Studio Diaries / 001

I have a mild obsession with series. I need things to fit together. A friend gifted me a nice Ikea Ribba photo frame that holds 5 seperate works and that was the perfect excuse to create a 5 part…series yes. 😀

For a while I wanted to paint a couple of sculptures that I really like. The ones I chose to do were: Hebert’s Death and the Maiden, Rodin’s Gates of Hell (detail), Cody Swanson’d Adam, Scott Eaton’s Hephaestus and Pio Fedi’s Rape of Polyxena. You can find them here on my Sculptures board.

I started out with the intention of doing these in watercolor. But I’ve been thinking about oils for a while and I can’t get them out of my head. Just like with most things in my life, I need some kind of validation that it’s ok to purchase something new, even when I’m not sure it going to ‘work’. That’s why I’ve been putting off working with oils for so long. I’m terrified honestly that I’m going to fail at it.

But during my painting, something in me said that I was never going to achieve the color depth I was looking for with water-based paint. The three dimensional nature of sculpture, in my view, requires a strong color depth and contrast. Preferable with some shine here and there, to catch the light. Only oil based materials have those characteristics. (acrylics with a glossy medium aside)

As a compromise with my doubtful self, I decided to settle on oil pastel. I’ve worked with soft pastel before so I figured oil pastel might be a good transition to eventually working with oil paint. After some research I purchased a couple of Sennelier oil pastels. These are incredibly soft, color intense and easy to blend as it turned out. I was so impressed with these pastels that I actually ordered a whole box more this night. I’m absolutely in love with them. They also have a number of iridescent colors which are perhaps even more fabulous!

Look at that color depth! My only regret is that I didn’t purchase them sooner. I’m so happy I overcame my fears and tried something new, something that really inspires me. I’ve finished all 5 works in record time haha. They look nice in my bedroom, colorful but calm at the same time.

Until next time!

Much love,

During my painting / drawing periods I keep a short diary of what I’m working on, new materials I’m trying out and any trials I face. If you’d like to read more diary entries, click on the Studio Diaries category.

5 thoughts on “Studio Diaries / 001”

  1. I’ve used sennelier oil pastels, but there’s not a lot of information about surface treatment afterwords, and they don’t really dry. There is a special spray sealer, have you tried it? How would you frame them when done on paper…under glass they would smudge, I’m thinking. I’ve only used them a few times. Over acrylic paint on canvas, but I’m afraid of selling any work for fear of someone wiping it away. So many questions don’t know if you have answers or ideas, but I’d like to use them more. Lots of fun and so forgiving. Love your sculpture series. Very beautiful!

    1. Hi Kimberly,
      I’ve always framed my oil pastel work behind glass and WITH a matte. Without a matte, you’d would press the glass against the pastel which would ruin your work, like you said. Because they don’t really dry, you can’t really varnish them. I’ve never used the Sennelier fixative but I would think it’s a good product. I doubt Sennelier would make one of the best oil pastels, and then provide a crappy fixative haha! 😀 It’s pricey though. There is a topic on Wetcanvas that suggests there is also a Talens fixative? Maybe you want to read it, it’s here:

  2. Ok. I forgot about the mat helping to keep the pastels from touching the glass! (Duh me!)
    Thanks for the link to WC too, Sabra. There was some confirming info there as well.

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