So after six months of working with oil pastels, I think I realized why I’m so frustrated with them. When my piece was critiqued recently, the guest artist honed in on color, specifically the color of the skin, as a place for improvement. Which I have known all along, but am now thinking more consciously/critically about. There are two main problems with oil pastels. I can’t mix them ahead of time, and don’t always know what the result will be when I blend two colors on the piece. If I’m wrong about how they look together, I can’t wait for the area to dry and start over. So I’m always frustrated, because the colors in my box don’t match the colors I see, and the colors I blend end up being a muddy mess. When I think back to the painting that I’ve done recently, I remember blending the colors on the palate for such a long time, adding little bits of each color in the mix until I finally got it right. Even the black and white piece I did recently required a long process of adding red, green, and blue until I had the right balance of color in my black. And it makes sense-when I draw, I erase over and over again, until it the lines are just right.

But the problem with painting still remains-it requires studio space. And longer stretches of time than nap time allows. So I’m feeling really stuck right now…

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