A Look at Using Oil Pastels

If you are new to the world of oil pastels, you might not know where to begin. If you’re just starting with the art form, you’ll first need materials. The best way to start out is by using the highest quality pastels you can afford. If you can’t get a whole set, get some individual sticks of a high quality. This will minimize the chance of getting frustrated with the pastels themselves as you learn.

Next, make sure to get plenty of paper towels! Even though they’re regarded as a drawing medium, they can still get plenty messy. Not only will this come in handy for you, but for the sticks of oil pastel, too. The sticks themselves will pick up other colors, especially if you’re blending them.

Oil PastelsYou should also keep in mind that oil pastels can take some getting used to. Don’t expect to be perfect at it right away! Most artists recommended that you start off with still-life drawings. Grab some objects and set up a small display with some good lighting. Oil pastels blend well, so you will be able to create well-defined shadows and gradients.

In terms of your drawing medium, pastel paper provides a purpose-designed option that will help you achieve the best results. Regular paper can stain through pretty easily, so you want to use a heavier paper. Be sure to also use a hard, flat surface underneath to give an even spread for the oils.

You can use your fingers to blend the pastels (remember those paper towels from earlier?) and see what kind of shading effects you can make. The other option is tortillion sticks.  Each option will have different benefits and results, so you may find you prefer one to the other.

If you’ve found you have made a mistake, pastels can’t be erased, but they can be scraped off so that you can put down another layer. However, the key here is to practice and find out for yourself what techniques you like the best and what methods speak to you as an artist.

At Hunakai Studio of Fine Arts, we encourage students of the arts to explore all forms of art and creativity. You never really know what you like until you try! If you’re interested in signing up for a class or have more questions, contact Hunakai Studio today!