Friday, August 3, 2012


I have been reading about "oil pastels" and watching some instructional videos in anticipation of the arrival of the delivery truck bringing my recent Amazon purchase of that very thing!  Today is the day, and I couldn't wait to get started.

I have to admit that I became frustrated at several--ok, many--points in the creation of the page, but, in the end, I am pleased.  It's not perfect, but remember:  ART IS NOT PERFECT.

OK, as is usual, the big reveal first (an aside:  a couple of people asked me why I show the final page first, then the detail, and the answer is a selfish one:  whichever image appears first in the blog appears on my Facebook wall announcement of a blog update!):

This page was inspired by artist Tracy Weinzapfel, whose wonderful work I found through a new friend's blog (thanks, Andy!).  Tracy challenged the viewers of her YouTube art journaling channel to do a self portrait during the month of August.  So this is mine!

First, the product:

Not knowing how to start any page without a coat of Gesso, that is where I began.  Next, I chose brighter, lighter colors, randomly stroked the page and watched the background come alive with color.  I marked off where I wanted my photo to be, but then colored over the marks and almost everything got a coat of color!

The next step will immediately take you back to childhood and using crayons for this very same effect.  One of my disappointments came when the black oil pastel did not want to "cover" the other colors, but rather just seemed to "skip" over the top (even coloring over the first layer in two directions).  The end result was not at all what Julie Balzer attained in a video I watched--she got full coverage, and I would love to know how!!  I decided to just do my best, and that would have to be good enough.

Next step was to place my butterfly stencil (it has cutouts of several sizes of both butterflies and moths) over the top of my page and begin to scratch away the black to reveal all the yummy color beneath.  For this process, I used a couple of different "tools," depending on the size of the openings in the stencil.  A toothpick was recommended in the video, but I found that using a toothpick took away both layers of color.

The last step, of course, was to give me wings so that I might SOAR!  I used ModPodge to adhere my "paper" photo (altered using a photo editing program, then printed on regular printer paper) to my page.  First, a coat to the back, then a coat over the top of just the photo.

I thought that I would dry the ModPodge on the photo with my heat tool because I wanted to scan my page right away.  I noticed almost too late that the heat gun had begun to melt the layer of black crayon around the photo!  At this point, I had to draw back the heat gun and continue that melting process so that my page would still have a uniform look!  After a finish coat of a spray fixative (one of the tutorials mentioned using hairspray), I will be happy to place my completed page back into my journal!

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  1. Beautiful page Kay. You have two of my favorite things on it - You and a butterfly.

  2. Kay, this reminds me of those scratch sheets from my childhood. you took a plastic pen and etched on this black paper and there was a rainbow behind it. Very cool. I have oil pastels in my drawer. I am going to pull them out and give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kay, this is really beautiful Yeah! You're right, art is not about perfection but about creativity and releasing your inner soul and feelings. You've captured them well in your photo and in the butterflies. Great work. I might try to find the time to watch the video and try to learn.


  4. So cool, Kay. I am happy that you have found something that you really love!

  5. Great page and I love that butterfly stencil. Melting the oil crayon could make some very interesting effects.

  6. great page, really intersting to read how you created it

  7. Oh Kay, this is Gorgeous I love every on this page. Great work!!

  8. I have been here :) Thanks for showing and explaining how you did this page. And that I like this page very much I said before somewhere else...

  9. Love that photo of you, Kay! I think the melting gave your piece a cool look! Lovely work!


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