch varnish would work, but i imagine that a purist would say no.

i try to remain open to correction, but i vote no. i'd love to be found wrong on this, though.

This is an issue I'm very interested in and wish I knew more about. The fact that a couple of long-time OP artists advocate using oil pastels as a light under-drawing puts my mind at ease about it a little bit... maybe the key being a light application.

I have a painting that I did awhile ago where I left a large area that had been painted by applying oil pastel and then spreading the pigment around with a small amount of solvent on a brush, without any further layering of pastel. This area of the painting is completely dry to the touch, not the least bit tacky like other areas of the work. Okay, I know this isn't exactly the same thing as using oil paint over oil pastel, however Kenneth Leslie suggests that oil paint used over oil pastel acts in the same way as solvent.

Brook Anderson says he "layers transparent oil paint" (over the previously applied OP) "and a lot of medium"... So I'm wondering if a lot depends on proportions (of oil pastel and oil paint - and medium?) used.

I think it's good to experiment (but maybe not on commissioned work or a painting you are planning to give to a special friend :D ).