Many artists enjoy working with oil pastels because of the wide range of colors, creamy texture, and vibrant colors. Artists use oil pastels for quick sketches to professional impressionism art. Individual colors can be blended to create a wide range of hues, and these types of pastels can create an oil painting look without all of the mess associated with oil paints.
The challenge many artists encounter when starting with oil pastels is deciding what the best oil pastel set is to purchase. Don’t worry if you are interested in experimenting with this medium and do not know the best oil pastel brands. We have you covered. This post will explain what you should look for when purchasing your first set and list the best student-grade oil pastels and artist-grade oil pastels.
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Best Student-Grade Oil Pastels
- Faber-Castell Goldfaber Studio Oil Pastel Sets
- Pentel Oil Pastels
- Sakura-Pas Junior Oil Pastels
- Holbein Academic Oil Pastels
Best Artist-Grade Oil Pastels
What Are Oil Pastels
Oil pastels consist of pigments mixed with non-drying oil and or wax. The oil binder holds the rich pigment together and produces intense colors with a creamy consistency. Unlike chalk pastels, oil pastels have a close resemblance to crayons. The main difference is the binders used for oil pastels create a smooth mark on the drawing surface with bright colors. Oil pastels can also produce the same texture effect as oil paints.
Oil pastels are a popular art medium for both children and adults. They can be used to create realistic drawings, landscape paintings, and abstract art, but some people may have concerns about the toxicity of oil pastels. This article will explore what “toxic pigments” mean and how you can … [Read more…]
How To Choose The Best Oil Pastels For Your Next Project
The quality of pigments used for pastels will affect the colors, and the binders will affect the smooth texture oils pastels produce. The main difference between student grade and artist grade oil pastels is the ingredients used for the product.
Here are some things to consider when choosing what will be the best brand for you:
Learning Artist And Advanced Artist
Like most art mediums, oil pastel brands are separated by student and artist grades.
Student-grade pastes are more affordable for young artists just learning how to use oil pastels. The qualities are similar, but you will be limited to how many different colors are available, and the color pigments will not be as vibrant. However, the affordable price of student-grade pastels makes them a perfect choice for experimenting and practicing. Be careful when picking a student’s grade. Some have inferior quality and are best for elementary classes, not for artists trying to learn how to use oil pastels.
High-quality oil pastels (artist-grade) have a wide range of vivid colors and a buttery texture, making them the best choice for different techniques and finished artwork. Suppose you have never used oil pastels before but think this is the medium you will use for your finished artwork. In that case, you might want to consider learning with a higher quality pastel to learn various techniques and effects you can use for your oil pastel painting.
The Consistency Of Oil Pastels
Another thing you will want to consider when choosing your first oil pastels is the consistency of the product. Some brands have a harder consistency, while others have a soft texture.
Firm pastels are an excellent option for detailed work, while soft pastels are suitable for blending colors. One texture is not better than another. It is more of a personal choice and the art style you will be creating. For example, softer pastels will work best if you are creating impressionism art. If you make realistic wildlife paintings with a lot of detail, you will be better off using a harder pastel. Some artists use a combination of hard pastels and soft pastels for their paintings. Experiment with both to see what works best for your artistic style.
The pigment is a powder that is held by a binder. The binder used for oil pastels is non-drying oil and wax. The binder holds the powder together, usually in a stick form. The quality and concentration of the pigments will affect the colors. Higher quality pigments will produce luminous, rich colors. High-quality pastels contain the purest pigments and are more expensive than pastels that use lower-quality pigments.
Student-Grade Oil Pastels
Faber-Castell is a well-known German company that manufactures artist-grade mediums like pencils and pastels. Faber-Castell Oil Pastels is a quality and affordable product for students. Faber Castell, famously known for its exceptional art-colored art products, offers the same quality for more affordable student-grade products. This collection of 12 vibrant colors has a soft buttery consistency making them easy to blend. If this is your first time using oil pastels, Goldfaber soft pastel sticks would be an excellent choice to try.
Pentel has been around for years and is well-known for producing quality art products. They offer sets of 12, 16, 25, 36, 50, and 432. Each stick is 2-1/2” and can be used on various materials, including paper, metal, glass, board, and wood. Pentel pastels are firm and work well for fine lines and detailed work. You can feel safe using Pentel arts oil pastels because they are ACMI certified non-toxic making them the perfect choice for young artists.
Sakura-Pas manufactures a student-grade oil pastel that is fun and safe to use. Junior artists can create oil painting effects without the mess and toxins associated with oil paints and cleaners. These pastels are soft and produce bright, vibrant colors, perfect for any artistic style.
These student-grade oil pastels are firm and blend easily. Holbein pastels can be applied to many surfaces and do not break apart. These student pastels are perfect for quick sketches and students practicing different oil pastel techniques.
Artist Grade Oil Pastels
These buttery, soft Sennelier pastels have an outstanding opacity that covers the surface with brilliant colors. They are acid-free and can be applied to numerous surfaces, including board, canvas, paper, glass, metal, and wood. To create an oil paint effect, thin them with turpentine and use a brush to apply the pastels.
If you are interested in using a professional quality oil pastel, Van Gogh oil pastels will be a perfect choice. They offer the most intense and vivid colors on the market. Professional artists feel confident using Van Gogh’s pastels on their finished projects.
For superb smoothness and blend-ability, Neopastels are the perfect oil pastels. They are made from high-quality pure pigments that produce lively colors. The buttery texture covers smoothly and can easily be blended.
Final Thoughts On Professional Quality Oil Pastels
The pastel you use for your artwork is a personal preference before purchasing. Consider the amount of high-quality pigment used for the pastel stick and the quality of the binder. The softness of the pastel will be a personal preference. The best option is to purchase a few colors from different companies to compare the quality of the brands.