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oil pastel drawing

reverse technique
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by JuliannaKunstler.com

Reverse drawing: drawing details first, then shapes, adding foil for a depth effect.
Materials: printed picture, transparency, foil, oil pastels, turpentine & Q-tip, tortillon


oil pastels drawing

(not finished)



1. Image search: Find a high quality photograph of an organic object: plant, animal, fish, etc. Do not choose a complicated and detailed picture - oil pastels are not great at details.
Do not use: drawings/paintings/designs by other artists. No logos or writings.

Save the image to the desktop (not the thumbnail, but the full-size photograph). You can do it by dragging it onto the desktop.

2. Editing in Photoshop: Right-click on your image. Choose Open with > Adobe Photoshop

photoshop filters

Simplify and reduce the colors of the photograph and increase the contrast of the picture.

You can do it by applying an Artistic filter. Depending on the colors of your particular image, choose:
Filter >Filter Gallery>Artistic >
• Cutout
• Dry brush
• Fresco
• Paint Daubs
• Palette Knife
• Poster Edges
• Smudge Stick
• Watercolor

Apply any of the above filters. Try different settings for each filter to keep the details but simplifying the colors.

image printing

File > Print

• Choose HP LaserJet 5550 printer

• Select Landscape or Portrait layout

• Check “Scale to fit Media”

• Print

transparency tracing

Now place a transparency onto the picture. (Inkjet transparencies work better as they have a rough side - oil pastels will stick better to it - place it the rough side up). Tape the corners securely. Use Sharpies (any colors) and trace the details in the picture.

You can slide in a blank piece of paper to see the progress:

oil pastel drawing

After the ink is completely dry - use oil pastels and try to match the colors of your shapes with the photograph.

You can gradate the colors or use flat shapes. Use a tortillon to blend/mix colors. You can also use turpentine or baby oil to "water down" the pastels.

The light would go through the "watered down" or blank areas and reflect from the foil in the background to give an interesting effect.

oil pastels drawing

Crumble a piece of foil and place in behind the picture.

Don't forget to flip the transparency before attaching the foil. The photograph below shows work in progress - it is not a finished art piece. (Sorry, I cannot find the photo of a finished piece) :))