View Full Version : Is there such thing as Oil Pastel Pencils?

07-18-2010, 06:15 PM
I searched all day for oil pastels in a pencil form to be able to do detail work (for smaller areas) without wasting oil pastel sticks (for larger areas), and found colored pencils online that color creamy-like, but how true is that?

Are there oil pastels that are actually "oil pastel", or would they be oil "paint" in a pencil form (needing layer drying time and 6 months to varnish, etc)?

Soft pastel pencils, I have but are "chalky" in nature. I want a refined point to go with "oil pastels."

Also, Brilliant rich bright colors would make me snatch them right away. Is there such a thing, and where? No demos on YouTube, and already emailed DickBlick that sells some. Thank you for any help before spending a whole lot on what I don't know. Ruth

07-19-2010, 12:48 AM
some colored pencils are oil-based. look for Lyra Polycolor, Faber-Castell Polychromos, or Walnut Hollow pencils, to name a few brands.

07-19-2010, 01:28 AM
I have Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils, Caran D'Ache Luminance sample, Caran D'Ache Pablo sample as well as Walnut Hollow oil pencils. Here's the chart I did up. Added to it were also Prismacolor pencils which are waxed based.

If you need a lot of colors, Walnut Hollow oil pencil packs of 24 or 36 would work. Their lightfastness is not for 100 years. If you don't want to invest in a pack, buy a black China marker which is good for all surface. There are Berol, Sanford, and Sharpie brand. Sharpie has an oilier feel and better for oil pastels. I've only got a black one from Sharpie. There are 7 colors from Berol/Sanford so far that I found but they are not as good as Walnut Hollow oil pencils.

Don't know about Lyra since I don't have it.

If you have Holbein oil pastel, the edges are good for details. If you have Sennelier oil pastel, use a wipe out tool or color shaper to move the color around and it would work too. But nothing beats a pencil for ease and convenience especially for eyes and between teeth or minute windows in a night scene.

The patches of color are all Caran D'Ache Neopastels which are the least oily of top grade oil pastels. The bottom patches gray and tan happened to be oilier and softer that day when I was doing the experiment. Just difference of pigment. And you see all pencils wilt except Walnut Hollow Oil pencil.


07-19-2010, 06:45 AM
Great chart, Sandra. I have Pablos and Walnut Hollows and do really prefer the Walnut Hollows, although I use them both. (I keep thinking I am going to try some CP work too, but life seems to keep getting in the way!:( - I am so looking forward to retirement in several years :D ! )

Welcome to our corner of the world, Ruth/pastelskies! :wave: Looking forward to seeing some posts! I just love this group of folks here - so-o-o encouraging and supportive. :thumbsup:

07-19-2010, 02:41 PM
Wow, what a response, & thank you for the color/brand samples! Yet I am still having trouble determining how to classify these "oil pencils". Are these colored pencils, or oil pastels in pencil form? As much as what I want it to be, I have subscribers I am doing demos for in each medium. Blick wrote back saying these are just a different kind of pencil and not creamy like an oil pastel, and definitely is not oil paint needing to dry; so at least ruled the latter part out now. If these oil pencils are truly "pencils", yet you use them with oil pastels, then it would have to be considered a "mixed medium", right? This does blur the line of mediums if they are creamy, softer, & pour out richer color. How do I classify? I tried writing some of these manufacturers, but do not find some websites in English, except Walnut Hollow. I am gathering this to be a softer colored pencil... is this correct, from your experiences?

07-19-2010, 04:16 PM
Maybe some dissappointing news for those who love the Walnut Hollow pencils... Walnut Hollow wrote me back saying:

Our Oil Pencil sets have been discontinued due to supplier issues.
They were pencils -- not oil pastels -- however, they are no longer

Customer Service
Walnut Hollow

Good news is it still seems to be listed here for sale at Blick's:


Thought I'd let those know, in case of going out to get what's left.

07-19-2010, 05:00 PM
Perhaps I should buy the last pack from Michael's then. No wonder why they were half priced.

These are colored pencils. It looks like one, feels like one and acts like one and you sharpen the same way as wood encased color pencils. Only that it goes on top of oil pastels easier than other wax based colored pencils.

If that should go out of stock, perhaps you could try Lyra and let us know how it works for you.

07-19-2010, 09:34 PM
Ok, I see, thank you for your clarification.

07-20-2010, 12:37 AM
So that is why they are not on Walnut Hollow site anymore. . . I did a search and did find that they show as discontinued on several pages and only available from Blick as the full set and a few other places as 12.

07-20-2010, 02:59 PM
Yeah, I hate it when a good product is discontinued. Story of my life. Wonder why end a good product.. why not just find a different way to supply it to people?

Pat Isaac
07-22-2010, 04:53 PM
NOT good news. I do have a set of Lyras and they seem to work quite well.


08-28-2011, 08:21 PM
just ordered a 36 set of lyras from DB, have to try em!

08-29-2011, 04:33 AM
I love the Lyra's! I got about 24 of them. Plus, I got the skinttone pencils (They were free with the 24 set at the time).

03-16-2012, 08:48 PM
Derwent Colour-Soft works very well for me. I use Caran D'Ache as an OP.

Pat Isaac
03-17-2012, 09:14 AM
I use the Lyra's and still have some of the Walnut Hollow, which are no longer made.


03-20-2012, 12:02 PM
Interesting stuff! I have a bunch of old Walnut Hollow pencils, probably close to 30 years old and bought a set of Lyra polys a few years ago. Something new for me to play with!