A little Bit about Oil Sticks.
A lot of people confuse oil sticks with oil pastels. They are actually oil paint in a stick form. They are made from concentrated pigment, oil, and wax, (the type of oil and wax varies by brand). They also vary in texture from hard to like butter that has been left on the counter. They are also known as paint sticks or oil bars. Unlike oil pastels, this medium dries. Again depending on the brand drying time varies from 24 hours to months with some colors.
My Journey Towards Oil Sticks Began with Oil Pastels
The first art supplies that my mother bought for me beyond crayons and colored pencils was a set of Oil Pastels. I loved them because they connected me to my art like never before. They blended into each other with ease. I could get my fingers in it and really make my art look like I had pictured it in my head.
My Return to Art Making
I did not make art for many years for varies reasons. After a divorce, managing a gallery frame shop, relocation, and remarriage, my new husband encouraged my creativity and bought me some decent art supplies. Which included professional grade oil pastels. Eric also encouraged me to go for my dreams. I joined the Minnesota Artists Association and just enjoyed the companionship of other artists. I practiced, I painted, I had solo shows and participated in group shows. I knew I wanted art to be my career. I also knew that I wanted a medium that did not have to be matted and behind glass. I didn’t want my art to be confused with a poster print.
The search begins
A few years ago, my oldest son and daughter-in-law gifted me a set of oil paints with brushes for Christmas. The strong smell of solvents and the paint itself gave me migraines, not to mention the fact that I could not just open the windows in the middle of winter in my Minnesota Studio. I thought maybe acrylics might be the answer I was seeking. I love them for an under painting, but they just dry too fast for the bit of magic I add at the end. I have to confess that I really do not like working with brushes anyway.
As I was drooling over a nice set of professional grade oil pastels, I notice that they were not oil pastels at all. I ordered three to try them out and this is how my love affair with the medium began.
I really couldn’t find any information on how to use them other than YouTube videos of people using them as if they were giant soft crayons. I started experimenting and came up with my own ways of using them.