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autolisp
04-26-2013, 04:49 PM
I am currently trying to make my own oil pastels. I have been using beeswax + mineral oil + Stand oil + pigment. They are coming out very soft. I have read that carnauba wax is added to harden oil pastels by some manufacturers. Does anyone have a 'ball park' percentage as a starting point?

I will share my recipe if it turns out successful!

autolisp

Lostjedi
05-02-2013, 08:42 AM
I read an article about making your own oil pastels a while back and it suggested 5-10% carnauba wax as higher concentrations will affect the color of lighter colors because it has a yellowing affect. I. Have not tried it myself but am very interested as I make my own charcoal and would like to do the same with oil pastels.

autolisp
05-02-2013, 12:27 PM
Thanks for the reply. I have read since my post that >10% is often used.

Here is my recipe so far. Not finished yet!

MY OIL PASTEL RECIPE 25/04/13

WAX/OIL MEDIUM RECIPE.

4 parts Wax. BP grade white wax.
1 part Oil (oil made from 50/50 mix of sun thickened walnut oil and mineral baby oil)

Heat the wax in a double boiler and add the oil stir thoroughly.

PASTEL RECIPE.
1 part wax/oil medium
1 part tube oil paint. (stand on paper towel to absorb some of the oil from the paint)

Add the tube paint to the liquid wax medium and heat to mix thoroughly.
Pour the liquid pastel mix into a flat aluminium dish (mould) to harden.
Cut into strips/sticks ready for use. Wrap in cling film or foil to store.

Results: This produced a VERY soft pastel (too soft). So I remelted the pastel mix and added another 1 part of the wax medium
______________________

Recipe = 2 parts wax medium + 1 part tube oil paint. Will test when cold.

Results: This produced a soft pastel (cuts like soft cheese). Still a bit too soft. So I remelted the pastel mix and added another 1 +1/2 part of the wax medium.
______________________

Recipe = 3 + 1/2 parts wax medium + 1 part tube oil paint. Will test when cold.

Results: This produced a soft pastel (cuts like medium cheese). Still a bit soft. So I will remelt the pastel mix and add >10% Carnauba wax.

NOT DONE YET. TESTING.

autolisp

autolisp
05-27-2013, 03:19 PM
For anyone interested. I finally got some Carnauba wax. I added 10% by weight (rather than trying to get the proportions with liquid wax solutions) to my oil pastel mixture and remelted it. It took a bit longer to get the carnauba wax to melt completely, and quite a bit of stirring. However. I let it get cold, I cut a slice from the block and tried it on some cheap watercolour paper. It's quite nice to work with. A bit softer than the Sennelier brand, so maybe I will up the amount of carnauba wax. It is probable that by using a weight rather than a volume % that I do not have a 10% addition. I'm not too bothered as this was a 'trial' experiment anyway. If I decide to continue I will use a volume/volume formulation from the beginning.

Still it's all good fun. Isn't it?

autolisp

stee71
07-23-2013, 09:04 AM
Hi Autolisp, I have never tried making OPs using tube paint but have made many using powdered pigment. I found that the biggest issue I faced was obtaining consistent results in opacity and texture. in the end i concluded that the oil absorbency of the various pigments was the root cause. so rather than using fixed ratios of oil/wax/pigment i instead would mix my powdered pigment with the mineral oil on a glass surface until i had a soft paste. By using tube paint i guess you have already got oil saturated colour. (my only concern would be the drying nature of linseed or walnut oils and that their presence may create more of an oil bar rather than oil pastel)

For wax, i experimented with numerous densities of parafin (petroleum based) waxes. Candle making suppliers have a dazzling array of textures from soft to hard. I also tried natural and bleached bees wax. my biggest success was using a medium parafin wax that delivered a smooth even lay down of wax similar to Neopastels or holbeins rather than the softer Senns which i struggle to control.
My technique was additive, i would add some wax pellets to my oil/pigment paste and melt together. ( i use an old microwave oven to melt the pastels in little plastic tubs rather than direct heat or a double boiler) once cooled in the pots the colour simply pops out as a in a mould and i have a sort of Oil Pastel brick. i test this for pigment load and hardness/softness.... if it needs to be harder it goes back in the microwave with more wax pellets, if it needs softening or pigment i add more colour paste.

once the consistency seems right i then re-melt and decant into my Oil pastel moulds which are plastic drinking straws that are extra wide diameter. I bought them from Ebay where they are listed as 'bubble tea' straws (i have no idea what bubble tea is but apparently it is big in Asia and the orient) .... they are perfect for making a slightly fatter than retail Oil pastels. I would say that my homemade OPs are far better than student grade but lack the smoothness of the full artist grade Neos, Senns or Holbeins. I also have difficulty obtaining the opacity that I love in the Neos, some pigments are naturally opaque such as the earth colours, Cadmiums and Titanium white, but i don't know how Caran D'ache obtain their intense crimson reds and pinks as no matter how much quinacridone pigment i add to the sticks i make my crimsons and opera rose sticks are always transparent , same with the other synthetic pigments like Phthalo blue/green and Azo yellow. So in that respect my pastels more closely resemble Senneliers.

If the tube paint recipe results in OPs that don't form a skin or harden with extended storage time i may be tempted to give that method a try too.

Steve

autolisp
09-05-2013, 04:51 PM
Hello Steve.

I just decided to have a look at the WC site as I have not visited for a loooonnnnng time. I have not done any pastel work or painting at all for months. I have totally lost the 'interest' so I decided to give it a break. Don't know how long it will be, maybe never try again. Just have to see how it goes. My container of wax medium has not gone to waste. I added some more 'baby oil' to it and it make a wonderful wax treatment for my archery bow string!

autolisp

P.S I think this area is 'dead'. Apart from yourself I have had no other replies beyond the '3' that were there before you replied! Of course people could be reading and not even bothering to leave a comment or suggestion.

3243
11-19-2013, 04:30 AM
" ...but i don't know how Caran D'ache obtain their intense crimson reds and pinks as no matter how much quinacridone pigment i add to the sticks i make my crimsons and opera rose sticks are always transparent , same with the other synthetic pigments like Phthalo blue/green and Azo yellow."

That will happen, since the quinacridone, phthalocyanine, and azo pigments are transparent. I suppose Caran D'Ache and Holbein add some sort of opacifying agent to these pigments in order to make these colors as opaque as their other colors based on cadmium, oxide, etc. pigments.

3243
11-19-2013, 04:34 AM
"PASTEL RECIPE.
1 part wax/oil medium
1 part tube oil paint. (stand on paper towel to absorb some of the oil from the paint)"

If you use oil paint, you'll end up with oil sticks as opposed to oil pastels proper (which are made with non-drying oils). You constantly have to peel the dried paint skin from oil sticks before using them. Just a thought.

truck driver
12-11-2013, 02:51 PM
I want to know where you read that carnaubo wax is added to any commercial oil pastel, or read anything about the ingredients included other than wax, mineral oil, and pigment. I have had numereous discussions with Sennelier, Holbein, and Sakura, I have never managed to get this kind of information from any of them.

RG

indraneel
06-15-2014, 06:44 PM
Can someone clarify which wax gives best results? Paraffin, microcrystalline or beeswax? Should I add carnuba? What grade of paraffin wax.. fine, coarse?

I tried with normal candle wax (from a candle) and sunflower oil. Got super soft (too soft) pastels, but I already feel it may have too much wax. When I drag on paper, it lays a thick layer but some of it comes off as small globules and threads (like a vinyl eraser). It also comes off like that when I try to blend with my finger. I've tried with different papers (rough, sanded...) and it's the same. Any ideas?

I'm using powder pigments, not tube colors.

Flycatcher10
06-16-2014, 02:44 PM
I'm sorry Indraneel, I've never made my own oil pastels and am not able to help you with your question.

artisthos
10-01-2015, 10:38 PM
In making oil pastels, I need to know what makes the medium not drip. In the beginning of oil pastels they had one recipe for winter and one for summer. What was it that made the difference.
Thanks for a great group. I will keep posting here until I get the answer.

DavidHH
09-02-2016, 12:11 PM
I'm new so bear with me:) Ive been playing with making soft pastels but also interested in oil pastels. I bought a cheap steamer today, boiled some water in the pan, placed the steamer on top, threw some beeswax into a cup, roughly an equal quantity of linseed oil, waited till it melted and added some cheap pigment. after a good stirring, I poured it into a foil carton and a few minutes later I had a very peculiar shaped oil pastel. After an hour in the fridge, my pastel was ready and works! Now I wish I'd measured quantities:)

DavidHH
09-02-2016, 01:06 PM
Here's a pic of the misshapen object...

Ratchet
09-02-2016, 01:39 PM
Interesting. I am experimenting with beeswax and mineral oil.

I tried petroleum based wax, mineral oil and talcum powder filler yesterday. I obtained a product not unlike inexpensive oil pastels. The pigment settled while the wax cooled. The pigment, even though I mulled it with oil first, did not disperse evenly.

I am still experimenting. The bees wax/mineral oil is of sufficient quality to encourage further investigation.

DavidHH
09-05-2016, 12:20 PM
Interesting. I am experimenting with beeswax and mineral oil.

I tried petroleum based wax, mineral oil and talcum powder filler yesterday. I obtained a product not unlike inexpensive oil pastels. The pigment settled while the wax cooled. The pigment, even though I mulled it with oil first, did not disperse evenly.

I am still experimenting. The bees wax/mineral oil is of sufficient quality to encourage further investigation.

I've spent some more time on this over the weekend. Based on other recipes, I've used 1 part raw linseed oil, 3 parts white beeswax, I part pigment (adjust depending on pigment used). Too much oil will make the pastel too soft

Mix pigment with turps to produce paste
Add linseed oil and mix
Add beeswax
Melt in double boiler (I used a steamer, just as effective and safer)
Stir till all wax is melted
Pour into tin foil mold (making sure you seal the bottom properly as I didn't on the first one!)
Leave to set for 24 hours or less in a fridge et voila...
Pastel feels much like any proprietory make, though I'm not experienced enough to say just how good it is.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Sep-2016/1988406-DSC_1128_Mobile.JPG

Ratchet
09-05-2016, 01:33 PM
There is some concern that the linseed oil will dry out. Let me know if it forms a skin. I tried mixing oil paints and water color paints as pigment but the sticks crumble after varying periods of time.

DavidHH
09-05-2016, 02:43 PM
There is some concern that the linseed oil will dry out. Let me know if it forms a skin. I tried mixing oil paints and water color paints as pigment but the sticks crumble after varying periods of time.

This is raw linseed oil i.e. no drying agent, so it shouldn't, we shall see:)

Ratchet
09-06-2016, 03:27 PM
I am narrowing my pastels to two different formulas. I am considering stand oil as that is what Keith Leslie recommends but I would use a mix of mineral oil and stand oil.

My main stick is 1) beeswax, mineral oil and pigment. This is the best stick but it is soft, even with high percentages of wax and pigment to oil.

My second stick is 2) beeswax, mineral oil, pigment and high grade candle wax This is firmer and not as sticky as the #1 Stick.

The third stick was a crazy experiment 3) I added Talc to recipe #2. It works but it is not significantly firmer than #1 or #2. It pills when it is blended and can be scraped off easily.

These recipes #1 #2 are more like oil paints than oil pastels.

DavidHH
09-08-2016, 07:10 AM
Just found this quote on another site :

"Oil pastels are made using mineral oil, a non-drying material derived from petroleum. Mineral oil is very different from traditional drying oils, such as linseed or safflower. In addition, oil pastels contain pigment for color and wax as a secondary medium. Lipstick is literally the kissing cousin of oil pastel."

So, some mineral oil is my next purchase , but the pastels I have already made from linseed oil haven't shown any sign of drying over a week.

Ratchet
09-08-2016, 03:00 PM
Kenneth Leslie's book has a recipe for Oil Pastels. He uses Stand Oil and mineral spirits.

One person on this thread used mineral oil and candle wax. I mixed candle wax and bees wax. It crumbs but makes a firm stick.

The only question is, while I am mixing pigments and linseed oil why don't I skip the wax, buy canvas and paint in oil. Meanwhile, I like Oil Pastels.

I only had a few pigments. The ones made with boiled linseed oil are the best. The green were made with talc, very poor quality. The white is zinc.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Sep-2016/1986131-Sample_1.jpg

DavidHH
09-10-2016, 10:40 AM
I've never felt comfortable with oil painting. The brush seems so far away from my fingers and I love being able to work the pastels with my fingers.

My problem with with the pastels I'm making right now is that I refuse to open my pristine Sennelier box and compare quality ;)

Ratchet
09-10-2016, 01:38 PM
Post when you decide to open.

I discovered that most products such as crayons are now made of plastics, EP waxes and solvents.

Also, one home maker stated that after a period of time, the stand oil pastels do dry out. The mineral oil-stand oil pastels were usable (dammed by faint praise?). The sticks containing mineral oil/beeswax alone were usable but clumped.

It is the time factor but then some of my store bought are barely usable and I suspect drying may be a factor. My Grumbachers have dried out to a crumbling texture.

Ratchet
09-10-2016, 10:04 PM
I am in production. Wiki states that oil pastels are paraffin, coconut oil and stearic acid. That is the original recipe. Easy enough.

I am interested in a stick that acts like an oil pastel but in the colors I want. I bought almost 200 in various sets and still don't have a blue grey. I have Staedtlers and Pentels, almost 100 sticks but 48 colors, matching sets.

I used mineral oil, bees wax, a touch of paraffin and pigment. The results are good, working both out of the fridge and in the sun, hot and cold. I am content with the result. A comparison, the sticks I made are better than Portfolios and about the same consistency.

I am done. I am thinking about paraffin, coconut oil and stearic acid but not right away. If anyone else experiments with paraffin, coconut oil and stearic, please post the results.

DavidHH
09-12-2016, 06:04 AM
We are following an identical path Ratchet but I'm surprised that others have not joined in. There is a real pleasure in creating something from scratch. It may be time-consuming but I'm sure its possible to create oil pastels to match or surpass the best on the market. I'm very happy so far and results have been way better than the soft pastels I've produced although I'm not done with that yet:) Apart from anything else, we are learning more about what we put on the paper or canvas. I have bought lots of cheaper pastels on ebay and apart from one set which were no more than crayons (and which I got a full refund for) all have given reasonable results. Out of all, the ones I have made have been better. Its much more than fun, its a real insight into a lovely medium, I like your suggestion of coconut oil which is, or can be, a constituent of lipstick, and has been said on some sites, is almost identical to oil pastel. Maybe you could find your blue grey in the beauty section of ebay:)

DavidHH
09-12-2016, 11:22 AM
A great morning, and advances...

Using the same formula

1 part pigment
1 part oil
3 parts beeswax

I added beeswax to a washed and dried coke tin, then the oil and then pigment.

Using double boiler, I stirred until melted and well mixed

Poured mixture into a silicone chocolate mould and waited until almost set, then placed in fridge.

The beauty of this is the tin is throw-away and the wax doesn't stick to the silcone.

After removing from fridge, I wrapped foil round the stick et voila...

This is my best result so far and took very little time. I've ended up with nicely shaped pastels (although back is obviously flat) and no mess to clear up. I can make a number of pastels in one hit by adjusting the quantity. Two and a half pastels made from 6 tablespoons of beeswax, 2 tablespoons oil, two of pigment

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2016/1988406-DSC_1171_Mobile.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2016/1988406-DSC_1172_Mobile.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2016/1988406-DSC_1174_Mobile.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2016/1988406-DSC_1176_Mobile.JPG
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2016/1988406-DSC_1177_Mobile.JPG

Ratchet
09-12-2016, 01:34 PM
Dave,

Did you open the Senneliers? How does your homemade compare?

There are many threads on Wet Canvas about making Oil Pastels.

Although the linseed oil gives good results at first, most people report that the oil hardens over a period of months.

Coconut oil, I tried that yesterday. The results are not as good as mineral oil although I believe I used too much. Lipstick was coconut oil, stearic acid and bees wax.

I am going to experiment with paraffin and mineral oil as I haven't explored that yet.

Meanwhile, the pigment, beeswax, mineral oil mix is good enough. The point of any medium is to stick pigment to a support. It works well enough for that.
I am experimenting with alumina and other fillers. My product is as good as any set I have purchased although the original cost of materials, I could have purchased a fairly large set of Senneliers.

DavidHH
09-12-2016, 02:04 PM
As soon as I get the mineral oil, I'll do another test. Senneliers still in the box but I have to test them against mine. You've persuaded me. I'm working on a canvas from what I've made so far. As for cost, I know what you mean, my office is beginning to look like a laboratory...

Ratchet
09-12-2016, 03:01 PM
Dave, the linseed oil are the very best I have made. So, I may make small quantities of those, use them until they start to harden and toss them out.

I do not use mineral spirits or turpentine. I mix the pigment with a small amount of oil. That works better.

As for drying linseed, all I had was boiled linseed oil. I mixed a small amount of that with mineral oil/beeswax pigment mix. Creamy smooth but I became paranoid about spontaneous combustion so I stored it in a tin can in the wood stove. Meanwhile, it has not dried out at all and that is boiled linseed, fast drying Ace Hardware supplies.

I made my own conte crayons. I posted two of the drawings in the Drawing and Sketching Forum in the General Sketch Thread. The sketches aren't very good but the Conte Crayons do work. The sketches are on the bottom of page 18.

Here is a link to my homemade Conte Crayon art

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1323494&page=18

Ratchet
09-12-2016, 04:59 PM
OK, we are so fancy. I just mixed iron oxide with mineral oil, added paraffin, melted it down and it works great.

One thing, I sent a friend to buy a big block of paraffin when I wanted to use it for clay molds. The friend couldn't find bulk canning paraffin so the friend went to the Art Supply Store and bought the high grade wax, a big block. I fainted when I heard the price but that is what I used. No idea what it is but it is not canning paraffin. It may be sculptures wax as it was requested as for molds.

I have a life time supply in any case and it works wonders. Very nice homemade oil pastels

Revised UpDate: Mineral Oil and Petroleum Wax is a wax crayon. This latest experiment will not layer or blend but very fine crayon. I am adding oil, coconut.

By posting where I have been, might save someone else the trouble.

photon
09-13-2016, 04:28 AM
If you are looking to get a round pastel, try lining a test tube (everyone has those laying around, right :rolleyes: ) with parchment paper. After popping out the set pastel, the paper can be removed or left as a wrapper.

Disclaimer: I haven't tried this with oil pastels, but it worked great when the kids wanted to mix crayons.

DavidHH
09-13-2016, 06:00 AM
Brilliant idea, and plastic test tubes are very cheap on ebay, Ive just discovered. Thanks for that. Another purchase on the way I fear:)

DavidHH
09-13-2016, 06:39 AM
Probably greaseproof paper? I'm guessing youd need to cut the paper half an inch oversize so youve got something to pull on. These are on eBay, including stand for 5.99. Yes of course I've bought them:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Sep-2016/1988406-s-l1600.jpg

DavidHH
09-13-2016, 07:02 AM
Dave, the linseed oil are the very best I have made. So, I may make small quantities of those, use them until they start to harden and toss them out.

I do not use mineral spirits or turpentine. I mix the pigment with a small amount of oil. That works better.

As for drying linseed, all I had was boiled linseed oil. I mixed a small amount of that with mineral oil/beeswax pigment mix. Creamy smooth but I became paranoid about spontaneous combustion so I stored it in a tin can in the wood stove. Meanwhile, it has not dried out at all and that is boiled linseed, fast drying Ace Hardware supplies.

I made my own conte crayons. I posted two of the drawings in the Drawing and Sketching Forum in the General Sketch Thread. The sketches aren't very good but the Conte Crayons do work. The sketches are on the bottom of page 18.

Here is a link to my homemade Conte Crayon art

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1323494&page=18

Thanks for sharing Ratchet. Yes, can't see the point of mixing with Turps first, unless the turps adds a certain something. I'm no chemist, but your fears about combustion does sound like Paranoia! Have you read this somewhere? Be careful not to light the stove:)

DavidHH
09-13-2016, 09:15 AM
So here we are, a comparison between Sennelier and my own home-made oil pastels. Both are creamy, both have good coverage, both have real depth of colour, both blend well. I can produce 10 of the same colour at minimum cost within 20 minutes or so. I dont know whether I'm allowed to give the source of the pigments, probably not, as they are not partners, but they are truly excellent and very reasonably priced.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Sep-2016/1988406-DSC_1182_Small.jpg

Ratchet
09-13-2016, 01:02 PM
Good Show David! And you can toss them if and when they dry out.

Boiled Linseed Oil generates heat while drying. Spontaneous combustion is an issue with Boiled Linseed Oil but I doubt it would be after the first few days or weeks.

The point is that the Fast Drying Linseed is not hardening. Perhaps it will after months or years but I can make a small amount and toss them. As you noted, the cost, after the initial investment, is minimal.

I am going to use bubble straws as molds. I am waiting for the order now. Meanwhile, I tried a smaller straw, crimping the end and standing upright in a bowl of sand. The straw holds water. If that doesn't work, I will try the test tubes.

I assume the top black/white are your homemades and the lower black/white is the Senns. Yours look better.

Some Additional Factors, layering, blending, transparency and clumping.

I am adding the least amount of pigment and fillers I can and still have the opacity/brilliance I want. Clumping is a problem with too much pigment and with fillers such as alumina.

DavidHH
09-13-2016, 02:31 PM
A productive day...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Sep-2016/1988406-DSC_1189_Small.JPG

DavidHH
09-13-2016, 02:45 PM
Good Show David! And you can toss them if and when they dry out.

Boiled Linseed Oil generates heat while drying. Spontaneous combustion is an issue with Boiled Linseed Oil but I doubt it would be after the first few days or weeks.

The point is that the Fast Drying Linseed is not hardening. Perhaps it will after months or years but I can make a small amount and toss them. As you noted, the cost, after the initial investment, is minimal.

I am going to use bubble straws as molds. I am waiting for the order now. Meanwhile, I tried a smaller straw, crimping the end and standing upright in a bowl of sand. The straw holds water. If that doesn't work, I will try the test tubes.


I assume the top black/white are your homemades and the lower black/white is the Senns. Yours look better.

Some Additional Factors, layering, blending, transparency and clumping.

I am adding the least amount of pigment and fillers I can and still have the opacity/brilliance I want. Clumping is a problem with too much pigment and with fillers such as alumina.

Thanks Ratchet, you'll see my latest post with what I've done today;) I thought about straws and couldn't find any large ones, they should peel back nicely. I dont really mind the flat bottom on mine, its easy to shape them. One of my first attempts is still very squidgy, even more so in today's heat but I did use more oil than I do now. Yes they layer, tried that. They don't clump really at all, no more than a good pastel. Of interest. I tried some very cheap pastels against these and cant believe how bad they are, its lack of pigment as has been said on forums. Ive not so far had a problem with pigments, the ones Im now using are very pure and inexpensive. Today has been great fun, should have been working but I got on a roll...

photon
09-13-2016, 03:16 PM
Probably greaseproof paper? I'm guessing youd need to cut the paper half an inch oversize so youve got something to pull on.

Should have been more specific. :angel: The parchment paper I used is the baking parchment. Most supermarkets have it in rolls near the aluminum foil.

Not stationary parchment, that is a different beast.

Yes, cut it long to have a "handle" to pull. If you're skilled, the excess can be shaped into a funnel (I left that part to my wife).

Ratchet
09-13-2016, 03:44 PM
Funnel, parchment paper, excellent idea. That is the one small problem I haven't solved. How to get hot wax into small mouthed bubble straws.

There are small long handled measuring cups with a lip for pouring but I haven't found ones I like yet.

One person who posts elsewhere on the web used tubes sold for homemade chapstick. Those wind up like lipstick. The problem was the wax cooled sufficiently on contact with the container that the wax didn't form a solid stick. That may be an issue with the bubble straws also but I make very small quantities.

DavidHH
09-14-2016, 05:06 AM
Should have been more specific. :angel: The parchment paper I used is the baking parchment. Most supermarkets have it in rolls near the aluminum foil.

Not stationary parchment, that is a different beast.

Yes, cut it long to have a "handle" to pull. If you're skilled, the excess can be shaped into a funnel (I left that part to my wife).

Well I just edited this, I thought that was greaseproof but parchment paper is apparently much more non-stick than greaseproof, ideal for the purpose and a cookery lesson for me too:)

DavidHH
09-14-2016, 10:21 AM
Here's the oil pastel using mineral oil. I used too much oil in the first test which results in a more translucent colour and just too oily:) This one gives a lovely creamy texture with depth. If you're mixing a solid colour you can then make a second batch in the same tin adding white to give a range of tones.

As mineral oil doesn't dry (thanks Ratchet!) it means the pastel won't dry out but also it's clear so it won't tint lighter colours, white especially

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Sep-2016/1988406-pastel.jpg

Ratchet
09-14-2016, 01:26 PM
Dave, Excellent Results, This is standard best OP, mineral oil/beeswax/pigment. I found adding a dash of linseed made a slightly firmer OP.


The sticks should be firmer. Solutions offered which I haven't tried to increase firmness, Damar Resin, Paraffin, Carnuba Wax.

I have tried Talc, alumina and cornstarch. None of those work well although the alumina was the best. Those Oil Pastels tend to clump and crumble more readily than other.

Coconut oil, sunflower oil were also a wash making a greasy product that melts in my hand. Paraffin drags on the paper and doesn't mix well with oil.

Those are my results, problems and solutions so far.

Mineral Oil/Beeswax/Pigment with additions of linseed, is the best so far and I would like a firmer stick. Still experimenting.

Ratchet
09-20-2016, 12:52 AM
This image is less than one inch. That is fine detail for oil pastels. I drew/colored this with the oil pastels I made. I have very few colors made so I couldn't put more color in the iris for example due to not having more colors yet.

Just a quick experiment, I can't draw very well so the image is not of the best but it shows what is possible with these home made oil pastels

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Sep-2016/1986131-eyeball_3.jpg

3243
10-05-2016, 07:44 PM
Good job, DavidHH. I've recently started making a few more colors myself.

Ratchet
10-05-2016, 10:17 PM
3243

Good on You! I wanted blue grey so I started making my own. I believe the sticks require either damar resin or calcium carbonate but my sticks are good enough without those additions. I may experiment with those substances in the future.

Are you experienced or beginner?

3243
10-06-2016, 07:32 PM
Actually I've used oil pastels for nearly 24 years now and have made my own (from melting mostly Caran D'Ache Neopastels) for three years off and on.

I would not recommend using damar resin though, as that could harden your sticks to the point of unusability for drawing, like encaustic blocks.

Ratchet
10-07-2016, 12:00 AM
One oil pastel set lists calcium carbonate as an ingredient. I haven't tried damar resin but there have been reports that manufactured encaustic medium added in small amounts acts as a filler.

Melting neopastels is using the commercial oil pastels as filler. The other thread on this forum that discusses home made concluded that buying Sennelier transparents and melting them is the best option.

My sticks are better than student grade. Tricky to mix and difficult to handle but layer, blend and lay down beautifully. The sticks are improving as I become more experienced. I know what a stick needs, wax, oil or pigment and back in the melting pan it goes. 90% are smooth as glass and too highly pigmented. I love the rich colors.

It is fun but I don't recommend making oil pastels. It is time consuming, expensive and slows down the artwork itself. I am making the sticks I need for my current piece of art and it is going to be days before I start work on the paper. Making oil pastels is slow, difficult, messy and expensive but I have a beautiful set of custom colors.

DavidHH
10-07-2016, 10:08 AM
This image is less than one inch. That is fine detail for oil pastels. I drew/colored this with the oil pastels I made. I have very few colors made so I couldn't put more color in the iris for example due to not having more colors yet.

Just a quick experiment, I can't draw very well so the image is not of the best but it shows what is possible with these home made oil pastels

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Sep-2016/1986131-eyeball_3.jpg

well done Ratchet!

DavidHH
10-07-2016, 10:32 AM
Well, I've now bought a couple of Sennelier pigments - Vermilion and Primary yellow. With my earth pigments and these, I can probably get just about all the colours I need from mixing.

I've settled currently on the following recipe:

2 tablespoons of pigment
1 tablespoon linseed oil
1 tablespoon mineral oil
6 tablespoons grated white beeswax

Depending how oily (or creamy) you want the pastels you can adjust the amount of wax. By grating the wax on a fairly large grater Ive got the balance about right, so Im not bothering to weigh.

This gives me 3 of a colour in my chocolate finger mould:)

Ratchet you definitely dont need any chalk!

I'll post the whole sequence in pics another time.

I havent had a failure on any pastels over the last few batches but you must use a good pigment designed to work with oil

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1427_Small.JPG

DavidHH
10-07-2016, 11:00 AM
My range so far...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1429_Small.JPG

DavidHH
10-07-2016, 11:14 AM
One oil pastel set lists calcium carbonate as an ingredient. I haven't tried damar resin but there have been reports that manufactured encaustic medium added in small amounts acts as a filler.

Melting neopastels is using the commercial oil pastels as filler. The other thread on this forum that discusses home made concluded that buying Sennelier transparents and melting them is the best option.

My sticks are better than student grade. Tricky to mix and difficult to handle but layer, blend and lay down beautifully. The sticks are improving as I become more experienced. I know what a stick needs, wax, oil or pigment and back in the melting pan it goes. 90% are smooth as glass and too highly pigmented. I love the rich colors.

It is fun but I don't recommend making oil pastels. It is time consuming, expensive and slows down the artwork itself. I am making the sticks I need for my current piece of art and it is going to be days before I start work on the paper. Making oil pastels is slow, difficult, messy and expensive but I have a beautiful set of custom colors.

I timed myself today Ratchet, 3 pastels of the same colour took less than 20 minutes

Ratchet
10-07-2016, 08:12 PM
David

GREAT, your recipe matches mine exactly! And the sticks work so very well.

I will post a photo of my set in a few days. I found a wood box at the thrift store today that has two drawers with a capacity of 112 sticks. Wood Box Set!

I have never mixed pigments so it is time consuming for me but very interesting. But I am making a few at a time after the major 34 primary/earth color set making. That was time consuming.

Good Materials definitely require good pigments. Sennelier is good. If anyone wants to melt sticks and add pigment, Sakura sells sets of 12 whites that could be melted and remade.

photon
10-10-2016, 03:01 AM
David,

Great looking set!

photon

DavidHH
10-10-2016, 12:36 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1430_Small.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1431_Small.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1432_Small.JPG

The rather big clumsy shaped pastels have now possibly been superseded by fat "Boba" straw moulded ones.I'm amazed that my first attempt produced 3 good pastels. I first inserted baking paper into the straw to allow separation and closed the end with "Blu Tack". The molten wax/pigment/oil was poured in using a small funnel. The seal wasn't perfect and some wax ran up inside the straw but I'll solve that next time. The baking paper can be left on but will need taping, so instead I wrapped the pastels in foil. The 1cm pastels are a perfect size and can easily be pointed with a knife if required. I bought 30 straws for 50p so they are more or less disposable. I pushed the pastels out of the straw using dowel but you need to be careful if the wax has stuck to the straw at all. I really hope others will try making their own. I reckon I'm producing high-quality pastels now at a fraction of the price and have learned a lot about the media.

Thinking about the bigger pastels, they will still be great for large areas and I can make a large one at the same time as the smaller ones

DavidHH
10-10-2016, 12:41 PM
David,

Great looking set!

photon

Thanks, its great fun isn't it:)

Ratchet
10-10-2016, 03:53 PM
David

I use 7 grams of Cake (wax/oil/pigment) in 1/2 bubba straw. My sticks are about the size of Senns.

I bought 10mm bubba straws on Ebay. I cut the straws in half. I roll up an amount of straw and secure with rubber band. I place the straw in a coffee can full of sand. I pour directly from the melting pot. I let the sticks harden to room temperature then remove from sand. I remove the rubber band, carefully cleaning away any sand. Then I put the sticks in the freezer. I use a wooden dowel to push the stick out of the bubba straw. A frozen stick releases very easily if you warm the bubba straw in your hand for a few seconds.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Oct-2016/1986131-Number1.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Oct-2016/1986131-Number2.jpg

Ratchet
10-10-2016, 04:13 PM
Dave

Big Sticks or Cakes can be remelted into blends. I have large cakes of Titanium, cakes of Ultramarine, and others that I cut up and add to mixes. I was doing grays and reds on the melt pictured above

The rubber band secured straws don't leak. The red blob on the straw in the picture is run down from an unsteady hand on the pour ladle. The cake is poured directly from the melt pot into the straws.

I might try that blue tac.

Ratchet
10-10-2016, 09:21 PM
A few days work. These are blends of primary pigment cakes. There are more sticks in this batch, flesh tones, grays, but I am posting one tray.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Oct-2016/1986131-Number3.jpg

DavidHH
10-11-2016, 05:52 AM
looking good and nice strong colours. Your sand idea is brilliant but I dont reckon you need to seal the end, sand would make the perfect barrier. So no barrier in the straw? that saves some messing:)

Ratchet
10-11-2016, 11:20 AM
Worth a try. Perhaps the wax might cool enough when it hits the sand but melted wax is like pouring water into sand. It depends on how liquid it is as to how much it spreads.

I am done for a while. This last batch was the olive greens, blue grays and earth tone reds.

Now to put the color on the paper.

I am ordering black pigment and a magenta red. None of my reds mix strong, pure violets/purples. So in a few weeks I will do another batch.

Ratchet
10-11-2016, 04:06 PM
Dave

I thought about that "wax plug" idea.

It is possible to melt paraffin/canning wax and let it get semi hard. Put drops of the paraffin on a piece of tinfoil while it is not liquid but cool enough to hold a shape.

Then put the end of the straw in the paraffin, plugging it up. It would require care in handling as to not dislodge the "wax plug" but it wouldn't take any longer than the rubber band wraps.

I will experiment with that. It might work. I will post again when I am done "messing about."

DavidHH
10-11-2016, 04:09 PM
Fair enough, I made the baking paper that much longer and sealed it with sellotape on this latest one and used a paper funnel, its almost impossible to clean the wax out of a funnel. I tried melting it out in a microwave and melted the funnel!

Paper slid out like a dream, no damage to the straw, its clean as a whistle. I just cant believe how good the pastels are, but there's not much interest on here unfortunately.

This one is cut to exactly the same size as a Sennelier, I get 3 from one mix now by halving the amounts. I mixed Sennelier vermillion with some red oxide and get an almost perfect sanguine, luscious:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1435_Small.JPG

Ratchet
10-11-2016, 04:30 PM
Luscious!
.

Mixing color cakes, now I know more about color, color wheels, mineral pigments than I ever wanted to know. That is what takes my time. I now know how complicated mixing that dab with this dab is.

Most of the older posters here were in for the earlier sessions of making homemade pastels. There are several threads on the subject that were very popular. One went on for a year so we are the latecomers, I believe

I am off to color a picture! All with my new set. What Fun!

DavidHH
10-12-2016, 10:44 AM
Forget your rubber band or paraffin wax Ratchet, I've found the answer but couldn't have done it without your help:) I decided to try a batch without the separator (baking paper) and plugged the end with Blue Tack (is it called that in the States? Left the stick to cool for 5-10 minutes then put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. When I pulled on the plug, the stick started to slide out easily and with a little help from the dowel my mission was complete.

I sliced the stick into 3 with a knife and job was done!

One more point, my double boiler. I use coke tins for the mix but they are a little light and bounce about or tip, so I'm now using a heavier tin, filled with about half inch or so of water and slide the coke tin into that. It provides a water jacket which speeds up the melting.

There's no shortage of coke tins, I drink at least one can a day and my partner always has some, so its good recycling. The only expendable now is the straws but they are so cheap to buy.

Just one other thing (for now;) ) The first sticks I made, with just linseed oil are starting to harden off (as we all expected) For this latest pastel I used mineral oil / linseed oil at a ratio of 3 parts mineral oil to 1 part linseed oil and will compare the results as and when. Beyond that, I'm in production!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1438_Small.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1440_Small.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1442_Small.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1443_Small.JPG

Ratchet
10-12-2016, 03:08 PM
Blue Tac, YES! I am ordering today!

I use a muffin tin to make cakes. It is for little muffins. That is space for six cakes of whatever I need to melt or mix. I set that muffin tin in a large flat pan like the one the school cafeterias use to make loaf cakes, big rectangle.

I add 1-2 cups of water. I place the muffin tin in the water bath, turn on heat and stir with a toothpick until the water starts to boil. I turn it off and let cool.

I pop the cakes out of the muffin tin. When I am ready to pour into molds, I remelt the cake in a ladle with a pour spout.

It takes a steady hand to pour into those straws. I am looking for a small measuring cup, metal with a long handle that can be set in my double broiler and used to pour.

We is gettin' good!

Just in case anyone else is reading, I never leave wax unattended, let the water boil or place a pan of wax directly over heat source. wax is extremely flammable. Use safety precautions.

DavidHH
10-13-2016, 09:13 AM
I now make a paper funnel Ratchet and stick it into the top of the straw, works a treat:) The cakes are a great idea if you're looking to store volume. I've also been thinking that the oil/pigment mix should be left for a while, apparently if you're making oil paint it is left for a few days for the pigment to really absorb the oil. Then my next thought is that commercial manufacturers would grind the pigment into a paste, as you would when making oil paint. I have two mullers waiting to be used:) This might make the pastels even smoother.

My girlfriend is convinced that I should coat the inside of the straw with oil to make the extraction of the pastel even easier, as you would when baking cakes. She's a fine cook so I might try that too, although it may be absorbed into the outer coating of the pastel.

I think we are just about there and from all I've read on this forum, have achieved more than most. Would be nice to have this thread upgraded to a sticky;)

DavidHH
10-13-2016, 01:38 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1449_Small.JPG

There you go Ratchet, wobbly hands no longer a problem:)

DavidHH
10-13-2016, 02:24 PM
Well, with this pastel I mulled the pigment with turps.

Added a little mineral oil into the straw and swirled it round, to give a fine coating as a separating agent. No, it didn't get absorbed by the wax at all and the pastel slid out perfectly. There was a fine coating of mineral oil all along the pastel which I wiped off with kitchen towel and voila...

If anyone is following this other than Ratchet you need to read the whole thread, but we've got oil pastel making down to an almost fine art

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1454_Small.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Oct-2016/1988406-DSC_1458_Small.JPG

Ratchet
10-13-2016, 03:19 PM
Dave, those are beautiful.

The mineral oil coating the straw is an excellent idea.

The cakes are for testing. I like to test the oil/wax/pigment before I pour. I don't like to waste a straw. Also, I have cakes of assorted pigments, titanium and ultramarine that I can cut chunks to make mixed cakes. I don't add powdered dry Titanium to dry ultramarine. I don't know anything about pigments so I don't know if mixing dry will work or just make mess so I mix cakes by weight. Abt. 7g of cake will make a stick my size.

I use stand oil, actually the slowest drying linseed. I have a stick that I added 1 boiled linseed to 2 parts mineral. It is and was the creamiest stick but I switched to stand oil.

I was using a small amount of 1 wax/5 mineral oil to mull the pigments into a paste but I had a problem with the pigment settling to the bottom of the cakes. I started mulling with a small amount of mineral spirits and the pigments mixed well.

That is in Leslie's book, I believe. I think Leslie recommends mulling the pigments with mineral spirits. Then melting the wax, adding the oil and pouring the wax/oil mix over the pigment paste in a three stage manner. That information was posted in another thread on this forum. I don't know how accurate it is but I find the pigments mix better with a few drops of mineral spirits.

DavidHH
10-14-2016, 05:30 AM
I had that settling from a cheap pigment, or one that wasn't ideal for paint.

I've mixed dry pigment and haven't found a problem so far, I probably know less about pigments than you do but its obvious that absorption is critical and I'm going to try leaving a mix for a couple of days before making the pastel but I'm more than happy with my results already.

The two Sennelier pigments I have mixed well with other pigments, all of which were sourced from Ebay, luckily there's an English supplier of high-quality earth pigments.

All those who say you cant match a good commercial pastel should try this method. It really isn't time-consuming once you get a routine.

I'm going to write up the process in one post within a few days so people dont have to scroll through all the experimental stages:)

autolisp
10-14-2016, 04:57 PM
Dave and Ratchet. Good grief!

I have been away from pastels since my last post (yes that long ago). The email from Dave prompted me to have a look at this thread again. My word. How much time have you guy's been putting-in? I admire your perseverance - and ingenuity. It took me a while to read all through this thread, but I am glad I did. I will have to get my interest back and pursue the recipe's you posted - then get and use them.

Dennis

DavidHH
10-15-2016, 11:10 AM
It was a labour of love, get to it autolisp:)

tuscanny
10-16-2016, 02:15 AM
Looking forward to the final process write up, David. It does look very promising.

DavidHH
10-18-2016, 02:24 PM
Hi tuscanny and all, I've now started a new thread which contains a step by step explanation of my own recipe and method. Everything I have done up till now has taken a number or weeks and my posts in this thread are obviously not grouped together. The basis of the recipe is not new but taken from a number of sources so I'm not claiming that I invented it:) All I've done is to experiment a little around the existing recipe and establish an easy method of producing an oil pastel which is comparable to commercial artist quality products

The thread is here

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1414675

Ratchet
12-12-2016, 02:42 PM
Theoretically, oil paint, which is linseed oil and pigment should work for Oil Pastels.

My Oil Paints
47% Linseed
35% Pigment
Extenders

Now, if mineral oil is added to the oil paint in the correct proportion, then wax, the oil paint should become oil pastel.

It should be easy to convert those ingredients to the Oil Pastel formula 3 Parts Wax + 1 Part Oil (2 part mineral+1 part linseed) + 1 Part Pigment.

As it is just a thought, I would venture to guess this would produce an Oil Pastel. However, the extenders might present a problem and the pigments, being further diluted may be too light.

My Oil Paints are an economy set. Some tube may contain more pigment so anyone who wants to try an experiment can read the tube and convert the formula.

3243
12-22-2016, 01:56 PM
DavidHH (and Ratchet too!), you both have made some really vivid oil pastels. I like the colors you have both come up with. They look really lively and warm.

One word of advice though: if it's oil pastels you want to make, do not use linseed oil. That is a drying oil, the same used in oil paints. What you will have by using linseed, safflower, or walnut oils will be oil paint sticks (like R & F Pigment Sticks of Winsor & Newton Oilbars). Nondrying oils are what you want to make oil pastels, which do not dry out.

I hope this helps.:)

Flycatcher10
12-31-2016, 06:31 PM
This has been an interesting WIP thread on how to make oil pastels. The oil pastels you've made look professional and an eye-popping color yellow. What is the hardness of the oil pastel, is this as soft as Senneliers or a bit harder up the scale like Neo Pastels? How many have you made to date?

Thanks for sharing this information David.

Ratchet
01-01-2017, 10:18 AM
The Oil Pastels are Custom. I have 88 currently.

The hardness is determined by the amount of wax and oil. I have hard and soft white but most of mine are in the range that I like, medium hardness.

Some are "sets" of shades, 3-5 sticks of olive, for instance, to shade grapes from one end to the other. I have a range of flesh tones and grays.

I made a core set of colors. I made additional sticks specifically for a project. I create the sticks as I need that particular range. I needed flesh tones for a ballerina. I made the colors specifically for that piece and now I use that as the base for all my portraits.

I am very particular about the colors and the consistency so I take more time with my sticks. I may melt a stick several times before it suits me, just right. I keep very careful notes about each stick, the amount of pigment used and any problems with pigments.

Flycatcher10
01-01-2017, 11:34 PM
Thanks Ratchet, this is very interesting. At some point you'll have to lay out all your OPs and photograph so we can see your range of colors.

I'm going to have to spend some time to go back through your explanation to fully understand what the process is.

Very cool - Picasso would be oh so happy with your results!

DavidHH
01-02-2017, 03:06 PM
DavidHH (and Ratchet too!), you both have made some really vivid oil pastels. I like the colors you have both come up with. They look really lively and warm.

One word of advice though: if it's oil pastels you want to make, do not use linseed oil. That is a drying oil, the same used in oil paints. What you will have by using linseed, safflower, or walnut oils will be oil paint sticks (like R & F Pigment Sticks of Winsor & Newton Oilbars). Nondrying oils are what you want to make oil pastels, which do not dry out.

I hope this helps.:)

I am using the following recipe:

1 part pigment
1 part oil (1 part linseed oil, 3 parts mineral oil)
3 parts beeswax

I've found that just a little linseed gives a better result

a. ladd
01-09-2017, 03:38 PM
Interesting. At least one, or more, of the major OP Makers (Senn., and/or Craypas) claim they do not use organic/acidic oils in their OPs and they can be safely used on unprimed papers. This means they must have a way of making their sticks soft without adding linseed, stand, etc oils.

Ratchet
01-09-2017, 04:48 PM
Mineral oil? There are many weights of petroleum oil. Also, there are binders about which I know nothing. Calcium carbonate will make a stick smoother without additional oil but it also whitens it somewhat, IMExperiments

I do know that some of my first made sticks do not contain any oil except mineral and so far, I do not have a problem with them. There was a report on another thread that sticks containing only mineral oil dragged and clumped but mine are fine.

I use a mix of 2 parts mineral to 1 part stand oil except for pigments that flocculate, then I use boiled linseed in the same ration. Something in the boiled linseed tends to discourage pigment clumping, not certain why but the archival quality is questionable.

So that is my two cents worth

DavidHH
01-10-2017, 10:06 AM
Interesting. At least one, or more, of the major OP Makers (Senn., and/or Craypas) claim they do not use organic/acidic oils in their OPs and they can be safely used on unprimed papers. This means they must have a way of making their sticks soft without adding linseed, stand, etc oils.

Mineral oil is non-acidic so I suspect that's what they use, but who knows?

Ratchet
01-29-2017, 07:18 PM
Mary asked for photos of the set
I was making Oil Pastels as needed for specific projects. I had 84 with a large amounts of gray. I took the grays out (22) and built the rest of the set (112) filling in the color wheel. Here is a photo of about half the set.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Jan-2017/1986131-WC_box2.jpg

Here is a color design I made testing the other half of the set which is new since Christmas

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Jan-2017/1986131-Color_Me.jpg

And here is the second half of the set I used on the design above

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Jan-2017/1986131-WC_box1.jpg

tuscanny
01-30-2017, 12:24 AM
Impressive!

DavidHH
01-30-2017, 05:25 AM
You've got it spot on now Ratchet - vibrant colours!

Ratchet
01-30-2017, 10:55 AM
Thanks Tuscanny and David

There is always that one last color. I am missing a shade of pink I particularly like so I have one more to make.

John De Herrera
04-22-2017, 01:32 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Apr-2017/2006796-7abc.jpeg Hi guys, I have no idea why I've never seen this thread, and Ratchet mentions there are others here treating the same subject. For the past two/three years I've been trying to figure out the right mix to produce colorless oil pastel. For the stuff I'm interested in, I lay down chalk pastel onto museum board and then rub it out with colorless oil pastel.

My favorite brand was/is Talons Van Gogh series, and second place is the Cray Pas colorless. The Van Gogh is a little harder and seems to distribute the pastel a bit differently, and for me, more favorably.

I had worked with bees wax, paraffin, stand oil, on and off for awhile but just could not nail the right ratio. Thanks to Ratchet and David, I'm on the road to finding the right mix for my purposes (mineral oil was what I was missing). And of course I'm on the road to saving lots of $. And, now that I can make blocks of the stuff, means I can go big. So thank you so much for the time/care you guys put towards this, I doubt I will be the last to rejoice at its discovery.

My question now, for anyone who knows, is the question of archival standards. Are there some mineral oils and/or some paraffins that do not meet those standards?

Ratchet
04-23-2017, 07:19 PM
Archival quality in the Oil Pastels does match commercial sets such as Hobein if food grade mineral oil is used. Bees wax can last centuries.

The only problem is the pigments. Some pigments are not light fast or color fast. Careful research is necessary to determine the archival quality of the pigments.

I purchased a beautiful red pigment, PR 3, before I discovered it is not light fast. The same pigments that are used routinely in oil paints that are rated "archival quality" will work equally well in Oil Pastels.

Refined beeswax is best. In the early oil pastels, the manufacturers sometimes included stearic acid to harden the sticks. Now the curators are dealing with the disintegration of early works, some of which I believe are Picassos. The curators are using bees wax varnishes to stabilize the painting (just some hazy bit I remember reading)

Pure ingredients, archival quality pigments, should give archival results.

DavidHH
04-25-2017, 05:34 AM
Ratchet is certainly right about the pigments and that's the basis of a good pastel or paint, but I think we can get over worried about archival quality. Many of the great masters experimented with paint, giving restoration artists a job for life. Cave paintings still exist from thousands of years ago and there were no scientists to work out how long things would last. Any medium will fade if exposed to extreme sunlight for any length of time. I would be more than delighted if anyone considered any of my work worthy of restoration;)

John De Herrera
05-07-2017, 12:41 AM
Thanks Ratchet and David!

Ratchet
05-17-2017, 04:26 PM
I am going to experiment with paraffin, coconut oil and stearic acid.

Stearic acid makes paper brittle. However, if a ground or fixative is used, the archival issues may not be a problem.

David mentioned buying candle ends for wax. Even the finest quality candles are usually not pure beeswax but a combination of paraffin, beeswax and stearic acid.

I will post any interesting results. The beeswax/mineral oil pastels work fine but I like to experiment.

John De Herrera
05-17-2017, 04:32 PM
I will post any interesting results. The beeswax/mineral oil pastels work fine but I like to experiment.

Yes, please do Ratchet, and I will too. I'm still experimenting. The latest was 2oz each of BW/Para combined with one tablespoon each of Linseed/Mineral. I need to adjust down the oil on the next batch, but I do want to add coconut, just a little, just to say it's in my work because I love coconut :)

Ratchet
05-17-2017, 04:48 PM
I have tried pure bees wax/coconut oil. The sticks are very temperature senstive, melting in hand. I thought of adding stearic acid to the bees wax/coconut oil but I have searched the web about beeswax and stearic and I am not certain those two mix.

The available information about bees wax, stearic, paraffin, is primarily for candles, hardness and melting temperatures being the most important issues so I will experiment.

Watch the linseed! I have some early sticks that are now one year old. There are hardening/drying issues. I used larger amounts of linseed in the beginning. Now I use 2 parts mineral/1 part stand oil. The linseed is necessary but only in small quantities.

I am tossing any grainy, hardened sticks in the remelt bucket. I can melt them down and add oil which restores the sticks to original quality. Linseed is siccative. Also watch the pigments. Some pigments are drying especially when mixed with linseed.

John De Herrera
05-17-2017, 06:39 PM
2 parts mineral/1 part stand oil. The linseed is necessary but only in small quantities.

remelt bucket.

Maybe that's the ratio I'm after, 2parts mineral/1part stand. I still haven't experimented enough to know the distinct difference between linseed over stand. One of the tests I did had both linseed and stand.

I have to get my hotplate fixed, or get a new one. And I busted a pyrex measuring cup last time at it. It was super hot and I was trying to wipe it off while all the wax residue was liquid. It cracked, I put it down on a cooler surface and within a few seconds it shattered.

My remelt bucket has produced a couple of results, one day I'll figure out how to turn it into what I want.

Ratchet
05-17-2017, 07:20 PM
I use a muffin tin set in a pan with water on the stove.

I use a big pan I use for roasts and biscuits. I mix my ingredients in the muffin cups first. Then I set the muffin tin in the pan and add enough water to be safe. Don't get water in the wax cakes. I turn the heat on high, stir with metal implement until the cake is thoroughly melted and mixed. This double container with a water bath is a double broiler of sorts.

I wait until that muffin pan cools, then remove it from the pan and water. After I remove the muffin cakes from the muffin tins, I test. I might remelt again in the muffin tin, adding and adjusting Or I melt the cakes in a ladle and pour the melt into big straws. Then I have my sticks. Push out with a dowel and wrap in tinfoil, masking tape, label and ready to use.

I can work on 6 unique color sticks at once. I try to keep the weight to 6.5 grams total. 3 parts wax 1 part oil and 1 part pigment. I actually measure by volume using a little white plastic spoon. 3 spoons wax/1 spoon oil/1 spoon pigment (heaping) so I am mixing by volume, not weight. Those numbers of spoons yield approximately 6.5 grams usually.

Sometimes I make big cakes and use teaspoon measure rather than the little white plastic but small amount makes a perfect size stick, about equal to a Sennalier. I would like square sticks but I haven't found the right mold yet.

Remelt: I remelt for many reasons. A stick may be too dry or too oily. I melt it down, add oil or wax. I may add more pigment or add white to lighten. I rarely melt two stick of different colors together willy nilly. I keep careful records and I mix colors carefully. I have too many ugly and useless experiments from tossing things together without thought or plan. Waste of good material most of the time.

DavidHH
05-19-2017, 01:58 PM
I am going to experiment with paraffin, coconut oil and stearic acid.

Stearic acid makes paper brittle. However, if a ground or fixative is used, the archival issues may not be a problem.

David mentioned buying candle ends for wax. Even the finest quality candles are usually not pure beeswax but a combination of paraffin, beeswax and stearic acid.

I will post any interesting results. The beeswax/mineral oil pastels work fine but I like to experiment.
Ive used both pure beeswax pellets and candle ends Ratchet, which I was assured was pure beeswax, but who knows:)