View Full Version : Oil Pastels Primer Please

02-04-2003, 09:28 AM
I am oil painter and pencil sketcher who bought a beginner set of oil pastels. I did not want the mess of soft pastels.

But I can't find information on how to use.

Does it take special paper?

Do you use a stump like pen drawings or a brush with turpentine to distribute?

I tried to apply to a 90# sketch paper pencil drawing and it did not look good.



02-04-2003, 10:05 AM
Hi HSargent
I'm not experienced by any stretch of the imagination but I used acrylic paper for some I did, has a texture to the surface and is quite cheap. I have also used illustration board and with oil pastels.
I found that you can apply the oil pastels and then 'move' them around with a brush dipped in solvent or turps. It was quite fun!
One thing I did find was that I needed to protect the pic after wards with a few coats of crystal clear as the surface 'bloomed' on me - mostly black pic.
I ended up putting it under the griller in the oven - don't laugh :D! - to re-soften the waxy part and then did a touch up and crystal clear'd it. It worked well.
Hope somone with more experience can help here as I wouldn't want to steer you wrong.

Mikki Petersen
02-04-2003, 01:08 PM
My one experience so far with oil pastels was a dismal failure. One lesson I learned from it was forget about using cheap ones.

DragonLady - ROFLMAO!!!!! I'm still giggling...actually, I love the creative spirit that led you to so much experimentation to save a painting. My luck would have been to burn my house down when I put the piece under the broiler. Cheers and much luck in your endeavors!

02-04-2003, 01:16 PM
I agree with 1mpete, beginner grade oil pastels are not so good, they usually have a very crayony consistancy. I'm partial to dark coloured papers, with plenty of tooth, however, with a good set of oils they can be used on virtually anything from sandpaper to smooth papers. I most often use a tort if I need to do blending but mostly I'll do layers of colour to get the blend that I want. Using terp to thin them is very nice for washes. I'll sometimes dip the end of my oils into a small pool of turp and then draw with them to get a really thick spread. Most of all have fun and experiment with them :)

Here is a nice tutorial (http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/farp/oilpastel/) to help you get started. Hope it helps.

02-04-2003, 01:50 PM
Harry....couple of books that you might want to check out:

The Pastel Book by Bill Creevy - really fabulous info on using oil pastels (along with also having sections on soft pastel and oil sticks)

Oil Pastel for the Serious Beginner by John Eliott - another good resource for oil pastellists

I've just recently tried oil pastels on Masonite and I love the hard surface. I've been using Sennelier oil pastels and those are so creamy that you can almost blend just using the oil pastel itself. But I've also used qtips or brushes with turpenoid to create more of a wash effect.

Mikki Petersen
02-04-2003, 03:03 PM
trill4ian2, thank you for the link. That is indeed a helpful tutorial.

02-04-2003, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by trill4ian2
I agree with 1mpete, beginner grade oil pastels are not so good, they usually have a very crayony consistancy.

I couldn't agree more. I am partial to doing oil pastels on smooth wood.

02-04-2003, 06:53 PM
Another method you could try, that probably works great with the set you have would be stratch art, or mixed media type of works. You can lay down a thick layer of oil pastels and then stratch through them using a needle or stick, it has a unique look that can be just as stunning as being painted purely with them. Since oil pastels repel water you can do washes of watercolours over them, or even use them in conjunction to your oil paints (use your pastels over the paint).

02-04-2003, 06:53 PM
I appreciate all the good input and the tutorial link. I will give it another try.