View Full Version : Oil Pastels and Traditional Oil Paints

09-04-2008, 06:41 AM
Is it wise to use oil pastel in an underpainting that is followed by an application of traditional oils?

I've been experimenting. I block in my design with oil pastels on a rigid gessoed panel; I follow this with a carefully applied wash of Turpenoid to make the application of oil pastel more even; and then I paint on top of the still-wet oil pastel with traditional oil paints.

Pat Isaac
09-04-2008, 04:28 PM
Not a good plan as the oil pastel never really dries. It hardens and cures, but remains flexible. The other way around is fine. I often put an oil base under my OP paintings.


09-04-2008, 07:20 PM
Thanks, Pat! I do use a rigid panel to work on, so perhaps that will help.

09-05-2008, 08:49 AM
I checked with Gamblin, whose paints I use. They say:

Oil pastels are made with pigments bound in wax and a non-drying vegetable oil. If the oil pastel was thinned with OMS to the point where the vegetable oil was dissolved completely, leaving a thin wash of pigment behind, there may not be a problem painting oils on top of this. However, if the oil pastels were used alone, the non-drying oil binder may be trapped underneath the drying oil paint layers. This could cause adhesion problems in the future of the work.

Pat Isaac
09-05-2008, 09:30 AM
Thanks for that info, Michael. That was what I had always thought as OPs are made with an inert non drying oil. However, it is good to know that if you thin it enough you can use it.


09-05-2008, 07:11 PM
And I really like working with them in the underpainting stage. They seem to allow more control - almost like drawing - than a brush does.

05-29-2010, 12:30 AM
thanks for that wonderful info. keep up the good work :D