OIL BARS: Digging the Flower Bed


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OIL BARS: Digging the Flower Bed 6 x 9" Canson oil paper smooth(er) side, Kama Oil sticks, an oil strip pencil, and a bit of sap green WN bar. The Kama are hard, and for me, hard to work with, but the WNs are too big for me on this size surface. I haven't used either, so don't have good understanding or control. I had trouble layering the Kama's, too. C&C welcome, thanks for looking.

I was just going to comment on the gouache work (which is charming), when I read you had an oil bar version. I love this! Wonderful marks in the foreground texture, and beautiful touches of yellow - particularly on the hair. The only harder sticks I have are a few Senneliers, and I'm pretty useless with them. Seeing how you've achieved such an appealing drawn feel here makes me want to give them another try! So glad you got your oil sticks out & shared this, hope you'll keep playing with them.
Nice little depiction of yard work. I was wondering, are these things like crayon .. it gives off a crayon look in the picture. Not that crayon is bad. I just don't know what all these things are as I stick mostly with oils.
Triss, thanks. The Kama (made in Canada) and the Shiva (USA I think) are hard. Too hard for me to enjoy. I finally held one under an incandescent bulb a few seconds, which seemed to help. Your R&F I think, are the top grade, along with Sennelier, but from what I've read, handle differently. Mine are the Winsor Newton Oil Bars, not as soft as the other two, but less expensive. You can use your fingers or a brush, etc, with those two lipstick-soft ones, I can use fingers, knife, brush with the WN. I think yours are probably more easily spreadable, maybe with a "heavy hand" they fill the weave-holes in the paper/canvas better.
With the Kama, I finally picked up a chunk of paraffin wax that I had at hand and covered that paper surface. If I'd had a white candle, the candle wax might have been a better choice. I'll post a couple more I did with just the WNs, no surface prep. Again, these were a few years ago, and I haven't done anything with them since. The Kama were a later addition, and this is the first attempt with them.

Wayne, I understand. I stick with oils generally, but I just got a drawing area set up:rolleyes:. Sticks, bars, etc, crayon or pencil shaped. These have many qualities of tube paint, just (I think) with wax to keep the shape. They come, as you read, in different hardness, and sometimes in smaller or larger sizes. Meant to enable the artist to work directly with the medium, rather than holding a brush or knife. You might enjoy a softer brand. WN might be soft enough for you.
ntl, nice textures in many areas in this painting. The subject matter "Digging the flower bed" is a clever one. You have lots of imagination for what to paint! Oil bars sound like fun, I only know oil pastels
I think you would have a lot more control if you had a bigger surface to work on, but this is just a suggestion. Even if you had thinner sticks (which easily break because they are so soft--and a mess), I think the bigger the surface might be better, as it could be easier to blend colors and making the shapes more defined. What do you think?

You can also dip a small brush in Liquin and make some parts fluid if they get too heavy in parts.

I still think this is lovely though. :)
moscatel, thanks so much. Oil bars are somewhat different from the oil pastels, but being comfortable with one, you might enjoy the bars/sticks. Here's an explanation: https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2019/05/16/oil-stick-vs-oil-pastel/

Arty, thanks. You're right, the larger surface would be much better (for me). I am going to post an older one or two soon. I spent the last hour (almost) finishing an oil paint study that I will post. And thank you
Thanks for so much extra info about how you've been working with your sticks, ntl. The Kama sticks sound challenging and I think I'd end up fighting too much with them and getting frustrated (and I already have enough of that with oil pastels!), but your experimentation has given me some ideas to try with the Senneliers.

I hadn't noticed your paper size until Arty mentioned it. That's tiny to me, and I'm sure it must have been tricky to work on. I hope you can find a size/surface that suits the Kama sticks, as you definitely have a look here that would be great to develop.

Wayne - Oil sticks, for me, are just a different way of getting oil paint on paper - I'm happier drawing with a stick than working with a brush or knife.
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