Wednesday, December 8, 2021


Hello Creaative Schoolers!  You are Soooo COOL!  Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you are learning a lot from our featured artists and topics.

Today, let us study how to do paintings using oil pastel.  Do you know that soft oil pastel can be very versatile and can produce textured paintings?  The challenge with oil pastel is you need to find really good quality colors and not the hard wax-type colors.   So to help you find a good material to start drawing, we looked online to find affordable materials.  I'll be naming here a few so that you'll not find it hard to buy one.

Let us start learning by understanding the materials.


Oil pastels are hardened pigments using oil as its base.  There are soft pastels, which are like chalks, but we are using the oil pastel that we commonly use at school to produce vibrant drawings.

The advantage of using oil pastels is that you don't need medium or any liquid in using it.  But if you want to thin in out, you may use cotton buds dipped on oil to spread it.  It is also very easy to keep and store it since it is dry.  Before, I keep it on its original box but when the oil pastel got very short because of constant use, I bought a plastic container with dividers.  You may also use food keepers with compartments.  It is advisable to separate the colors because it will become dirty if you keep it all together.  Though you have the option to wipe it clean with tissue prior to its use.

I am working on a landscape using oil pastel.  I tried it instead of using my usual acrylic paint because it is easier to carry when I am traveling or when I am working.  Sometimes, I get the urge to draw during in-between work breaks.

With regards to the brand, the best quality oil pastel is really expensive.  Holbein and Sennelier are usually used by professionals.  They are much more buttery and have smooth consistency.  The price of Holbein is about PHP 2,400.00 for a 24 pieces color set.  Sennelier is way expensive, which is about PHP 4,756.00 for a 24 pieces color set.

Now, don't despair.  If you are a beginner, you can still produce good quality paintings using much cheaper oil pastel but still has bright colors.  I suggest that you start with a Pentel oil pastel, which cost only about PHP 270.00 for a 36 pieces color set.  Another option is using Sakura Junior oil pastel set, which is a bit higher, PHP 300.00 for a 24 pieces color set.  

Since I've been using a lot of these oil pastels, I now have a mix collection of oil pastels with Sakura and Pentel brand in it.  The good thing about Sakura is that you can buy each color separately.  I usually consumed "white" fast.  So I bought a box of white Sakura, 12 pieces in a box.


Drawing paper can be used for oil pastel drawing.  However, the oil in the color seeped to the paper and if you want to preserve the painting or drawing, it can be very risky because it may bleed on the paper.

I use pastel paper or board because it has better absorbing quality and it has differing surface.  I side is smooth and the other side is textured.  To give added quality to the painting I use the textured side.

You may also use canvas but it's a bit harder for me because the canvas has less tooth or texture to hold the oil pastel.  There's a higher tendency as well to crease the painting when the canvas get removed from its mount. As experienced, the pastel paper or pastel board is the best option.


You may want to buy a Wax Roll of paper, which is usually used for food keeping.  I use it to cover my oil pastel drawing or as divider when I draw on pads.  This will protect your painting or drawing from bleeding or transferring on other sheets.


For oil pastel, I use cotton buds or paper blending stump.  With cotton buds, you can actually thin out the oil pastel if you add linseed oil on it.  However, the cotton absorbs too much pigment.  Another option is the use of a blending stump.  The good thing about it is it absorb less pigment from the oil pastel and it can be used for finer details in the drawing.  Use whichever you are comfortable with.


Now that you have all the tools or materials, let us proceed learning how to use oil pastel for drawing.

My reference photo is shared to us by another member of Let's Paint group.  Thanks to Sir Norbing Villez for sharing it.  The photos of painting sample I have here is still a work in progress.

Step 1 - Using your reference, make a sketch of your drawing subject.

Step 2 - First layer of color for your base.  You may use water color or chose a pastel paper with colors already.

Step 3 - I usually start with the foreground.  Others start with the main subject.  The reason why I start with the foreground is because I want my subject to be layered on top of the background.  Find where you are more comfortable.

Step 4 - Finalize the details of your painting as you layered colors upon colors.  


I think you'll learn more by watching these demonstrations I gathered from YouTube.  Let us focus on LANDSCAPE painting or drawing as an exercise. (The two (2) succeeding videos are not mine but we included their link here to directly acknowledge the owners.) 

Allow me to introduce Mr. POL MESINA, JR. president and  one of the senior members  of ARTipolo Group.  You'll meet him next week when we release his feature interview.  I am sure you will learn a lot from him as he shares how he started in arts and how art helped him support his family as a full-time artist. 

But first, let us watch how he demonstrated this on-the-spot painting using oil pastels and nothing else.  He started with no sketch and directly applied raw colorings as guide for his painting.  He then layered the oil pastel and blended them. Lastly, he worked on the details of the central image, which are the trees.

The next video is from Painting & Drawing - the Virtual Instructor.  Watch this to learn how he uses oil pastel freely to show the texture and variability of an oil pastel. 

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About Rose Gob

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Hello! Thank you for reading my blog. I am Rose Gob, a Knowledge Management expert, a seasoned HR and OD practitioner, an artist and an educator by heart. I have created three (3) blogs to share articles in the field of creative arts, cooperative, social enterprise industry. But among these blogs, I write more for my art blog, During the pandemic, I was able to populate my blogs with various topics. But now, I realized that I need to focus. I hope you will give me feedback for topics that you want to learn. Send me questions and I'll try my best to answer your questions. Again, thank you for reading and please do check my blogs often. Have a great day!