Back to oil pastels

When I visited the Tate Britain in London I bought this fabulous book ‘Jenny Saville’ (Jenny Savallicious) which has definitely inspired me.


I adore her use of brush work and colour, the way as picks out the tones of the skin and makes her 2d paintings come to life.

I aspire to use Jenny’s techniques but with my trusty oil pastels. I have really missed using this medium and would love to try it out again. I have been thinking that it would be best suited to use the oil pastels on large pieces of wood as the surface will be smooth and absorbing. They will need to be quite large scale as the oil pastels are difficult to work with.

I would also like for the picture to be about a story. While I was at the Tate I looked at a lot of the old paintings that were often about stories and some newer portraits such as this one that clearly had a story (no matter how big or small) behind them.

This got me thinking about this cute little book I have. It’s full of silly little stories that originate from all over the world, each only a few pages long.
I wanted a story that was short and sweet and had strong visual imagery. I also wanted to create a portrait as I wanted to use the inspiration from Jenny savilles work and create something similar to what I saw in the Tate.


Finally I decided upon this story. It was one that really stuck in my head because of its bizarreness. It is about a man and woman who can’t have children and one day they find a crab in a vegetable and name it as their child. They then marry this talking crab child to an unknowing fisher girl who is very unhappy with the situation. It all works out in the end but it is a peculiar tale that I think would be fun to have a go at.

I am doing this as just something personal so I will not have a lot of time for it, but I can’t wait to get using the pastels again!


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