Anima McKertcher

The Dreaming Garden

Oil Pastels: Drawing Vs. Painting

Anima McKertcherComment

You may have noticed that I always refer to my original artworks as oil pastel paintings. Frankly, I never gave this a second thought until recently. My husband was talking to an acquaintance about my paintings and she asked him what medium I used. When he told her oil pastels, she said I was really drawing and not painting.

When my husband told me the story, I decided to explore the subject: When I'm creating art with oil pastels am I drawing or painting? Painting usually refers to producing a picture using a liquid medium. Drawing implies a dry medium. So since oil pastels are a dry medium, I must be drawing, right? Well not necessarily.

Drawings are considered to be pictures produced in lines. But a completed work with oil pastels has a decidedly painterly appearance.

Even Pablo Picasso talks about painting with oil pastels. When he and Henri Goetz approached Henri Sennelier to design a fine art version of the children's crayon, Picasso told Henri the following: "I want a colored pastel that I can paint on anything, wood, paper, canvas, metal, etc. without having to prepare or prime the canvas."

After all of this research, what have I decided? I'm going to keep right on calling my creations with oil pastels, paintings. But if someone else wants to call them drawings - that's fine too. Either or works for me.