Oil Pastel Finish?

Is there a finish, seal or fixative for oil pastels? Is it advisable to use one?
Or just frame it under glass?

Hi Dale. I am no expert, and I am certain that Matt could answer this better than I can. However, I am fairly certain that he mentioned in the past that there is no need to seal oil pastels. If you do frame your oil pastel under glass, you will need to make sure that there is a space between the glass and the oil pastel. I saw in a discussion blog that there are sealers available for oil pastels (one is Sennelier D’Artigny Oil Pastel Fixative), but it seems that most artists do not seal their oil pastels. The only reason I see for framing under glass, would be to protect from accidental scratches or a dusty environment or in a smoker’s house. Oil pastels never fully dry and survive well without the glass.

Thanks! I am aware they don’t dry and I think like you do. I live in an arid but very dusty environment at this time. Small house and the kitchen is poorly vented for cooking causing some issues. I don’t like the idea of putting something on them but suspect it would be very helpful.

I don’t think there is a fixative for oil pastels. Are you using the oil pastels from start to finish or are you using them for a strong effect like in a mixed medium? Either way, you would still want it to dry before framing it. I always use a mat on all my drawings because the medium I use could be pulled off by the glass over it. I work mainly in mixed mediums, including oil pastels. It is just better that you protect your drawing/painting by doing this. If I am using different mediums on the same drawing I will still put a mat between the glass and painting. If the picture is mostly pastels (soft & hard) then I use a fixative to seal them. I usually use oil pastels as a strong highlight. But, I would certainly ask Matt that question on the critique form, you can submit questions there.


Solely Oil Pastel. Haven’t started yet and it would be an image I took from Palo Duro Canyon. But I would expect to use a mat or spacers with anything under glass. Would never let the glass touch the art.

Good. Did not know what you had in mind. There is a couple of things here, one is of poppies, the other is a ballerina with total oil pastels. I also think there is a landscape done in total oil pastels. I have some, just have not used them. I would like to try that medium, hopefully soon. Just getting back into doing any works. Been away from it for a while. Sounds like you are headed in the right direction. Lenora

Me too, I have oil pastels but never used them. Let me see what I have.
Found them and looks like cheapest set you could get :grinning: Mungyo oil pastel set of 24.

Also have a set of Charvin water soluble pastel 24 sticks (not oil) that I have never used either. I need to try those…since it is Spring or close maybe that would be good for flowers of some sort.

I am sort of a sucker for art supplies and get stuff I don’t need because it looks fun.

HEEHEEHEEHEE! I thought I was the only one. Keep me off the Internet and out of art supply stores. I’m a sucker for them, but oil painting is my favorite medium although I use a lot of soft and hard pastels and graphite. I enjoy mixed medium, too.


Oil Paint is my “wish to do well at” but it seems I am better at anything else. My most recent purchase is Casein and so far all I have done is swatch them. Been watching James Gurney though and he does Gouache and Casein. Looks like a lot of fun. The colors are matt and I like that. Reminds me of poster paints I had as a kid. And another thing I remember doing when I was a kid is using house paint to do paintings. Nothing archival about that I guess but it was fun and I had pretty good luck with it.

Got Milk??? Sounds like fun, especially if there is a cave nearby, Indians and maybe even Egyptians used it. I’m just making up the Egyptian part. Is it in powder form or already mixed up? A friend of mine said the paintings down in the catacombs were very vivid. She was taken into one by a friend who had permission to go, along with a guide. But when she used a flash to take pictures they almost knocked her down getting to her camera.

The nice thing about oils is a 10-piece starter kit (Winsor & Newton or Grumbacher) will do, They have the 3 primary colors and the secondary colors and black and white. Can’t think of what others are in the kit. The last time I bought a set was from Jerry’s Artarama online. Tubes were what I see sold in stores, not the tiny tubes. I have not used the Gamblin brand.


You mentioned house paint. My husband is a paint contractor and I have thought about using some of his leftovers in balloons and filing them up and throwing darts at them and let it run down. Or on a ladder and just dropping them or using a large water gun (like a Bazooka). I think that might be my next project right after the painting I am working on now. Sounds like it would be a ‘stress reliever’. LOL!!!

Doing a balloon paint run-down would be fun on a really big canvas or plywood although I am not a fan of acrylic pours per se. But a 4 ft by 8 ft 1/8" wallboard would be like $15 plus Gesso plus paint. Would have to place it at a slight angle. Obviously you could get a vertical motif…maybe tall buildings or trees or bamboo or cattails or something like that … I like that idea.

You know what we should do? Do a “Most outrageous or most unusual art we have done” post here. Serious attempts at finished works need not apply!

My daughter had a dog with a very bushy tail that she loved to wag a lot. I told my daughter I was going to sit her dog by a canvas and put paint on her tail. :grinning:

She laughed and didn’t realize I was at least half serious. But I decided that would be a little cruel to the dog which I liked and didn’t pursue the idea :grinning:

Another comment
I have some 8-9 dry pigments I got from naturalearthpaints.com and wanted to try my hand at making paint but haven’t done it yet. Am leaning toward making water color but oil would be easy too. Don’t have a muller though. And I have some Plexiglas for a monoprint as well as the inks.

Even though I could retire, I still work full time so my art time is limited but love to try new stuff. As a hobbyist I have no pressure to produce so I do when I feel like it.

Just finished a maple cane with an elk antler handle for my son. That was fun too.

Would you consider putting the dog’s tail in Acrylic so it could be washed out? I’ve seen pictures done by elephants and monkeys. I think that would be a cute thing to do.

I’d do that to Cracker but she’d be running all around the yard.


:grinning: It would definitely have to be something that would wash. I am not cruel.