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Made by pigments mixed with non-drawing oil and a wax binder, oil pastels are a softer and more blended drawing tool than colored pencils or crayons. These can be diluted with oils or with solutions for diluting effects. Oil pastels are never completely dry, so finished works must be prepared at the back of the class or sprinkled with a reformer for that purpose. They create this imperfection by applying instant, bright colors.
Can’t decide which brand of oil to choose? Not only do we blame you for the few options available, but there are many factors to consider: color strength, consistency, visibility and of course value. If you are an educator with oil pastels or looking for a set for casual use, we recommend stockpiling student-grade tools that can make you ultimately proficient and familiar with the nature of this medium. These won’t be as light weight as the high quality options but they will be great to use. Here are some of our favorites.
Faber-Castle Goldfaber Studio Oil Pastel Set C.
A tough set of puzzles for learning and enhancing, the Goldfaber series beats most competitors due to the intense pigment load of each stick. The colors are creamy and opaque and blend easily with the fingers. You can achieve intricate tones, shades and textures with these student-grade pastels and use everything from graffiti to art techniques. These are acid free and light wastes, choosing the best in your class for the patterns you want to keep for life. These pastels are available in a full range of 12, 24 sets or Faber-Castle 36 colors.
We like it too
Holbin Academic Oil Pastel Set
This set of hallbines has an impressive lineage and is a good upgrade option for artists who want to spend a little more on their pastels without entering the pre-grade arena. Battery and highly alloyed, Holbin’s rods were evenly grounded and strong enough to withstand any pressure. Their pigment formulas are thoughtful and complex, capable of producing impressive depth and subtlety of color and texture. Holbine offers the largest color among the brands on this list, with 48 harmonious colors available.
Another good option
Portfolio Series Water Soluble Oil Pastel Set
We recommend these creamy pastels for artists who want to create a watercolor effect in their artwork. Located on one end like a mini pencil compared to conventional cylinders, these pastels are very easy to handle and fix, especially great for drawing striking lines. You can then brush your work with water and spread the cleansing dye or try to supplement it. Including watercolor or acrylic. Since these are water soluble, cleaning is a breeze.
The choice of academics
Paint oil pastel set
These are a great choice for ultra-soft pastel classrooms, volunteer art sessions and other group settings that may require a lot of materials at low cost. Although affordable, they provide fairly good pigment loading, blending and leveling without grip and are strong enough to withstand the tight grip of youth. These you can buy small sets or bulk arrays up to 432 pieces (36 sets of a dozen colors) suitable for distribution among multiple users. And since prices are so low, no one should feel bad if one or more are missing.
Sergeant Art Gallery Oil Pastel
If you want some pastels that really stand out from the crowd, Sergeant delivers good quality sticks in unconventional colors. The twelfth-piece set contains metallic or fluorescent colors that can be used and blended with almost any brand of pastel. Fluorescent looks very good even in black light. Gradually pigmented and creamy but not crumbly, these are sure to add some excitement to any work of art.