View Full Version : Just opened my box of oil pastels.

09-30-2003, 02:30 PM
Well I opened them and now I'm sitting her staring at them. What do I do with them? ROFLMAO Guess I'll just jump in and see what they do. This should be interesting. LOL I have a book so between trial and error and reading that I might understand what to do with them.
Also got some landscape soft pastels. *S* So hopefully these colors will help with my landscapes. :D I think it was my pastels that made me not able to do landscapes ROFLMAO

09-30-2003, 02:36 PM
Oooh new oil pastels, what did you buy Luvy? What brand?

Don't forget there's lots of info in the Oil Pastel Sticky, and also in the the New Library Index...the Sub forum at the top of the page, just give me a shout if you get stuck, but knowing you I should think you'll conquer them in no time, you used to paint in oils didn't you? So you'll be fine Luvy.

Have fun!


09-30-2003, 06:36 PM
Luvy, your Senneliers came!!! Yep, play, play, play...will take a little getting used to, we're all coming up with different ways to use them, so can't wait to see what you come up with!
(Aren't they pretty????)

09-30-2003, 08:06 PM
Hahah.. Sue has said above .. you have Sennelier's..Good luck with them Luvy!


10-01-2003, 03:50 AM
Luvy ... without wanting to be a party pooper, I just think you should be warned that Senneliers are VERY sticky to use, are quite different to other op's and take quite a bit of getting used to. So ifyou find yourself struggling with them to begin with, do not be at all surprised.

You might do well to treat yourself to a small box of "drier" OP's, like Caran D'Ache Neocolor to use for the early stages of a painting, and reserve the Senneliers for those lovely juicy later layers. They are entirely different in use, but you will find that you can layer the Caran D'Ache MUCH more easily than you can the Senneliers, which are SO soft and gooey that you will find they kind of mix on the paper. One thing to try is putting down a layer of Senneliers, and then leave it a while to dry before adding another layer.

I do not work often with OP's so others here who do, like Mo, will be able to give you much more comprehensive advice. I just remember trying out Senneliers, as my first op's, got all excited to see them in the box, and then quickly became awfully disappointed because I made SUCH a mess with them and couldn't handle them well at all. Trying the drier ones made a heck of a difference, great sigh of relief!


10-01-2003, 09:06 AM
Dyin yep my sennilers arrived and I'm not happy with them. UGH They remind me of colored pencils. I can't use those either. Too waxy and hard to work with. And layering is a chore.

Jackie I'll have to look for the ones you recommended because I'm a blender and these don't blend well.

I also tried a landscape with my new pastels. LOL You don't see it do you? Guess it wasn't my pastels that was the problem with landscapes, I think it may be me LOL HEE HEE

10-01-2003, 09:27 AM
Awww, Luvy, good advice from Jackie. But you might think of getting the Holbeins...they actually are the best of all..they apply more like regular pastels and each color comes in a range of 5 tones, dark to light...I don't use ANY medium with them.
with these Senneliers you can use the corner of a paper towel to apply, and I would use an acrylic flat brush to apply lighter top layers.

10-01-2003, 09:35 AM
Wow Dyin don't they have any smaller sets to try to see if you like them. 180.00 is the smallest set? AHHHHHHHH Hey I haven't sold a painting yet LOL I just looked on Dick Blick they have 15 for 39.99

Boy those aren't cheap are they? LOL I may see if my art store has some and try a few of them. Pick out some colors. I need to get to the art store anyway. Looks like I have to go soon now LOL

10-01-2003, 09:42 AM
no, there's smaller sets...I got the set of 50 which is very nice because it has all 5 shades of 8 colors and then 10 in the gray scale...but that was $135 inclucing shipping...you can order individual colors too...one by one...and I saw really small starter sets that don't have the full range...
here's the link to Dakota Art pastel Holbein page...
they have 15 for $43 or 25 for $69.

10-01-2003, 12:40 PM
Oh I am losing it. I bought grumbacher pastels. DUH Geesh I looked at so many sets and forgot what I bought. Looking at the box again It's Grumbacher. Real waxy too. UGH ROFLMAO Can you say old? :eek: :rolleyes: :D

10-01-2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by Luvy
Can you say old? :eek: :rolleyes: :D

Never heard the work. But I *know* I can't say Grumbacher!

You have to try REAL oil pastels. You can get individual sticks from dick blick, I do that to try various brands. I just ordered 3 sticks of holbeins to try out.


10-01-2003, 01:43 PM
ha, ha Luvy...about the last comparison I would have made to Sennelier was 'like colored pencil'...now I understand! Senneliers are like slick soap...lol!!!

10-01-2003, 01:55 PM
I'm still messing with these. I'm not happy at all with them. Too much hard work trying to get them to work for me. If I have to use medium I may as well go back to oil painting. These aren't for me I'm thinking. To get these to just spread on the paper any paper is hard. UGH Hope others are better. I will get a few of different brands when I get to the art store again. I can't give up oil pastels without giving them a real test.

10-01-2003, 07:00 PM
Luvy... the pastels you have bought are probably students quality... the students grade pastels are cheap to buy and nasty to use... sorry but this is absolutely true, a comparison would be comparing school chalk to soft pastels.. I would advise you to but some Caran D'ache oil pastels, (avoid the Senneliers for the moment)......they are affordable and so nice to use, Holbeins are very, very, expensive, I've tossed the idea of buying some, but I don't think I can justify the expense right now, I'm producing good results with what I have, maybe in the future who knows, Carna D'ache pastels are lovely to use, they have a great range of colours, and you can use them dry like soft pastels, blend with your fingers and other tools, use turps, which I know you don't like, but it gives a wash effect, also check out Liquin or similar oil drying mediums... I've just finished a painting for Craig's cloud project, using Caran D'ache oil pastels, check it out and you will see what I mean.


10-01-2003, 07:06 PM
Ok MO. I found them at Dakota Art 36.00 for 24 set Not bad. I didn't think these grumbackers were student grade. I should check that out. I thought I looked for that. But then thought I bought Senniler LOL HEE HEE DUH Old and losing it LOL

ASWexpress has them for 33.59 Are they neopastels?

10-01-2003, 07:25 PM
Yes Luvy.. Neopastels... I have a full set of 96, and like oil paints you can mix the colours... so lots of colour combinations... bear in mind also that you can buy water soluble oil pastels, these may be more suited to you, check out the Caran D'ache home page,..... if you need more info just give me a buzz


10-01-2003, 07:35 PM
Mo if I'm reading this right Neopastels are water soluable

Neopastel ( Neoart )
> Artists
> Illustrators
> Art students
> Amateurs
> Finest, top quality wax pastels
> Water-soluble
> Very high pigment concentration
> Intensively bright and pure colours
> Outstanding lightfastness
> Ideal for water- and solid colouring

This is off their website

10-01-2003, 07:54 PM
That's right Luvy... I haven't tried them myself, but I should think they would be just fine, by adding water of course you should be able to abtain water colour effects too, thin washes and such,, the best thing to do is to do a search on the net and read up on as much info as possible before you commit your purse to the expense.

good luck,


10-01-2003, 07:55 PM
Too late LOL I pm'd you but I already ordered the 24 set after reading they are water soluable. Some people didn't like the water soluable oil paint, but I had no problem with them. Hopefully this will hold true with these *S*

10-02-2003, 03:09 AM
BE CAREFUL HERE FOLKS. Caran D'ache make TWO kinds of Neocolour:

WATERSOLUBLE WAX - called NEOCOLOR II (my box has a fish on the front, swimming in blue "water" to make it clear they are watersoluble.


non-watersoluble WAX- OIL pastels CALLED NEOCOLOR I.

I have BOTH boxes right in front of my as I type this, so I KNOW I am right.


The watersoluble ones are fun to use, the go down onto the paper in much the same way as the wax/oil ones, but are made in a very different way. You can dissolve the marks with water, which gives lovely watercolour effects, BUT IT IS NOT THE SAME AS OIL PASTELS.

Just wanted to make sure everyone realised that buying "NEOCOLOR" does NOT mean that you are buying, necessarily Oil Pastels. Always check whether it is No. I or No. II


10-02-2003, 05:48 AM

What a neat adventure you're on -- trying new stuff, playing with new toys!!! :D

Have lots of fun :) :) :)

I can't wait for you to post your first painting with some of the new stuff you've gotten :) :) :)

10-02-2003, 07:57 AM

This is the box the one I bought are in. Jackie I bought the oil ones. Oh well I didn't realize there were two kinds of these. Well you said these are easy to use so guess I didn't lose anything *S*
Adriene I shouldn't be experimenting I should be working on my stuff for the fair I have to have done by Dec.

And I've been in a slump for so long. Nothing I've done lately is worth putting in the fair. I have one piece. But then you can only put one in each category. I need to use my oil paints.

10-02-2003, 10:17 AM
Adriene I shouldn't be experimenting I should be working on my stuff for the fair I have to have done by Dec.
You're doing great Luvy. I'm sure that everything will fall together for you. When do you think your new order will arrive? Those look like yummy colors -- I hope that they will work out for you, or that you can scrounge up the other kind soon.

You have such a lovely, peaceful style Luvy... When the time is right, any new paintings you decide to do for the fair will gently appear on your paper, from your heart...

10-02-2003, 11:10 AM
Luvy, if you are worried about producing good work for a fair, in other words, you have a DEADLINE to work to, then, that is not the best time to be experimenting, I agree. I find that experimentation is best done when you are completely relaxed and have all the time in the world!

What you could do, without jeopardising your deadline, is allow yourself just one day to PLAY with your new oil pastels. Take a large sheet of paper and simply practice different ways to put colour down.

Try just lines, and then build up to colour areas by layering lines over each other, side by side or cross-hatched.

Then Try blending. Try blending with a finger, and if that doesn't work, then try a q-tip, first dry, and then dipped into a solvent of some kind - whatever you use for your oil painting should do.

Then try working over the top of a blended area, which has dried. work with lines over the top of a blended area.

If you do quite a few of these, you will soon get the hang of your op's and will be able to decide if you like them or not. And if you do not, then put them away and take them out again AFTER your deadline is behind you!

Do a few more fishmarket pics, they are terrific. If you don't want to do the fishmarket again, then get your camera, and get out into other types of market generally, and take lots of interesting pics. Go to a mall. Take pics in cafes. Find some local craftspeople or artisans who will let you photograph them at work. Go to the butcher, the baker, the greengrocer, the shoe shop. What about shops who sometimes display goods on a stall outside? Fruit and veg markets are just great.... Find colourful subjects, ideally with nice bright lights shining onto them, giving you interesting light and shade. You are NOT IN A SLUMP. You are like all of us, just worried about the next picture. That is perfectly normal, it is what being an artist is all about. If you think of it as a slump, that is far too negative. IT IS NORMAL.


look - I was out sketching, in a fruit and veg market one day. Some local chefs, from a restaurant, suddenly appeared, and I snapped off a great photo, which turned into this painting. Get that camera out, Luvy..............you could easily do this. Let me know if you want me to send you some market photos......


10-02-2003, 07:50 PM
Jackie I love this painting. See that's what I want to do. Just like this. But I would have put a face on that one man. That's how my mind works. LOL I can't figure out how to fake the faces. I'd love some market photos. We have a few fruit stands here not very busy at one time. We have giagantic supermarkets TOO BIG. I'd rather have just a small grocery store. *S* Less walking around to find what you need. I hate grocery shopping. Anyway I do need to get my oil paints out again for the fair. You can only enter one painting in each category. I can enter 3 paintings. I have to look to see if it was this one or the other festival that would allow only one painting per medium. I think this is the one that I can enter 3 in any medium.

Anyway. I haven't touched my oils since I picked up pastels. I just fell in love with them. So easy to pick up and stop whenever you want.

I'm going to an art/car show this weekend and a corvair picnic (corvair is an old car) Maybe I'll get some good pics there. *S* This camera is dying on me though. Hoping Santa will being me a new one SOON HEE HEE

Adreine I'm hoping to get the new ops next week. My order came pretty fast this week. Just the wrong ops LOL What do I know. The ones I have say professional brand but are really waxy.

I have a question. Are all cps the same. I had some cheapy colored pencils and they were waxy. I couldn't do anything with them. Wondered if better pencils are like pastels? Easier to use the more expensive they are.

You guys do keep me going. I do get down thinking I just can't do what I want to do. I may not like this painting that well. But you guys must. What am I missing? I like alot of my paintings. Maybe I feel I'm just not improving lately? Maybe that's why I'm searching. Oh am I being so philisophical today LOL I NEED TO FIND MYSELF, I NEED SPACE HEE HEE

Jackie thanks for all your help and your words of wisdom. I really do appreciate it. Sure wish I could meet you one day. Ever coming to Florida? *S* I have a vacant room. I have 4 small dogs but they are cute and don't bug you too much LOL Really if you ever get to Fl you let me know. *S*

10-02-2003, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by Luvy
Adreine I'm hoping to get the new ops next week. My order came pretty fast this week. Just the wrong ops LOL What do I know. The ones I have say professional brand but are really waxy.

I have a question. Are all cps the same. I had some cheapy colored pencils and they were waxy. I couldn't do anything with them. Wondered if better pencils are like pastels? Easier to use the more expensive they are./B]

Grumbachers are sort of a high-end student grade. Better than the $3 boxes but.....
Neocolor11s are watercolor crayons, often used in face-painting. Caran D'Ache Neopastels are the oil pastels.
Holbeins are not as expensive in North America as in England because I think they are made in Vermont. I find them around the same price as Neopastels, which are imported from Switzerland. I started out with about 4 Holbeins and was hooked.
All cps are NOT equal. Try some Sanford Prismacolors- that's what most people in the cp forum use.
Jackie's right when she says to play with the oil pastels for a while and don't put pressure on yourself.
Have fun!

10-03-2003, 03:32 AM
Luvy - the art/car show sounds like the perfect place to get some great inspirational pics to work from. Get that camera working! Put new batteries in it! If it isn't behaving, borrow one from someone else! If it is sunny, try to get there early, you get the best light either early in the day, or later in the afternoon; in the middle of the day the sun is high in the sky and shadows shorter.

However, whatever time you get there, snap away, take loads of shots, and I am sure you will find some good ones in amongst them to use.

The best way to "fake faces" is either 1. to try to make sure that the person is far enough away and the face in shadow, so you do not have to paint details or 2. if the person is close to you, try to capture them looking down, or away, then you do not have to worry about features. But you don't have to leave features out, you can put them in, it doesnt matter too much, it depends if you want the faces to be the focus of attention, or not.

I just picked up an old (well a few months old, that is all) UK mag and here is a comment about op's you might find helpful:

"OP's respond best on a surface that has a slight texture. suitable supports include pastel papers, watercolour papers, canvas board, and mountboard, or even ordinary cardboard. Many different handling techniques are possible, from bold linear work, t blending areas of colour with a cotton bud dipped in white spirit, or exploring sgraffito, resist, or texture effects. In general the medium suits large-scale expressive work rather than detailed studies, and it has a lot of exciting potential when used with inks, soft pastels, watercolour, and other media".

After your work is finished for the fairs, you could have a lot of fun experimenting with your new op's.

However, in the meantime, just snap away and get yourself lots of inspirational pics! Have fun.


oooh I have just had a brainwave. Going back to what you said about not liking "naive art". Have you seen the work of Carole Katchen? Her figures are "stylised", and do not exactly fall into the category of naive art, or folk art ... but they are delightfully charming, and I think you could learn quite a lot from looking at her pics. Here is a link to a website about her work
http://www.hotmusic.org/katchenart (there is a fishmonger pic there!)

here is one of her pics

and another


loose painting, and in the case of the top one, with "stylised", rather than literal, figures. This may not be exactly what YOU are after, but they have a unique charm, don'tyou think?


10-04-2003, 02:38 AM
well, it is the weekend. Did you get to the fair, Luvy? And get some good pics?

10-04-2003, 03:08 AM
Well I'm sorta confused now about all the kinds of OPs. Nearly bought some Neocolor today but now I'm glad I didn't.. Will go back and check for types I or II.

Jackie- simply love the fruit/veg market picture of yours. Great advice here too.

Luvy - enjoy your adventures with the new OPs. Look forward to seeing your stuff. :clap:

10-04-2003, 03:24 AM
Just another thought for Luvy...you said you liked my fruit and veg pic, wanted to work just like that. (glad you liked it too, Mel.)

Luvy....did you realise ...there is NO blending going on in that pic, at all!!!!

I am not saying that you should not blend your pastels - I don't want you to change yur style if you are happy with it - but I just want to show you that a looser style often revolves around the technique, rather than any lack of detail. It is VERY hard to make an all-blended pic look loose.

10-04-2003, 04:19 AM

I have been practicing a bit my OPs after a year in their box (I need another 2 hours to show something), and I just wanted to share a few things.

I have Sennelier and Caran d'Ache.

As it has been already said, Sennelier are very sensitive to the temperature, so when you work quickly, they melt. The problem for me is that when I am not happy I tend to try to work more quickly, which is just wrong with these. And although they don't dry, it's easier to layer after a few minutes, and blending is easier when "fresh". Temperature in the studio is certainly key too (in summer once I brougth my OP to my painting lesson, and the teacher asked me "are these lipsticks?"... it was quite accurate).

Another think I noticed, is that putting Caran d'Ache over fresh Sennelier usually results in putting off the Sennelier color, which can be usufeul when there is a mistake... The other way is working fine. But meting Caran d'Ache is better when making the strokes in crossed directions.

Last but not least, a bit like in watercolor, there is not much chance to completely get rid of a dark color.

Hope this helps more people to have fun with OPs,