Ok, ive been reading like crazy and to me it sounds like oil pastels are for me. But i also like the idea of Pastel Pencils. As a beginner what would you all start off with? I know they all have their pros and cons but if you had to choose one (if i had the money id buy them all and try them, lol) Thanks in advance for any suggestions

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Betty Edwards' book is really good. I'm gradually workng my way through it. Did the line drawing of GD # 2 after the first few pages.  I'd like to do the seminar, too, but there's nothing close to me.

well i got to page 13 when she started listing the supplies. Dont know what made me think i wasnt going to need anything. lol.  I wish i could find the video cheaper than whats on her sight or amazon, ebay. Something to put on my never ending wish list i guess. So did you draw prior to getting the book? ive SSSOOO done this all backwards. Should of learned to draw before i started painting. oh well, it is what it is. Ill get there. Had another class tonight and i really liked this instructor much better than the last one. My painting had to be quick (2 hr class) but i feel as if i got alot of good information from her and this class was only $20 and she supplied the canvas and paints. WHAT A BARGIN!!! She takes off work in the summer :(  so her next classes wont be till fall.

That sounds promising. Maybe if you asked her, she'd give you a private lesson or two on tips and techniques--for a price, of course. I found that really made me take a leap forward. My teacher had me make a list of things I wanted to learn and planned his lessons around that.

I was always drawing as a child, but had totally abandoned it. Watercolour was my original painting medium. I briefly tried oils but was much too impatient. I switched to acrylics last spring. Geat! You can paint them thick like oil (and they dry quickly) or you can thin them down and wash like watercolour. What's not to love?!

Theres just something about oils that i just love. I paint also in acrylics but prefer oils. Same thing with the pastels. I got the pastel pencils but i like the oil pastels better (they blend better) but they are harder to blend. I think every medium has its ups and downs. I dont really care for watercolor but i only had one try at it and the teacher (per her) was off her game. What i didnt like is if we all did something incorrect she just did it for us, that doesnt teach you a thing. Im taking another watercolor class the next two mondays. Its at a local library and its two secessions...$3 for both, so i cant complain there. Same teacher so i thought id give it another try.

I asked her about private lessons and she said she doesnt. Told her " well, if you consider it let me know". That WOULD be the golden ticket there. Private lessons sounds wonderful

Ok, I have a question, because I'm treading in very unfamiliar territory here (lol).  I bought some soft oil pastels on sale at Hobby Lobby this week, thought I'd play around with them.  This is my first attempt at using them and I like the results so far, but how long does it take them to dry? Or do they dry? Do I need after a certain period of time to spray the canvas with a fixative of some kind so they won't get on your hands when you pick the canvas up?

Hi Joni, I'm not sure oil pastels "dry" at all.  They may 'cure' after a while, but not sure about if they will dry.  Practice will tell you better, since it's about 25 years since I last used them.  I love their brilliancy of colors though, they are fun to use.  Not sure you can spray oil pastels with fixative - there again you may have to do further research.  Keep in mind though, that spraying soft pastels with fixative can tend to change the colors a bit.  Some people are not fans of using fixative, others are.  Good choice though of buying oil pastels.  Generally, I found them very difficult to blend, as opposed to soft pastels.  Others here may disagree with me on that point.  OIl pastels are not nearly as messy as 'soft pastels' are.  So I wouldn't worry about getting color on your hands.  

Have you ever considered buying an art kit.  Most of hem will give you some of all the mediums eg. oil pastels, oil paint, water colour, water colour pencils, colour pencils, pencils, acrylics, brushes (you may need to buy more of these).  And this way you can experiment with all the mediums until  you find one that speaks to you.  Then you can purchase and try chalk pastels and any other stuff.  The kits last a good time.  Just a thought....

you definitely have to use a fixative or varnish with chalk pastels.

Joni Owens said:

Ok, I have a question, because I'm treading in very unfamiliar territory here (lol).  I bought some soft oil pastels on sale at Hobby Lobby this week, thought I'd play around with them.  This is my first attempt at using them and I like the results so far, but how long does it take them to dry? Or do they dry? Do I need after a certain period of time to spray the canvas with a fixative of some kind so they won't get on your hands when you pick the canvas up?

Shelly-Ann, I never use fixative on my soft pastel paintings.  I've used fixative in the past and it destroyed the brilliancy of my colors in my paintings.  I will never use them again.  The best bet is to try them, and if you don't like the effect, no need to use it again.  Like I said, some people like fixative, others don't.

Shelly-Ann T. said:

you definitely have to use a fixative or varnish with chalk pastels.

Joni Owens said:

Ok, I have a question, because I'm treading in very unfamiliar territory here (lol).  I bought some soft oil pastels on sale at Hobby Lobby this week, thought I'd play around with them.  This is my first attempt at using them and I like the results so far, but how long does it take them to dry? Or do they dry? Do I need after a certain period of time to spray the canvas with a fixative of some kind so they won't get on your hands when you pick the canvas up?

Thanks Jenifer, I wasn't sure what I might need to do.  Most pieces I will probably mat and frame but I worked on a black canvas yesterday using a white oil pastel drawing something that resembled (lol) river birches.  It's on a stretch canvas and my son likes it.  He's gathering quite a collection of tree prints, most are matted and framed but two I did on stretch canvas with acrylics he's claimed and probably will this one in oil pastel.  He's planning on just hanging the canvas pieces as far as I know. I wondered about how to keep it from smearing whenever he dusts his room (this isn't often however lol).

Thanks Shelly-Ann, I figured the chalk pastels would need a fixative.  I ran back by Hobby Lobby today while running errands, I can't help it, when I get close to that shopping center my car automatically turns in and parks (lol).  I hit the clearance wall again and picked up as 12, 48, and 24 metallic/fluorescent oil pastels to play with and a set of 24 watercolor pastels.  Guess I've jumped into this with both feet, but I love playing around with new mediums.

Joni, I love the fact that you create art with the help of your grand kids!  I never underestimate the talent of small children: yesterday I read on the news about a 2 year old toddler who paints and her art work is sold, and she has earned about $100K so far!  Imagine that!  

I was thinking, with your artwork, you might need to use fixative, since your work is more 3-dimensional, instead of 2-dimensional like a piece of paper.  Bear in mind though, that the use of fixative may slightly change your original colors, if you don't mind that happening.  

have FUN!


Joni Owens said:

Thanks Shelly-Ann, I figured the chalk pastels would need a fixative.  I ran back by Hobby Lobby today while running errands, I can't help it, when I get close to that shopping center my car automatically turns in and parks (lol).  I hit the clearance wall again and picked up as 12, 48, and 24 metallic/fluorescent oil pastels to play with and a set of 24 watercolor pastels.  Guess I've jumped into this with both feet, but I love playing around with new mediums.

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