PDA

View Full Version : Making oil pastels from oil paints...


Peiwend
11-24-2007, 09:18 PM
Using Jane's wonderful thread for inspiration, I decided to try making some oil pastels from what I had on hand and using oil paints instead of pigment. Oil paints are readily available and easier to work with than powdered pigments. Here's how I did it...

1) I checked the labelling of the tube of artist's quality oil paint to make sure that it didn't contain any risky pigments or health risks. I then squeezed out about a teaspoon full onto a pad made from a sheet of folded paper towel to blot out most of the drying oil.

2) After finding a block of beeswax, I grated about a couple of tablespoons of it, using a cheese grater. It was much like grating parmesan cheese. Since I was making dark colours, I didn't worry too much about the beeswax being unbleached.

3) Looking around, I found a small bowl with a flat bottom. Into it, I put the grated beeswax, about the same amount of mineral oil, and the oil paint. I then mushed ("Mushed" is the only word I can think of.) it all together with a sturdy palette knife and painting knife.

4) I put about a half inch of water into a small frying pan and heated it to boiling. I then took it off the stove.

5) Using a sturdy spatula, I gently put the small bowl containing the mixture into the pan. After about a minute, the mixture was melted.

6) Using Jane's method, I had already prepared a couple of little troughs with closed ends out of aluminum foil and propped these up with some Tac'N Stik (that blue stuff) in a pie plate.

7) Using the spatula, I removed the bowl from the frying pan to a dry towel and then used a pot holder to pour the mixture from the bowl into the troughs. I then placed the pie plate with the troughs into the freezer for a few minutes.

8) The cold pastels were very easy to remove from the troughs and were then wrapped with foil.

I was surprised by how easy it was and, by my old bachelor standards, it wasn't too messy! The first ones I made were similar in use to Holbeins and the other ones were like Senneliers. I would like to try my favourite mixtures of oil paint but the main thing is to blot out the drying oils as much as possible. I will post again in a few days to let you know how they hold up. I would really like to hear your comments and suggestions.

_____________________Wendell

laika
11-24-2007, 09:29 PM
using oil paints seems like a great idea! much easier (in my experience) to find than dry pigment and their ingredients should be compatible with oil pastels.

thanks for adding to Jane's great experiment, Wendell!

LJW
11-24-2007, 10:19 PM
Interesting experiment, Wendell. You probably won't be able to tell whether you were successful in removing enough of the drying oil for several weeks to a month or so. My recipes using stand oil took a while to form a skin like oil sticks do. Since you added mineral oil, you will have retarded the drying time, but not necessarily eliminated the drying completely. The ones I made with half stand oil and half mineral oil are still soft enough to use without peeling, so if you managed something similar they should be okay. I must say, though, the one I like the best is the one I made with dry pigment and the Sennelier Grande Transparent OP #221. It's lovely and creamy.They must have some secret to their formulation. Jane

Peiwend
11-24-2007, 10:58 PM
Thank you, Lamar and Jane, for your comments.

After re-reading your instructions, Jane, I realized I made an error in writing that I used your method for making troughs, and I'm sorry for the mistake. Instead of making round tubes like you did, I made little two-sided troughs out of several layers of foil and closed the ends. I ended up with triangular sticks. Since I used Winsor and Newton artist quality oil paints with a high pigment load, not a lot of paint was needed to give intense colours. I would estimate the proportion of drying oil to mineral oil to be one to five. It will be interesting, after a few weeks, to see if I end up with oil pastels, or oil sticks, or something in between the two.

__________________Wendell

Pat Isaac
11-25-2007, 08:52 AM
Interesting experiment...I will be interested in the results. You may have made something new.

Pat

Carey Griffel
11-25-2007, 10:17 AM
Cool!

Thanks for the very detailed instructions. It does sound pretty easy.

I'll be interested to hear about how they stand up in a while.

I wonder what would happen if you used watercolor paint as your pigment...

~!Carey

Peiwend
11-25-2007, 12:16 PM
Thank you Pat and Carey for your interest.

Carey, although I haven't tried it, I suspect that watercolour paint, being water-based, would not be compatible with the oil and wax. Since the binder is possibly the same as the binder in soft pastels, it would be interesting to try it with either talcum powder, pumice, calcium carbonate, or a combination to make soft pastels.

I was curious to find out what oil is used for Senneliers. I found the Material Safety Data Sheet for #221 Transparent Medium. On page 3, under Chemical Family, it says only "Safflower". On the back of several tubes of my oil paints is printed, "Vehicle: Safflower oil". On Wikipedia, it says that safflower oil is colourless and tasteless and is used mainly for cooking. It also says, "Safflower oil is also used in painting in the place of linseed oil, particularly with white, as it does not have the yellow tint which linseed oil possesses.". Of course we don't know what treatment the safflower oil has undergone to make it a non-drying oil in one instance and a drying oil in the other. On other tubes of my oil paints the vehicle is listed as either linseed oil, walnut oil, poppyseed oil or alkali-refined linseed oil.

Perhaps, on my next trip to town, I will look for safflower oil at the health food store and try using it in place of, or in combination with, the mineral oil.

By the way, some of you may be interested in looking up "oil pastel" on the Wikipedia website and correcting what is, in my opinion, erroneous information.

_____________________Wendell

laika
11-25-2007, 12:29 PM
I wonder what would happen if you used watercolor paint as your pigment.
i was wondering about that, too. quality watercolors have a little gum arabic as their binder, which might not be a problem. i know of some old/alternative photo processes that use watercolors when pigment is needed, and some folks make egg tempera with watercolors...

LJW
11-25-2007, 02:28 PM
Wendell, can you give us the link for the MSDS sheet? There have been discussions in the Oil Forum about substituting grocery store oils for artist quality oils and it's generally frowned upon. I think the closest art supply to raw pigments (which I purchased at my local art store, by the way) are soft pastels as they have least amount of additional binder. Have fun experimenting. Jane

Pat Isaac
11-25-2007, 03:00 PM
Wendell, I just created a wikipedia account and will get together information to edit the site.

Pat

LJW
11-25-2007, 05:47 PM
Following up on Wendell's post, I see that Dick Blick has a connection to an MSDS sheet beside the quantity entry for each OP. In the Sennelier entry, the sheet is the same for each, and under Chemical Family, it says "Safflowezr" which we have to assume means safflower oil. Safflower oil is classified by Mayer as a drying oil, so this certainly muddies the picture. The MSDS sheets for Holbein and Caran d'Ache OPs do not provide any information on content. Jane

AnnieA
11-25-2007, 07:02 PM
Wendell: Great experiment! Thanks for sharing it with us and I'll look forward to hearing the additional later results.

All oils can be classified according to their iodine value (it has something to do with the amount of polyunsaturates in the oil, as I recall.) According to the wiki on drying oils, "Oils with an iodine number greater than 130 are considered drying, those with an iodine number of 115-130 are semi-drying, and those with an iodine number of less than 115 are non-drying." *

Safflower oil, with an iodine value said to range between 118 - 144 falls (at the low end of the range) close to the cusp between non-drying and semi-drying oils, so that may be the reason for some confusion about it (and as I browsed a bit regarding this, it looks like there are two kinds too, which have significantly different iodine values - I didn't take the time to track this all down).

At any rate, it looks like it was a smart move for Wendell, in making his OPs out of oil paints, to use ones ground in safflower oil, rather than oils that are generally known to be more strongly drying.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drying_oils

AngelaF
11-27-2007, 08:27 AM
Wow, Wendell, great information. I will be interested in knowing how they dry on their own and blended with other OP's. Can we see a sample of your work with them? Angela

Peiwend
11-27-2007, 12:03 PM
While I do not think it is a good idea to replace high quality tested art supplies with homemade supplies of dubious quality and permanence, I also think it is important for the artist to have a good knowledge of the materials they use. Experimentation and debate is a good way to get this knowledge.

Jane, oil painters should never mix edible non-drying oils (grocery store oils) with oil paints or drying oils as this would severely damage the paint film. I do use non-drying oils in the studio to clean up spilled or spattered paint on floors or furniture. For paint stains on my clothes I will dab on some cooking oil or baby oil before washing. I will also remove oil paint from my hands or skin with baby oil before washing. I believe that this is safer and better for the environment than using solvent, which I use only when necessary. However non-drying or semi-drying oils are used in making oil pastels and edible oils may be better for experimentation.

I would be leery about using ground up pastels because, while they are the closest to pure pigment, a lot of them contain extenders and mildicides to prevent mould. Also, one aim of my experiment is to get away from using powdered pigment.

Annie A, thank you so much for the useful information on safflower oil. I would suspect that one kind at one end of the range is the edible oil used for margarine and for cooking while the other kind at the other end of the range is used for oil paints. The kind used for oil pastels is probably somewhere between the two extremes. A great deal of good, easy to understand information about pigments and paint making materials can be found at www.naturalpigments.com (http://www.naturalpigments.com) . As well as selling artists' paints, they sell all the materials for making paints.

To further muddy the picture, I found this quote about Sennelier Oil Pastels from Mr. Sennelier in the foreword to John Elliot's book "Oil Pastel for the Serious Beginner":

"...the oil pastel - created with the same pigments used in Sennelier's famous oil paints, combined with a pure, acid-free binder made from a proprietary formula of microcrystalline petroleum wax and nondrying chemically inert oils."

Hopefully, one day, we will see the same ingredient information given for oil pastels as is already given for oil paints.

_____________________Wendell

Peiwend
12-02-2007, 02:05 PM
After one week, here's an update. In comparison with the manufactured variety, the homemade ones do not seem to have changed at all. I haven't had time to do any more experimenting, but I did find out that microcrystalline petroleum wax is the description used for sculpture wax or sculptor's wax and it is a soft wax.

____________________Wendell

Leo1903
12-02-2007, 06:58 PM
Brilliant idea and experiment Wendell! For those of us pondering the possibility of abandoning oil paints and converting solely to OP; your experiment might provide a means to salvage much of our costly inventory.
Leo

Peiwend
12-09-2007, 12:10 PM
After two weeks, in comparison to the manufactured oil pastels the home made ones are holding up just fine with no skin forming.

______________________Wendell

AnnieA
12-09-2007, 01:29 PM
Wendell: One of the (few) drawbacks to working with OPs is that the color ranges are limited. I'm thinking of pale, pale tints, mid-range grays (made by mixing compliments) as well as darkish values. Sennelier's range seems pretty good, and Holbein does provide some light tints (not always light enough), but there are still some that are missing.

I've often mused here in the forum about how wonderful it would be if one of our more entrepreneurial members might start a home-based business making those needed OP colors that the manufacturers don't produce, supplying them to the rest of us who aren't up to tackling the making of them. Is this something that might interest you? (Please say yes! If you aren't interested I may have to try your method myself. :p)

I think I've seen a product labeled "microcrystalline wax" (as you mentioned was part of the Sennelier recipe in Elliot's book) in a local art supply store. I wonder how it may differ from the beeswax you used. Any thoughts?

It's very good to hear that your OPs are still holding up. Thanks again, very much, for your efforts and for the reports.

LJW
12-09-2007, 02:23 PM
Keep us posted on the ongoing condition of your mixes, Wendell. I see Annie's still in the market for greys, perhaps you can supply her with some - she's been wanting some for months. Jane

Pat Isaac
12-09-2007, 04:46 PM
I'd like some too....Sennelier has a wonderful range of grays, but they are light in value so some darks would be nice.
Keep us posted.

Pat

Peiwend
12-09-2007, 06:29 PM
Thank you all for your interest.

Annie, I have enough right now to keep me busy as a full time working artist so I do look forward to seeing the results of your experiments and ordering from you. After all, you know all that stuff about iodine, etc., which sort of escapes me. It is a great idea for a small home based business, although I think that Jane's method would be much better for production.

I tried this method only because I thought it would be easier than using powdered pigments. If anyone tries this, please remember to read the safety warnings on the labels of the oil paints, do not try this in your kitchen with toxic pigment, and take the hot water from the stove before melting the wax.

I would imagine that sculpture wax is similar to morticians' wax - and don't even ask what that is. Morticians' wax is also used by makeup artists for film and theatre to model fake scars, noses etc. Of course they would never tell the actors what it really is called.

I am now working on more oil pastel paintings and hope to post them soon.

I'll also keep sharing any results of this and further experiments.

______________________Wendell

Peiwend
12-17-2007, 01:38 PM
For anyone interested, after three weeks, these are still holding up well and don't seem to have changed at all.

________________________Wendell

LJW
12-17-2007, 01:44 PM
That's good, Wendell. I'd keep checking at intervals for a month or so more, just in case. I found with mine that some definitely developed a skin, others hardened somewhat but without a skin, and some stayed pretty creamy. The change did take time, though. Jane

AnnieA
12-17-2007, 02:05 PM
Wendell: I'm just curious about the brand of oil paint you used, since most use linseed oil, and you mentioned that you chose oil paints with safflower oil.

Peiwend
12-17-2007, 03:18 PM
I used mostly Winsor and Newton Artists Oils which have safflower oil for the lighter colours and linseed oil for the darker colours. They have a very high proportion of pigment to oil. Holbein Artist Oils have poppyseed oil while Graham paints have walnut oil. I mix the colour and, using a palette knife, spread it out on absorbent paper or a folded paper towel. After about an hour I carefully scrape it off to use it. By that time almost all of the oil has been absorbed by the paper towel.

I wouldn't try this with student quality paints as they might contain more oil and fillers.

________________________Wendell

laika
12-22-2007, 12:55 AM
I think I've seen a product labeled "microcrystalline wax" (as you mentioned was part of the Sennelier recipe in Elliot's book) in a local art supply store. I wonder how it may differ from the beeswax you used. Any thoughts?

for what it might be worth to the conversation, that Dorland's Wax Medium that i was playing around with awhile back contains (among other things) mycrocrystaline wax and beeswax. that little painting i did mixing the wax medium and OPs has held up for months now.

Peiwend
12-22-2007, 02:12 PM
Lamar, thank you for bringing up the subject of Dorland's Wax Medium. I had completely forgotten about it. I would think that the use of oil pastels with Dorland's Wax Medium would be harmonious and would last over the long term. I have used this excellent product mixed with metallic powders for finishing and repairing frames. It works very well and a mixture of silver and gold powders with the medium makes a lovely colour. I found their website and they don't mention oil pastels but they do mention cold wax painting which, I would think, would be related to oil pastel painting. To quote the instructions for cold wax painting are in part: "Mix 1/3 to 1/2 wax medium by volume with oil colors, dry colors, or desired colors." I don't know if oil pastels could be considered "desired colors". More information on Dorland's Wax Medium can be found at:
www.jacquardproducts.com

The oil pastels I made are still holding up well. In practicing with them however, I found them to be inconsistent and would not use them in works offered for sale. Hopefully, the manufacturers of oil pastels will soon give us more information on the ingredients used and their lightfastness ratings. This information is readily available for other materials and, as the end users of the products, I feel we are entitled to it.

____________________Wendell

Delyana
12-23-2007, 07:20 AM
Hello Jane, you've come up with a new idea, a new challenge for trying, eventhough it will be nice to hear about the results, I'm sure it will be more interesting and exciting to find out for ourselves. Isn't that what was all about in the begining? Thank you for your contribution to our growth as artists.

LJW
12-23-2007, 10:07 AM
Hi, Delyana, and welcome to the Oil Pastel forum. I hope you have fun trying to make OPs in any way you choose. To me, there are some definitional issues involved in terms of whether the result is closer to an oil pastel or to an oil stick - the presence or absence of a drying oil determines that in my mind. Here's an earlier discussion we had about some of these issues:

www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=378496

I'd like to see some of your paintings, as well as hear any experimental results you may have. Jane

autolisp
11-12-2009, 02:50 PM
Hello everyone.

I wandered in to this forum accidentally by following a link in another forum. Boy am I glad I did. This is a fascinating topic. Just one question. What is the difference between 'Oil Pastels' and 'Paint Sticks'?

I have several unopened tubes of oil paint that I am thinking might be put to good use, now that I have found this forum/topic. It strikes me it might be a way of taking a portable, non watercolour painting kit around with me.

I'll be back (I seem to remember someone saying that!).

autolisp
Edit. I just found this link that you may find useful.

http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_4869954_make-oil-pastels.html?cr=1

Pat Isaac
11-12-2009, 03:37 PM
Hi autolisp and welcome to the forum......:wave: This is info from the R&F oil stick site.
Oil sticks (which our Pigment Sticks are) are composed of a drying oil (linseed oil). Works done in oil stick do not need to be placed under glass for presentation, as the surface is a dry, tough, flexible paint film.

Oil pastels are composed of a non-drying oil (mineral oil). This would necessitate placing them under glass so that the surface would not be damaged as it will not dry.

This is the gist of the difference. It is the binder that holds them together that makes the difference. They also contain a small amount of wax in the binder.

Pat

robertsloan2
11-13-2009, 06:03 PM
Wendell and Jane, this is fascinating. Thank you so much for all the detail. And for letting me know that edible grocery store oils would degrade the paint film if used as oil painting mediums.

I bought some walnut oil from a health food store and I think the other bottle is safflower oil, having seen both listed as painting mediums. Is it just nondrying oils of which apparently safflower is semi-drying, or is the walnut oil usable with oil painting?

Or should I mix some with oil paint and watch it for a year to see if it dries into a hard paint film?

Pat, thanks for letting me know that when I use my new oil sticks I won't need to glaze the resulting paintings. I may see what I can do with those on canvas boards or some of those canvases I've got stockpiled as well as on Colourfix. I'd guess that it'd be all right to use Colourfix as a substrate and not frame it, what do you think?

Barbara WC
11-13-2009, 06:22 PM
Great thread, I'm glad to see it revived.

Funny thing. I recently tried the RF pigment sticks and love them, except the linseed oil smell. I've been toying with the idea of trying to make oil sticks out of M. Graham oil paints, which contain walnut oil, and added beeswax. I should note that I don't plan on making an oil pastel like mentioned in this thread, but an oil stick.

One question on making the oil pastels as listed in this thread: would any remaining linseed or safflower oil left in the oil paint affect the way that the surface of the painting dries? Wendell, do you still have the trials fromt this, if so, what is the surface of the painting like? More like an oil pastel painting, or an oil painting?

Barbara

truck driver
11-14-2009, 01:04 AM
Wendell and Jane, this is fascinating. Thank you so much for all the detail. And for letting me know that edible grocery store oils would degrade the paint film if used as oil painting mediums.

I bought some walnut oil from a health food store and I think the other bottle is safflower oil, having seen both listed as painting mediums. Is it just nondrying oils of which apparently safflower is semi-drying, or is the walnut oil usable with oil painting?

Or should I mix some with oil paint and watch it for a year to see if it dries into a hard paint film?

Pat, thanks for letting me know that when I use my new oil sticks I won't need to glaze the resulting paintings. I may see what I can do with those on canvas boards or some of those canvases I've got stockpiled as well as on Colourfix. I'd guess that it'd be all right to use Colourfix as a substrate and not frame it, what do you think?

The problem with the food grade oils, walnut, safflower when purchased from a grocery store is this. They add a lot of other stuff. A main additive to these oils is vitamin E, which will keep your paints from ever forming a paint film. They are not neccesarily destructive, though depending on the additives. Safflower oil is a hard drying oil not a partially drying oil. It is a longer drying oil i.e. takes a while longer to dry, however this works well with most of the lighter colours because a lot of the lighter colours contain natural driers in the pigments. safflower oil is in particular a really good oil for use with genuine naples yellow ( lead antimote ). Titanium Dioxide is another one, however it doesnt have quite the natural drying properties of lead. Before somebody says something about lead being toxic, Please note that titanium dioxide has been found to be a carcigen in powder form. If playing with any raw pigments and oil, Please take appropriate cation. They are all at least breathing hazards in pigment form ( this is just based on particle size .4 microns or so depending on pigment).

RG

truck driver
11-14-2009, 01:11 AM
Great thread, I'm glad to see it revived.

Funny thing. I recently tried the RF pigment sticks and love them, except the linseed oil smell. I've been toying with the idea of trying to make oil sticks out of M. Graham oil paints, which contain walnut oil, and added beeswax. I should note that I don't plan on making an oil pastel like mentioned in this thread, but an oil stick.

One question on making the oil pastels as listed in this thread: would any remaining linseed or safflower oil left in the oil paint affect the way that the surface of the painting dries? Wendell, do you still have the trials fromt this, if so, what is the surface of the painting like? More like an oil pastel painting, or an oil painting?

Barbara

yes the oil, left will affect drying properties to an extent. However since you are looking at creating oil sticks, I believe this to be of advantage.
How versed are you on the history of oil sticks? (wax, drying oil and pigment)? The first that I know of are described in Lionardo Da'Vinci's notebooks where he creates wax based colours with walnut oil, by mulling them on a heated plate. I also believe walnut oil would probably make very good oil sticks, because of the slower drying time than linseed oil. Also refined walnut oil is very, very clear and works great with very light transperant colours.
RG

truck driver
11-14-2009, 01:20 AM
Hi autolisp and welcome to the forum......:wave: This is info from the R&F oil stick site.
Oil sticks (which our Pigment Sticks are) are composed of a drying oil (linseed oil). Works done in oil stick do not need to be placed under glass for presentation, as the surface is a dry, tough, flexible paint film.

Oil pastels are composed of a non-drying oil (mineral oil). This would necessitate placing them under glass so that the surface would not be damaged as it will not dry.

This is the gist of the difference. It is the binder that holds them together that makes the difference. They also contain a small amount of wax in the binder.

Pat

I would also note that, the wax used in at least our beloved senneliers, is a mineral wax, and not beeswax or a derivative of beeswax.

truck driver
11-14-2009, 01:25 AM
Hello everyone.

I wandered in to this forum accidentally by following a link in another forum. Boy am I glad I did. This is a fascinating topic. Just one question. What is the difference between 'Oil Pastels' and 'Paint Sticks'?

I have several unopened tubes of oil paint that I am thinking might be put to good use, now that I have found this forum/topic. It strikes me it might be a way of taking a portable, non watercolour painting kit around with me.

I'll be back (I seem to remember someone saying that!).

autolisp
Edit. I just found this link that you may find useful.

http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_4869954_make-oil-pastels.html?cr=1

This recipe is for a dry pastel, no wax, no oil. The other thing is I would use titanium dioxide, or cerruse to lighten, rather than zinc which is more reactive, and can form harmfull soaps.

RG

halthepainter
11-14-2009, 04:40 PM
Hello everyone.

I wandered in to this forum accidentally by following a link in another forum. Boy am I glad I did. This is a fascinating topic. Just one question. What is the difference between 'Oil Pastels' and 'Paint Sticks'?

I have several unopened tubes of oil paint that I am thinking might be put to good use, now that I have found this forum/topic. It strikes me it might be a way of taking a portable, non watercolour painting kit around with me.

I'll be back (I seem to remember someone saying that!).

autolisp
Edit. I just found this link that you may find useful.

http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_4869954_make-oil-pastels.html?cr=1

Your link is to a bad article. That is a methodology for making soft pastels, not oil pastels. It is a variation of my method of making dusties.

halthepainter
11-14-2009, 04:52 PM
Thank you autoslip for bringing this thread into the current forum. It has been a fascinating read. :thumbsup:

Does anyone have a method for creating oil sticks? I have tons of oil paints but mostly paint in acrylics and oil pastels anymore. It might be fun to try to convert some of those tubes of oils into oil sticks just to see what would result. :thumbsup:

It would be nice to paint with something like oil pastels that didn't have to be glazed.

Barbara WC
11-14-2009, 05:18 PM
Hal-

I don't have a recipe, but plan on sometime in December to try to make an oil stick using tube oil paint and beeswax. I know RF pigment sticks use 8% wax, a combination of beeswax and plant wax.

Why am I doing this crazy experiment? Because although I love the RF pigment sticks, I do not like the linseed oil smell. I plan on using M. Graham oil paint which contains Walnut oil.

There are some ideas in Kenneth Leslie's Oil Pastel book. He goes about how to make an oil pastel, however, I think it's really an oil stick since he uses beeswax and stand oil, which is a form of linseed oil. No mineral oil or other non-drying oil in his recipe. However, he works with dry pigments in his recipe, something I don't want to do.

Anyway, will post my experiments when I start this insane project. I suspect in the end I'll end up working with the RF pigment sticks with incense burning! :lol:

Barbara

Pat Isaac
11-14-2009, 05:19 PM
Good luck, Barbara. I applaud your efforts.

Pat

halthepainter
11-14-2009, 05:42 PM
Keep us posted Barbara.

Work on your Dr. Frankenstein impersonation, get the electric generators and electric arcs going in your labratory and come up with a creation for us.

Peiwend
11-14-2009, 07:44 PM
Hi all,

It's a surprise to see this old thread coming up again. It was a good experiment to do but I never actually used these in a painting as they were too inconsistent and didn't work well in layering with the other oil pastels. However, a couple of days ago, I did manage to find them again.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Nov-2009/115097-WC,os_from_op.JPG

It has been almost two years now and they have neither hardened nor skinned over. In trying them on card stock, they seemed harder and more blotchy than before as you can see in the photo taken a couple of days ago. I guess you could say they're in between oil sticks and oil pastels. I don't know if the marks I made with them, two years ago, have hardened as I threw the papers away.

Barbara, it's certainly worth a try making some oil sticks. The important thing is to not heat the wax so much that it will partially dry the oil. It's easier (and safer) to do this in a container over hot water rather than on the stove. The difficult part would be to have the colours consistent.

I'm still too busy painting to post much but have a few oil pastels that I'll post soon...

_______________________________Wendell