Oil Pastels For Beginners

Oil Pastels For Beginners

Are you thinking of trying oil pastels for the first time?

Not sure where to start?

Check out my top 5 oil pastels for beginners below:

Oil pastels are a great medium for artists who are looking to take their work to the next level from just watercolor painting or liquid-based paint mediums to the fantastic finish that is oil pastel. Oil pastels look just like crayons but they work very differently to them.

Oil pastels are much softer, more malleable, and blendable.

This review guide will cover everything from oil pastel techniques to the best oil pastels available for your artwork.

Oil pastel sticks come in various qualities and shapes and by the end of this guide, hopefully, I will be able to get you on the right path to securing some of the best oil pastels for your oil pastel masterpieces.

01) Cretacolor AquaStic Oil Pastel Set

120 Count, Multi


  • High-quality rich pigments
  • Set of 40 oil pastels
  • Smooth consistency
  • Easy color mixing


The Cretacolor Aquastic Pastel set comes with a wide selection of 40 pastel sticks. The collection has various artist-grade pastels that are good for color mixing and different blending techniques as they boast lightweight and smooth paints.

The set has one of the most versatile selections of colored sticks with a whopping 40 sticks of pastel ensuring you have the right color for anything.

  • Lightweight
  • Good for various blending techniques
  • Versatile color selection
  • Slightly expensive
  • Not a very popular brand


The Cretacolor set is a decent contender in the list for oil pastels. The collection contains a decent amount of pigmentation in each stick making them great student-grade oil pastels.

Overall review of this set is that although they are not super budgeted due to the various selection of sticks being provided it is good enough value for money and is definitely worth the consideration.

02) Faber-Castell – Oil Pastels School Pack

Premium Art Supplies For Kids (24 Each of 12 Colors) (288 Count)  

Faber-Castell - Oil Pastels School Pack main image


  • Features 24 pieces of 12 colors each
  • Hexagonal shape for easy holding
  • Can be thinned with baby oil
  • Blending colors made easy with the student grade pastels
  • Non-toxic


Faber-Castell is a super popular brand for quality oil pastels and other art supply products making them a very reliable brand. Take your art projects to the next level with high-quality oil pastels on a budget with these 12 primary colors.

Oil pastels behave as a solid until applied on paper very much like wax crayons however they are a unique medium unlike many other applicants of paint. The hexagonal shape makes for great sharp lines and the acid-free nature of the individual sticks make them great for children.

  • Vibrant colors
  • The abundance of sticks in the set for each color
  • Great starter for the absolute beginner
  • May have too many sticks for the set which many may not need
  • Slightly difficult to blend


Faber Castell is a household name that provides quality products at a really good price. Oil painting is a great way to experiment and this set will give you just what you need with quality grade oil pastels.

Overall, a great purchase for beginners who are looking to try different techniques with various artistic mediums and get a clear idea of what oil pastel painting really is. Faber Castell provides the best quality at a very reasonable price. So, you will get the most bang for your buck with this set.

03) Sennelier Picasso Oil Pastel Set

120 Count, Multi Pack

Sennelier Picasso Oil Pastel Set Main image


  • Non-toxic
  • Very lightfast
  • Vibrant colors
  • Usable on various surfaces


The Sennnelier Picasso Oil Pastel set comes with a whopping 120 counts of oil pastel sticks that will satisfy your every need. The paint is extremely lightfast and easy to blend so you have every color your imagination can handle.

The set is essentially great for professional artists or beginner artists that want to commit to drawing with oil pastels and going through the whole learning curve. You can expose the colors to various light sources and not have to worry about the color fading enabling you to try out every scenario of good lighting for your projects.

  • Extremely lightfast
  • Blend your colors easily with oils
  • Extremely versatile color set
  • Creamy consistency
  • Comparatively pricey
  • Each stick of paint may not be sufficient for long term use


Sennelier Oil Pastels are a fantastic way to make your way into the world of some of the best oil pastels in the market. The set may not be part of the cheap oil pastels club but if you have the extra dollars to spend, you will surely get a run for your money due to Sennelier Oil Pastels reputation as a great brand for pastel drawing.

Overall, the set will be a great addition to your oil paintings for their vast color selections among which you just may find your favorite oil pastels; just not on a budget, however.

04) ArtAspirer Oil Pastels

Wooden Box Set of 92


  • 90-day warranty provided
  • Wooden carry case
  • Set of 92 sticks
  • Lightfast artist grade oil pastels


The ArtAspirer Oil Pastels come with a selection of 92 high-quality oil pastels for beginners which can be used to blend and mix various paint colors.

The set includes sticks that glide smoothly and are very easy to blend while being non-toxic. The wide range of dark and light colors makes it easy for color mixing.

  • Highly versatile oil pastels
  • Suitable for canvas, panel, and pastel paper
  • Non-toxic
  • Has both darker color and light colors
  • It may not be optimal for a variety of surfaces
  • The set may have some quality issues


Overall, the set is a great purchase if you’re looking to begin to draw with oil pastels. The set may not be professional grade or better than a lot of different brands, however, it is still better than most of the budget options out there.

The beginning stages of all journeys may be a hit or miss, mainly a miss for most people, if you’re lucky though you might find your favorite set of oil pastes here in this set.

05) Holbein Artists’ Oil Pastel

Set of 15 Colors in a Cardboard Box

Holbein Artists’ Oil Pastel main image


  • 15 colors
  • Compact packaging
  • Easy to use


These 15 color oil pastels come in a compact cardboard box, making it easy to travel with and work on paintings at any location. They have a smooth chalk consistency, and they can be cleaned easily.

The sticks give a comfortable feel to the user, with intense pigments and rich vibrant colors for mark making and color mixing

  • Soft pastels
  • Versatile colors great for color mixing
  • Easy to handle
  • Rich vibrant oil pastel colors
  • Not enough colors to mix for a variety of colors
  • Extremely rich pigments are not good for light touch


The set contains a collection of very bright oil paint suitable to get down just the basics for your needs. The soft pastels are great for mixing and also erasing as they are made with non-drying oil.

The set is a great buy for someone who is looking for rich and vibrant colors on a budget while also getting the best value for money.

General Information About Oil Pastels For Beginners

Oil pastels are great for exploring your horizons beyond watercolor and acrylics. They are easy to use but hard to clean and that’s nothing you can’t take care of. The nature of oil pastels is to give a fun experience for your art projects.

How to Blend Oil Pastels

Oil pastels are very much like crayons however when you look closely at them they are not waxy, but contain a wax binder within their pigment. This gives the artist more range with the medium as you can blend them with your finger, a paintbrush.

How to Blend Oil Pastels With your finger

Take 2 colors of oil pastels, place them side by side on your paper. Now, rub your finger over the surface of the 2 colors until they are thoroughly blended. Leave areas dark for contour lines and lighter areas where you want to blend more.

How to Blend Oil Pastels With a Paintbrush

Choose 2 or more oil pastels that you would like to blend together. Now, gently drag the brush across the surface of the pastel. You will see a slight difference in color from where you began and where you stopped dragging your brush.

How to Blend Oil Pastels With Watercolor Pencils

This is my favorite way of blending oil pastels, simply because it gives me total control over how I want the colors to blend. Plus, it goes really fast and you can control the degree of your blends.

Choose 2 oil pastels that you would like to blend together, then outline them with a watercolor pencil. Now fill in the area around and inside of the first color (the first color will be your starting point, this is where it begins to blend out). Fill in the inside of your color with watercolor pencils. Now, begin to blend the inside of your color outward with a brush dipped in clean water (this is referred to as wet on wet blending). You will see that you can control how far out you would like for this blend to go by adding more or less water to the brush.

Conclusion / Roundup

The list contains most of what you can find in a budget or beyond a budget if you have the extra dollars to spend. The selections made were cherry-picked for your optimal drawing experience. A good deal of trial and error is always a good option.


Are oil pastels easy for beginners?

This versatile crayon has a soft and light oil constituent which makes it fun to mix and good for beginners to just dip their toes into.

Can you use normal paper for oil pastels?

Yes, but my advice is to try out many different types to see what effects you can create. It is ideal to initially work on cheap drawing paper so you don’t do too much experimenting on expensive or hard to come across surfaces. Since they are oil-based pastels, you have to be careful what you apply them on.

Are oil pastels hard to use?

The nature of the pastels makes it so that they are easy to mix and experiment with. You can easily get a grip on the techniques of oil pastels in no time.

Define; Soft Pastels

Soft pastels are a dry, compressed pigment that is fixed to a non-absorbent surface such as paper. It comes in the form of sticks and is readily available in art supply stores. They are also easy to use and can be applied to almost any medium including watercolor paper, canvas boards, and illustration boards.

What is meant by oil pastel techniques?

It is a painting technique that uses oil pastels to create paintings.

Since the oil pastel can be layered like paint, it is possible to add colors and details to your work by layering the pastels. It’s basically like using various oil paints at once.

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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.