Candle still life in oil pastel

Finally returning to the third and last piece I did for the flame challenge, though I was not able to upload it on time. I already showed a preview of it in the early stages, but have had this candle still life in oil pastel done for a while now. May I present Book Reading By Candlelight, as I finally named it. (In all honesty, it took me almost as long to figure out the title as it took to blend the base layer!)

candle themed still life with open book and reading glasses on wooden table, with lighted candle as focal point
Book Reading By Candlelight, 11 by 14 inch oil pastel on primed paper, original and art prints available

Art supplies used

I used a sheet of Canson XL oil and acrylic primed paper, because I absolutely love the texture on it for oil pastels. I used my Mungyo Gallery standard set for the base layer, because that lovely texture will eat up softer oil pastels. For the record, that textured paper also tears up the cotton swabs I use to blend, so it is a good thing I can get a nice big package for only a few dollars at WalMart. On larger areas, I sometimes use napkins that I keep on my desk from takeout – those also do a great job of cleaning up spills (paint, coffee, etc).

base layer of Book Reading by Candlelight
base layer of oil pastel for Book Reading By Candlelight, on my 72 color set of Mungyo Gallery standard

I’m afraid I only have the one in-progress picture, because once I blended the base layer and took a break I put on my headphones and got into the zone, totally forgetting about the digicam as I happily lost myself in the sheer joy of playing with sticks of color. What can I say? I am an artist. This is an artist thing.

For the top layers, I used my Gallery Artist set – only 48 colors, so as I often do I used my Erengi Art Aspirer 50 stick set alongside it since the two manufacturers include different colors in their very comparable and compatible sets. I should note that since then, I purchased the 72 color set from Mungyo in a nice wooden box, and the 92 stick set from Erengi, also in a nice wood box. The Erengi set also includes two colorless blenders … if those work better than cheap cotton swabs I’ll be buying them by the dozen.

Links to purchase original and art prints

Now, for the part y’all have been waiting eagerly for: how to get this for your wall! At present, the original is available (though my friend Keashia says she is very tempted to get this because it will match the decor in her new house) and you can purchase it through Daily Paintworks. For larger (or even smaller) art prints to fit the empty spot over your favorite reading chair, browse the selection at my Pixels store. I uploaded it to my RedBubble shop so you can get it printed on apparel, accessories, and fun swag.

Update: This is now officially an award-winning artwork!

23 thoughts on “Candle still life in oil pastel

  1. I do like posts with a work in progress and this one is no exception. Your candle still life “Book Reading By Candlelight” reminds me of a time when I used to read by candle light. We really did have electricity but I grew up in a rural area and winter storms could knock out the power for three or four days at a time. I don’t think my eyes could do that today but at one time it was a reality. This is an awesome piece of work and a candle still life can work just about anywhere.

    1. Here in Florida, it’s the storms around this time of year that can potentially knock the electricity out. I have plenty of candles on hand in case of power outages, but am hoping they won’t be necessary.

      1. I love the glow of this painting.

        we rely on my husband’s vast collection of free (well they used to be free) led worklights from Harbor Freight. He made a temporary light fixture of them over the kitchen table when we had a long outage after hurricane sandy- the storm after which we finally bought a generator.

  2. Beautiful work! The way you captured the colors and shades around the candle flame is lovely, and it’s more interesting to learn about the questions of which pastel sticks to use is far more interesting than a setting in a computer program. How many hours did you spend to create this?

    1. I didn’t keep track of how long I worked on it, but relative to other oil pastel pieces the same size, I’d say I spent the “usual” amount of time on it. Since I was in the zone, I have absolutely no estimate for it. I may need to do a blog post about being in the zone.

      1. That’s easy to explain…the world could blow away and you would never notice until it was time to feed the cats or goats! Love ya, Trina! MOM

        1. Actually Mom, there was that one evening when I didn’t even notice feeding time until hubby came back in from feeding and putting them up. I was THAT deep in the zone. I don’t even recall which piece it was now.

  3. I love that you have step by step process and tools as well as links used to create this! I love art as well and can’t always find other tools I want so it’s super nice when artists do this!

    1. Aleona, thank you – I’ll be adding links to the materials once I feel up to battling with the affiliate interface Blick uses. Welcome to the comment section!

    1. Thank you, Bob. I would imagine this is more a drawing and painting thing, and probably goes back to when we were kids watching Bob Ross and (if you were really lucky) Bill Alexander painting on PBS on Saturdays after the cartoons were over. Or, maybe that was just me. Between the comments on this post and my Calla Lilies 3 post, I am getting the message loud and clear: people love to see the progress photos. I’ll have hubby get more going forward (though it won’t work so well on art that is finished but not yet blogged).

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