View Full Version : Handmade Pastels

02-16-2012, 12:09 PM
Has anyone ever tried making their own oil pastels? My mind is wandering again! I was glancing through an art supply catalog and was looking at pigments and started to wander into the idea of making my own sticks. If anyone has, what type of mold would you use?

02-16-2012, 03:08 PM
I don't think you use a mould, you just roll the paste and let it dry.

I've never made any but know people who create new pastels out of pastel dust, which they save - it makes neutral, murky coloured pastels.

A bit of research online would tell you what, if any binder to use. As the friends use dust from existing pastels they simply wet the dust and shape it, leaving it to air dry.

02-16-2012, 08:15 PM
Vivien, I think this is what some people might do with soft pastels... I'm still collecting chunks and leftovers. You are correct, just add some water and roll them into a stick.

Ingredients used for oil pastel are pigment, mineral wax, maybe natural wax, saflower or linseed oil? I am guessing you need to heat up the wax and allow for it to cool in which case, I am thinking some kind of mold would be needed? I am sure you would also need a very accurate way of measuring the ingredients as well as away of mixing the formula?

02-17-2012, 05:55 AM
ooops! sorry I read this when half asleep and simply missed out the word 'oil' :o

02-17-2012, 10:24 AM
Marcus there are a couple of threads here of our artists making their own oil pastels. I don't remember just how deep the threads might be down in our thread history. I seem to remember a couple of threads within the last six months.

I think one person used aluminium foil, crudely shaped. I don't think anyone was too concerned as to how neat the stick looked.

They also discussed the formulations they used and I think a couple people just melted old remanents into new sticks.

Linseed oil is a drying oil and if the new stick hung around too long, it could dry out and lose it's adherance strength.

truck driver
03-03-2012, 06:58 PM
Well, I will respond,

Pat Isaac
03-05-2012, 09:35 AM
Thanks, RG. I do believe Steve and Tatiana have made their own OPs.


03-05-2012, 01:39 PM
If you have time on your hands Marcus it can be great fun, I did a fair bit if experimenting last year, I'm still undecided on ingredients having tried beeswax, microcrystaline wax and various parafin waxes that are aimed at the candle making crafters.... I did find a perfect mould solution though which I can share....go on eBay and search for, bubble tea straws....I know what the hell is bubble tea!! The plastic straws they use are about 1cm in diameter and are far less messy than foil or ice moulds. Just slit them vertically then tape up the slit and tape the bottom. Once filled and the wax has set its easy to remove the tape and demould your almost commercial looking pastel.
From my trials I had best results adding mineral oil to the pigment on a glass chopping block until a soft paste, leave overnight to absorb the oil....this stage really helps as there is no set recipe, every pigment absorbs a different quantity of oil, I found that starting with a sloppy paste of oil and pigment then adding wax in increasing amounts allows you to achieve your desired consistency be it soft or firm. If too soft you can remelt then add a bit more wax. Its a lot of effort but also alot of fun to a meddler like me.
I started off melting the pastels in little foil cake cases on an electric hotplate, however I found an old microwave works better.
if you decide to take the plunge don't forget to share your results :)

03-05-2012, 08:21 PM
Thanks for the information Steve. Not sure if I will, but if I do decide to take the plunge I will post my results. Thanks for the info Hal, apparently my response was deleted or lost back when?

03-22-2012, 12:52 AM
I not tempted to make OPs from scratch but I like to make extra pale tints by melting a white stick with a small amount of color together. Since reheating the OPs seems to make them drier I add a few shavings of beeswax and a few drops of mineral oil.
For molds, I bought a package of Boba (bubble) straws which are almost half an inch in diameter, cut them in half and stick them upright in a base of clay. After they are cooled, I slit the straw to loosen the stick but keep the straw on as a holder to protect the stick and keep my fingers clean.

03-22-2012, 08:12 PM
Carol thank you for your take on the process.

03-29-2012, 03:08 PM
Great information Carol! As I have had a chance to play around a bit with my new set, this is just what I am finding, that there are not enough lighter pigments in the Senns blues and greens. I have found myself mixing in whites or light grays to lighten the pigment. I may just have to give this process a try. Thanx neighbor!

03-29-2012, 05:39 PM
I thought I saw several reciepes for op's on different pigment distributor websites - kremer and raw or natural pigment co. (one of them has a message board with some info). I kinda like the idea as a way of understanding the medium better even if you deciede you never want to do it again.

Also don't overlook Sinopa's website for reciepes.