View Full Version : Can i use pastels on a stretched canvas?

03-14-2010, 09:34 PM
I know of many people who draw on a board with jesso, but im working large scale and i don't have a board to draw on and i want to use my regular stretched canvas.
What can i do?

btw, what is the difference between a regular pastel and oil pastel?

03-14-2010, 10:58 PM
Yes you can. If oyu want to be able to put on a lot of layers you will most likely have to mix some pumice with some gesso and give the canvas a coat to create a rougher surface.

regular pastels are like, for a lack of a better term, chalk. Oil pastels are pigments mixed with oil and formed into sticks. Very different characteristics.

Hope this helps.

03-15-2010, 12:37 AM
I've used Colourfix primer on canvas boards and love the texture. It'd be the same using it on a stretched canvas. Don't press so hard that you distort the canvas when laying impasto layers though, use softer pastels for the thick applications.

Clear Colourfix primer is as clear as acrylic matte or gloss varnish/medium, including the grit. So if you underpaint your canvas first with oils or acrylics or watercolor, you can prime over it with the Clear Colourfix and have a sandy surface that's also a barrier to keep the underpainting separate. Same with sketch lines in charcoal, it's handy stuff.

Oil pastels have their own forum and they are fun.

03-15-2010, 05:46 AM
Ok thanks alot!

03-15-2010, 04:34 PM
Mike... jaysis!...they ain't "chalk." :eek: They are pigment in a stick with a binder that holds them together. You might think of them as "dry pastel." The more expensive, the more pigment and less binder(or the other way around). Rembrandts have more binder than Sennelier, for instance.

Oil pastels as opposed to oil "sticks" have a wax base. They are not "dry pastels." They are a different animal. They never totally dry like oils or oil sticks, but you can use them with oil paints and thinner, which can help you get around that. Also Sennelier makes an oil pastel fixative.

Sand the canvas first, then apply what Mike or Robert suggested. Or you can buy a napped canvas made especially for dry pastels. I think it's Fredrix. I have a roll of it. Unless you spray a final fixative, which will alter the color and value somewhat, I think (operative word is "think") you still have to glass it. I have not used this canvas: I'm just looking at it in its virgin state...still.

03-15-2010, 05:09 PM
"Like" means "like", not "is"! :lol:

Yes, I know the differences, but pastels (dry) are like chalks, and acrylics are like oils, and model paints are like nail polish! And I suppose oil pastels are like crayons, and Fords are like Toyotas!

I guess we'll need to struggle with and overcome the demeaning fact that we have a poor relative who is an embarrassment to all True, Upstanding and Right-Thinking pastels and whose name is (dare I say it??) chalk.


(Note: those who lack a sense of humor, please ignore what you have just read!)

03-15-2010, 06:15 PM
I guess you could say all painting mediums are "a-like" since they all are based on some type of pigment, but saying a Ford is like a Toyota, is really a stretch.

In the meantime, I'm taking whatchamacallit on wheels to go plein air pigment painting, and y'all can just guess at what medium is binding together whatever I'm using.:D :rolleyes:

03-17-2010, 11:59 PM
Tried it once...and only once. I cannot use pastels on a stretched canvas.