Mixing Wax Crayons, Paint, and Oil Pastels

July 21, 2012

I made a quick experiment using wax crayons, oil pastels, and a handmade wax paint that I wanted to show you. This is all in preparation for a new drawing that I’m developing.

In the photo above are boxes of Pentel brand wax “soft” crayons (upper right corner) and oil pastels. I’m also testing these on top of an ink brush pen marker from Faber Castel (PITT) along with a selection of metal tools I use for manipulating the wax texture, such as a steel wire tool and a spoon for burnishing.

A problem with adding white with the crayons, whether oil or wax, is that it never gets very opaque. To remedy this I make my own paint using a stick of Sennelier’s Oil Pastel Blender, which is a stick of oil pastel medium without any pigment. To this I add raw titanium white pigment to make a thick paint. I can add a drop of gum arabic to make it mix together easier. In the picture above you can see how much better it covers darker areas compared to the white oil pastel.

I’ve experimented with making my own “blender” stick using different oils and waxes, and gotten satisfactory results, but it’s simplier to just buy this from Sennelier, considering how little of it I’ll ever use for this purpose. This paint, like the oil pastels, will never dry, so the final work should be protected from dust or touch by mounting it under glass or plastic. I really love the mixture of rough and blended texture that these crayons give.



  1. You are quite the artistic mad scientist! I am interested in working with pastels and know NOTHING about them other than having used Cray-Pas (http://www.sakuraofamerica.com/OilPastel-Drawing) in Japan as a very young child. I will be following your blog to learn more! Thank you!

    • You’re welcome. Cray-pas are a good brand of oil pastels. I have a box of their “Specialist” variety. They have a nice creaminess to them.

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