Oil pastels have been in use for a very long time now, more commonly known as wax oil crayons, oil pastels are similar to Japanese and French pastel sticks, but they lack the softness of pastel sticks. Oil pastels have a non-drying oil in their base, this prevents them from becoming powdery once applied and also makes them more firm, the result being a more easier to work with medium. However, oil pastels are harder to blend than soft pastels, and since they consist of non-drying oil, the biggest problem with oil pastels is of preservations.
Once applied to a surface, oil-pastels never fully dry, meaning that they can become smudged or distorted if touched, people often have a hard time displaying oil pastel based art since its longevity is quite uncertain. Due to their nature, oil pastels also do not respond too well to fixative sprays, most conventional fixatives or varnishes are not capable of completely drying them out, even after multiple coats have been applied. Oil pastels can be bothersome when it comes to preserving them, but they are incredibly fun to use and can allow an artist to bring spectacular images to life.
If you are having trouble with preserving an oil pastel based work then fear not, with a bit of patience and care you can protect your work better. There exist fixative sprays that are designed specifically for oil pastel use, while they do not provide perfect results, they can make your drawing less prone to smudging. Another way to protect your work is to have it framed and covered with glass, however this might put a damper on your drawing’s look.
The best way to preserve your drawing is to use specific oil pastel fixatives, traditional fixatives are known for altering the colours of oil pastels so you need to be careful when picking a fixative for use. There are some brands that promise no discoloration but just to be safe, one should test different fixatives on smaller samples before deciding to coat your latest work in them. To make things more complex, oil pastel fixatives behave differently depending on the type of paper you use, meaning that uniformity will be hard to achieve.
If the gamble of using fixatives does not appeal to you, then you might want to consider using acrylic varnish, this will provide a basic amount of protection since acrylic varnish does not mix well with oil based mediums, but it can provide your drawing with a nice finish. If you are really bent on preserving your oil pastel drawing, then the safest option you have is to take a glass frame, have it double matted to ensure that the glass does not come into contact with your drawing and then place your drawing inside of it. One of the most important factors in preserving oil pastels is to take extra care of your work and make sure that you interact with it as little as possible once you are done with it.
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Humans have always had a love for expressing themselves through paintings and drawing, even our most primitive ancestors used to draw entire tapestries of figures on their cave walls. Through drawing and painting, we are able to not only communicate, but also express our emotions and eternalize the beauty of feeling of something in a way that words alone can never achieve. The more detailed and well made a painting is, the better it becomes as a communication medium, there are a lot of techniques out there that help make paintings look more realistic by giving them more detail and depth.
One very basic yet very important technique is painting in glowing light effects, by capturing illumination and shadows in a realistic manner, one can make their painting feel like a work of art. There are different ways of adding glowing effects to a painting, variations come based on the type of paint you are using, what kind of effect you are trying to capture in your painting and more. However, there are a handful of basics that apply everywhere, if you keep them in mind and practice a bit, you will be able to learn how to paint glowing light effects within no time, and once you get the hang of this, you can start experimenting and moving towards more advanced techniques.
The very first thing that you want to do is make a rough plan, sketch out the part of your painting that you want to add shadows and illumination to and define the direction, intensity and focus of the light effect. Remember that shadows are really important, proper placement of your shadows will have a substantial effect on the overall atmosphere of your painting.
Once you have finalized the basic sketch, you move onto filling in the foundation colors, during this phase, you need to visualize where the illumination will ‘flow’ to and adjust the tone of your colors accordingly. The area that you wish to illuminate should be kept light, be gentle with your brushstrokes there and do not use dark shades.
After you have added the basic colors, you now have a base to work on, begin adding in the details, give more definition to your light source and add contrast around the illuminated area to bring more focus on the lit areas. When adding in contrast, the worst thing that you can do is try adding it to your painting in one go, instead, take your time and gradually build the contrast layer after layer. Make sure to stop every now and then and review your work, one should always be subtle when adding in darkened areas as over doing this part can result in your entire lighting effect to be spoiled.
A painting with good lighting effects becomes rich with an atmosphere and a layer of depth that make the painting look much more attractive, with a bit of practice, you can have lighting effects mastered within no time at all.
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Acrylic paint is a favoured by many artists due to its highly versatile nature, this paint is made of colour pigments suspended liquid acrylic polymer emulsion, they dry a lot quicker than other kinds of paints and once dried, they become water resistant. While in liquid form, acrylic paints can be mixed in with water to achieve a water colour like look, they can also have an oil pastel finish if desired. It all depends on how you want to use acrylic paints, the finish and application of these paints varies depending on what kind of surface you are going to apply them to.
Since acrylic paints are pretty hardy and flexible, they can be used on a variety of surfaces, ranging from stretched cotton and linen canvases that are used by professional artists to plain paper, they can even be applied on surfaces such as wood or leather. Most people who pursue paining as a hobby or are in the beginner phase of their painting would probably feel more comfortable with using paper as it is widely available and easy to work with. There are a number of things that you need to consider if you are going to be using acrylic paints on paper, all of which will help in ensuring that the paints apply with a neat finish and are easy to work with.
When choosing the best paper for acrylic paint, you should focus on four things; the weight of the paper, its size, its finish and the primer coating on it. The weight of a page refers to how thick is it going to be, weightier paper is thicker and therefore is less likely to crinkle or tear when you apply acrylic paint onto it. Acrylic paint can be quite moist, especially if you are using it with water, so thicker paper means a more durable surface to work on.
The size of a sheet is pretty much based on preference, you can find ring bound acrylic painting paper pads in various sizes at any art store, pick one that you are comfortable with and start painting on it. The finish of a paper sheet and the primer go hand in hand, since acrylic paints work best on smooth surfaces, choosing paper that has a smooth and grain free surface is essential if you want to work the paint right. Primers exist to enhance the smoothness of a paper sheet, acrylic paper with a thin layer of gesso primer applied to it is a pretty good choice.
Your best bet at finding a quality paper sheet for your acrylic paints is to go and buy a decent paper pad, you can also purchase primer separately and apply it on paper sheets of a certain thickness. Acrylic paints can be incredibly fun to work with, and with the right kind of equipment at hand, you can really explore and exploit the full potential of this incredibly versatile paint.
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