View Full Version : What type of pastels should I buy?

11-10-2007, 11:51 PM
Hi! I have never tried oil pastels before (except in elementary school) and I was thinking of purchasing a set. During my search, I also came across the Caran D'ache neocolor II's and I was wondering if I could get some advice from people who have tried these. I only have so much money at the moment, so it's either a set of oils or watersoluble crayons.

I've been looking at the Sennelier oil pastels and really like them, but the neocolors also look really neat too. Does anyone have any suggestions as to which is better? Or are they just too different to compare? Or if you have any suggestions for other brands that might be better, that would be great too. What about the Lyra Aquacolors?

I looked on this site for some information about these products, but couldn't find very much. I would appreciate any advice you may have! Thanks!

11-11-2007, 10:16 AM
Hi, Therah, and welcome to the Oil Pastel forum. Have you read the thread 'Getting Started in Oil Pastels'? Neocolour II are watersoluble crayons and, as such, are not technically oil pastels at all. I have some myself which I purchased some years ago when I painted in watercolour. With them, you can apply them in a somewhat similar manner to OPs, but when you wet them they look like watercolour. OPs are like oils: applied directly, they are impasto and when blended mechanically look like an oil painting; if you apply an oil-painting medium, they look like thinned oils. The Caran d'Ache Neopastels are their line of OPs - they are quite good and not too expensive. So I think you have to decide which you prefer - an oil painting equivalent or a watercolour equivalent. I never use my watercolour crayons any more at all, just as I don't paint in watercolour any more. Hope this helps. Jane

Pat Isaac
11-11-2007, 10:22 AM
Jane is right about the Neocolors. If you are looking for an inexpensive try at Ops the Craypas Specialists are a good buy. They are a little harder than the Senns and Holbeins, but are better than many of the student brands.
Good luck and if you get some Ops please post here and let us see what you are doing.


11-11-2007, 10:51 AM
Thank you. I ended up buying a set of Sennelier OP's and instead of the neocolors, I got a cheaper set of the Lyra aquacolors to try. I knew I wanted to try the OP's for sure, so that's why I ordered the Sennelier's, but since I wasnt' too sure about the watersoluble crayons, I thought I'd go cheaper.

If I create something worth posting, I'll definitely post here. Right now I'm mainly a pencil, CP and soft pastel artist, but I want to branch out a bit and I've been inspired by some really great OP artists!

Thanks again for welcoming me to the forum too!

11-11-2007, 01:56 PM
The Senneliers are a great choice - they and Holbein Artists are my favourite OPs. Have fun with them and try out different surfaces, because that makes a lot of difference to the ease of use and final result. Keep us posted on your progress. Jane

11-11-2007, 02:02 PM
Enjoy your new o.p.s! And post in our sketch thread if you're hesitant to start a dedicated thread at first; first tries and experiments fit right in there,:)

11-11-2007, 11:06 PM
Hi Therah, I'm late to this thread but I think you'll get a better feel of OPs from a limited pallette of Senneliers than you would have with twice or three times as many colors of Neocolor II's. Oil pastel is definately a medium where it's worth going straight to the best artist quality materials or face early frustrations and be turned off to the medium.

I have a set of these watersolubles and I find them too hard. The only time I've been able to blend these like OPs was on a hot and humid day in Hawaii. I'm not knocking them, they have their place with my other OP's as a first layer, with and without water.

Welcome to the forum!

11-15-2007, 06:58 PM
Hello, Therah! :wave: Welcome to the OP Forum!

You made a great choice with those Senneliers (they're my favorite) - so soft and the color range is the most painterly of all the brands available. I hope to see what you come up with. Enjoy! :)