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View Full Version : which do you prefer: Oils or Dry?


orchidlover6
06-19-2002, 04:20 PM
Been playing around with pastels in AriadneArts Pastel online postcard swap.

I have discovered dry pastels are MUCH HARDER to work with than I imagined. My kudos to all of you who do such a wonderful job using them.


However, I have enjoyed the oil pastels. Looking over this forum it appears more of you use the dry/soft pastels than the forum. May I ask why?

Just curious...
:D

KarenU
06-19-2002, 05:13 PM
I've tried the oil pastels and I can't seem to do a thing with them. The dry, on the other hand, I just adore!!

sandge
06-19-2002, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by KarenU
I've tried the oil pastels and I can't seem to do a thing with them. The dry, on the other hand, I just adore!!
What KarenU said. :)

Slowdown
06-19-2002, 09:03 PM
I find that I cant move the oil pastels around like I would like, I have read that using some turps with cotton wool helps, but I havnt tried it. May I say that the art work you are creating with the oil pastels is fantastic, you have a good technique with them.
On the other hand, soft pastels are the bomb for me. I cant get enough of them! Need to buy more though, my bank ballance will get hit hard, but I think it will be worth it.

TeAnne
06-19-2002, 11:45 PM
I've used oil pastels for big work you know the energetic type but as for fine detail *ugh* not a hope in hell. But I have seen very delicate work done in the oils. *sigh* Can't believe it's oil pastels type of work. I love doing s'graffitos with the oils.

AriadneArts
06-20-2002, 11:25 PM
I love them both! I love the vibrancy of the oils and the slickness. I love the softness of the dry, the gossamer effects that can be achieved. The dry are airy IMHO. The oils are HEAVY, IMHO. I love the "hands on" feeling of the dry pastels. But I feel like a brush painter with the oils when I push them around with the colour shaper. I use both, depending upon the effect I'm going for. Completely different animals, though.

orchidlover6
06-21-2002, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by TeAnne
I love doing s'graffitos with the oils.

uhhh.... what's s'graffitos? :confused: :confused:

msue
06-21-2002, 12:24 AM
Hmmmmm. This thread intrigued me because we sell a lot of oil pastels at the store where I work and I've never understood why. I haven't figured out how to do much with the ones I have. I've had much better success with the dry. I also understand it takes at least a year for oil pastels to fully dry. I know what I've done on canvas board still smudges, smears, and comes off. Something I wasn't aware would happen and it's been well over a year since I played with my oil pastels.

AriadneArts
06-21-2002, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by orchidlover6


uhhh.... what's s'graffitos? :confused: :confused:

sgraffito is scratching in to the color you've already applied. Scrathboard is a sgraffito technique. I also use sgraffito to get fine lines in oil pastels.

AriadneArts
06-21-2002, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by msue
I also understand it takes at least a year for oil pastels to fully dry. I know what I've done on canvas board still smudges, smears, and comes off. Something I wasn't aware would happen and it's been well over a year since I played with my oil pastels.

Oil pastels never dry hard like oil paints do. They are entirely different animals. Fixative can be applied though--Sennelier actually makes a special fixative for them, but any good fixative will do. Most oil pastelists do not fix theirs, however. They should be protected behind glass or plexi (no static charge problem) because they cannot be cleaned like oil paints or acrylics can and so, should be treated as any other vulnerable medium would.

You may be confusing oil pastels for oil sticks as far as the drying goes. Oil sticks ARE oil paints in stick form and will dry like oil paints.

BTW, have you taken a look at the Online Pastels Postcard project? There's some beautiful oil pastel work there.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=46381

sundiver
06-21-2002, 07:30 AM
When oil pastel and ink scraffitos, the surface is uneven, part shiny and part dull, so I go over it with acrylic varnish, like the kind tole painters use. Works fine. I also varnished a couple of oil pastel portraits with the matt acrylic varnish and they seem ok. I don't know if a purist would go for that, but I like it .
Orchid, here's a scraffito I did for the postcard project:

orchidlover6
06-21-2002, 11:28 AM
thanks for all the information everyone. this is great.

sundiver i didn't know this was done with oil pastels. i remember seeing it and thinking it was stunning but didn't know how you got your effect like that. thanks!

AriadneArts
06-21-2002, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by sundiver
When oil pastel and ink scraffitos, the surface is uneven, part shiny and part dull, so I go over it with acrylic varnish, like the kind tole painters use. Works fine. I also varnished a couple of oil pastel portraits with the matt acrylic varnish and they seem ok. I don't know if a purist would go for that, but I like it .
Orchid, here's a scraffito I did for the postcard project:

Fine work, SD! I don't even know if there are any "purists" in oil pastels. It's a pretty new medium. As far as I've learned, it's fine to varnish them. It's certainly a good idea in your case, where you've combined them with ink and are going for a certain look. Great example and lovely piece.

Rick R
06-21-2002, 01:31 PM
I posted this in another thread here, but in case you missed it, here's a link to John Elliot's site:

http://www.johnelliot.com/

He's been working with oil pastels for a long time, and you'll be impressed by what he can do with them.

Also, oil pastels were developed by Sennelier for use by Picasso, so although that may be young compared to other mediums, its still been a while.

(I'm hopefully not perpetuating an urban legend, but I've read that on two different retailers web sites.)

- Rick

orchidlover6
06-21-2002, 01:48 PM
thanks Rick R - I did see the link the other day and actually put in my order at Amazon. The book won't be out until next month.

dupliKate
06-21-2002, 02:07 PM
Someone asked a similar question in a life class I was taking, and the instructor basically replied that there was only one kind of pastel...the chalk (or I guess the dry kind), and that oil pastels (or wax...not really sure that they are oil based) were originally made for children so they wouldn't inhale the pigment in the chalk. Sort of the precursor to crayons (as in Crayola).....

Well......I'll tell ya...those of us who had oil pastels with us put them away real quick. I kind of interpreted this to mean that he felt that no "serious" artist (or student) would fool around with oil pastels. (doesn't mean I agree with him, but I did switch to chalk pastels in class because I was already hugely self-conscious about being a ...ahem.. mature beginner and didn't want to appear stupid).

That being said, I have a big collection of beautiful oil pastels, but find them really difficult to control. I have found the chalk pastels much easier to work with. But I'd like to try the oil ones again to see what I could do. There has been some beautiful work posted here.

K:)

orchidlover6
06-21-2002, 02:21 PM
it seems most people prefer softs of oils. It also seems they find the softs easier to handle.

Once again I am going against the tide and not the norm...
myself. I prefer the oils. Couldn't do a thing with the chalks.

but duplikate - don't tell your old teacher :D

Andrew
06-21-2002, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by dupliKate
. . . the instructor basically replied that there was only one kind of pastel...the chalk. . .

You should point out John Elliot's website to this "instructor" and perhaps have him read Elliots column in Pastelist Journal. The Jan-Feb 2002 article was quite informative.

Andrew

p.s. I'm voting none, since I like them both!

AriadneArts
06-21-2002, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by Rick R
I posted this in another thread here, but in case you missed it, here's a link to John Elliot's site:

http://www.johnelliot.com/

He's been working with oil pastels for a long time, and you'll be impressed by what he can do with them.

Also, oil pastels were developed by Sennelier for use by Picasso, so although that may be young compared to other mediums, its still been a while.

- Rick

You're right, Rick, but to me, the mid-20th century is the RECENT past (actually, they were developed not long after the end World War II). I remember when Picasso (and Chagall, and many others) was still alive, so his passing is still fairly recent to me. That makes oil pastels "pretty new" to me, as well. Of course the phrase is relative and therefore, subjective. :)

As for John Elliot, he's the man on a mission to validify oil pastels as an art medium worthy of entering juried competitions, among other things. He's also the person who convinced me that I should, indeed try them. His book is due out this summer according to Amazon, and will be the ONLY book devoted to the subject of oil pastels (although I hope not the LAST such book). His work is formidable, and he has over 30 years of experience working with them.

Great that you provided his link. Extremely relevant and useful here. Thanks.

Until Elliot's book, though, Bill Creevy's The Pastel Book has a marvelous, fairly lengthy chapter on the use of oil pastels and how he uses them. This should do quite well in getting anyone started.

AriadneArts
06-21-2002, 07:15 PM
Originally posted by Andrew


You should point out John Elliot's website to this "instructor" and perhaps have him read Elliots column in Pastelist Journal. The Jan-Feb 2002 article was quite informative.

Andrew

p.s. I'm voting none, since I like them both!

Ditto, Andrew. :D I was going to refer to the excellent Pastel Journal article but didn't remember the issue. Reading that article is what prompted me to buy some oil pastels. Thanks.

www.pasteljournal.com or 888-711-5544 (toll-free)

AriadneArts
06-21-2002, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by dupliKate
Someone asked a similar question in a life class I was taking, and the instructor basically replied that there was only one kind of pastel...the chalk (or I guess the dry kind), and that oil pastels (or wax...not really sure that they are oil based) were originally made for children so they wouldn't inhale the pigment in the chalk. Sort of the precursor to crayons (as in Crayola).....

There are wax ones made for children (crayons) but oil pastels are oil based, that is, the binder used is oil. I do understand that some of the Neocolor "oil" pastels have a wax binder, though.

The other thing that comes to mind from your post is that it wasn't THAT long ago that the art world disdained dry pastels as kid-stuff, along with watercolors.


But I'd like to try the oil ones again to see what I could do. There has been some beautiful work posted here.

K:)

There's certainly enough info in this great thread that Orchidlover started to get YOU started, Duplikate. I say--GO FOR IT! :D

AriadneArts
06-21-2002, 07:49 PM
If any of you out there in cyberland would like to see oil pastels used in a fantastic way, read the article in The Pastel Journal, current issue--May/June 2002--"LYNN AUKERMAN" " Oil pastels applied to an unusual subject create exciting results"

The artist paints cows and bulls like you've never seen before. You can almost pet them. They are soooooo fantastic. Her goal is to paint every bovine breed in the U.S. Take a look at it.

Help! I'm on a soapbox and I can't get oooooooooff!!!!!!! :D

saralindsey
12-19-2002, 04:12 AM
wow. i'd never would have thought that oil pastels would be considered childish. it took me forever to even begin to use them, even then i use cheap ones from staples- i love the water soluble ones. even then i can only use them in cubist pieces. to me oil pastels are some great art mystery. i envy those you use them so well. but soft pastels, i feel in love with, it just was great. had the delicateness and the blending- i so love color. but i have a question, what do ya'll who love soft pastels use as a fixative, granted there is the spray but that tends to somewhat send loss pigment pieces on other colors. does anyone have a suggestion or a technique to share? i'm all ears.

Koert
12-19-2002, 07:44 AM
i like both soft pastels and oil pastels
i can at least do something with soft pastels
with oil pastels however... :)
still, they keep atracting me, i like how they feel in my hand when i work with them. don't know how to use them though, how do i mix colours, how do i blend, how do i... been to several libraries here but kind really find anything about them. At best one pastel book or another mentions they exist

Nicolart
12-22-2002, 12:04 AM
Hi,

Even though I find pastels to be a very difficult medium to maneuver, I'd have to say dry, at least you can do something with those, as the oil ones,,,let's just say they're not for me!!!:eek:

take care!

KarenU
12-22-2002, 12:23 AM
Two books that have info about oil pastels:

Bill Creevy "The Pastel Book". I personally own this book and it was worth every cent I paid for it! Covers both soft and oil pastels.

John Elliot "Oil Pastel for the Serious Beginner". This is a new book and I've not seen it yet, however, I have read good reviews about it.