• Angela Micheli Otwell

Crayola Oil Pastels, Who Knew?

It turns out that Crayola oil pastels are surprisingly good for the price, although of course they aren't lightfast or archival. I bought mine on clearance for 99 cents! I have very little experience with oil pastels of any kind, and I'm excited about the possibilities. (Please forgive the bad photos; I didn't intend to share these when I took them.)

I used Strathmore Toned Gray sketch paper for my experimentation. Unfortunately, the paper isn't lightfast; I've had it for a while, and the edges have started to fade some, so I can't recommend purchasing it for fine art. It's just fine for Crayola, though.

I did use artist-quality odorless mineral spirits to blend the pastels, because I already had it on hand. And I used cotton swabs and some silicon tipped tools called Colour Shapers. There are cheaper options for blending agents. I haven't tried them, so I won't recommend any, but baby oil is one option I've seen mentioned online.

The paper on the background started to disintegrate while I was working on it, so I had to stop. I think if I had more pastel down on the paper before I started blending, I would have gotten a better result. Still, I am very happy with this early attempt with oil pastels, and I'm anxious to explore the medium further. I'm sure I'll buy better quality pastels in the future, but these are great for practice/learning.

(Reference photo by JK Sloan via Unsplash.)