People who enjoy drawing but want to add a challenging aspect to their art skills often choose to participate in activities that involve oil pastel colours. Using oil pastels is a fun way to liven up any drawing; however, oil pastels are messy to use. Creating artwork with these pastels may be a more suitable project for experienced artists while developing their art development skills. If using oil pastels, be careful to not ruin the art design, due to the possible mess. Becoming familiar with how to use oil pastels in the proper manner makes this type of artwork more enjoyable for artists.
People who have no experience with oil pastels should expect that this endeavour is messy, so keeping cleaning materials close by is important. Made from a wax binder and non-drying oils, oil pastel sticks require the use of the hands directly on the sticks and on the oil pastels once they reach the paper, unlike other types of artwork designs that require the use of hard pencils or paintbrushes.
Because the colour is oil-based, expect that the product once complete, to take a while to dry, typically an hour or more. Unlike paint that dries with exposure to the air, oil pastels harden to a dry finish with time. The thicker the oil pastels, the longer it takes to harden.
Before any drawing begins, get together all the necessary tools and have them handy. Since oil pastels work on layers, it is necessary to have a tool to add fine details by scratching in lines. An old credit card, palette knife, or razor blade works well for accomplishing this. Also keep plenty of paper towels or wet wipes close by as these are items people frequently use to clean their hands when changing colours after smudging the oil pastels.
If artists do not wish to use their fingertips, they choose to use artist tools like tortillons (also known as torties), to accomplish the same task. People who use water-based pastels clean their hands with water, while oil pastels require a heavy-duty cleaner like art turpentine.
Just like with making any other type of art design, decide what the subject matter of the artwork includes. This determines not only what oil pastel colours are necessary, but also how large the paper needs to be. It may be less challenging for beginners to choose an easy subject such as a body of water, a dwelling, or a cat, while artists with more experience may use a person as their subject matter.
Regardless of what artists choose to draw, they need to choose a drawing paper size that fits the subject of the drawing. This entails making sure that the paper size fits the subject matter. The paper size should not leave too little space to finish the drawing and it should not have too much space that leaves a large amount of empty space when the drawing is finished. When choosing paper, it is a good idea to have a second sheet at the ready to test out colours before applying them to the actual drawing. The paper should be of sufficiently heavy stock since using oil pastels requires pressure of the stick on the paper which often tears thin paper while applying this force.
Using a standard pencil, begin by tracing the outline of the subject matter on the paper. It is a good idea to use a pencil so that altering any mistakes is possible before the oil pastel application begins. Do not worry about sketching in minor details as these additions are easy to add later.
After completing the outline, it is time to start adding the oil pastel colours. Start by adding in thin layers of colour, then go back later and increase the layers, especially if using multiple colours, so that the colours blend easily. Most people choose to use their fingers for smudging and blending the oils; however, other people prefer to use artist tools instead. Once all colour additions are complete, set the masterpiece aside and do not touch it again until the oils have time to harden.
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Oil pastels add depth and definition to many different types of artwork. This type of artistry tool is different from many others, as it is messier to use and takes longer to dry. Knowing more about how to use use oil pastels prepares new and experienced artists to make beautiful artwork more easily.