Artist Oil Pastels are usually made from a mixture of pigment, the
same as used in oil paint; a wax, usually a vegetable or Beeswax and an oil, this can vary in type from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Oil pastels can be applied to most surfaces - paper, mount board, Bristol board, wood, mdf, primed panel and canvas panel to name just a few!
There is usually a price to pay for something as amenable as this and for most people it's the framing of the finished art work. Oil pastels never really 'dry', the oil and wax combination stops them drying with a skin like oil paint, you can go back to them years later and find you can still move the oil pastel around. So to protect the finished painting they are most often framed under glass, which is usually more expensive than a frame without glass - a small price to pay really. There are spray varnishes around that can be used on oil pastels to save framing under glass, this may be fine until the work needs cleaning or conservation - the choice is always with the artist.
Zest-it with Oil pastels.
Having talked a little about the oil pastels, the next thing is how to use and apply them.
This is Sapphire Blue Neopastel from Caran D'Ache, applied to Saunders Waterford HP 140 lb paper. It gives a good example of the ways Oil pastel can be applied and blended.
more examples of Oil Pastel on paper - applied as is, applied and blended with the fingers and then blended with
Zest-it Brush Cleaner.
With most types of paper surfaces there will usually be some 'drag' of the pastel as you move it across the surface. On less absorbent surfaces, the smooth velvety feel of the oil pastels is more apparent and blending is easier.
This is just a small insight into Oil pastels, especially for those who have not tried them before or are unsure of the possibilities. Get to know your media, the surfaces you can use it on and the products you can use with it, but most of all enjoy yourself. To look at some painting using Oil pastel and Zest-it click the link.
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