Oils or Pastels

Same Subject – Two Mediums

I enjoy working in both pastels and oils.   It was a difficult decision on which medium to choose for the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.   I could not decide which medium to choose so chose both.   There are both different in both the mark making and final outcome.  This will be a very interesting journey.   Painting the same subject over in a different medium will teach you about your subject that you may have missed the first time.  When I was painting the Bluebell the second time, I also pulled it up on the computer screen which showed me things that I had missed in the photograph that I had used to do the pastel painting.

Bluebell 2-susanrichardsonartist.com

Bluebell 8×10 Pastels

Bluebell Oils

Bluebell 8×10 Oils

In the photograph the soft edges blended into the back petals so much that I could not see them.  Once I pulled up the photograph on my computer I was able to actually see the front petals.  The challenge then became to make the edges soft but not to lose them completely.  The photograph on the computer showed that the bluebell had texture while the printed one did not.   Unfortunately it is January and the bluebells are hiding under a blanket of snow.   On my list to do this summer is to find a spot, sit and really study the bluebell and then make another comparison.   Working from life is not always possible but the more I work from photos the more I am understanding their downfall.   Photographs miss things and distorts them as well but they work well for cold winter days when the wildflowers are waiting for spring.

My husband still prefers the pastels painting to the oils.   Which one do you prefer?  Leave me a comment so I know as I always enjoy finding out what people see and prefer.


  1. The pastel feels very soft and comforting but I think I prefer the sharper contrast of the oils… which came as a surprise to me! Thanks for sharing and good luck on the rest of 30/30 challenge!

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