Oil Pastels - Artist Forum
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post #1 of Old 10-29-2010, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Pastels

Who enjoys working with Oil Pastels? Here are some aspects of working with them that we might enjoy discussing:

Which brand(s) of pastels do you prefer?
What kind of substrates do you use oil pastel on?
Do you do mixed media that includes oil pastels?
What kind of techniques do you use - drawing, turpentine wash, etc.?
Is your oil pastel art representational, abstract, non-representational?
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post #2 of Old 10-29-2010, 08:16 PM
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I have some oil pastels, but have no idea how to use them. Do you have some pics you can share of some works you have done?

"Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere." - Gilbert K. Chesterton
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post #3 of Old 10-31-2010, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try to get some pix up soon. In the meantime, just start PLAYING with them -- they are as much fun as the Crayolas we used as kids, even more soft and resilient. You can't make mistakes! Just make art!

Different brands tend to have different softness -- my professional Senneliers, I have yet to really get into using. I've used Cray-Pas Expressionist, Pentel, and another inexpensive brand whose name escapes me at the moment. If you feel concerned about budget you can pick up some of these to practice with and loosen up.

If you want to do representational art, there are a few books on oil pastel out there. Books on regular pastels and colored pencils would probably also be inspiring to you.

If you're like me and do abstract or non-representational stuff, then just pick the colors you like and go for it!

Have fun! Keep posting!
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post #4 of Old 11-01-2010, 09:36 PM
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I bought a 36 set of Pentel oil pastels a while ago, but haven't opened them yet. A friend of mine gave be a very old and cheap variety pack of art supplies that had oil pastels. I tried them out a couple times while I was inebriated but got frustrated because of how bulky they were. I am looking forward to playing around with the Pentels when I have time.

I was told by the cashier at the art supply store that walnut oil can be used to blend and soften oil pastels. Anyone ever done that before?
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post #5 of Old 11-03-2010, 12:04 AM
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I drew this guy with artist's quality oil pastels, I drew just like you might with crayon. Student quality pastels are yucky, I recommend artist quality, its worth the extra cost.
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post #6 of Old 11-03-2010, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Wingedrat, I love your moth! I have a butterfly and moth book and I used to wish I could see a real one of those when I was a kid, but I don't think they are native to my area.

I agree the inexpensive pastels have their drawbacks, but they also serve well for poor "starving artists" and beginners and even -- for me -- when I need to loosen up without "wasting" the good ones.
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post #7 of Old 11-03-2010, 09:06 PM
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Thanks CMYKgal . I think I found one dead or something, or maybe I used a picture from a magazine. I don't remember.

I think I got my pastels for a gift when I was like 12, so they have lasted me quite a while, I hardly ever use them. I guess I can see where the whole starving artist thing would come in if they were like your main instrament and you had to pay for them yourself . But I really despise the cheapies to the core of my being :P.
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post #8 of Old 11-04-2010, 12:25 PM
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I use a good quality pastel. They cost more but worth it. I never did like using oil pastels, I get very frustrated with them because they handle differently than the chalk kind. I have a set here that I never use.

I guess practice makes perfect. I should spend some time this winter and master them.

Walnut oil sounds interesting, I've used regular paint thinner to melt them, but it gets into the paper and leaves a mark. Does walnut oil get into the paper also?

Has anyone tried the walnut oil?

It's always a good day when you wake up, don't sweat the small stuff.
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post #9 of Old 03-12-2011, 12:10 AM
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I'm a deeply fan of oil pastel! And it has more art if you know exactly how to use it well.
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post #10 of Old 12-18-2012, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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It depends, again, on what budget a person has - I still use the inexpensive ones to sketch or develop a concept. Well, that and I tend to be "tight" when I am starting a new piece and uncertain of where it's going to go. If I'm also fretting that I'm using my good supplies when I haven't gotten into the flow, that makes me more uptight.

It's different with paints; I use Golden Acrylics for instance and can get quite a bit of coverage with a modest amount of paint. But the oil pastels do use up more quickly than paint.

I've also wondered if it's possible to use the less expensive oil pastels for an underpainting then go with the better ones (which are usually creamier - fat over lean principle would apply, no?) for the real development of the piece.

Experimentation is in order!
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