View Full Version : Questions about highlights, strokes and mud

02-24-2008, 02:38 PM
Hello there everyone, I have used oil pastels on and off for a while and still consider myself very much a beginner. I have a few questions that I hope you could shed some light on. How do artists get the nice clean highlights or lighter colours over darker areas? I have both Sennelier and Holbein pastels and they seem to push darker colours around or blend into them rather than create a clean highlight you see in books like "Oil pastel for the Serious Beginner".

How do you get the nice clean pastel strokes (almost like impasto) that you see in more 'painterly' works? My colours always seem to turn so muddy so quickly. Is it simply a matter of not using so much colour or not blending? I would love to be able to achieve a nice fresh painting like I see so often.

Thank you so much in advance for the advice, these forums are invaluable to an amateur :)

Pat Isaac
02-24-2008, 03:43 PM
Hi Trill4ian2 and welcome to the oil pastel forum...:wave: One thing to remember with oil pastels is that they need to "set up" often times before other layers can be added. Often this is overnight. Sometimes it helps to use some of the harder oil pastels underneath and the softer ones on top.
What kind of oil pastels are you using and on what kind of surface. This often makes a huge difference.


02-24-2008, 11:24 PM
Hi, Trill4ian2, and welcome. As Pat says, letting the painting set up overnight is a good idea. I can usually add white highlights with Sennelier white without waiting by using a fairly heavy but very short stroke. But I'm not sure that's entirely what you're describing. Can you post a painting like the ones you have in mind so we can see what you mean? Include the information on who painted it. Thanks. Jane