Most oil pastels are a combination of wax, oil and pigment, and the harder oil pastels are usually placed onto paper first. Find out how to use oil pastels, and how to create additional effects through the use of knives and wet brushes with help from an experienced artist in this free video on oil painting.
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Hi, I'm Lisa Wright, I'm the manager of Asel Art Supply and I'm going to you the use of oil pastels. I have a selection of oil pastels out in front of me. They range anywhere from your harder oil pastels, less expensive. They have a little bit more wax medium in them, since most of your oil pastels are a combination of wax, oil and pigment, makes them colorful. They're more expensive, oil pastels like these are going to have a little bit more pigment in them, a little more oil, not quite so much wax. They will have essentially a very lipstick type of feel to them when you put them on the paper. Most of the time when oil pastels are using them they are going to be using the harder oil pastels first in order to lay down the drawing on the piece of paper because it's not going to fill up the surface quite so much. A lot of times they might start with a china marker which has also a very similar feel a similar make up to them like the harder oil pastels. It will also give them the ability to make a more detailed drawing like what I started off to do here on my painting. And then at the very end you can come in with the softer oil pastels and actually make your painting look more like an oil painting, putting out much more color to it. For some more detail, like what I did in the feathers of the pheasant here, you can go back in after you've laid in your oil pastel and scratch back in effects with an exacto knife. You can back in with the harder pastels and china markers to add a few effects. There's also a water based oil pastel on the market now a days which work a lot like the harder ones like these, except for the fact if you go back over them with a wet brush, it'll turn in to water color, like what I've done here. And as you can see, you can come in with the water soluble oil pastels first, make them in to a wash and then go back over them with the harder oil pastels and the softer oil pastels. They are compatible together and can make a very interesting picture. And that's how you use oil pastels.