Getting to grips with Oil Pastel

I have been using oil pastels as a sketching medium prior to painting my pet portraits. They are very helpful tools in choosing and mapping color for a painting. However, I have been so enthralled with them, and the painterly quality that you can get, that I have started doing some more finished pieces using oil pastel. The pieces here are sitting in my studio and I find myself going back to them to add a bit more color, blend something, or scratch into areas. It's a lot of fun!

 Reflections at Lake of the Pines

Reflections at Lake of the Pines

This painting was done from a photo. I am still learning how to apply the oil pastel and smush it around, and how many layers you can actually apply.  I bought some Sennelier White oil pastels and these go on top of my harder Mungvo Gallery oil pastels very nicely. I think you could get through the Sennelier oil pastels in a heartbeat tho' as they are so soft and buttery!

 Sparkling light through the trees at Lake of the Woods, Oregon

Sparkling light through the trees at Lake of the Woods, Oregon

This painting is done from a sketch (below) and photos. In the early evening from our campsite the sunlight sparkled through the trees. I could see a line of green and a line of blue running behind the trees. I tried to capture the idea in my sketchbook, but it didn't turn out so well. This painting above though I really like.

 This was my sketchbook page, done from memory, at the campground

This was my sketchbook page, done from memory, at the campground

 Light through the trees on Mt Ashland, Oregon

Light through the trees on Mt Ashland, Oregon

This image is oil pastel on top of a failed watercolor painting. In this one the oil pastel is not blended quite so much and gives a different effect.

 Park #3, Lake of the Pines

Park #3, Lake of the Pines

This piece is the second version of a painting of Park #3 at Lake of the Pines. This was done on dark green Mi Tientes pastel paper, which I discovered I didn't like working on.  Now I mostly use white drawing paper, or watercolor paper.