Boat with Reflection on Water, 7×9″ oil pastel on canvas, $150

While at Target last week I found small canvases for $1, so I thought it would be an economical way to experiment with my oil pastels on canvases. I bought a few, and this is my first try on a canvas. I used a reference image of a boat with a reflection on the water, and drew the outline first, without using my grid system. I’ve been experimenting with that, too, skipping the grid unless I want it to be really precise and accurate.

So after I’d drawn the image with a pencil on the canvas, I started filling in the water. Usually I start with the darkest colors in the background, then do the darkest colors on the foreground, and work my way up to the brightest highlights. I also use a color shaper to spread the oil pastels to where I want them to go. It’s like a pencil with a silicone tip that spreads oil really well, and the silicone tips come in different sizes, shapes, and firmness. My favorites for using on paper have been the firmer tipped grey ones, since I have to press fairly hard to move the oil.

However, I learned that the softer, white tipped color shaper works incredibly well on the canvas! I ended up doing almost all of the strokes with this one after trying my usual ones. Overall it was a fun experiment and I’m eager to try again on a larger canvas!

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