Soft Pastels Vs. Oil Pastels: See How They Are Completely Different

Michael Daly
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Composition Of Soft Pastels vs Oil Pastels

Soft pastels are softer to touch and contain less pigment hence, the color is subtle when compared to other pastels. The sticks are made of chalk, which applied to a pallet of the size of a paper of around 2 feet X 3 feet.

Oil Pastels

Oil pastels are hard to touch and contain more pigment hence, the color is more intense than the soft pastels when applied on a paper. Oil pastels are also known as wax pastels or chalks.

Cost Comparison Of Soft Pastels vs. Oil Pastels

One of the staple art supplies offered by many art stores today is the oil pastel, which has a rich history. Oil pastel is a semi-hard, stick-like medium which is made in the form of wax. These pastels can be used on a variety of different surfaces to include: paper, plastic, sticky surfaces and walls.

Each of these pastels has a waxy texture which allow them to be pasted to the surface. Due to their soft texture, they are also easily smeared, but still stay on the surface.

Oil pastels were invented when a French chemist, Eugène Chevreul, invented the technique of using a light solvent oil with pigments to form the pastels. These pastels had a smoother texture than the traditional sticks and were also more durable.

Even though the oil pastels are synonymous with pastels, the term pastels actually refers to any type of medium that consists of fine particles of pigments.

Here are a few things to consider before buying an oil pastel:

Supplies Required By Both Soft Pastels And Oil Pastels

Before you jump on to the world of pastel painting, ask yourself if you are willing to put in the time and effort to improve your skills and techniques. Just like with anything in life–nothing comes easy.

Now, the most common question asked when artist comes to mind is: Which medium is better and why?

Oil and Soft Pastels are almost two completely different mediums. Soft pastels are made out of sticks that are crushed and mixed with a binding agent. The best material used for that purpose is usually wax. Soft pastels are then formed into sticks or cones. Soft pastels are usually applied by rubbing them on the paper or board using the tips of the fingers and a soft brush. Regarded as one of the most popular and easiest medium to learn, it’s no wonder that many aspiring artists choose it as the first medium of choice. As artists, we are especially drawn to it.

Oil pastels on the other hand are a less popular medium, but for artists who are looking for something different yet very useful, it is ideal. The oil pastels are usually made out of pigment and oil. They are applied on the paper and board by holding the stick directly on the surface of the pastel.

Techniques For Both Soft Pastels And Oil Pastels Differ Greatly

If you’re thinking of trying out the colored pastels for your finger paintings, then the only thing that you need to do is choose a paint to use, either oil-based pastels or soft pastels.

Both types of pastels have their own set of pros and cons. It will be up to you to decide which one you need for your artwork.

The materials needed for creating pictures using soft pastels is quite different from the materials needed for oil pastels. Soft pastels are meant for use in the open air, while oil pastels are meant for indoor use. However, this doesn’t mean that oil pastels cannot be used in the outdoors while soft pastels cannot be used indoors.

While soft pastels are best for bright art with spectacular colors, oil pastels are soft, chalky pastels and due to the fact that they are oil-based and thus can’t be polished. The fact that it is made from oil also means that it loses its moisture and becomes soft.

The best use of oil pastels is on things that are darker in color and in places that are not exposed to sunlight. Oil pastels are also best used on non-absorbent surfaces, such as plastic and canvas.

Soft Pastel Techniques

You can create beautiful works of art using soft pastels. To do so, all you really need is a strong imagination, some time, and an open space. Of course, then you need to know how to use pastels to create your desired effects.

The major difference between soft and oil pastels is the texture they have. Soft pastels have a very coarse texture. That coarse texture also makes them have a matte or satin finish when you rub them. Oil pastels, on the other hand, have a texture that is very smooth, while retaining its soft texture.

To further enhance the sparkle in the colors, you can apply a layer of colorless fixative to help hold the color in place. Aside from holding the colors in place, fixative also helps in protecting surfaces you use, as well.

Although you can achieve a lot of effects just by applying direct strokes of color, you can also apply soft pastels in small amounts to achieve better effects. Blurring the pastel or rubbing it on a paper towel before applying is one example. Alternatively, you can mix water-soluble pastels with water or paint. You can even use it on top of acrylics or watercolor paintings.

Oil Pastel Techniques

Vs. Soft Pastel Techniques

Oil pastel is a type of drawing media or coloring tools. It is made with sticks of pastel chalk, oil, soft wax sticks, or clay. They are made from pigment, gum and binder, coated with a dry wax. They are often soft, oily to touch and very similar to chalk.

In the soft pastel, chalk is used as a binder and color is set onto the surface .Light layer of low-viscosity oil is brushed or sprayed onto its surface. The chalk used in binding is made of chalk we not oil.

These colors can be easily dissolved with oil colours. These are easily blended with each other and can be easily scraped off so there is possibility of rework.

On the other hand, oil pastels do not change their hue and are not easily dissolved by other mediums. It is the work done with oil pastels that are closest to what the artists do.

In oil pastels, chalk is mixed with oil and is used for binding and setting colors.

These are produced with a wide variety of compositions.

In Mexico oil pastel sticks, pigment is bound with beeswax, synthetic wax or some natural wax like paraffin.

Just like chalk, these pastels can be easily dissolved making them highly versatile. It is also very affordable.

Where To Buy Soft Pastels And Oil Pastels

While choosing crayons for your children, parents often make a comparison between soft pastels and oil pastels. While it may seem like they have a lot in common, the opposite is true. While oil pastels are just pastel crayons that are made with oil, soft pastels are actually a different type of crayon altogether.

Why ask for soft pastels and oil pastels?

Oil pastels have been around for nearly 80 years and are one of the most popular type of pastel crayon, even today. They are easy to use and the cleaning up is really quite easy.

Soft pastels are just as popular as oil pastels. They are lighter than oil pastels, and they are therefore easy to mix. Use a soft brush to clean up the coloring after the paint dries. This is a good tip for fixing mistakes while you paint.

Oil pastels are available in a lot of different colors and even different textures. Some soft pastels have a softer feel and hence the name “soft pastel.”

Picking the color of the paint is important while using soft pastels. Select colors that are close to the original so that the strokes can easily blend in. For instance, if you want to achieve silver or gray, you may use slate gray.

Regardless of Oil Or Soft Pastels – They Are Fun!

What is the difference between oil pastels and soft pastels? A lot really, but most of all, it’s in the final results.

Oil pastels, because they contain oil, result in a lovely satin finish. Soft pastels don’t contain any oils/wax and therefore dry to a matte finish. You can see a lot of beautiful examples of work using both types of Pastels.

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Soft vs oil pastels are the same as putting a piece of chalk in oil. Simply said, the oil method of production is to dip the chalk into oil, and the soft pigments are made by combining chalk with the oil. This process enables the soft pastels to be applied by hand. These vivid pastels are ideal for applications such as art and craft.

“This Colorful World” by Kellie Krag

Endless possibilities for oil pastels don’t stop there, there are so much less fragile and look vivid than their soft counterparts. Something that you will not get with soft pastels. This makes oil pastels the better option to go for.

Oil pastels are a perfect addition to your art supplies collection.

The oil pastel craft is very simple with more freedom in color use and blend.

Polymer clay is a simple clay you can use to make cute things for yourself and others. In addition to clay, there are a few other items you need to make your own masterpieces. Clay, oil pastels, cloths to protect your work surface, gloves, a rolling pin, and wire for applying the eyes.