The 5 Best Oil Pastels for Beginners in 2023

The 5 Best Oil Pastels for Beginners in 2023

October 6, 2023

What are oil pastels?

Oil pastels, are a combination of pigment and a binding agent, typically oil or wax. These versatile tools find their place in the arsenal of both painters and drawers. Unlike their smooth and creamy soft pastel cousins, which employ a gum binder, oil pastels boast an oily and soft texture.

Oil pastels shine when it comes to making bold and broad strokes, allowing artists to craft striking statements with ease. However, a word of caution: should oil pastels stray onto clothing or surfaces, turpentine is the go-to solution for removal. These art companions may be a bit messy at times, but they’re well worth it for the creative freedom they offer.

How To Choose The Best Oil Pastels

When it comes to purchasing oil pastel paints, especially high-quality ones, the journey isn’t always as straightforward as one might expect. While top-tier brands promise a rich and buttery consistency, some less expensive options can leave behind a waxy and hard residue. This guide is your compass, helping you distinguish between a fantastic purchase, a good one, and one that’s best avoided.

So, what should artists be on the lookout for when evaluating oil pastels? Here are the key criteria to consider:

  1. Color Variety: Variety is the spice of art. Seek sets that offer a broad spectrum of colours to unleash your creativity.
  2. Lightfastness: Ensure that the pastels you choose are lightfast, meaning they won’t fade or discolour over time, preserving the longevity of your artwork.
  3. Intended Use: Consider your artistic purpose. Are you primarily drawing, sketching, or using a combination of both? Different pastels cater to distinct needs.
  4. Non-Toxic: Safety is paramount, especially if young artists or children are using the pastels. Look for non-toxic options to keep your creative space hazard-free.

It’s worth noting that even in sets of oil pastels that appear non-toxic, individual pigments may contain harmful ingredients. Thus, when purchasing professional-grade oil pastels for student artists, it’s important to read each pastel and exclude potentially toxic ones before use.

Various brands of oil pastels offer specific properties, such as suitability for blending in layers or a fine tip for precise sketching. Beginners may benefit from starting with a limited colour palette to grasp colour combinations and mixing techniques, which can yield unique and captivating oil pastel artworks.

In the following sections, we delve into different types of pastels and their ideal uses, arming you with the knowledge to make informed choices for your artistic endeavours. So, let’s embark on this colourful journey of oil pastels!

Best Oil Pastel

Best Oil Pastel Overall:

Sennelier Oil Pastels

For professional artists seeking top-notch quality, the 72 assorted Sennelier pastels are a true gem. These oil-based pastels boast a soft and creamy texture, accompanied by a stunning array of vibrant shades, making them a dream come true for portrait enthusiasts.

Experienced artists will find these pastels invaluable for blending colours in a wide range of artistic creations, from landscapes to portraits and still-life compositions. When layering with these top-tier pastels, using a fixative is recommended to ensure the longevity of your artwork.

Sennelier oil pastels hold a well-deserved place among the elite brands in the industry. These professional-grade pastels offer a delightful experience, devoid of waxy residue or the dusty aftermath often associated with cheaper pastel brands. In the realm of oil pastels, Sennelier reigns supreme, providing artists with the tools to transform their visions into vibrant masterpieces.

Best Oil Pastels for Beginners:

Sakura Cray-Pas Pastels

Sakura Cray-Pas oil pastels offer an excellent array of beginner-friendly pastels at a wallet-friendly price. With a diverse range of colours, they prove ideal for tackling landscapes, wall art, still life, or even portraits.

While they may not quite reach the pinnacle of Sennelier quality, these pastels still excel in blending and yield a satisfyingly smooth texture on your finished artwork. This pastel medium provides beginners with a fantastic opportunity to explore earthy tones and the realm of full gallery soft oil pastels.

Intriguingly, although a few pastels may appear similar at first glance, you’ll find that there are no duplicates within this 50-piece box. Sakura Cray-Pas oil pastels deliver affordability and versatility, making them an inviting choice for budding artists looking to experiment with a wide spectrum of hues.

Best Beginner Oil Pastel
Best Oil Pastels for Kids

Best Oil Pastels for Kids:

Crayola Oil Pastels

For young artists eager to venture into the world of oil pastels, Crayola’s student-grade oil pastels are a fantastic choice. This set combines affordability with safety, making it an excellent option for budding pastel enthusiasts looking to experiment with various techniques without breaking the bank.

These non-toxic oil pastels open up a world of possibilities, allowing for sharp lines, layered portraits, and a mess-free art experience. Unlike some other oil pastel brands, these soft pastels are a breeze to clean up, making them an ideal addition to any art class.

Their blendability surpasses that of coloured pencils or crayons, providing young artists with the means to create stunning works of art. The set comprises 16 colours, including a range of neutral tones suitable for landscapes and portraits. The elongated design of these pastels ensures they’re easy for small hands to hold, making them a perfect choice for young creatives ready to embark on their artistic journey.

Best Student-Grade Oil Pastels:

Pentel Student-Grade Oil Pastels

When it comes to student-grade oil pastels, many artists find Pentel to be an excellent starting point. These pastels, while slightly softer than some other brands, offer the advantage of easier colour blending.

While the pigments in this 50-piece set may not be as rich as those found in other brands, it remains a wise selection for students venturing into the realm of oil pastel painting. It’s crucial for students to opt for oil pastels that are non-toxic, possess excellent blending properties, and feature a longer length, all of which are qualities that Pentel oil pastels excel in. These oil pastels provide an accessible entry point into the world of oil pastel art for aspiring artists.

Best Student Oil Pastels

Best Artist-Quality Oil Pastels:

Holbein Artists Oil Pastels

Finding high-quality oil pastels at this price point can be quite the challenge, but Holbein artist-grade oil pastels rise to the occasion with distinction.

Both students and professional artists will revel in the luxurious creamy consistency and the vivid spectrum of colours presented in this oil pastel set, thanks to its high-quality pigments.

One notable feature of these oil pastels is their resilience—unlike some others that tend to crumble and leave a dusty residue. This characteristic makes them an excellent choice for blending, whether you’re working on oil pastel portraits or crafting breathtaking landscapes.

Many artists opt to employ a palette knife when blending oils, achieving intriguing effects reminiscent of oil painting. Holbein artist-grade oil pastels stand as a testament to quality and affordability, ensuring that artists of all levels can unleash their creative potential with confidence.

Best Pastel Pencils for Beginners

Choosing the perfect pastel pencils can be a bit like embarking on an exciting adventure. Whether you’re just starting out, a passionate sketcher, or a seasoned pro, we’ve got you covered. We’ll break down the key factors that matter most: price, colour variety, and consistency. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the insights you need to select the ideal pastel pencils for your creative journey. So, let’s jump in and discover the colourful realm of pastel pencils together!

Best Pastel Pencils for Beginners