View Full Version : Oil Pastels and drying times

Linda Boebinger
10-12-2001, 08:47 AM
I'm currently working on a piece in oils and want to do some finishing touches (a little line work, etc.) with oil pastels. (The brand is Caran d'ache Neopastel). My questions concern drying. Should I use any medium or turps on a small brush to incorporate the pastel into the final layer? Or will a final varnish in 6 months to a year be sufficient. Will the oil pastels ever really dry?

Thanks for your input.

10-13-2001, 12:50 AM
Good question! I don't do Oil Pastels ...yet, but I'd like to know the answer too in case I do one of these days.

10-17-2001, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by Linda Boebinger
Will the oil pastels ever really dry?

Hi, Linda:

I have read that oil pastels never dry -- and in my limited experience that is true. The binder is wax, so you might want to check further about the wisdom of varnishing over wax. I believe I have read it should not be done.


Scott Methvin
10-18-2001, 11:20 AM
I tried them once, thinking that they would make an excellent underdrawing substance.

They never do really dry. Must be the wax or a non drying oil. If you were to sketch lightly to work out your composition and get yourself started, they seem to be ok. I did a painting of my dog doing it this way. I used lots of heavy lead based paint over the drawing and it turned out alright. I didn't like it enough to use it again though.

It bleeds through like graphite and is hard to cover. Better to use them as sketching tools and use real paint for painting.

Come to think of it, they are the evil cousins of cosmetic lipstick.

Linda Boebinger
10-18-2001, 05:37 PM
Thanks all....So much for that bright idea! lol I was gonna do a little line work with them, but if they won't dry, I'll just get a little tiny brush instead.

10-27-2001, 06:44 PM
depends on the brand, but a combination of non-drying oils and/or wax ensures that oil pastels will never really dry. mr. methvin is absolutely right: its like painting with lipstick.

you can use a painting medium or turp to make a few oil pastel additions to an oil painting. a little is not going to hurt. i'd be sparing in the use of this medium in combination with oils.

a better idea is to use oil sticks from r&f. there are several other decent brands as well. i think gamblin makes them too? they are very similar to oil pastels except that they have no chalk and use a higher percentage of linseed oil to wax (only about 20-25% wax). they dry slowly, but they do dry.