How to paint step by step with pastel oils

Pastel oils have been popular with artists since the 16th century. A versatile artistic medium, they are made of powdered pigments mixed with a unifying agent like gum Arabic. The pastel oils come in a huge variety of colors and are simple to use. Unlike an acrylic, watercolor or oils, these do not require water, brushes and palettes. Even more, because they are a dry medium, there is never any need to wait for the paint to dry.


  1. Fix a sheet of pastel oil paper to a table or other flat surface with masking tape. The ribbon should form a uniform frame around the entire edge of the paper.
  2. Sketch an image on the paper with the drawing pencil. Do not apply too much pressure because the drawing should not be visible to the viewers after the paint with pastel oils is complete. It is important to draw as smooth as you can.
  3. Blend pastel oil scales directly onto the bottom areas of your drawing. Do this by cutting chips directly from the pastel oil bars onto the drawing and gently rubbing them onto the paper. Artists often work the colors on the paper with a napkin, a clean cloth or their fingers. Blend more than one color together to add depth. You can also create many different colors by mixing colored chips.
  4. Cover your sketch in pencil with the colors on the front. Apply the pastel oils directly to the paper, using the drawing as a guide. To maintain the actual colors, apply the darkest color first and continue working from dark to light. You can add many layers of color to each other in this way. Each color will maintain its vivacity and tone.
  5. Outline any part of your painting that you want to emphasize, using a charcoal bar or a dark pencil. This will give a finished appearance to your work.

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