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Can You Use Oil Pastels on Mixed Media Paper?

Can You Use Oil Pastels on Mixed Media Paper?

For those of you who have worked with oil pastels before, you would agree when I say it is perhaps the most challenging form of medium to use for artwork due to its oily texture.

Not every kind of paper can withstand the consistency of oil pastels.

Hence, it is vital to find a type of paper that holds the artwork with oil pastels together and is easy for the artist to work on. 

A mixed media paper is a perfect choice, it is believed. The mixed media paper’s rough texture and surface hold the colors together and greatly help the artist blend the oil pastels without turning them into a complete mess. 

Other Related Topics to Help You with Mixed Media Art:

can you use oil pastels on mixed media paper

Is Mixed Media Paper Good For Oil Pastels?

Mixed Media paper has a rugged surface that allows for mediums such as oil pastels, ink, stickers, and acrylic paint to work on it.

This paper is also ideal for use in dry art forms.

When you talk of textured paper, you are going closer to the type of paper that can work with oil pastels.

There is no such thing as too textured paper while working with oil pastels as working with them on a smooth surface has the downside of never thoroughly drying.

Assume you’re an acrylic painter, for example.

You should add a first coat or sheet of acrylic paint, wait for a few minutes, and then begin applying a new coat of paint.

The same method applies to oil paints, except that you must wait for a few days or weeks for a sheet of color to settle before applying the next coat of paint, and it still never completely dries up due to the presence of oily fibers in it. 

This is exactly what makes mixed media paper a perfect choice for artists working with oil pastels. 

How to Use Oil Pastels on Mixed Media?

There is no drying time for oil pastels like other artworks.

They will harden slightly with time, but when dealing with them, they will stay delicate, and you can easily smudge them.

This is a challenge when applying these colors to a painting as it can get damaged very easily. 

However, it is perhaps one of the most attractive oil pastels’ features because it helps artists focus on and mix a painting for months if they want to.

Using a highly textured paper like mixed media may help compensate for the smudgy and soft appearance of oil pastels. 

Oil pastels stick to their rough texture, making it much easier to add more pigment without it all blending and turning into a smeared mess.

Yet, the artists can blend the painting using fingers or tools from wherever they want to while keeping any mishaps under control. 

Best Mixed Media Papers For Oil Pastels

It’s difficult to say which mixed media papers are the finest.

Various brands on the market have some fantastic and high-quality papers for your artwork and oil pastel painting skills.

However, suppose the paper is durable, roughly textured, and of average thickness and weight.

In that case, it is fair to assume that it is the finest or, more accurately, the perfect mixed media paper for oil pastel paintings.

But, one crucial point to note is that you will be the one to determine which mixed media papers fit well for your oil pastels and other art mediums.

You will generally expect the paper or sketchbook to be the right one as long as it meets your requirements and tastes.

So, it is crucial for the artist to be satisfied with the quality of the product they are going to work on? And how can one do that? By experimenting with different mixed papers.

Sealing Oil Pastels on Mixed Media

As the oil pastels can be smudged and damaged very quickly, it definitely is essential to seal your artwork on mixed media.

So, if you are concerned about preserving your work, one of the most famous and basic techniques is to place your work behind glass or get it framed.

This keeps the artwork away from being touched and spoiled. 

If an artist is unwilling to put his work behind a glass, another commonly used technique is using fixatives.

The artists have recorded tremendous success with fixatives, which, as it can be noticed, is primarily formulated to fix oil pastel colors.

Since oil pastels contain non-drying fibers, it is impossible for the fixatives to fully dry up the oil pastels, but it does patch and hardens them to minimize smudging and shield the surface from dust.

It can even take three to four applications to fully repair the oil pastels.

Fixatives are infamous for manipulating pastels’ colors, which they usually do by dulling or darkening them.

Fixatives are also famous for their low color change.

They provide a glossy texture or a topcoat, which can be changed by applying an acrylic coating on top of it.

They even allow you to start working again on your artwork after applying it.

A lot of contradictory information on the preservation of oil pastel work can be found on the internet.

Oil pastels are made of wax and harmless oils and are not intended to affect paper in the same way as oil sticks can.

However, if you want to ensure that your artwork is safe and preserved, you can cover your paper by brushing on a coat of acrylic medium too.


Hence, working on a mixed media paper with oil pastels is definitely one of the best choices for an artist!

It will make the artwork look more beautiful, protect it from all kinds of damages, and preserve it for a longer time.

This results in the experience of working with oil pastels much more fun and less frustrating for the artists as they do not have to worry about ruining their artwork again and again.

It is also easier for them to focus on their work rather than worry about being careful!