Try a New Technique
So here is a new technique I tried called, peinture à l'essence. It was a technique developed by Edgar Degas to mimic the look of pastel but because it is painted using traditional oils, it does not require the protective glass in the framing. Although Degas abandoned it, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec adopted it and used it the rest of his career.
It starts with using a piece of cardboard for a palette. This allows the oils in the paint to be wicked away into the porous board. The artist uses turpentine to get the drier paints to the right consistency and then the panel (an unprimed, untempered hardboard or chipboard) is painted using more of a pastel technique. In this technique one is not supposed to "paint" with the brush but rather draw with various layers of color. The paint dries almost immediately allowing you to continue with the next layer.
Although mine is perhaps more textured than some, I found I really liked this technique.