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Grease Your Art Wheels to Make These Easy Oil Pastel Art Projects

Have you ever looked at famous oil pastel artwork such as Degas’ ‘The Dancing Class’ or Millet’s ‘Dandelions’ and resolved to replicate their masterpieces? If the answer is yes, then we are in the same boat as you. An artist is defined not only through the narratives that they create with their paintings but also with the medium they choose. While some showcase their creativity with contemporary ballpoint pens, others take a more traditional route and decide on oil pastels. But what is oil pastel? And more importantly, what are some of the oil pastel art ideas? In this article, we will illuminate the various ways you can and must try using the medium to create splendid art using oil pastels.

The History and Art of Oil Pastel

Oil pastels are a form of pastel that are formed using non-drying oil and wax mixed with pigments. These bold and vibrant colours are usually found in the form of a stick (much like a crayon) and are less powdery than a pastel. The first oil pastels were created by the Sakura Cray Pas Company founded by Rinzo Satake and Shuku Sasaki in 1924. They mixed the pigment with coconut oil, mashed paraffin wax, and stearic acid to develop a new high-viscosity crayon – the oil pastel.

Art Arena Oil Pastel Drawings
Courtesy – Art Arena via YouTube

Due to the absence of a stabilizer (which was added in 1927), the oil pastels art colors were seasonal. The winter colours had more oil to harden them while the summer colours had lesser oil content to prevent melting. Since their inventions, several manufacturers (Talens, Sennelier, and Holbein) rode their coat-tails. But why did art with oil pastels gather popularity, enough to convince even professionals such as Pablo Picasso to switch mediums?

Art With Oil Pastels – A Need

Art oil pastels are perhaps one of the most versatile mediums. They can be applied to the canvas directly and later spread using a wet brush. Heavy use of oil pastels assists in creating an impasto effect. Oil pastels are considered a fast medium and are often used for sketching too. Since they never dry out completely, even a minor brushstroke can cause humongous damage to oil pastel colour art. Thus, one has to either encase it or use a special fixative to preserve it.

Courtesy – Rang Canvas

Oil Pastel Art For Beginners

If you are a beginner, the medium will make oil pastel art easy. There are several directions you may gravitate towards – traditional painting styles, contemporary styles, or even abstract art. Here are some art projects using oil pastels which you should try out. The ideas for oil pastel art for kids and adults will prove to be evidence of your unyielding zeal and creativity.

Modern Art Shiva Oil Pastels

Try making a painting depicting Lord Shiva and Parvati. There are so many trajectories you may tread. You may create a silhouette of the diety meditating behind an array of twinkling stars. Use oil pastels to depict Shiva’s ‘tandava.’ You can also make an effigy depicting Lord Shiva in his ‘Ardhanareeshvara’ form.

Courtesy – Pinterest

Abstract Art Oil Pastel

Why not delve into oil pastel art which connotes abstract narratives? Your oil pastel abstract art may take on many forms. They can simply be an extension of the techniques used by Jackson Pollock or could manifest into the cubist techniques. One thing we can assure you of is that your abstract oil pastel art will undoubtedly turn out to be magnificent.

Courtesy – David Guez Art via Medium

Warli Art With Oil Pastels

India is not simply a land of spices, but also a land of myriad folk arts. Why not try capturing one of those? Warli art, originating from Maharashtra features geometric shapes and stick figures. Since you do not have to make intricate figures and shapes, you can easily bring out the beauty of this timeless art with oil pastels.

Courtesy – Art’s Room via YouTube

Easy Modern Art With Oil Pastels

For a beginner oil pastel art may even take on the form of modern art. Modern art is not bound by rules. To modernists, an artist’s philosophy reigns supreme. Therefore, try making a splendid masterpiece of modern art. You may draw simple figures or deconstruct them. You may even curate an art piece rivalling Mark Rothko’s. 

Courtesy – Art Calling

Image Courtesy – Christiana Walther

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