Hi friends! I have a Two-fer today! I have a comparison of the oil pastels brands I use and recommend and also a painting of a bunny using watercolor as the background and oil pastel over top.
Let’s start with the bunny demo:
Supplies (Affiliate links used)
- Artsy Watercolor double fan palette
- Paul Rubens oil pastels
- Watercolor paper, tape
- Colored pencils (Prismacolor)
Now on to the Oil Pastel Comparison:
Read more about it!
The firmest oil pastels I use, and also the most budget-friendly, are the Pentel Arts set of 50. ***Some viewers told me that they reformulated these pastels and now have a very strong odor. You can get a set of 50 for $7.04 on blick or slightly more on Amazon and it’s a great start on your oil pastel journey. I even use them to block in areas or add detail at the end as they are firmer. Even tho they are harder than the other brands I mention they are very pigmented. These are great in sketchbooks as they don’t transfer much to the opposite page. The downside is that they are not lightfast so use them only in sketchbooks and for experiments if you are concerned about fading.
Mungyo Gallery Soft Oil Pastels: Mungyo makes many pastels for other companies including the Master’s touch at Hobby Lobby so if you wait for a 50% off sale you will pay the normal Mungyo price on Amazon. Mungyo makes a regular and a soft and I purchased the soft. They are really nice for learning and are a bit more lightfast than the Pentels so your work will not fade as quickly in the light. They are lovely to work with. Expect to pay between $20-$30 for a 48 piece set, they also offer a 72 wood box set
Paul Rubens Oil Pastels: this 48 set is a great option for the budget-conscious artist who also cares about lightfastness. Every stick has pigment info and a lightfast rating. These are soft and very nice to work with. They have also come out with a pastel color set an iridescent set and 6 pack of white pastels. These would be my top pick for budget and quality
The softest pastels I have are also the most lightfast and you can buy individual sticks but they come at a cost. The Sennelier oil pastels are spendy but awesome. They also have larger sticks if you want to work big. These are lipstick soft and so pigmented. They are truly a luxury art supply.
I also showed the eye-pencil like Dramasticks. I did not have a lot of luck with these but if you think they may be right for you you can see them here. They might be discontinued tho. Jane Davenport also has Power Pastels but they are more like a wax crayon than an oil pastel so I did not include them in this comparison. I do like the power pastels but I have not used them much, I think I will, stay tuned! They are a good price on Amazon right now.
Last but not least are the Winsor & Newton Oil Bar, these are paint in a stick, they dry just like oil paint, unlike oil pastels which never truly dry to a durable finish. I think these might be discontinued but the Shiva brand is available.
Wow, I think that was a lot of info but hopefully it is helpful if you are interested in oil pastels! If you are interested in soft pastels (the kind of pastels that feel chalky) I have my Soft Pastels For Beginners class on sale for 50% off this month by using the coupon code APRILSHOWERS or clicking the special discount link here. I am in a pastel mood lately! Happy crafting!