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We make a color chart with oil pastels

We make a color chart with oil pastels. In the article you are about to read, I will tell you about a fascinating technique, but considered a niche. Today we will put the brushes aside and use the oil pastels! Thing? Have you never used this technique, and do you feel disoriented? Don’t worry, and I’ll give you all the instructions and advice you need to get started. In this lesson, we will use the fantastic Sennelier oil pastels and experiment together with the merits of these colors! You must know that I used many pastels during the first years of the Art School; thanks to their versatility, they are considered a real passe-partout, they find a wide range of applications: from sketches on paper to the creation of compositions!

But first, a small clarification. When we talk about “pastels,” a world to explore opens up before us, and we begin to ask ourselves numerous questions. Fans of this technique know well how important it is to understand the differences that characterize the different types of pastels and, above all, which are the most suitable for their needs. So, before moving on to the actual work, here is a summary of the main characteristics to know about pastels.

Oil pastels: be careful not to get confused

Pastel is a painting technique that involves using colored pigment sticks pressed with a binder: the latter ensures the adhesion of the pigment on the sheet. Pastel can be classified into various types based on the mixture, the binder used, from the hardest to the softest. Each class is suitable for different applications, and each has support on which it gives a better result, such as paper, canvas, and cardboard. But how are Sennelier oil pastels born? Think about it, the birth of these colors dates back to the mid-19th century. It was 1949, and Pablo Picasso looked for a new “tool” to do his works. The painter (and friend of Picasso) Henri Goetz asked Henri Sennelier for help. Thus, the Sennelier oil pastels were born, composed of high-quality pigments and a unique softness and brilliance.

Sennelier oil pastels appear as cylinders to which linseed oil is added, making the color pasty and bright. Thanks to the oily binder, the final effect is reminiscent of oil paint due to the material and lively pictorial rendering—excellent allies for those who want to experiment with the different applications of oil painting using pastels. In addition, the oil pastel stands out because it is creamy and blendable, even with thinners for oil painting. Sennelier oil pastels have become a reference product in the sector, very popular also because they are easily transportable. Convenient to use, they can also be used if necessary for quick drafts and sketches outside. The 12-color Sennelier Oil Pastel Set consists of bright tones, an excellent proposal for those who want to try their hand at this technique! Each pastel is well finished and wrapped in a paper that allows the color on which the brand and color code is reported.

The products needed for the color chart with oil pastels

We make a color chart with oil pastels

To get acquainted with oil pastels, let’s start with a simple Color Chart to touch the effect of the colors first hand. In fact, in this first phase, we will discover the actual yield on paper for each color present in the Sennelier Oil Pastels set.

Need for today:

  • Sennelier oil pastels set of 12
  • Sheet of Canson Heritage watercolor paper, A4 fine grain 300 g
  • 2B pencil, compass, eraser

We design the structure of the color chart

Creating today’s Color Card will be sufficient to draw 12 spaces to color in pencil. With the help of a compass, I have chosen to draw 12 circles with a diameter of about 3 cm and 1 cm apart. This basic structure will allow us to have an orderly and precise color chart. We will fill each circle with a different color to obtain a practical and aesthetically pleasing!

Color chart: Let’s start with warm colors

Once the circles are finished, start coloring the first circle with Yellow. I chose to start with the warm colors, followed by the incredible colors featured in the Set. To color the lotus flower drawing with a pencil, it will be sufficient to exert light pressure with the crayon’s tip. Color the top half of the circle, and then blend the color with your fingers to fill the remaining half as well. The effect obtained will be similar to the sun or an almost full moon. Once the first circle is finished, continue with the following ones.

Immediately you realize that the oil pastel line is very full-bodied, adheres to the surface of the sheet homogeneously, and by blending the color, you can immediately notice the softness that characterizes it. Some practical advice: Blending the stain with your fingers is the most straightforward procedure. It is advisable to clean your fingers from any residual color on a paper towel before moving to the next color.

Color chart: we work on cold colors and black and white

Let’s proceed with our color chart with blues and greens ending with white and black. Another feature of oil pastels is the possibility of overlapping the same colors, thus creating different shades and shades. Once our Color Card is finished, it is advisable ​​to apply a special fixative that ensures more excellent adhesion on the paper. This product will avoid any possible wear of the result obtained over time due to light, dust, and other external factors. Applying the fixative is also something to try! It is better to make the first tests on a color chart and then use it on actual work without fear.




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