Soft Pastels

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Fall in love with the creamy textures and gorgeous colours of oil pastels

Oil pastels have a long history, from elementary classrooms to professional fine art projects. There is a lot to love about this underestimated medium - the textures, colors and affordability. They are also easy to carry around, you don't need any other tools or equipment - like brushes or palettes - to use them and there is no waiting time for them to dry.

One advantage of using oil pastels is that they behave in a predictable manner on paper or canvas and the colours blend in an obvious way. Depending on the softness of the pastels, there is variety in the end result; oil pastels allow you to to express your creativity boldly and expressively or subtly and muted. The particular composition and versatility of oil pastels allows for gorgeous textures, subtle layering and blending and luminous saturated color.

The beauty of this medium is that anyone can pick up a set of oil pastels and just start drawing - no prior skill is required.

The difference between artist and student quality pastels is in the ratio of pigment to binder. Artist quality oil pastels contain the best pigments available and a higher ratio of pigment to binder, making their colours stronger and more intense. They are also more expensive. They will also have a higher permanence rating which means that they won't fade over time.

Oil pastels generally come in sets so you have access to a wide range of colours as the colours cannot be mixed in the same way as paint.

Because oil pastels are bound with oil and wax, they have a unique texture which is similar to oil paints, but they cannot be mixed with the other pastel types. But it also means they won’t crumble or smudge or produce dust like soft pastels.

Oil pastels, with their creamy quality and colour range, hit the sweet spot between drawing and painting. Invest in a set of quality Reeves, Inscribe or Elements oil or soft pastels and start having fun.

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