How to Make Oil Pastel Look Like a Painting

If you’ve ever worked with oil pastel you know how exhausting it can be to get rid of all those tiny holes.  There may be some who like that cross-stitch look to their art but I prefer it to look more like a painting than a drawing or stitchery.  There are several ways to tackle the holes:

  1. You can use your fingers to smooth out the oil pastel but this gets messy on the fingers and you have to wash often or risk getting unintended color mixes.
  2. A stump can be used but this is tedious and can create a smudged look to the oil pastel.
  3. Q-tips work but may lift some of the color off as well.
  4. A solvent made for oil pastel such as Taltine is perfect.  This product has a skull and cross-bones warning so caution is necessary.  It must be kept out of children’s hands and used in a well ventilated area and wearing a mask.

The Taltine works like a charm.  A bit on the end of a Q-tip and gently applied to the art takes care of the holes and helps to blend the colors.  Apply the solvent with a cotton ball and you can blend a large area or even fade out colors for backgrounds.  At one time I used the solvent to erase an area that I didn’t like leaving an interesting under-color for whatever I decide to do in its place.

My Sennelier Oil Pastels came early so I was eager to use them.  The set has colors for landscape but I find there are not enough light, bright colors so I may have to buy a few single crayons to fill in.  Nevertheless, layering is much easier with crayons that are smooth as butter to apply.

the river

12 x 16″ on Mi-teinte Pastel paper $175

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