Light Up Your Art Work (Using Oil Pastel)

Oil Pastels are very famous drawing / painting medium which consists of pigment mixed with a non-drying oil and wax binder. It is a soft medium almost similar to the crayons given to the primary grade students. Moreover, the surface of the oil pastel drawing or painting is non-powdery as it gives a textured effect and more typical to blend. These are also called as wax oil crayon. Oil Pastels, as compared to wax crayons, are easily applied, smooth and thus grants a young learners and artists a freedom to express :). In early days, oil pastels used to come in two types: Winter pastels and Summer pastels. Winter Pastels were designed with additional oil to prevent hardening whereas Summer Pastels with little oil to avoid melting, but due to some successive changes in quality in future, oil pastels turned out to be better medium for professional and experienced artists. Now, the oil pastels are superior in texture, wax viscosity, pigment and quality in applying and capability of producing attractive art works.

Oil Pastels are directly used on the surface. When it is applied with the light pressure, the resulting effects are like chalk pastels. While heavy pressures can build up a texture effect (impasto effect). Paper is the best medium to be used for oil pastels but any other surface with a nice texture or tooth is can also be preferred. However, many companies make paper specifically to be used for oil pastels. Mostly Oil sheets are preferred to be worked on. In this artwork I have used black pastel sheets, but be sure to cover your artwork with the butter paper to prevent smudging as it is difficult to protect it with a fixative. 

Nevertheless, there are number of techniques for using oil pastels such as layering, under painting, scraping down, etc. and in this article you’ll get to know that how you can “light up your art work using oil pastel colors”. So scroll down to know more:

 Things you’ll need :

          Black Paper

          Oil Pastel colors

  How to make :

Step 1: Start making a picture with black oil pastel color so that you may have an outline of the desired image. 

Step 2: Time to work on it now. Shade with different darker colors.

Step 3:  Shade or draw light colors next to dark colors to make the picture light up. Here, light colors are used to brighten up the image clearly.

Step 4: On the edges use darker colors. Use your finger to smudge the oil pastels and gently blend the colors together.

Step 5: Now again, clearly look at the picture you made thoroughly and highlight the image with light and bright oil pastels so that the darker parts look brighter.

And we’re done! 🙂

 Some basic art work by me 😉

“Cool surfing”

cool surfing design using oil pastels

Birds “In search of food”

birds in search of food design using oil pastels

This beautiful scene below resembles “An awaited meeting under the starry night”. Aww! How romantic!!!

meeting at night oil pastel design


Here’s a creative scraping technique that should be given a try.
So, the best way would be top lay the light colors down first then dark over the top. Then scrape away the top layers to reveal the lighter colors below. You can create lines, textures and some really cool effects. 
But the main thing to be aware of with this technique is to make sure that you don’t scrape it too hard as you can easily go through the paper. The paper will flatten more and more with each layer of color you lay down to make it thinner. You can use anything to scratch the surface such as knife, spatula, toothpick, finger nail, etc.but then just make sure that you don’t get too aggressive and rip the paper. 


We will be giving advance level illustrations on Oil pastels afterwards. Your feed-backs are welcome in the comment section. 🙂

Hope you liked it. Have a beautiful day. 😉

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