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Techniques To Learn For Oil Pastel Color Paintings

Techniques To Learn For Oil Pastel Color Paintings

Similar to pastels and wax crayons in qualities, oil pastels are a painting and drawing medium. Unlike conventional soft or Japanese pastel sticks, which are constructed with a gum or methylcellulose binder, these adaptable oil crayons are made of pigment blended with a non-drying oil and wax binder. An oil pastel painting’s surface is therefore less powdery and more difficult to fixative preserve. However, they go well with glass, paper, canvas, and even wood.

If you’ve never used them before, ease yourself into using oil pastels by beginning with simple subjects like still life. Here are some tips to assist you to continue to master this varied medium:

Each of these pastel techniques works well with different harsh, semi-soft, and soft pastels; experiment and discover new varieties.

Drawing Using Pastel’s End

Drawing with an oil pastel by holding its ends like a pencil or pen is the simplest method. The finished line will look fantastic and show how much care and thought went into it.

By adjusting the pressure applied on the pastel’s end, you can change the line’s thickness. More pastels will be applied to the surface as you press harder. Use the stick’s edge or gently press the stick for thinner lines.

Using a Pastel’s Edge

Use the edge of an oil pastel stick to build up huge blocks of color or to work rapidly (or very quickly). The best part is that even the smallest piece of oil pastel art may still be used, so cut a stick in half and utilize that for optimum effects.

Different levels of texture can be produced on the surface by varying the pressure applied to the pastel. You can still use the pastel to draw fine lines even though one of its sides appears to have two sharp edges from wear and tear.

Combining Pastels

Oil pastels are applied to the canvas without being blended, in contrast to other painting materials. Therefore, there are two methods for achieving color and tonal changes with pastels: optical blending, which is accomplished by having colors near together (similar to hatching), and blending, which is accomplished by combining various pastels on paper.

There are many instruments you can use to blend pastels, but the most common and effective one is your finger (wearing a surgical glove to protect your hands is your personal choice). For blending big regions, you can also use the side of your hands; however, don’t use it for precise results and details. Use kneaded rubber, textiles, or paper tools instead, such as the tortillon, torchon, and paper stump.

Slippery Pastels

Working with oil pastels has several benefits, including the ability to generate vivid colors and whimsical delight. Scumbling is conceivably the greatest technique for accomplishing this; apply a layer of pastel, let it dry, then delicately drag a soft pastel across the top. The preceding layer will be covered by a fractured covering of the new color as a result.

The end result is visually engaging with outstanding texture, and your artwork will look amazing as a result of your meticulous color choice.

Utilizing Pastel to Feather

A more refined variation of the short-stroke hatching technique is feathering. The outcome resembles scrambling and gives a picture more vitality. This also applies to optical color mixing, which occurs when the eye blends colors rather than entirely blending them on the surface (such as in pointillist paintings).

Using pastels to dust

To dust, hold an oil pastel over the color that has been applied and scrape the surface to produce pastel dust. Examine the location and quantity of the created dust before applying more pressure to the surface with a clean palette knife.


An oil pastel color painting can be created using any one of these techniques alone or in various combinations. There is no right or wrong way to approach this; be imaginative and creative to the fullest. It all depends on what you like (or love) to do with your oil pastels, as it does with so many other aspects of art. You can also get abstract paintings for sale from various online art galleries. 


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