Sennelier Oil Pastels

Featured In / August '22 ScrawlrBox

We realise you may have never seen or used products like this before so we have put together a few hints, tips and techniques to test out and get the best from these supplies.

These highly-pigmented, artist-grade oil pastels are made with the top-quality mineral and organic pigments mixed with natural, non-toxic binders.

They offer a lovely smooth and creamy texture with a high-concentration of pigment for great coverage, and they can be applied to a variety of different surfaces including canvas, paper, metal, wood, stone and, even glass.

This versatile medium can be used in so many ways, by directly applying to your surface, or blending with your fingers, even mixed and applied with a brush or a cloth – the possibilities are endless. Be prepared to get messy with these pastels and don’t be afraid to get stuck in.

Things To Try...

~ The state of your oil pastels will change under different temperatures. As they warm they will become softer and easier to mix and when they are cooler they will firm up and be better for detailing in your work. Be sure to also keep temperature in mind when storing your oil pastels, as any hot temperatures can melt them and you’ll be left will a big mess.

~ When you are working with oil pastels, it is best to work from light to dark and build the colours up gradually with layers of pigment.

~ You might find your pastels start to pick up the other colours while layering (especially the white!). Keep them clean by swiping them on a bit of scrap paper.

~ Get blending! You can blend the oil pastels out using the blending stump or your finger if you prefer. You can use baby oil or linseed oil to smooth, blend and mix your oil pastels. Try using a cotton swab to apply your oil to the page and get those pigments smooth and sleek.

 ~ Heavy blending: Firmly apply a generous amount of the oil pastel in one direction onto your paper. Layer additional colours on top to create a deep blend. No paper should be visible.

 ~ Light blending: Using a light hand, add the oil pastels onto the paper with little pressure. Layer more colours to achieve various values or even different hues. some paper will be visible using this technique. 

~ There are various different ways you can blend oil pastels. You can apply the colours directly to paper and blend right there on the page, or you can deposit some of the pigment into a mixing palette. This can be good when you are trying to achieve a specific colour, as you can see the exact colour before application

~ Create contrast buy layering the white pastel over the top. This will dull down the colour underneath.

~ Try Stippling to create texture in your piece. This is where you use small, choppy strokes or dots onto your paper. Layer additional colours for depth within your technique.

~ Experiment with Scraffitto. Use the wooden stylus scratcher to scratch onto the surface to reveal what’s underneath - for example the paper or a colour you’ve layered underneath- in order to add finer details. The finer the point used to scratch, the finer the detail you can achieve. 

Artist Advice 

Julie Avisar 

 • I find it useful to keep a piece of kitchen paper next to me when drawing. The pastels can get dirty quite quickly when blending them together on the paper. Gently turning them on the kitchen paper cleans them very easily.

• I usually plan my colour palette in advance. On a piece of scrap paper, I try out colours to see what will make an exciting drawing.

• You can use coloured pencils to scratch into your drawing adding a new texture.


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