Using Oil Sticks to Create Dramatic Effects

I’ve been experimenting with the use of oil sticks to achieve interesting highlights and effects.  Because of the sticks’ thick, pasty consistency, you can use them like crayons to create an impasto. Combining oil sticks with other media – watercolor, acrylic and oil paints -- opens up all kinds of possibilities.

In these water-based works, I applied oil sticks under highly-diluted paint.  I then blotted the surface with paper towels or a soft cloth to soften the look and blend and enhance the effected areas.  The oil sticks acted as a resist in achieving the ethereal sky in “First Night” (see image on right: mixed media, 10.5 x 13.5, 1014)  In some areas,  I dipped the oil sticks directly into a medium or solvent to achieve unique marks like the light reflecting off the buildings and icy surfaces in “Winter Glow” (see image on left: mixed media, 13.5 x 10.5, 2014)

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Honeysuckle Clouds, Acrylic on canvas,

40 x 30 

Sowi-ing Mana (Deer Maiden) Acrylic, collage on canvas, 18 x 14. See more of my Katsina Series on the Native Abstractions page. 

Chalchiuhtlicue (Aztec)

3D sculpture of cast paper and bamboo on metal stand, 13 x 13 x 2  See more of these works on my "Native Abstractions" page.


Pueblo Village, oil on canvas, 20 x 20. See more of these works on Latest Works page.

Firecracker Cactus

Acrylic on canvas, 

10 x 10, See more on the "Small Works" page.

Flower Moon 雪国

Collage, watercolor,

20 x 16, matted. See more Japanese-inspired works on my Asian Abstractions page.

San Geronimo Runners,

24 x 12. See more on Native Abstractions page.

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