24 Nov 2023Mont Marte
Drawing Intermediate Oil Pastels Weekend project

Create Xin's butterfly drawing with oil pastel

1. Prepare your space

-    Tape two pieces of Oil Pastel Paper to your working surface

-    One will be your artwork and one will be where you create your pastel colour palette

-    Grab our Extra Soft Oil Pastels, a black pencil, a wide palette knife, and a narrow palette knife

2. Palette knife use

-    We’ll be using palette knives to create 3D texture and apply the oil pastels thickly

-    Using your wide palette knife, start by laying down Mint across the middle and left side of your paper

-    Spread the colour out until it partially covers the area, allowing some negative space to show through

-    Grab Naples Yellow and spread it across the centre and right section of your paper

-    Use the wide palette knife to work the colours together where they meet, creating rough gradient blending

3. Oil pastel palette

-    Now it’s time to make your colour palette

-    Pick out Viridian, Chartreuse, and White 

-    Use a narrow palette knife to slice off some of each colour, placing them apart on your palette paper

-    Prime each one by smoothing it out and kneading it with your palette knife, making sure to clean the knife between colours

-    Once your colours are ultra soft and easy to manipulate, they’re ready to go!

4. Drawing butterfly outline

-    Use a clean, pointed palette knife to lightly carve the outline of half a butterfly into your mint and yellow background

-    With the body of the butterfly in the centre of the page, sketch the wing outline extending to the left

-    This is just to guide your colour placement and does not need to be perfect

5. Colouring the butterfly wing

-    Using oil pastels from your palette, start with Viridian 

-    Use your narrow palette knife to apply small strokes of colour to the butterfly wing, starting from the outer edge and ending halfway towards the body

-    Keep working down the outer edge of the butterfly wing until it is bordered with strokes of Viridian

-    Finesse this layer so the strokes look even and fill the wing’s edge 

-    Repeat the process with Chartreuse, starting from near the end of each Viridian stroke and stopping a few centimeters from the butterfly’s body

-    Finesse the shape and size of the strokes until you’re happy with them

-    Finish with White, starting from the end of the Chartreuse strokes and ending where the body of the butterfly begins

-    Finesse the size and shape of the strokes to finish the wing colouring off!

6. Painting the body

-    Use your narrow palette knife and apply some Black oil pastel to the tip

-    Make sure it’s a very small amount so you can be precise

-    Carefully start drawing in the butterfly’s body, applying thinner lines and gradually thickening the weight 

-    The body should be thicker towards the top and tapered at the bottom

-    End the body where the lowest White stroke starts

-    Finish off the body by adding antenna with a black pencil 

-    Carefully apply a small amount of black oil pastel with the point of your palette knife for the tip of the antenna

7. Drawing flowers with oil pastels

-    Lay down strokes of White oil pastel to the right of the body in a circular shape - this will create a flower! 

-    Overlap the edge of the butterfly’s body for extra dimension and to connect the flowers to the insect

-    With the biggest flower near the body, add in additional flowers around the first one, roughly in the shape of a wing

-    Prepare some Yellow oil pastel on your palette and use it to add centres to the flowers

-    Apply Yellow in the middle of each flower with the tip of your narrow palette knife, creating a circular shape

-    Once every flower has a dot in the middle, it’s time to add the same small dots to the edge of the left wing, over the Viridian strokes

-    Next, use your Viridian and Chartreuse shades to add leaves to the edges of your flowers 

-    Taper your strokes so they create a leaf shape

-    Finesse the details until you’re happy with them!

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