Friday, March 30, 2018

Pigment Sticks, Oil Pastels, and Other Drawing Materials

I've been experimenting with pigment sticks (like oil paint sticks), oil pastels, water soluble crayons, and colored pencils, on paper with several different grounds. I am using these with a couple of oil paint mediums: alkyd resin gel and odorless mineral spirits. This is not a tutorial, as I am pretty much a novice with the oil media, though I've experimented with it over the years.

I hope you enjoy this video of my explorations:

If you are interested in the materials I'm using, check out the links below. I have just ordered a few more mediums, and will also try cold wax with the pigment sticks and oil pastels. I am interested in finding new ways of painting, seeing what happens to the imagery when using different materials.

R&F  Pigment Sticks
Arches Oil Paper
Alkyd Resin
Prismacolor colored pencils
Caran d'Ache NeoPastel oil pastels
Holbein oil pastels
Sennelier oil pastels
Sandable Hard Gesso
Absorbent Ground
Caran d'Ache water soluble crayons

I also like to use 300# smooth (hot press) watercolor paper.


  1. Thanks to you, I'll be shopping for some cool new 'toys,' Jane! Love watching your experiments & have begun serious explorations as a result... I watched a bunch of your YT vids recently... Can't thank you enough for your generous spirit in teaching and all else! Best wishes, Leslie Ansari

  2. Hi Jane,
    I watched your new YouTube on using pigment and oil sticks and another thinning agent like Gamsol to try would be 'flash oil' that I have used in thinning Gamblin Etching inks. It works so well and gives beautiful results in a painterly way and you can get it from Daniel Smith Art Supplies. If you would like to see what it does I can send you a photo of a piece I did using the flash oil later today.
    I am off to collect materials to make my brushes for your mark making class!


  3. Fabulous. Thankls so much for sharing this.

  4. Hey Jane,
    Great overview on the pigment sticks! I apreciated the alkayd resin for "drying" oil pastels-How come its taking this long to get the word out on that one?
    I also have to say your work in the video is particular strong. Looser marks, shapes and the with this medium-a lil' bit new for you... luv it! Must be that new studio of yours. ;)sue

  5. Thanks! Not in the new studio yet, though. A few more months. I have more experimenting to do with the alkyd resin gel on oil pastels. I may experiment with other mediums, such as the flash oil that Jean suggests (thanks, Jean); I have not done any systematic tests, but that might be a good idea.

  6. if using oil wax, i would probably limit myself to R&F, holbein and sennelier. caran d'ache neopastel is not as intense so i've gotten rid of them. i have tried caran d'ache neocolor II (pale!) and i prefer derwent inktense. i have also played with caran d'ache luminance and i find that prismacolor color pencils is better. prismacolor nupastel is also nice, but it's not oil. sakura expressionist oil pastels has a very nice price. $18 for fifty sticks. can't complain. :-)

  7. Thanks Jane, I was glued to your experimenting, you are so inspiring.Thanks so much for sharing.


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