Whether you are new to oil pastels or an experienced artist, the question of what kind of paper is best for oil pastels is probably on your mind. The answer is simple. Several options will work well, but your artistic style will determine the best paper for your oil pastel painting.
Oil pastel paper comes in a variety of sized pads or single sheets. They come in various thicknesses and textures, which will affect the blending and marks on the paper.
A smooth surface will allow the creamy oil pastels to glide on the surface, while heavy textures will allow you to add multiple layers of oil pastels.
There are many different types of pastel paper to choose from, and each type’s properties suit certain painting styles and subject matter. This article will review several different kinds of pastels paper and discuss their uses.
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What Are Oil Pastels?
Oil pastels are a drawing medium that consists of pure pigment in a semi-solid oil binder. The pigments in oil pastels have a high resistance to discoloration, so the colors will not generally fade with age or light exposure. Although they look like crayons, their waxy nature differs from ordinary crayons and will not work well on regular printing paper.
Oil pastels come in various colors, from bright primaries to subtle earth tones. Many oil pastel artists enjoy working with oil pastels because they can create paintings that look similar to an oil painting without all of the toxins and mess associated with oil paints and thinners.
Artist Grade Oil Pastels
What To Look For In Oil Pastel Paper
Paper weight and thickness – The weight and thickness of the pastel paper should be taken into consideration when deciding on what paper will be best for your projects. The lighter the weight, the more absorbent and fragile the paper is, making it challenging to add pressure and layers of pastel. Thin paper is excellent for rich colors like landscapes and outdoor scenes with sunlight peeking through trees or flowers blooming in a field.
The thicker the paper is, the less absorbent it will be. This is especially important if you are using oil pastels with wet techniques since the oils can seep through to the back of your drawing surface if the paper is too thin. The more absorbent the paper is, the more vibrant and rich your colors will appear when laid down on it.
Texture – Smoothness is the key since you don’t want to see texture when applying your pastels. However, some artists prefer a rougher surface with tooth (sanded paper) for more textural appeal. A rougher surface might be a better choice for landscape scenes with dirt roads or weather-worn objects.
Oil pastels work well on many surfaces, including smooth papers and paper with a rough texture. The paper surfaces you work with will be determined by the different techniques you will be using for your oil pastel drawings.
Size – There are individual sheets and pads of pastel paper available in almost any size you choose. Which one you select will depend on the subject and the type of painting you wish to complete. You might find that purchasing larger sizes and cutting them into small sizes might save you money per painting.
Paper Color – Different colors are all available. The color of the pastel paper will affect the appearance of your painting. A lighter-colored paper will create a softer-looking piece compared to darker papers.
Oil Pastel Paper Reviews
Canson Mi-Teintes is a French paper with a “vellum” (rougher) top side and a flat (smooth) bottom side, both of which are ideal for pastel, oil pastel, chalk, pencil, watercolor, and acrylic. It is a thick, 98-pound (160gsm) paper with a high rag content (66%) to ensure long life without deterioration.
- 9″ x 12″
- 12″ x 16″
Oil pastels work well on both sides. The smoother side works well for single applications, while the rougher side works wonderfully for blending and adding multiple layers. The heavyweight paper can withstand heavy pressure for dramatic effects.
The Sennelier Oil Pastel Card was made with oil pastels in mind. The oils will not seep, bleed through, or halo on this high-quality paper.
Each pad has 12 sheets of acid-free paper (160 lb. or 340 gsm) thick and 160 pounds (340 grams). The pages are separated with glassine sheets to protect your artwork from damage.
The texture is lightly textured and perfect for layering and blending vibrant colors.
If you want to use vibrant, bright colors, you will find the Arteza black sketch pad to be perfect. It was created to provide maximum color vibrancy, has a thick texture and enough tooth for you to blend and layer colors, and is ideal for both oil pastels and charcoals.
The paper of this pad is 90 lb., so it is thick and durable.
This sketch paper pad is made for student artists, and it’s ideal for use at home or in school. This sketching paper is perfect for metallic effects or unique white charcoal drawings. It is also excellent for crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
The heavyweight black paper makes the oil pastels pop off the page and is sturdy enough for the creamy texture of oil pastels.
The Strathmore 400 Series Pastel Paper is a thick, heavyweight paper with excellent tooth for layering and blending colors. The Strathmoore 400 series is perfect for oil pastels and colored pencils, soft pastels, and charcoal.
The Winsor & Newton Pastel Paper Pads by Winsor & Newton are made of cold press sheets with a fine grain texture. They are ideal for sketching and drawing with oil pastels, chalk pastels, charcoal, graphite, and other mediums emphasizing shading and highlighting techniques. They provide strength and durability over time as well.
These 75-pound (160-gsm) papers are fade-resistant, archival-quality, and free of acids and optical brighteners.
What Oil Pastel Paper Is Best For You
The oil pastel paper you select depends on your personal preferences and projects. Consult with other artists for their opinions and recommendations before making a final purchase. No matter which pad or sheet of paper you choose, one thing is for sure: oil pastel paper will make your art stand out.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Oils Pastel Paper For Oil Pastels
1. It absorbs a lot of oil pastel and allows you to use them properly-
Usually, the appearance of an entire work is achieved by the complete application of the oil pastels right from top to bottom. Oil pastels have a creamy consistency that makes them easy to draw on paper even though they absorb well. However, oil pastel paper absorbs these creamy materials well and allows you to use them properly on the entire sheet of paper at once.
2. Paper is thick enough to withstand usage-
Oil pastels are thicker and creamier than other art supplies. The thicker paper allows your works will last longer without critical damage to the essential areas such as the borders and the areas around them.
3. Painting is more beautiful-
One of the main advantages of oil pastel paper is that it gives your paintings a more professional look with less effort than other types of paper.
What Are The Different Types Of Oil Pastel Papers
There are different types of oil pastel papers. Most people think that oil pastel paper is only thick, heavyweight watercolor paper pads. However, many other options are available to you, such as the texture, thickness, and paper color.
Final Thoughts On Oil Pastel Paper
Oil pastel paper comes in a wide range of colors and thicknesses. The next time you want to work on an oil pastel drawing, think about what type of paper would work best for the look you’re trying to achieve.
The best way to get started is to try different oil pastel paper pads and see which ones you like best.