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Color Mixing in Oil Pastels

Updated on January 28, 2010

Color in Oil Pastels

A Lone Tree, 5" x 7" in Neocolor II watersoluble oil pastels on black Colourfix paper by Robert A. Sloan
A Lone Tree, 5" x 7" in Neocolor II watersoluble oil pastels on black Colourfix paper by Robert A. Sloan

Color Mixing in Oil Pastels Videos!

Yes, after months, maybe a year since I bought a very good webcam, the QuickCam Pro, I have finally made some art instruction videos! This two-part series is on color mixing in oil pastels. 

I used a 50 color set of Pentel oil pastels, one of the cheapest brands available, to demonstrate the color wheel, primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors, as well as showing what's meant by "Tints" and demonstrating a good skin tone progression in the first video. 

One of the advantages to this format is that when I say "light pressure" or "heavy pressure" you can see what I mean and how I'm holding the stick. Sometimes words alone and finished drawings or scans in progress don't quite show what I meant.

When I mixed colors, if it didn't turn out to be the color I wanted, I showed my process of experimenting. Some mixtures aren't fifty-fifty. They take putting down one color, a bit of the other one and then going over it with the second one again. So you can get an idea of exactly how to mix these colors (or any colors) in oil pastels as well as color theory in general with oil pastels as the demonstrating medium.

One great advantage to them of course, is that they do scan well and they show up on photos strong and bright! Sometimes when you're mixing watercolors a photo won't show the true clean hues the way they are and light colors vanish. But oil pastels rock for being able to show your work online!


Color Mixing in Oil Pastels, Part 1

Color Mixing, Part 2

In Part 2, I explain "Shades" and demonstrate how to make a dark red shade, also how to mix browns using spectrum bright colors. Then I go into optical mixing using pointillism (dots) and crosshatching (lines) comparing both to direct blending. While you can blend colors with your fingers, sometimes blending them with a second color using the stick gives a bold rich result.

All techniques in this demo are dry techniques, none of them use thinner or solvent to turn oil pastel into liquid paint and spread it with brushes. Wet techniques are explored in another series.


Color Mixing in Oil Pastels, Part 2

And just for fun...

My first postable oil pastels video! I did a small abstract design with Caran d'Ache Neocolor II watersoluble oil pastels on black Colourfix - a leftover piece from that great landscape at the top of this page. "A Lone Tree" is the "great landscape" I mentioned during the video, so thought you ought to get to see that too.

Why it's included is also that I managed some good narration during the project and demonstrate blending colors on black well, along with some principles of color and design. It's a tutorial too, including an opinion of the pastels I was using of course!


My First OP Demo!

For more demos & video art lessons...

Be sure to visit my website, for more information on oil pastels, product reviews, step by step art lessons and video art lessons. You can also find more at YouTube where I've now got a dozen videos posted. I'll be organizing them by what lessons they are in HubPages too, so watch for some new Hubs with video art lessons!


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      is sooooo niiiceeeee im the bestin my school at art

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      wow its tooooo borinnnnng

    • Fossillady profile image


      8 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Great tutorial, thank you for your demonstrations. I'm a latent artist and have used colored pencils and pastels to draw my fossil animals. Didn't know I could even draw till I was 40. LOL

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Robert - I don't know how I wound up here, but am glad that I did. This is an excellent hub. The videos are perfect, they really show how to mix the oil pastels in a way that is so much more easy to understand than merely written.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      I always enjoy learning through your hubs. This is another great tutorial!

      Thanks very much for sharing!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      How wonderful. I envy you. I find pastels a very difficult medium

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      9 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Yep they are a great start to video art tutorials about oil pastels and are relatable to art in general, good job!

    • Paradise7 profile image


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Terrific hub for the artist, and I love your picture!


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