Oil Pastels: A Love/Hate Story

A quite appropriate title, what with it being Valentine’s Day yesterday, that this week I played around with some oil pastels that I was kindly gifted for my birthday!

Pentel Arts Oil Pastels 12 pack

I will admit that I was quite hesitant upon receiving these oil pastels, as it had been quite a number of years since I last used oil pastels (back in college, if I’m not mistaken) and I remembered really not enjoying using them. Thankfully, that was not the case this time.

Messing around with colour mixing and blending

Honestly, I think I didn’t give them much time as I didn’t appreciate them, or how they’re used. I thought they were like a greasy crayon and was never satisfied with the outcome. This time though, I found the complete opposite. Yes, they’re still a greasy crayon, but I felt like I had more control over them, and I don’t know if it’s from painting with acrylics and oils, but I felt like I had more control mixing colours and blending them together, and just understanding how they work in general. Once I was satisfied with messing with them, I did a couple of illustrations in my sketchbook.

The first sketch is of The Flash that I did out of my head, just to see how they worked, then once I was happy, I got myself a photo of Troye Sivan off Pinterest and used that as a reference to do a little portrait. Finally, I wanted to do a bit of monochrome, so again I knocked a quick sketch of a pencil out of my head and did a little black, white and grey oil pastel study.

I think my understanding of colour mixing and playing with oil paints last year really helped me come around to the oil pastels this time around. I have to say I really love how these little sketchbook illustrations came out and I’m looking forward to perhaps even working on a bigger non-sketchbook illustration using these oil pastels. If you’ve any suggestions as to what I should make next with some oil pastels, let me know! 🙂

Have you used oil pastels before? Have you ever come across a medium you previously disliked and then revisited it to find you actually like it?

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