How to Start an Oil Pastel

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Starting an oil pastel drawing or painting begins with the initial sketch done in a lighter tone. Sketch out the basic shapes and composition of a new drawing with creative tips from an art instructor in this free video on using oil pastels.

Part of the Video Series: Oil Pastel Techniques
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Video Transcript

I want to show you a little bit about how to start a pastel painting with oil pastel. I chose a very simple subject that is simple yet in shape yet colorful and I want to show you how to start. The first thing you want to do is organize your space and you could work with pencil. I prefer to work with an oil pastel because it won't make any dents in the paper and if I make a mistake I can just rub it into the paper and it won't show later as I build up the painting so usually when I begin I like to organize my space. I'm just doing a simple still life of two pieces of fruit and they are sitting on a table so first I want to split my paper in half and I'm just using a light sketching motion across the paper and now I have table and background and let's say I have a pear over here. So I'll imagine where the bottom of it is going to be, just light sketch, maybe the shape of the form will be about this big and since it's a pear I'll add a little on top almost curving down like a frown line and just attach it. Pears are so versatile so you really can't be wrong when you start it so it's a great one to begin with. You don't have to be exact to make something interesting. From there I want the apple to be slightly behind it so my bottom line of the apple will be a little bit above the one of the pear and it's just generally a round shape. I may add a little dimple at the top of the pear and a dimple at the top of the apple. If I wish to I could remove a little bit of the inside lines and I have my composition set up nice and simple but I'll be able to use a lot of different colors and experiment with blending and create a nice composition.

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