Best Oil Pastels For Blending UK
When it comes to blending, not all oil pastels are equal.
Take a look at my top 5 recommendations below:
Pastels are a great medium to work with in terms of texture and finish. The creamy texture and the vibrant colors you get while painting with pastels are tremendously satisfying.
However, sometimes just painting normally does not cut it. You want to let free your inner inhibitions and try and blend different colors to see what comes up only to find out that you simply cannot get them to blend or even get the right texture.
Whether you are an experienced artist or an amateur, your bases will be covered with the best oil pastels reviewed in this guide. Keep in mind that although oil pastels and oil painting have the same name in them, they are quite different in terms of usage.
There are many things to consider while thinking of good-quality oil pastels. Oil pastels, as opposed to soft pastels, can be very easy to blend, but you have to have the right quality oil pastels.
For starters, student-grade pastels are appropriate as oil pastels for beginners. You will get the conventional smooth and creamy texture but just a notch below artist-grade paint that most professional artists have an affinity for.
The difference between professional-grade oil pastels and student-grade oil pastels is the richness of the colors and the quality of the binders. It’s not a make-or-break kind of situation with artist-grade pastels, it’s just artists tend to prefer the richer colors for their work.
If you’re a student and you’re just getting into oil pastel painting perhaps sticking to cheaper pastels might not be the worst idea. You are just wanting to experiment and learn further and that may just be enough to get started.
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01) Sennelier Oil Pastels Wooden Set
- Set of 120 pastels
- professional quality oil pastels
- Comes with an attractive box
- Great coverage
- Soft and Creamy texture and colors
Sennelier oil pastels are your go-to when you want to buy the very best oil pastels with their quality on a par with the Holbein artists oil pastels brand. Most artists love this consistency of pastels for their paintings and have full trust in Sennelier when it comes to art supplies.
Overall, among oil pastel sets, Sennelier always delivers their value for their price even though they are on the pricier side. Definitely worth the money if you can afford it.
02) Mungyo Gallery Soft Oil Pastels Set
48 Colors (incl. Oil Pastels Set of 48, Art Eraser with case)
- Set of 48
- Decent selection of oil pastel equipment
- Applicable on various surfaces
- Professional grade oil pastels
The Mungyo set is one of the best amongst oil pastel brands on a budget. Suitable for all sorts of artists these will be your best companion when starting pastel painting and will put you on the path to finding better experiences with oil pastels.
This entails that even though you are settling for something cheaper, you are getting your money’s worth with 48 various colors of sticks for your arsenal of pastel painting.
While they are on a budget, you are getting fewer sticks than you normally would when looking for oil pastel. This is not entirely a deal-breaker considering the guaranteed quality pastels you are being offered at this price point.
Overall, a great suggestion for beginners who are looking to dip their toes in the oil pastel painting scene and what better way to enter than with one of the best cheap brands money has to offer.
03) Paul Rubens Oil Pastels Set
Wood Box Set of 48 Colours Soft Pastel with Arrtx Scraper Knife
- Set of 48 colors
- 5 pieces of scraper knives
- Made with eco-friendly materials
- Smooth and even pigmentation
The Paul Rubens oil pastels set of 48 contains a variety of 48 sticks as the name suggests. Their sticks have a great smooth and even pigmentation upon application, which many artists prefer, making them ideal for blending colors if you so please.
Look no further than these if you are interested in painting on various surfaces while trying different pastel painting techniques with your sticks and scraper knives.
Paul Rubens is an excellent option for anyone who is looking to get into the pastel painting scene with a decent amount of preparation. Have no fear blending as the equipment and sticks both enable your desires to blend and go wild with your art projects.
Overall, a great buy considering the options you are being provided at a very affordable price.
04) HASHI Non-Toxic Soft Oil Pastels for Artist and Professional
Set of 48 Assorted Colors
- Collection of 48 colors
- Excellent for blending
- Each cylindrical stick has an ideal circumference for holding
- Applicable of various surfaces
The HASHI collection of soft oil pastels is a budget option for beginners who are just looking at a minimal set just to get their pastel painting needs underway.
Without spending too much you are getting a limited array of a versatile collection of sticks which will ensure you have just enough colors to start working with.
The HASHI set offers beginner oil pastels for any new artists looking to get into painting with pastels.
Overall, this is a great purchase for any beginner. While on a budget you are getting a decent set of sticks to work with good enough quality for your paintings.
05) Cray-Pas Expressionist Oil Pastels
Pack of 50 Assorted Colours
- 50 assorted sticks of color
- Manufactured in Japan
- Versatile color selection
Sakura oil pastels are based out of Japan as the name suggests. They are also among one of the best oil pastels if you are to consider the price-value ratio.
The Sakura Cray Pas oil pastels contain binders that enable the artist to blend different colors for certain shades.
Sakura Cray Pas pastels are brilliant especially if you run out of pastels fairly quickly. Why is that you ask? The reason is they offer the consumer the option to purchase individual sticks of choice out of the box so you don’t have to purchase another complete set just to get a certain shade.
To conclude, as far as budget oil pastels go, this is a great option to consider because for a decent price you get just what you ask for in terms of quality and quantity.
General Information About Soft Pastels
Oil pastels are generally great for blending due to the binders being used in the ingredients of the sticks. However, your mileage may vary depending on how much binder is being used in the oil pastels.
Conclusion / Roundup
Various brands use different binders and the quality ranges from blendable to very difficult to blend.
It is advised to keep an open mind while trying out different oil pastels as your budget and your taste will dictate what you will spend your time and money on.
And always remember, a fair deal of trial and error is required for you to find what is the perfect fit for your needs.
Can oil pastels be blended?
Oil pastels contain a waxy consistency as the name suggests oil, it is indeed quite simple to blend.
You may require some medium of thinner for the ease of blending such as baby oil to move the pastels easily on the surface you applied. If you do not want to use any other substance you may stick to the traditional heavy pressure blending where you just go to work with your fingers or your paint stick.
Layering is a great way to blend and you can get quite creative with the blending methods.
Which oil pastels are best for blending?
There aren’t any particular oil pastels that are the best for blending. However, if you must pick and choose from one, the best place to start would be to find out which pastel has a good quality binder.
Since the binder is the main ingredient that makes or breaks blending for pastel painting, it is advised to take heed of the quality of the binder if blending colors is your main agenda.
Are oil pastels toxic?
The best oil pastels tend not to be toxic and are very safe to use without any protective gear. Often artists work with this medium with their bare hands and it rarely has any side effects.
The only thing to perhaps worry about is the cleaning process as the medium consists of oil and binder.
Are there other brands that come recommended?
Pentel arts oil pastels and Crayola oil pastels are both great brands
Sennelier oil pastels vs Holbein oil pastels?
Easy, you’re fine with either choice as when it comes to professional oil pastels for serious artists, artist quality oil-based pastels for the semi-pros or simply an oil pastel set for beginner artists both Sennelier pastels and Holbein pastels will serve you well.
Both create the very best oil pastels, with vibrant shades, vivid hues and creamy consistency for all oil pastel artists.
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Written By Adam Rushton
Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.
His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.