Oil Pastel: Black + White


+ Paper
Oil pastel paper is usually recommended, such as Strathmore’s. I used Strathmore Bristol which is not an oil pastel paper, but it’s what I had in my apartment (and hey — it’s pretty versatile!).

+ Oil Pastels
I purchased individual black, white, and grey oil pastels from Sennelier.

+ Oil Blending Stick
Optional; for blending and giving the work a more “paint-like” look. I purchased mine from Sennelier, though I could not find it online. R&F’s blending stick here.



  1. If you are using a photo for your drawing, I’d recommend printing the photo out, and drawing a grid on top of the printed photo. Then, draw a grid (in pencil, very lightly) on your drawing paper, with the same proportions as the photo. Note, instead of printing the photo out, I used Adobe Photoshop’s “grid” functionality, which does the same thing, but doesn’t require a printer. Or printer paper.

  2. Start to outline your object on the drawing paper, using the grid as a guide if applicable. Shade the areas which are darker. I took the photo after I started using oil pastels, but just pretend I didn’t start yet ;)

  3. Once you have a portion of the outline complete, you can start to use your oil pastels! Have a “test” sheet handy to try out your oil pastels before using them on your official drawing — this will give you a sense of hue/saturation/lightness, etc. If you’ve purchased an oil blending stick, also test that on the test sheet before using it on your drawing. For the oil blending stick, you’ll want to use it on top of oil pastel color — use enough so that you can blend the colors together with your finger to create an “oil painting” like texture.

  4. Continue to outline your objects, then use your oil pastels.

  5. Finish & frame! Be ok with it not being perfect (I have a lot of trouble with this). The best part about oil pastels is that you don’t need to use a fixative on top of them — just frame and go! If you want to touch it up later, take it out of the frame and do so! Just be sure to let it dry for a couple of days before framing.

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