View Full Version : My Favorite Oil Pastels

02-24-2014, 01:49 PM
I'm loving my new set of Sennelier oil pastels. I have Holbeins, sakuras, no-names from Barnes and Noble, Van Gohs, Artists Lofts (what a disappointment!) and even an old 24-stick set of Grumbachers! But the Senneliers are the best! The pigment is wonderful; second best would be Holbeins, then the Van Gohs and Grumbachers. Too bad we can only obtain the Grumbachers through e-Bay any more.

02-25-2014, 06:13 PM
Hi Spectrum1, nice to meet you! Welcome to Wetcanvas and the Oil Pastel forum :wave:

You have a great supply of oil pastels! I love Senneliers, neopastels, mungyo-gallery and Holbeins - all wonderful to paint with, all depends on surface and subject.

Looking forward to seeing you around!

03-04-2014, 04:06 PM
Hi and welcome to the form.

My first set of oil pastels was pentel. I know it was cheap and had limited colors but I used that set to learn the basics of the medium before investing in more expensive sets. My first big spend was for a Muygo set and then another set from Erengi. Later I got some small sets of Neopastels, Van Gogh, Cray Pas Expresionist, and Senniliers. After experimenting I finally broke down and got a master set of Senniliers a couple weeks ago.

Here is my Rank and comments based on what I have used first hand.

1) Senniliers are best in my book as they are the brightest and softest oil pastels. I believe they have a low wax content as they feel like lipstick.

2) Neopastels are my second because they are firm but still soft enough to blend nicely. They cover nicely.

3) Muygo has a nice set for the price. There is a good assortment of colors with sticks that are firmer than Neopastel yet blendable.

4) Van Goghs are actually the best oil pastels I can find in my local stores. There arent many choices in Kentucky without mail order. They are a little creamier than Mugo as the stick is a little thicker in diamiter. I also love their blending stick. I have used this stick with other brands and it works wonders blending colors or creating reflections in water.

5) Cray Pas Expressinists are super firm square sticks. They are great for sketching, adding fine details or shading with the side of the stick. I went through 3 of their white sticks making a snow scene of my back yard. You can actually use a hair dryer to melt the layers to smooth it. It sort of self levels.

6) Pentel is a great set to learn the basics and experiment but you will want better quality as time goes on.

7) Erengi has a nice color selection can be clended but has a high wax content. I use them for sketching and doodling.

Note: There are several cheap brands like Artsloft or Michael's generic brand that are just plain junk. I would not recoment them to anyone wanting to start out as they give you a bad impression of the medium. I once picked up a small set of these with a sketchbook while out of town and struggled with them so much I didn't even bring the set home. I remember leaving them on the night stand of the hotel thinking the maid might give the set to her kid.

03-05-2014, 09:04 AM
Great assessment Mike!

03-29-2014, 02:49 PM
I am going to start with Pentel to learn the basics too.

03-29-2014, 03:36 PM
Hi start123! Nice to meet you! Welcome to Wetcanvas and the Oil Pastel forum, we love having new members. :wave:

Good choice in oil pastels. You'll find a lot of information contained throughout the forum, as well as in the monthly challenge. Please look around and don't hesitate to ask questions.

Have fun painting and please post in the Oil Pastel Studio, so we can celebrate your oil pastel paintings with you!

a. ladd
11-23-2014, 11:17 PM
- Holbein, nice, but rather firm, dry (like chalks) and VERY costly.

- Sennelier, very soft and rich, but some are surprisingly hard and transparent, and break easier. Also some toxic colors too.

- Neopastels, very nice, maybe my high-end favorite - but still relatively small and costly.

- Van Gogh, large, cheap and available everywhere, but quite disappointing in their hardness and semi transparency.

- Enregi, results almost comparable to Van Gogh, frankly, but not as cheap

- Specialist, permanent, nice square shapes, but surprisingly hard...and still costly

- Expressionist, soft, opaque, inexpensive, but not all colors are permanent, as seen on the color charts Cray_pas provided online.

- my preferred is Mungyo Gallery Artist Soft Oil Pastels (dunno about the cheaper Mungyo OP lines offered). These compare pretty favorably to Neopastels in softness and color selection, but are WAY cheaper and larger. They're also said to be lightfast, but documentation is not provided.

02-09-2015, 01:41 AM
The cheaper line of Mungyo works pretty much like most student brands. Just a little bit of dust shed. I do have a time-lapse video doing a sketchy/painty green apple.

The Mungyo Gallery Extra Soft Oil Pastels... I LOVE them. I also have found a similarity with the Neopastels, except a bit bigger in sticks. Plus, more bang for your buck. I got the wooden set of 72, and I couldn't be more than happy with the purchase and they were on sale as well when I bought them. I haven't tried a lightfast test with them though, but maybe someday.

06-07-2016, 11:57 AM
Hi, I'm new to WC and glad I found the forum and particularly the oil pastel artists. I am also relatively new to this medium. I use a couple of different brands of pastels and wonder how do get those fine clean edges or small details? Do you use oil pastel pencils? If so any recomendations on a good set?

07-24-2016, 11:45 PM
Neopastels would be good for details. You can break them into tiny pieces. One artist here sharpens neopastels. also using color shapers helps to move the color into tiny spaces. Jerrys Artarama sells color shapers.

If an edge gets messy, just scrape it out and repaint.

a. ladd
05-09-2017, 12:12 AM
The large, #16 Grey Taper-Point Color Shaper is my go-to tool. It's firm, fine point lets your blend the finest details, while the thick, side body cleanly substitutes for finger blends.

a. ladd
05-18-2017, 01:13 PM
To this I now must add the Gray, Princeston Catalyst W-01 wedge - absolutely the perfect size, firmness and grip to spread OP.

05-18-2017, 03:36 PM
The large, #16 Grey Taper-Point Color Shaper is my go-to tool. It's firm, fine point lets your blend the finest details, while the thick, side body cleanly substitutes for finger blends.
Hi all, I'm pretty new here, too! Just starting out with oil pastels and learning how frustrating getting fine lines can be.

I'm quoting his comment because it makes perfect sense, and I think I'll try it! I have 3 shapers, but they are on the small side, #2 I think. I've used them for some blending but of course, the small size limits their effectiveness.

I appreciate these tips! I'm still learning to navigate my way around W.C. - it's a large and awesome forum, rather intimidating to a newbie like me. :)