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Josh Reeves
03-24-2004, 03:12 AM
I have a set of neopastel. With range of color I use purple, brown and red to archive darkness. I never have to use black when I work in this medium. They're not too soft where they start melting when you touch them. There any so many brands of oil pastels. Which brands are your favorites and why?

weckster
03-24-2004, 03:27 AM
I have a set of neopastel. With range of color I use purple, brown and red to archive darkness. I never have to use black when I work in this medium. They're not too soft where they start melting when you touch them. There any so many brands of oil pastels. Which brands are your favorites and why?
I use both Sennelier and Neopastel. I like both - Sennelier is stickier, but the Neopastels are really smooth, and the Ash Grey and Cream colours are fantastic near-whites.
I have some Holbeins, and they work in well with the others. My favourite overall are the Neopastels though

E-J
03-24-2004, 08:51 AM
Hello Josh.

I use op's occasionally and prefer Caran d'Ache Neopastel as they are creamy but more opaque and less sticky than Senneliers ... but the Senneliers come in some truly vibrant, jewel-like colours.

I haven't tried Holbeins but understand they have the closest feel to that of working with soft pastels.

There's lots of information about oil pastels - probably more than you ever wanted to know!! - in this thread from the Pastel Library archives. Enjoy!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98103

gr8pets
03-24-2004, 01:25 PM
I'm glad you brought this up, because I noticed something last night about my NeoPastels that I wanted to share...They have a slight odor that bothers me! Has anyone else noticed this, or do I just have a bad set? Every time I open up my tin if 48 colors, I notice the smell. Kind of makes my eyes water. It's like rancid lipstick, but stronger.

My Holbeins don't have a smell at all. I only have a few Senneliers but haven't noticed any smell with them. Just the NeoPastels. :confused:

Aside from odor, I love the consistency of the NeoPastels. They are smooth and creamy, and layer better than my Holbeins and Senneliers. But I find that I really use my Holbeins more because of the square shape, which is easier to handle. Also, the lack of label doesn't discourage me from breaking the Holbeins into pieces and using them all sorts of ways.

I have also tried a few of the Sakura Specialists, and don't like them nearly as much. They are harder and not as smooth. They don't blend as well, either.

Christi

Dyin
03-24-2004, 02:12 PM
I'm a big Holbein fan...have full sets of Sennelier, Neopastel and Holbein...best results have consistantly been with the Holbein. And yes, I do notice the odor..strange thing. I've left them open to the air and it's better now. The Senneliers work well with a brush or applicator and are rich pigment-wise. The Carans are a bit waxy and they round so much that I have trouble controlling them. The Holbeins are great just straight...and I can use them right down to the nub and I break them every which way I need. Only thing I don't like is their lack of yellow ochre color but I can layer them a lot and have found they mix nicely when you work them together to make a third color. Two great tips for dark....burnt umber and a dark blue or even just indigo alone is great. How about some examples of your stuff, Josh? :D

Khadres
03-24-2004, 03:08 PM
I'm a big Holbein fan...have full sets of Sennelier, Neopastel and Holbein...best results have consistantly been with the Holbein. And yes, I do notice the odor..strange thing. I've left them open to the air and it's better now. The Senneliers work well with a brush or applicator and are rich pigment-wise. The Carans are a bit waxy and they round so much that I have trouble controlling them. The Holbeins are great just straight...and I can use them right down to the nub and I break them every which way I need. Only thing I don't like is their lack of yellow ochre color but I can layer them a lot and have found they mix nicely when you work them together to make a third color. Two great tips for dark....burnt umber and a dark blue or even just indigo alone is great. How about some examples of your stuff, Josh? :D
Dyin, that's a great evaluation of OPs in a very small pkg! I've been wanting to try OPs as an alternative to my dusties just so I could use them upstairs on the kitchen level of the house with less worry about dust and had been in a quandary about which brand would work best.
NATURALLY you picked the most expensive Holbeins, but hey, it's just money, right? :D
The Neopastels sound intriguing too. Hmmmm. Maybe the Easter Bunny can be prevailed upon....?

Dyin
03-24-2004, 04:03 PM
Dyin, that's a great evaluation of OPs in a very small pkg! I've been wanting to try OPs as an alternative to my dusties just so I could use them upstairs on the kitchen level of the house with less worry about dust and had been in a quandary about which brand would work best.
NATURALLY you picked the most expensive Holbeins, but hey, it's just money, right? :D
The Neopastels sound intriguing too. Hmmmm. Maybe the Easter Bunny can be prevailed upon....?

yeah...Santa was good to me lol! I started out with a set of 50, it was only 8 colors and then the full gray scale white to black, but it was enough to do quite a bit. What was nice about that, vs. the smaller sets is that it gave you all five tones for a color...which is my favorite thing about the Holbeins...the right value first try is priceless. Or you could build up box by box of 5 values...Holbein doesn't sell direct but they said even though Dakota pastel didn't advertise the full box of 5 that they would get them for me. So that's an option too. Good luck with the Easter bunny! :D

hamsterdance
03-24-2004, 04:20 PM
For anyone who's curious I just added a post to the OP thread in the library the link above points to.

skintone
03-24-2004, 04:38 PM
I don't think there is an oil pastel hamsterdance hasn't tried. :)

Personally I like Holbeins. I've tried cray-pas, and some other student grade. Haven't tried sennelier yet, but I will. I like the way the Holbeins handle. I never have a problem blending with them. THey glide onto any surface. In fact the melt in my hands.

hamsterdance
03-24-2004, 05:19 PM
Heh! It seems that way, eh?

Actually there are too many OP brands popping up these days for me to try them all. I've not tried SMI Gallery or Loews Cornell or Grumbacher or Talens or any other number of brands out there. I didn't include Sakura's CrayPas because it's been a long time since I've tried them out.

Josh Reeves
03-24-2004, 08:21 PM
Yes I've noticed neopastels smell. For me it's irrevant because I paint on them with mineralspirts and use them simular to paint. I'll try Holbeins I've heard alot of good things about it.

eileenclaire
03-24-2004, 10:40 PM
Interesting thread here. I just tried the Holbeins, and I'd have to rank them first on my list. You can get such a subtle gradation of tones with them, since they have the 5 tones per color. I may have to use them exclusively for skin tones because of that. The whole set would be really nice to have, but I can get by with the set of 50 for now (and maybe forever since they're so expensive!).

The Senneliers and Caran D'ache are both excellent for the money. The Senneliers have some luscious colors. The Caran D'ache blend so well. I started out with the Cray Pas Expressionist, and I loved them. I think they are a great introduction to the medium. Of course they pale in comparison to the artist grade ops. But it's a cheap way to try them out and see if you like them.

Khadres
03-26-2004, 02:25 AM
yeah...Santa was good to me lol! I started out with a set of 50, it was only 8 colors and then the full gray scale white to black, but it was enough to do quite a bit. What was nice about that, vs. the smaller sets is that it gave you all five tones for a color...which is my favorite thing about the Holbeins...the right value first try is priceless. Or you could build up box by box of 5 values...Holbein doesn't sell direct but they said even though Dakota pastel didn't advertise the full box of 5 that they would get them for me. So that's an option too. Good luck with the Easter bunny! :D

And http://www.fineartstore.com also sells the five shade sets. I may try that...just pick a couple hues at a time to add to the neopastels and mungyos and grumbachers I already have. I have favorite colors I want ALL the values of such as yellows, blues, and mauves. Most sets insist on lots of reds and pinky colors I don't need as many of...at least not right now. With y'all's many comments about Senneliers and with my less than happy experience with their dry pastels, I think I'll start with a VERY small set of theirs until I see how I like them.

Like you, I have breathing problems from time to time, especially in pollen season which is coming up, and I figure I need to try a "fall-back" position in case the dusties become too much of a problem. I do have a good air filter in the studio, but when the asthma hits almost anything dusty can aggravate it. I'm hoping the oil pastels will give me an alternative so I can keep working even when the wheezing hits.

You should know that in the beginning, I swore I'd never use oil pastels and it's been your work and others in OPs here in the forum that has convinced me to give 'em a shot.

The Easter bunny will probably think himself lucky to get off with a half dozen 5-value sets of the Holbein, don'tcha think?

Shari
03-26-2004, 02:42 AM
Friends,

Before you buy anything, please check out aswexpress.com because they have the best deals anywhere. The Sennelier OP's are on sale until March 31st for the unbelievable price of $129 for the whole set of 120. That is a nearly $1 a stick which is pretty good. They have Holbeins too and all the brands.

Shari

Dyin
03-26-2004, 11:20 AM
You should know that in the beginning, I swore I'd never use oil pastels and it's been your work and others in OPs here in the forum that has convinced me to give 'em a shot.

The Easter bunny will probably think himself lucky to get off with a half dozen 5-value sets of the Holbein, don'tcha think?

That's nice to hear, Sooz. Years ago someone mentioned that I ought to try OPs and I totally discounted them due to the reputation they had of being not much more than crayons for adults....I'm glad I finally found out what possibilities they really have and hope you will too!

Khadres
03-26-2004, 12:15 PM
Friends,

Before you buy anything, please check out aswexpress.com because they have the best deals anywhere. The Sennelier OP's are on sale until March 31st for the unbelievable price of $129 for the whole set of 120. That is a nearly $1 a stick which is pretty good. They have Holbeins too and all the brands.

Shari

Yep, I saw that when I was surfing for oil pastel prices. Not bad at all. I just wish Holbeins weren't quite so pricey, but....at least the Senneliers are within range. Thanks for the info!

Khadres
03-26-2004, 01:36 PM
Okay, you guys, you talked me into it! It's all your fault! I ordered the full set of Senneliers and the 100 set of Holbeins from ASW...at least getting them both saved me shipping costs! This is IT for art supplies for the immediate future...I'm running out of room, not to mention money!

Does anyone know how ASW ships (FedEx, UPS, snailmail, etc.)? How quick are they? Getting impatient now. :D

Dyin
03-26-2004, 02:08 PM
Okay, you guys, you talked me into it! It's all your fault! I ordered the full set of Senneliers and the 100 set of Holbeins from ASW...at least getting them both saved me shipping costs! This is IT for art supplies for the immediate future...I'm running out of room, not to mention money!

Does anyone know how ASW ships (FedEx, UPS, snailmail, etc.)? How quick are they? Getting impatient now. :D

ah....the power of suggestion! :evil: :rolleyes: :D Used to order from them, think it was ground, UPS...Now you need to go read the OP thread (a touch longer than War and Peace I believe :p ) and we'll be looking forward to seeing what you do with them! Grab some baby wipes before you quit spending the easter bunny's money...they're great for quick clean ups!

eileenclaire
03-26-2004, 03:58 PM
Hey Sooz! You don't play around! You just jump right in there with both feet, I like that in a person! I bought the Senneliers from ASW and they came in no time. Can't wait to see what you do with them!

Khadres
03-29-2004, 12:36 AM
Hey Sooz! You don't play around! You just jump right in there with both feet, I like that in a person! I bought the Senneliers from ASW and they came in no time. Can't wait to see what you do with them!

Nice to know they ship quick! Well, I knew the Sennelier set was a super deal and it is going to be back to regular price after the end of the month, so...the Holbeins...I certainly couldn't spring for the entire set, but I stuck my neck out for the biggest set I could right now...fewer to add later on.

I'm not promising anything! Years ago I tried the OPs on offer at the time and hated them, but then the medium has come a long way since then. I may need to have you guys put up a few step-by-steps to see exactly how to use 'em! Be thinking of demos, guys!

Dyin
03-29-2004, 12:48 AM
Sooz...have you checked out all the demos and wips for oil pastels in the library? Not in the oil pastel info thread...but down below all the tips for the soft pastels in the Library Table of Contents thread...might be some help there! I seem to remember that you do landscapes rather than portraits, so also click on sundiver's profile and check out all the threads she's started...her landscapes are op so might get a bit of help there.

Khadres
03-29-2004, 11:25 PM
ah....the power of suggestion! :evil: :rolleyes: :D Used to order from them, think it was ground, UPS...Now you need to go read the OP thread (a touch longer than War and Peace I believe :p ) and we'll be looking forward to seeing what you do with them! Grab some baby wipes before you quit spending the easter bunny's money...they're great for quick clean ups!

Have the baby wipes....thought of them immediately when I began trying out soft pastels, actually. I even had a couple large dispensers from when I was taking care of Mom. The visiting nurses used them and left bunches. They're the best thing since sliced bread, aren't they?

I've read the library thread on OPs a few times over. Goofed, in fact, and left a message over there today. I hadn't realized it, but I've found that Prismacolor pencils with their waxie consistency make a great gradient and/or blender for the cheapo OPs I have. That's nice because I have a complete set of the darned things and thought I would never get any real use out of them.

I'm patiently awaiting the new artists level sets I ordered. The Neopastels should arrive tomorrow and I got a msg. that the Sennelier and Holbeins are "released" and ready to ship, so with luck, I may get them by the end of the week! Woohoo!

KAPnkrunch
03-30-2004, 12:10 AM
has anyone here tried van gogh pastels? i was looking in my blick catalog and saw them. they dont seem to be student grade, though they are not as terrible expensive as the professional grade. so are the middle of the road? and does their price reflect their performance?

Dyin
03-30-2004, 01:39 AM
Hi KAPn...welcome to WC! I haven't tried them but am sure I've seen them mentioned...I tried doing a search but it won't accept 3 letter words (van). Hopefully someone will come along who's used them.
Sooz...prismacolors will work with the other ops too! I use them for fine details sometimes. I know you're excited about the new toys...can't wait to see how it goes!

Harm Verbeek
03-30-2004, 05:43 PM
Hello

I started with van Gogh pastels (they are easy to get in holland because they make them here) I think they are pretty good. I use them now for about five years and am using the third set. They are pretty soft and pretty good pigmented. They are a little less soft as the Sakure specialist.
I use often the cheaper Op-s for the first setup In europe you have a lot of different kinds of Op.
I use for different things Rowney Brown's and Gallery out of England
Sakura student and artist quality.
Van Gogh out of Holland
Filia out of Denmark, they have also oil crayons with them you can make very small accents.
Latoya out of Belgium They are really soft. they melt in your hand.
Good for extra accent or an extra layer.
Lefranc & bourgeois out of France
Sennelier ( but I can't find the 120 colors you have in the states.)
Yaxon these arn't to nice to use but good enough for first drawing.
I use them all through each other. But i make the painting often ready with van Gogh and Sakure Artist.
I'm not that rich i can affort all these I just often gets them for p.e. my birthday.
Holbein I can't find in Europe.
All of these have also there own colors which sometimes used make the color i look for.

I don't know to much about the lightinfluence of the different OP
only Sakura artist and van Gogh i can find marks of colorreality with +++ marks.

Greetings harm

hamsterdance
03-30-2004, 05:52 PM
hi Khadres, Kapn & Harm,

We need more oil pastel fans here! So post often with pics of your stuff.

I'll be getting a digital camera myself toward the end of April/beginning of May then everyone will see what a mediocre OP artist I am! Hah! :D

p.s. be sure to check out this thread -

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.phpp=2177615#post2177615

- especially the last page and last post by g8pets

Khadres
03-30-2004, 08:36 PM
Hi KAPn...welcome to WC! I haven't tried them but am sure I've seen them mentioned...I tried doing a search but it won't accept 3 letter words (van). Hopefully someone will come along who's used them.
Sooz...prismacolors will work with the other ops too! I use them for fine details sometimes. I know you're excited about the new toys...can't wait to see how it goes!

The Neopastels have arrived! Bless the FedEx man's heart! They are yummmmmmmmmmy! Haven't done any ptgs yet but I like to try new pastels out in a hands-on color chart first and these things ROCK! Still trying to think of what to try painting first.

I also received my full set of Polychromos pastels...woohoo....they blend with water BEAUTIFULLY. They seem to have a bit more of a waxy quality than do NuPastels, but since I never really liked the wishy washy dusty look of the NuPastels, these look a LOT more like what I had in mind. Although I like soft pastels despite the dust, GOOD pastel dust looks a whole boatload different than NuPastel dust. I wanted something a bit more versatile and the Polychromos just may bridge the gap. Lots of experimenting to be done around here!

So you guys know what I'm doin' when I'm not yammering on here for the next couple days! :D I just hope the family doesn't expect meals to be on time or anything...

Dyin
03-30-2004, 08:53 PM
too bad for them if they do expect it, Sooz...some things just HAVE to take priority! :p You better post the results of your tries so we can see...don't worry,no one expects miracles with a brand new medium, and maybe you'll surprise even yourself... so will be waiting impatiently!!! :D

hamsterdance
03-30-2004, 09:35 PM
The Neopastels have arrived! Bless the FedEx man's heart! They are yummmmmmmmmmy!

Hah! See how different artist quality is from student grade? I don't seem to recall Kadres saying this about the student OP's. :D

Khadres
03-31-2004, 12:43 AM
You know....it's a terrible thing that we do to our children....giving them crippled art gear to play with and then wondering why they don't all turn out to be artists! Where's the sense in that??? I can see saving a few bucks by giving them Rembrandt soft pastels rather than Unisons, but geez....there should be limits.

Actually, the cheapo OPs I have aren't THAT bad, but it WOULD be frustrating to try to do anything really definitive with 'em. If they're supposed to be for "students", we'd be better off makin' 'em stick with Crayolas! At least I knew what to expect with mine and can figure out places to use 'em eventually, but a kid has no frame of reference.

eileenclaire
03-31-2004, 01:03 AM
I don't know Sooz, you should check out some of the work kids are doing with the cheapo Cray Pas. They have a yearly contest and here are some of the results:

http://www.gellyroll.com/art/craypas/cp2001/01gr6-8.html

vltz
03-31-2004, 12:11 PM
Maybe there's toxin's in the artist quality materials--kids materials have to be non-toxic.....
V

Khadres
03-31-2004, 04:38 PM
One thing I'm noticing already with my new Neopastels is the lack of many OPAQUE lights. That's what I really rely on in dusties, the ability to put lights on top of underlying colors. Do the other brands have more of these? I'm hoping the Holbein I ordered have more...

Dyin
03-31-2004, 05:02 PM
One thing I'm noticing already with my new Neopastels is the lack of many OPAQUE lights. That's what I really rely on in dusties, the ability to put lights on top of underlying colors. Do the other brands have more of these? I'm hoping the Holbein I ordered have more...

Holbein is best for opaque lights but i still try to be careful and 'save' the lightest areas for where I want my brightest highlights. Still I have covered black with pure white before...just tweren't easy! Don't forget...you can scrape down with the ops...if it's not mixing but just covering the initial 'stain' it covers quite well.

skintone
03-31-2004, 05:21 PM
Yeah the holbeins can be weird about that. some of their lights are transparent, so that it's obviously a lighter are, but you can see through it. I think using a good support helps. I haven't covered a black with a white before, but I have covered the darkest van dyke brown with the lightest van dyke white without the colors mixing.

By the way, Holbeins are highly blendable.

Khadres
04-05-2004, 02:33 AM
Well, thought I'd give you guys a progress report of sorts...have been playing around with the new OPs. I'm still struggling with trying to get real DARK darks and LIGHT lights....everything seems mid toned so far. Guess I'm going to have to do an underpainting or something... What do y'all underpaint OPs with?

Dyin
04-05-2004, 01:05 PM
What surface are you using, Sooz? I'm wondering if that's not part of your problem. You can use gouache for underpainting...or watercolor. Acrylic works too but it is sort of slick and the ops don't stick as well for me. You can also use some turp to this the ops and then let it sit til the turps dry out a bit.

gr8pets
04-05-2004, 02:40 PM
I tried dissoving the OP's with Liquin this weekend and found it to be a nice consistency for underpainting. The Turpenoid makes a really thin wash...I prefer the ~slightly~ creamy texture of the Liquin.

Don't know how long to wait to dry...Probably longer than turps. I did this on Saturday evening and had a nice dry surface by the next morning.

BTW, I checked my Portfolio strip in the window (checking for lightfastness) and only one or two of the colors showed slight fading from a week long exposure in the sun. This is an East facing window which is unfortunately my sunniest window...All other windows have shade from trees or covered patio.

How long do I need to leave the strip in the window before I get a good idea of light fastness? So far I'm pleasantly surprised. I wish I had done a control using an artist grade pastel. :(

Christi

Dyin
04-05-2004, 02:59 PM
does the Liquin have an odor like turp? Think most leave the samples up at least a month for lightfast tests, not sure...

gr8pets
04-05-2004, 04:42 PM
Sue,

The Liquin had a bit of an odor but it wasn't strong. I'm pretty sensitive to chemicals, and this one didn't bother me. I just poured out a tiny dab (dime sized) and that was more than I needed for my experimenting.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, the Liquin was nothing compared to the fumes from my Neopastels. Those really choke me up...But airing them out helped with the smell (was it you who suggested this?)

Christi

Dyin
04-05-2004, 08:24 PM
I didn't actually recommend it..just mentioned that I leave them out in the open and no more smell lol....may have to try the Liquin. I've used W&N glazing medium...but whew...just about the same odor as turp. Thanks!

eileenclaire
04-05-2004, 09:57 PM
Hmmm, now that I think about it, the Liquin was nothing compared to the fumes from my Neopastels. Those really choke me up...But airing them out helped with the smell (was it you who suggested this?)

Christi

I don't notice much of a smell with the Neopastels. They have a slight crayony smell to them. Maybe you have a bad batch? Or maybe because you are in a hotter climate, the heat affects the smell?

Khadres
04-05-2004, 11:18 PM
That's at least one advantage to almost chronic sinus hayfever symptoms which leave me able to smell only the most obnoxious of odors (of COURSE those would come through!) I didn't notice any smell to my Neopastels at all.

Am trying some underpainting with liquid acrylic inks (Dr. Martins). Will be fun to see how it goes. I've got watercolor and guache to try next. Also woodless pencil. Sorta fun to just experiment!