Exercise: Drawing Using Oil Pastel
& Learning Log
Final Drawing: Apples, Lemons and Baby Tomatoes
Oil Pastel - A3 Yellow Textured Paper
For this exercise I first started to play around with the composition, I was using a couple of tangerines and apples to try and get some strong contrast between the greens and oranges. I found a composition that I was happy with and attempted a quick drawing of this with oil pastels on a piece of A4 paper. I like the result and I think the contrast works really well, however there isn’t much range in shape or size so I added some lemons into the arrangement.
I decided to try and use a textured green coloured paper but it soon became apparent after I had started filling in some of the colour that I had made the wrong choice. I did a quick experiment on some textured yellow coloured paper and found this worked much better. I also made a last minute decision to swap the tangerines for some baby tomatoes to vary the range of shapes and sizes a bit more.
I used a chrome yellow to sketch in the main shapes as it was neutral colour that was not too heavy and was apparent in all the pieces of fruit. I then used a Van Dyke Brown to pick out the darkest areas before getting started on the rest. I used a bit of vermillion in the baby tomatoes, yellow ochre in these and the lemons. I found that a yellow grey pastel I had was the perfect tone for the apples as well as the shadow cast by everything. I was aware of how colours from some pieces of fruit were reflected in other, such as the green from the apples being seen in the lemons too, this helped to intensify the colours a bit more, giving a much stronger visual impact. I found that the colours worked really well together and against the yellow paper, it did take quite a while to build up the layers on it but I am very pleased with the final result.
Charcoal - A4
Study of apples and Tangerines
Oil Pastel - A4
Your composition should occupy most of the paper’s surface. How much negative space do you have left?
In terms of the way the composition fits onto the page, I would say I have done quite well. The subjects in my pieces sit quite comfortably without feeling like they are crammed onto the paper but also not getting swamped by extra space.
The piece I did of the apple with two lemons using the dip pens is a bit tight as the shadow is quite near the left edge, this is because I didn’t plot out the shadow before I went ahead with it so it could do with shifting to the right a bit.
I purposely left some negative space between the fruit in the final pastel drawing. I did this so that I could get a balance between drawing the pieces of fruit individually as well as allowing them to intersect each other in places.
What have you learned from drawing the details of fruit and vegetables?
I have learnt to try and think about the objects a lot more before I begin to draw them, and to work out how some will work well together and others maybe not so much. It was also interesting to try and capture the different textures of each individual piece of fruit whilst trying to maintain the relationship between them and keep the feeling that they are all part of the same drawing.
What did you find the most challenging about this part of the course?
It was difficult to know whether a composition would really work until I started to actually draw it, this is where doing the sketches for the last piece first really helped.
Experiments on Coloured Paper
Oil Pastel - A4