View Full Version : Acrylic on Oil pastel

03-01-2006, 03:29 AM
Hi everbody.
I have just started out in acrylics and ops. already found myself in a corner.
Up till this piece I have always done my drawings etc. in dry media as I was, and still am, afraid of the brush.
But when I see all these breathtaking pieces you do I sort of pushed myself to try it out.
I started with three objects standing in front of a piece of drapery with light folds.
After reading a book and nosing around in this forum, I decided to do the painting in four or five washes with some light and dark highlights (a bit like an impression) which, according to my quite a beginner standard, came out fairly well. However, unfortunatley, the drape folds ended up looking like everything but drapes.
I've tried many times to correct it but couldn't manage at all even tried to draw the drape folds alla prima. The result came out a bit better but I was still not satisfied.
So I've tried doing the folds in oil pastels (going for mixed media) but it came out looking the worst.
Could anybody tell me if it is possible to paint with acrylic again (or using some kind of medium) on the piece done in oil pastel. I mean I want to cover it again with acrylic so that I will try to re-do the folds with acrylic paint.
Another question is: Next time I try to do folds in washes how should I go about it?
Please excuse me if these subjects have already been raised in the past but I am quite new to wecanvas.
Any help or reference will be greatly treasured and appreciated.

03-01-2006, 04:27 AM
I don't think that you can paint over oil pastel with acrylic. You can try but it may be messy. Oil pastel is made from a mixture of waxes and pigments and is slow to dry - even after a few months the oil pastel colour on a painting will still stain your hands if you handle it. Acrylic is water based and dries within a few minutes unless you use impasto or retardants.

You can do an underpainting with acrylic and then finish off with oil pastels or oil paint on top, but not the reverse process.

If you're only just starting out in acrylics, then don't think that you must work for hours trying to recover a painting that's not progressing as you wish. You'll learn a lot more if you abandon the current painting and start another.

03-01-2006, 04:59 AM
I'm with Keith, I think the reason you cannot paint in acrylic OVER oil is because acrylic shrinks a little and will crack. Not sure if removing the pastel first with some kind of substance/liquid would work?....I'm sure someone more knowledgable than me will advise on that.

Re: fabric folds....Have you considered underpainting the values in first? Lots of blending would helps, get your values in with one colour...something darker than the fabric colour and then glaze colour over the top using transparent glazes...build up many layers for depth.

Leslie Pz
03-01-2006, 08:32 AM
I agree with the problems of acrylic over oils... won't work successfully from what I've heard.

Nitsa has great ideas for the folds. After a few paintings, you will develop a good technique. Keep pract and trying!

Good Luck!!!

03-01-2006, 05:18 PM
I want to thank you all for your advice.
I was presuming that it will be quite impossible to remove or cover that spot done in oil pastel but wanted to hear from you if there was a way out.
And yes I quite agree that it is all waste of time and energy to recover the painting. But I really wanted to do it nice to keep it as my very first.
Not that sentimental but it would have been nice.

Charlie's Mum
03-01-2006, 05:42 PM
Hi Josef - and welcome to the forum :D
Oil and water don't mix! The water based medium will just bead and not cover.
You could try dissolving the OP with turps/white spirit and/or sand it off, but I'd just abandon it and put it down to experience!
Was this on paper? Again, it may not take much punishment ;)

Why don't you post some work on drapery and we can help you to improve and understand?

Lady Carol
03-01-2006, 05:45 PM
But I really wanted to do it nice to keep it as my very first.
Not that sentimental but it would have been nice.
Great idea, but the first is never really nice. You get better with each go, so after a while the first appears to be really amateurish. You could try washing off the pastel - soap and water may help.
Chalk it up to experience and try again.

I have been painting for a while now, and I still haven't mastered folds of material. They just look like stripes and definitely worth :lol: over.

03-02-2006, 07:10 AM
Again my thanks goes to you all for the interest you have shown in following my thread.
Yes I do believe I found, let's say, some kind of a solution of how to remove that spot of oil pastel.
I am using an A3 'Daler-Rowney' Georgia Aquafine watercolour paper 250g/m2 which I found to be OK and can absorb lots of water.
What I did is to iron (not too hot) that area covered with a blotter and little by little the blotting paper absorbed all of the pastel. The layer of acrylic that I've last brushed is now showing again.
I cannot say that I won the pools or discovered the New World but I am glad that I managed. I have painted the spot in titanium white and it is now quite dry.
Now my dilemma starts again in trying to do the folds.
Any other help will be greatly appreciated

03-02-2006, 08:53 PM
I work with oil pastels and acrylics all the time and generally you can not go back over with acrylic on top of op. You can use a sealant (a permanent fixative) and have some luck that way after you scrape the paper down with a knife to get off the excess op. Hope that helps you.

03-03-2006, 04:40 PM
Thanks k9artisan for your advice.
And your homepage is great really. I will have to be near 200 years of age to reach that level.


mrs willow
03-03-2006, 05:09 PM
Josef :wave: I might have an idea that could help you.
I have some watersoluble oil pastels. The brand is called "Portfolio" series for wet or dry work. Made by Crayola. I have used them with watercolours and acrylics (although not under acrylics) However, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't work either way. They extend easily with water.
I found mine by accident in a Target store(Australia)
They are probably available in art supply stores or a place that supplies art materials for schools.Teachers find they are very user friendly for students.
Hope this helps

03-03-2006, 06:45 PM
In that vein there is also the Aquarelle watercolor crayons which are an amazement. The colors are great and they are artist quality and they are water soluable. Varnishing is a challenge but it can be done.

03-04-2006, 02:44 AM
I must again thank you all for your sound advice. (Becoming quite a habit now).
Luckily enough I managed to remove all of the oil pastel. After a coat of titanium white I saw that the area was a bit flat so I applied (a not too thick) a coat of acrylic gesso to give it some texture. Came out pristine white and if one is good with acrylics, like all of you, this texture will probably complement well with folds.
Forgot to tell you that many of your paintings on your websites are breathtaking.
Mrs Willow, I cannot say that I ever met with these watersoluble oil pastels but will look for them. But hcowdrick, I do have Aquatone Derwent watercolour sticks which I think must be of the same type that you mentioned.
Did some work with them but cannot say I ever mastered them.

mrs willow
03-04-2006, 03:23 AM
Josef :wave: Just as there are water soluble oil paints, there are also water soluble oil pastels. They have all the qualities of ordinary oil pastels. I tested them today with acrylics and they seem to be fine.
Ask around at your art supply stores. Give them the name "Portfolio" made by "Crayola"...I am sure you will be able to get them. They are not any more expensive than 'normal' oil pastels.
I have not ( at this stage ) tested varnish on them.

03-04-2006, 04:27 AM
OK Mrs Willow I will do now that you mentioned Crayola.
Not that many art shops here in Malta but I think there's one art shop that stocks this brand. Maybe they will have them.
When I see the price lists on most art supplies websites I feel really bad knowing how much these costs over here.