How to draw glass with oil pastel

Drawing Glass with Oil Pastel

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Drawing glass can present a unique set of challenges to an artist. With glass, the artist must consider transparency and reflection.  For many beginning artists, creating these illusions can be quite puzzling.  Throw in a medium like oil pastels, and the challenge can seem downright overwhelming. 

However, if we approach drawing glass in the same manner that we approach drawing anything else, the challenge becomes a lot less daunting.

Remember, drawing is about observation. But it's also about knowing what to observe.  In this case, we need to pay close attention to relationships of dark and light values and the shapes that they make on the subject. 

Tips on Transparency and Reflection

In most circumstances, an area that is reflective will feature strong contrast between light and dark values.  These light and dark values are often right beside each other.

Transparency can often be depicted in a scene through distortion and manipulation of the intensity of the color.

Recommended Materials for This Tutorial

Cray-Pas Expressionist Oil Pastels
Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Paper


The following video features excerpts from 2 recorded Live Lessons on drawing glass with oil pastels.  The complete unedited demonstrations are available to members here.  Not a member?  Join here.

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The Finished Result

The finished result, using the approach demonstrated in the video, has the appearance of a painting.  The colors have been layered heavily producing a physical texture on the surface.  The goal was to create a "loose" drawing that still communicated the transparency of the glass.

Glass with oil pastl drawing


More on Oil Pastels

Oil pastels are a unique drawing/painting medium that allow the artist to build up rich colors in short amount of time.  When used to their potential, they can produce images that are rich and vibrant in color and appear to be "painted".

Not to be confused with soft or chalk pastels, oil pastels feature an oil-based binder.  This makes them suitable for use with traditional solvents used with oil painting.

More more specific details on oil pastels, check out this page.

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