View Full Version : Quick Q about Oil Pastels

11-09-2003, 07:11 PM
Till now I've only been using OPs for little sketches. If I want to do a serious OP painting, do I need to gesso the paper? The OPs are Caran D'Ache and Sennelier.

Many thanks in advance!


11-09-2003, 07:13 PM
I've never gessoed the paper and it seems to work fine. What paper were you intending to use?

11-09-2003, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by vrashton
I've never gessoed the paper and it seems to work fine. What paper were you intending to use?

Wow, thanks so much for the quick reply! I was hoping to do something tonight. :D

I could use anything....Mi Tientes, Arches hot press, lots of kinds of Strathmore watercolor paper, Stonehenge, LaCarte sanded (I don't have their new OP paper---has anybody tried it?), Sennelier cheaper pastel paper called "Etude", etc. If nobody replied, I'd probably just use the MiTientes (smoother side) or Etude, or perhaps Stonehenge.

It's always worked fine ungessoed, but I worry about longevity...ie...pieces I will sell.


11-09-2003, 07:39 PM
Jamie... I have gessoed, I used an acrylic gesso, but didn't like it, the oil pastels seemed to sit on top and take forever to harden......so I paint without gessoing and have had no problems whatever with oil leeching through the paper or anything else.

I have a pad of paper for oil pastels, but again, I didn't like it the oil pastels appeared too translucent on the paper, and didn't scan or photo well,...can't recall the brand of paper right now though..... my favourite supports so far are suede board, (but I can't get the stuff over here, ) watercolour paper, most pastel papers especially Somerset Velvet, and mount board.
Canvas is good too, but eats up the pastels rather quick, oooH almost forgot, sanfix too, but again eats up the pastels. Stonhenge is good too, in fact I find with oil pastels the smoother the surface the better they apply and blend....don't forget to check the library for more info on OP's there's a sticky in there with loads of stuff.


P.S....... as for longevity, a friend of mine has two portraits I did of her dog aout 30 years ago, maybe longer, they were painted with cheapy OP's on thin pastel paper, Ingres I think..that horrible stuff that comes in a pad:D... and they are still as good as the day I did them.

11-09-2003, 07:48 PM
Excellent, Mo!!! Thanks so much. I think I'll go for Stonehenge. Between my first posting and now, I did a quick 8X10 version on the Sennelier Etude, which is like a linen texture. Your comments about smoother texture for OPs make a lot of sense now, following that sketch! It was my first go with OPs on a grid-like texture and I hated it. :evil: I'm trying to blend a sunset scene and the smoother texture will definitely work more in my favor here. I'll skip the gesso since you haven't had any issues with longevity.

Millions of thanks,

11-09-2003, 07:55 PM
Don't forget to show us when you've done! Look forward to seeing it!


11-09-2003, 09:07 PM
I wouldn't know where to find the thread- maybe the O.P.Information thread- but Jackie said she'd read that there is acid in o.p.s that would eventually deteriorate the paper... I usually use gesso, mostly mixed with Golden Pastel Ground, but on wc paper or mattboard, not thin paper. On Canson I have just used the G.Pastel Ground itself.
The gessoed surface. without the pumice stuff, is nice for making underpaintings with o.p.s and turps, and for sgraffito effects.

11-10-2003, 02:36 AM

I have used the Sennelier special paper for OP for this one
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Projects/lib/542/completed/28065/tn_ChiantiFinal.jpg (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Projects/lib/542/completed/28065/ChiantiFinal.jpg)

The structure of the paper is more visible on the WIP:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Projects/lib/542/progress/28065/tn_Chianti1step.jpg (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Projects/lib/542/progress/28065/Chianti1step.jpg)

and I liked it! I was not happy about the few trials I made with Canson Mi-Teintes.

I also use Sennelier and Caran d'Ache OPs, Sennelier claims that their pastels are stable over time and that there is no acid but I don't know for Caran d'Ache.

Have a creative day!


P.S. Click on the images if you wish to see a larger version.