View Full Version : Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10-19-2002, 12:23 AM
Complete newbie here in regards to pastels! I have been using watercolors for the past 8 years and have just discovered an old box of oil pastels in my studio that probably belonged to my mother lol. So I thought I'd give them a try and the result is that I am head over heels in love and I don't know how to go about it!

What are the best kinds of pastels I should use? Why are they all in sticks without points, how do you apply fine detail? Do you use linseed oil or turpentine to make washes? Whats the best paper I should use? Is there any special technique I should know about?

I'm crazy about them. Please help!

10-19-2002, 02:29 AM
Just dive in!! Use the sides for large areas, shave a point if you want one, use short strokes or long ones or scumble with the side. There are pastel pencils, too. Crosshatch, layer or create an area with powdered soft pastel. You can use it over watercolor washes or combine with soft pastels or charcoal or probably anything else. I like Mi tiens paper, but I have gotten good results with mat board. Experiment with anything you like & see whether or not you like the results. It is one of the most versatile mediums I have ever used! You'll love it.

10-19-2002, 12:10 PM
Welcome Irish Isle!!!!:D
Glad to have ya aboard! Oh and welcome to your new addiction;)
There are heaps of information within the threads, just start with the Sticky threads and work your way thru. The postings with WIP (work in progress) really helped me on tips and tricks as well.
I know you will soon be posting away and look forward to seeing all your creations!!!

10-19-2002, 12:36 PM
Welcome Irish... I don't know anything about oil pastels but have been having a lot of fun learning about soft (chalk style) pastels. So many talented people here who are willing to share info so just ask away and I know you will get the answers you need!!


Colleen :D:D:D

10-19-2002, 03:27 PM
Hi IrishIsle! Welcome to Wet Canvas. I've only just dabbled in oil pastels a small amount and I'm still learning myself. There is a really good book called "The Pastel Book" by Bill Creevy. It covers both chalk pastel and oil pastel. Very interesting read, with many different techniques covered. The other book, that I've seen online but not read, is a new release called "Oil Pastel for the Serious Beginner" by John Elliot. I believe this is going to be released sometime this month.

The other thing you can do is search the forum threads for information on oil pastels. I know that there have been several threads in the past that have covered similar questions.

There is a thread that was posted by Alisa today:


It appears that this particular artist works primarily in oil pastel....really nice paintings.

I'll look forward to seeing some of your work!

10-20-2002, 06:49 PM
Hey thanks everybody! I have never really experimented with anything other then pen, pencil, and watercolor. Oh, I did acrylics once but I didn't find it very inspiring. Now I'm trying to work to get out of the watercolor mentality. Watercolor sort of paints itself and it gets grouchy if you try to mess with it. So this is a whole new way of thinking for me....but I love it! I have just spent the last hour and half looking over the pastel forum and collected pages of notes and now I'm off to practice some more! Thanks for pointing me out to the forumsl
You'll see my work when I have something decent to show you lol. :D
I'm going to have so much fun with this..

Baby Blue Whale
10-20-2002, 11:35 PM
hehehehehe, I can just imagine you going "OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!!" Your enthusiasm really bubbles off the screen. Welcome and I can't wait to see what you create!


06-18-2003, 12:15 AM
wow, i am late for this one... lol

i'm so happy to see that you are trying different mediums friend :)
pastel is one of the smoothest mediums you can try your hand at.
if you ever need to do fine detail on a piece, go to your art store and ask about pastel pencils- they come just like a normal pencil except they have a pastel lead and they come in every colour imaginable!!
another tip.. pastels can mix with water- not too much i should say, before that "OH BOY, OH BOY, OH BOY" instinct kicks in again lol though if you add a drop of water onto the paper- after you have smudged your pastel.. it creates a type of paint.

Now have fun friend, and please post some results?
-ciarrai :)

06-18-2003, 03:52 AM
Ciarri - our new chum is talking about OIL pastels, and they don't mix with water!!

And IrishIsle......know what you mean about watercolours, they do sort of paint themselves sometimes, and sometimes they paint themselves into a mess which ends up in a drawer or bin. If you have any old ones in a drawer that you are unhappy with, get them out, and work your oil pastels OVER THE TOP of your watercolours! You will bring the picture back to life again! It is such fun!



06-18-2003, 04:15 AM
Elizabeth, welcome to the Pastels forum :) Try this thread for oil pastel info:


06-18-2003, 05:26 PM
I had oil pastels that i used to mix with with water- the box actually told you that you could do it..
I bought them about 7 or 8 years ago from the markets in town.
Maybe there are certain types you can and cannot mix?

06-19-2003, 05:53 AM
I think you will find that there are watersoluble WAX pastels, and there are OIL pastels. The very word OIL shows that they are unlikely to mix with water, I think, don't you?

I know what you mean about the watersoluble ones....they look and feel much like the oil ones, I have some, but they are different, I promise.


06-19-2003, 05:55 AM
hi Ciarrai ~ Caran d'Ache make a range called Neocolor II which are sometimes referred to as 'water-soluble pastels', tho I think the use of that term is confusing since what they actually are is artists' quality wax crayons ~ perhaps these are what you had? They're a very versatile medium for sketching. True oil pastels [like Caran d'Ache's Neopastel] are not waxy but oily.

06-19-2003, 05:58 AM
I see I've essentially repeated what Jackie said in her reply ~ we must have been posting at the same time. Not sure about the oil vs water thing, tho ... after all, you can get water-soluble oil paints in which the binder has been modified not to repel water, but they're still oil paints :) Anyway, that's a bit off-topic.

06-19-2003, 07:38 PM
It is quite possible i may have had that brand..
i just took it that you could mix all kinds of oil pastels- now i know.
Thanks for explaining/describing the difference though- it does make sense to me now.

ciarrai :)