Monday, November 4, 2013

Stained Glass–How to use Oil Pastels


Today’s card has a bit of technique and a product unfamiliar perhaps to many of you – oil pastels.  I was really wanting to create a stained glass image, and wanting to try something different.  Here’s the inspiration:

Image credit


The look I was going for was a hazy stained glass.  I hand drew the shapes and then started coloring using Pentel oil pastels.  Once I finished, I outlined so it would look more like stained glass.  For the vellum I cut it the same size as the ‘glass’ panel, except an 1/8 inch longer on the top.  I scored it and adhered, then cut a black strip of cardstock also 1/8 inch wide to cover the top of the vellum.  This is the only place where the vellum is adhered so you can lift it and see what the pastels look like.  I think the vellum on top helps to prevent smudging from future handling, but still allows a behind the scene peek.

Some tips on using them before I show you what it looks like without the vellum:

  • Color lighter areas first.  The darker color wants to take over the light, so if you are trying NOT to blend, this is generally easier.
  • Trying to get that stained glass look?  I tried several ‘blacks’.  I tried black oil pastel but it wanted to blend with itself.  I tried project life pens, but they really wanted to smear.  A bic marker (kind of like a sharpie) was almost my final choice but it wasn’t 100% right.  Try a black copic marker – it dried on top of the pastels and no smudging!
  • To blend, I’d recommend using your finger.  If you are just trying to ‘even out’, give a q-tip a try.


Look how vibrant the colors are!

Advantages to using oil pastels:

  • Absurdly inexpensive – for a mere $2.25 you can pick yourself up a pack of 12 to play with, and if you wanna get serious you’re only looking at $9.39 for a pack of 50.  I know – what!!
  • No additional tools required.  No need for fancy blending sponges, brushes, or even water.  They easily blend with your finger (although I like q-tips too!).  Great for experimenting out on a hike, or maybe on a cramped airplane.
  • These things never die – I have probably had my set since middle school (I’m 28 now), and I pulled them the other day good as new!  No hardening, drying out, cracking – can you believe it!?
  • No previous experience necessary.  If you can color with crayons, you can us oil pastels!
  • Love that ‘I’m an artist’ feeling?  Try these and you will feel and be totally cooler than you already are.

Have you tried oil pastels before?  What were you working on, do you like them?