View Full Version : Newbie to Oil Pastel - First attempt!

08-29-2003, 11:30 AM
Hi! This is my first posting in this forum. I hope to get to know you all. I usually paint with watercolor, however, I always wanted to try oil pastels. (Soft pastels look more difficult...)

This is my first attempt with the medium. It was sure fun but I had a hard time to control... And messy, too! But I love doing it!

It's done on a Gesso coated canvas board (8" X 11"). Your C & C are welcome!!!

Thank you!


08-29-2003, 12:25 PM
Welcome to the pastel forum, Reiko!!! I tend to get excited when I see someone doing oil pastels lol! Love how you played with the colors in this...and so glad you had fun with them...what brand were you using? Did you do an underpainting with WC? I know a lot do...hope to see you have more fun with these!

08-29-2003, 01:00 PM
Dyin, thank you very much for looking!

I'm using Sennelier, since it's easier to find the brand here. :) In fact, I don't see any other brand in oil pastels. And I didn't under paint with w/c.

If you don't mind, could you help me out? I want to lay one color on the first layer without messing the first layer. Is it any trick? Or I heard that oil pastels never dry out; meaning it is impossible?

08-29-2003, 03:51 PM
Welcome Rieko: Good Job!
Be careful the oil pastel bug just might bite you! Oil pastels are a wonderful medium--I would suggest you take a look at the oil pastel sticky at the top of the page. There is lots of good information about oil pastel within that thread.
Speaking only for myself it's difficult to cover over a dark color using a lighter color. I use turps brushed onto the top of the color I want to cover or add to .lessen it's intensity.
Hope this helps--I just started working with oil pastels after a long absence away from them. Folks like Dyin and others got we interested in working with them again. I'm from the old school of working with oil pastel--Dyin and others are from the new school so listen to them too.
Hope you'll stay inspired to work with oil pastel;)
Over look the messy part just go have a good time!

08-29-2003, 04:08 PM
Konichi wa Rieko! (There ... that's exhausted my knowledge of Japanese :D) Can't tell you how envious I am that you're living in Paris! One of my favourite places on earth.

This is a nice colourful oil pastel, and I like the fact that the texture of the board shows through.

I've used oil pastels a few times and find Sennelier rather oily. I prefer Caran d'Ache, which are Swiss-made. They're not quite as sticky so don't make as much of a mess in your hands. But hey, making a mess can be half the fun ...

Welcome to the Pastel forum :)

08-29-2003, 04:16 PM
Reiko...it can be done, especially with the Senneliers...I use an acrylic brush...a flat, not sure of size, but tiny....and I very lightly use it to brush over a different color...that's when I want a 'glaze' effect...otherwise I just go ahead over the top...I kind of 'burnish' the first layer with a rubber cuticle pusher, it kind of sets it into the support...it's all about using a light touch...but I probably have 3-4 layers on most things...Mo uses a paper towel folded and then uses the corner to apply tints and she does an underpainting using turpentine and the oil pastels, it just takes some playing around...and the oil sticky will give you a whole lot of information...feel free to PM anytime you want with questions...and posting here gives you LOTS of suggestions too...mostly just play and see which method works best for you!

08-29-2003, 05:08 PM
Thank you all for your warm encouragement!!!

Kathy, I started reading the sticky about the oil pastel. It's too long to absorb everything at one time, so I'm savoring the precious info. Thank you!

Bonjour, E-J! I should check the brand you have suggested on the Internet where to buy, etc... here in France or maybe from UK.
I appreciate your comment!

Dyin, thank you for the wonderful lesson! I shall experiment with the medium more and have fun with it. And I'm sure I will come up with tons of questions, but at first, I shall continue reading the sticky before I bother you too much!

08-29-2003, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by Rieko
Dyin, thank you very much for looking!

I'm using Sennelier, since it's easier to find the brand here. :) In fact, I don't see any other brand in oil pastels. And I didn't under paint with w/c.

If you don't mind, could you help me out? I want to lay one color on the first layer without messing the first layer. Is it any trick? Or I heard that oil pastels never dry out; meaning it is impossible?

Hi Rieko :) A warm welcome to you ..... Senneliers are quite a sticky lipsticky oil pastel to use, they do take some time to dry out... other brands which are dryer and in my experience easier to use are Caran D'ache, .... Holbeins are supposedly to be the cream of oil pastels, but as yet I haven't acquired any, hope to very soon...... ... your question as to how to apply another layer without 'messing' the first layer.... no trick, just patience... you need to let the first layer thoroughly dry out, so that it's hard to the touch. i.e. no stickinesss and no deposit on your finger when you test it..... this may take a couple of days....(putting your painting in the fridge for a few hours will speed up the process)... then you can go in and apply more layers .... it's very similar to when using a fixative over soft pastels... patience is the key word here.... good luck.


08-29-2003, 08:53 PM
Reiko san, Pasuteru Forum ni yorokoso irrashai mase.

I have been to your web site and I can see the similarity between your Watercolors and your Oil Pastel painting. Very lively and colorfull!

I do not use Oil Pastels....BUT...I do have a set and after reading all the replies in this thread and thinking...WoW this sounds interesting and challenging....I am heading of to visit the sticky at the top of the Forum to get some more info.

Sore dewa mata...Gaka

08-30-2003, 11:39 PM
Wow, everybody in this forum seems so warm and nice! Thank you for all advice and welcoming.

Mo, thank you for answering my question. It's very kind of you. Patience is a virtue I lack of :D , but I'll do it! :)

Gaka, thank you for your warm welcome. Are you a Nihonjin living in Australia??? Anyway, I'll drop in this forum to see everybody else's work occasionally. It's going to be a good learning for me!
Thank you for visiting my website. :)

08-31-2003, 12:49 AM
Hi Rieko

Sorry about spelling your name wrong previously, I noticed it just after I pushed the send button. I am an Aussie but my Wife is Nihonjin.

I hope you continue using the Oil Pastels and we some more of your work.


08-31-2003, 07:33 AM
You have been given excellent advice here so far. I couldn't get on with Sennelier oil pastels, I found them far too sticky for layering, and did not have the patience to wait for early layers to dry. Clearly, this is what you need to do, because otherwise they just seem to melt into each other and the colours muddy! If you can find any Caran D'Ache, which are MUCH drier, you might find it easier to use those for the early stages, and use your Senneliers on top.

My comment is more to do with the composition. I have looked at your website, and can see that you have a lively and individualistic style, and hopefully you will be able to keep that going with your OP's. However, this picture is not as compositionally strong as most of the ones on your website, in my opinion.

In particularly, the ground-shape in front of the building, is tilting towards the viewer, as well as running off to the right. This isn't visually comfortable. It looks more like a rooftop, than a cobbled street, which is what I assume it is - I wonder if I am right however.

there is also a strong feeling of everything leaning to the right. This is a perspective problem. I know you don't work with very literal perspective, but do you really want the feeling of the buildings toppling slightly to the right? If you are happy with this regardless, then you can just ignore me.

I loved your paintings on your website, and feel this one needs some work to put it at the same level of excellence. Hope you don't mind the comments!


08-31-2003, 07:43 AM
I don't use ops so can't help you there but your painting has such a lovely feeling to it. I really liked the colors you used!


08-31-2003, 10:07 AM
Gaka, thanks again; yes, my name is Rieko (re-echo) but I got used to be mixed up with Reiko, so no worry!

Jackie, I truly appreciate your opinion! Because when I work with watercolor, I know what I'm doing and I can easily correct my problems. (Also, I can on purposely distort the images...)However, when I finished this piece, I knew something terribly wrong. But I couldn't fix it. The more I tried to fix, the messier it got... Can you see the picture!? It was quite funny! :D
I was used by the medium and half drawn in the sticky sea.

So when you gave me the pinpoint opinion which I was seeking, I was thrilled. So, THANK YOU!!! I always honor the honest opinions. :) But At this stage with my skill in OP, I just leave as it is and when I look back, I can laugh so hard! :D

Sandy, thank you very much for your warm comment! And nice to meet you! :)