What are oil pastels?
Oil pastels are like oil paints in a crayon form. Sort of.
They’re little wax-like crayons made from pigments mixed with non-drying oil and a wax binding agent.
They are rich in color and are great for artists who like to get their hands dirty.
Since oil pastels are considered both a painting and drawing medium, you have the opportunity to take skills from both practices and use them to your advantage.
Once the colors glide onto the paper or canvas, they are easily manipulated. You can push or pull the colors into one another for smooth transitions, you can scrape and create texture with tools, or you can leave the raw edges of each stroke on the page to make the image feel alive.
Oil Pastel Painting on Canvas Board 18"x24"
Paintings of Nature
Paintings of People
Paintings of Objects
How I Work
How do you come up with your subject matter?
Photoshop. Photoshop. Photoshop.
I love creating the compositions for my artwork. Most of my paintings have been created for someone else as a gift so I take a lot of inspiration from whom the piece is going to. And I take a lot of pictures so I have a huge bank of imagery I can pull from.
If I’m drawing a blank on where to start? My best friend and fellow artist, Cameron Derby, and I have a tin that contains all sorts of concept terms that we pick from to jumpstart a new project.
'Steel Flowers' is a great example of a typical composition. Out of our tin, I chose the concept term "100 years in the future" and thought about what a piece of art would look like in the future. As most cartoons taught me, the future would be chrome and everything would be technological. Then, my idea turned to organic matter that would have to be recreated to make us still feel like a part of Earth. So the composition ended up being steel flowers that someone bought that would have fallen onto the side of the road, in the rain, left there without anyone noticing.
I used a photo taken on a trip to Belize almost 8 years prior, turned it metallic in Photoshop, and created one of my favorite pieces, 'Steel Flowers'.
How long does each piece take you?
That all depends on how big the piece is, how much detail is involved, and how much other work I have at the moment. Because I'm an artist with student loans, I have a full-time job as a Product Manager (and currently interim-Content Manager) that I can't fall behind on. I also do freelance work when it comes around, from single or album cover designs for musicians to motion graphic titles for car companies to music videos. So my free time has gotten pretty limited which makes each oil pastel take months instead of weeks. #adulting
On average, it takes about 5 hours per square inch to complete one oil pastel once I've started working on the page. The composition beforehand can take anywhere between an hour to six hours to get it just right.