View Full Version : absolute beginner

08-08-2003, 04:45 PM
I just bought my first set of pastels today: oil pastels (because I couldn't face possibly getting something dusty/chalky).

Any basic tips for handling? blending? (I bought stumps) fixing?

I've read many suggestions for papers and am frankly a little overwhelmed that I will need to do further shopping to get started.

What are the top things I need to avoid? (For example, when blending, how far can I go before I end up with brown muck?)
Are OPs sticky, gummy, slippery, ready to smear off your support?

Thanks in advance. (This is my very first post on WC.)


08-08-2003, 04:51 PM
I've nver worked with oil pastels, only the dry ones. There will be someone stopping by I'm sure that knows all about them. I just wanted to say Welcome!

08-08-2003, 04:58 PM
Welcome Zydecocat!!! and double welcome to oil pastels!!!
There's a sticky at the top of the page full of invaluable advice to all OP-ers!!

I can't offer any replies to your questions cos OPs vary from one brand to another!!
I use a box I bought from a dept store more that 30 years ago when I was 10!! I use pastel paper but prefer a smooth surface!

good luck and show us something soooon!!!

08-08-2003, 04:58 PM
Hi there... and a warm welcome to you ....so many newbies popping in tonight, this is really great to see.....

There are lots of ways of blending the OP's you can use the paper stumps the colour shapers, brushes turps. liquin, cotton buds, fingers, and paper towel folded into a tiny square....OP's can be applied to any surface ....all pastel papers, water colour paper, canvas, wood matt boards... you name it.... I like to use water colour paper and Cansons Mi Tientes pastel paper, using the smooth side not the textured side, but that's just my preference, I also love to use Sanfix and Art Spectrum paper, which allows loads of layers to be applied.... Op's can be sticky and but will not slip off your support, they harden up, but don't always completely dry out... there is an sticky at the top of the page devoted to OP's take a look there and you will find a lot of interesting information and advice..... If I can help you further, just drop me a PM and I'll be glad to.... good luck.


08-08-2003, 05:18 PM
wow...so many new posters! And best of all...one got OIL PASTELS!!!! My passion lol! Mo's got it down...so good advice all...what brand OPs did you get...can tell you more if we know...maybe... lol! I use velour, watercolor paper and Fabriano Tizianno...and will use a sanded paper too...practice was nice on those....there are many ways to apply it..bold strokes, paintbrush..I use a small square acrylic brush, swipe the pastel and then lightly tone with it, I also use a rubber tip cuticle pusher and it seals it down in the little holes...and just have fun, try different ways...and the OP info sticky has gobs of good info...oooh....and for practice why don't you try the Oil Pastel Project at the top of the page...called a Rainy Day in Oil Pastels...good thing to try out! Welcome to the forum!!!

Kathryn Wilson
08-08-2003, 11:04 PM
I think everybody else has got it covered - my advice is not to push yourself on this. Get a piece of paper and your OP's and just play - see how each color looks on the paper, try different strokes, try blending together. See how they work with turps and a brush or a color shaper.

Then when you get comfortable, try doing a simple shape like a ball and put in all you can get into it - values, hues, shadows, lighting.

A good book is John Elliott's Oil Pastel Book.

Have fun and post when you get a painting done - we won't bite!

08-09-2003, 09:08 AM
I am a newbie too, to oil pastels and art in general. (well, ok, a newbie with a year's experience)

I love the canvasboards. I learning to use oil pastels. I use up a lot of the smallest size canvasboard. Then, when I'm done, I wipe it all off :)


08-09-2003, 09:21 AM
Zydecocat....come back and join the conversation...works better with a back and forth discussion...as to mud...well, that's more from using the wrong colors together...the nice thing about OPs is how easily corrected they are...you can scrape off an offending part and start that area again...

08-11-2003, 01:57 PM
Thanks, everyone for your welcomes, enthusiasm and advice. It sounds like OPs are very versatile/flexible. I will experiment, perhaps try the project as suggested and see what I think. I like the idea of combining pastels (all types) will watercolor. Adding it to an acrylic wash sounds interesting too.

I have this daunting white canvas leaning against my t.v. shelf so that while I am watching t.v. I am reminded that there is a painting I should get started on. I have sketched on canvas what I want to do. I ended up buying the pastels when I felt the need to do a color sketch in preparation for the painting. I'm not sure that was a particularly good idea since my color pencils could have been used, but at least it got me into a new medium.

The pastel set I bought was ultra cheap. No one has even mentioned the brand thus far: Loew-Cornell of New Jersey. They are made in China. 36 colors for $5.30. (I did say ULTRA-cheap.) They say on the front: "ACMI Arts & Creative Materials Institute Certified", which could be meaningless.

08-11-2003, 02:08 PM
Welcome to the pastel forum........I have only dabbled in OP's so can't give much advise.....but I see you have the die-hard op'ers here to help:evil:
Look forward to seeing your work.

08-11-2003, 02:51 PM
Ha...those were my exact cheapies at that exact price...and I did my first on canvas too...ok...you will not get the results from this that you would from an investment in Caran d'Ache...and more than likely your canvas is coated with acrylic gesso..so it will be a tough surface to work on...but I still enjoyed the experience enough to invest in the better brand and have not looked back since....btw...my Loew-Cornells are just used now for experiments I don't want to waste my good OPs on...but how can you regret a $6 investment???? Can't wait to see how it goes....