Oak Byway – Pastel by Karen Winters

Oak Byway – 11.5″ x 9″ – pastel on paper

After working almost exclusively in oil for the past year (with a few sidetrips into watercolor,) I felt like taking out my pastels for a little experimentation. I’m going to be doing a larger pastel painting in the near future, so this is a bit of a warmup.

No matter what the medium, some things remain the same: color, shape, value, composition, edge definition, stroke, perspective and techniques like negative painting. It’s different holding a stick of pigment between one’s fingers rather than wielding a brush, but much of the experience is quite similar to oil painting. In this project I started with a coffee colored paper which you can see peeking through here and there. I selected the paper to provide a mid-tone starting point for the large tree mass.


  1. Miyuki Mouse
    February 25, 2008

    Long time no see. I was scanning through my RSS feeds for the first time in ages and your lovely sketch was the first thing that greeted me…

    Love all the delicate colours, the hints of lavendar and lime among the blooming trees up front especially. And funny, earlier today I was admiring a stranger’s shirt the exact same blue as your sky there. Are you using oil pastels or chalk?

  2. Karen
    February 25, 2008

    Miyuki, thank you. It’s soft and hard pastel, not oil pastel.

  3. Casey
    February 26, 2008

    Oh Karen! this is beautiful! I love your pastel technique.

  4. Linda
    February 26, 2008

    Wonderful! I agree about pastel being similar to oils, although you wouldn’t think so unless you actually did them. I’ve recently picked the pastels back up and am starting to lean toward breaking out the oil paints now … sigh. Seeing more of your work in pastel should be fun!

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