Underpainting with Soft Pastel and an Alcohol Wash

Oil Pastels by Mary

Oil pastels (OPs) are my main painting medium, but there are times when I want to block in shapes and colors as a foundation to the painting before I start layering in OPs.  So I will do what’s called a underpainting (using soft pastel) and then wash over it with alcohol.  I like the effects and benefits that this technique offers.  For instance I can make heavier/bolder colors without using the surface tooth, can create texture and if I don’t like the direction the underpainting is taking, I can remove the soft pastel and start over before it’s washed and set with alcohol (alcohol seals in soft pastel so the soft pastel dust doesn’t smear into the oil pastel as it is layered in).

The painting below, SeaBreeze, was painted with Oil Pastels that started out with a simple soft pastel underpainting and alcohol wash.

SeaBreeze SeaBreeze

Instructions for using this…

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