what?! no new oil pastels??

Some visitors to this site may wonder why I have posted no new oil pastels for so long. None since February this year! What is going on?

Fact is, I have been doing ACRYLIC PAINTINGS all that time. Not that I don’t want to get back to oil pastels, but I did a painting using the acrylics and then another and another … just like when I started with the pastels.

GO TO my other blog to see my acrylic paintings. Whichever blog you go to – thanks for dropping in!

Smiths Lake, finished 18 February 2012

smiths lake 03_web

Here’s a picture I have been working on for the last couple of days. I am now finished with it. Whether it is finished is another matter.

Again, I have been using my photo archives for inspiration. Much as I would like to paint out-of-doors, my health does not allow me.

I particularly enjoyed playing with colour here, especially in the water in the foreground. That was good fun.

Also, I am getting a bit abstracted in what I do. I like that.

This is 40 x 40 cm on watercolour paper (with a bit too much tooth for my liking).

down by the lake, 11 February 2012

by the lake 02

This hardly goes beyond a sketch but I stopped here because there are lots of passages in the painting that I like a lot – colours sitting side by side, unintended but (to me!) magic little areas. In truth, I guess the “little areas” are better than the whole. There are also areas that “do not make sense”, but is sense needed in what you want to do?

I stopped here because I was (am!) happy with it as it is and I knew if I went further I would spoil it. So in my mind it is OK. What do you think?

It’s 40 x 40 cm on heavy (red!) paper.



Here’s one that is a bit of a change from my normal paintings. It came about in a weird way – I bought a frame the other day because it was so cheap but it has unusual dimensions – quite long (or tall!). So, pondering this with my wife, she jokingly suggested I do a giraffe.

When I thought about it, it sounded very appealing – blocks of colour and the challenge of getting some sort of expression. At the same time, I have started working with acrylics again after a break of 15 years or so – I got some Atelier Interactive acrylics to try and loved them!* So I really want to do more with these paints. But I still want to continue with the oil pastels. Hmmm …

So here’s the result – I allowed myself to do a quick sketch (this is about 20 minutes work after 10 minutes roughing out the drawing). It’s done on yellow paper, for no particular reason – you can see that showing through. My strokes/marks are as vigorous as ever, I like that!

*I have no affiliation with the manufacturers or any of their agents!

No. 7, A______ Ave

no 7 alister_web

This is No. 7, A______ Ave, the fourth house on the right as you go up the hill.

This was a comparatively easy picture to do. I took less than two hours to complete it.

I used some water-soluble oil pastels in part, but found them difficult to get used to so abandoned them – I will practise with them another time because it would be good to be able to use them for finer detail, perhaps.

Still quite a few still to go before I get to the top of the street!

No 5 A—— Ave

no 5 alister_web

I found this a bit of a grind. No way was I going to tackle all these white posts with stubby oil pastels – I drew them carefully then painted them with white acrylic paint. Then for some reason I never hit my stride with it – I would do a little bit then lose interest, wandering off to do something else – like resting, for I have chronic fatigue, which has been bad recently!

So now I can move on to No. 7, the fourth house on the right-hand side.

I am certainly enjoying doing these ‘street portraits” – seeing them all come together is fun for me. It would be good to hang them all on a wall next to each other when I am finished, but that would need rather a long wall!

This is oil pastel on cartridge paper, about 40 x 30 cm.

No. 3, A—— Ave

no 3 alister__web

This is the second house as you go up the hill, next door to the one I posted a few days ago.

I am beginning to get a bit of fun seeing how these pictures relate to each other. You will be able to see this more clearly in ones to come – I have been reviewing the other photos I have of the street and this will be good to bring out – keep in touch and check back from time to time.

The original of this oil pastel is just a bit less that 40 x 30 cm (I do them on an A3 sheet of paper, but like to leave a small margin round about my work).

I know this is not a very polished work- I just like to get in and do them while I have the feeling of it and once it is done, I may come back two or three times over the next few hours, for a minute or two, to check it out and make very minor adjustments.

The drawing itself took me about 30-40 minutes.


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