Oil Pastels, A Very User-Friendly Medium
For those of you unfamiliar with Oil Pastels, but who may have seen them in an art store or hobby shop and didn't know exactly what they were and how to use them, I would like to share some information about them. Oil Pastels are a good way for someone who wants to produce a quick piece of work with texture, but not spend a lot of money in doing so to get started.
Oil pastels look a lot like a set of children's crayons, but I assure you they are much more useful than that. Oil pastels are versatile in that they can be used to do just about anything as far as drawing or painting- Yes, I said painting. They can be used to touch up oil paintings by applying them to areas for subtle shading or you can use mineral spirits or turpentine to dilute them and give your work, the appearance of an oil painting. This is because oil pastels are made with the same binding agent as oil paint.
You can break off or sharpen pieces as needed for fine line work or use the side of the pastel to cover large areas quickly. There will be a lot of trial and error, but I think you will find it worth it once you get past the learning curve.
You may ask what is the advantage of oil pastels over soft pastels. It is mostly a matter of preference, but in my opinion the oil pastels are far less messy than soft pastels which because of the chalk sometimes cause minor respiratory problems. Also, with the oil pastels, adding fixative is usually not necessary.
I have included in this post a few examples of my work in this medium. I hope it will inspire you to give it a whirl also.