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How To Use Oil Pastels And How They Differ From Acrylic Kits

how to use oil pastels

Today, we will discuss how to use oil pastels, and how they are different from acrylic paints.

Would it be a good idea for you to use oil pastel or acrylic paints? That is seemingly the first and biggest choice you should make, particularly when you’re still figuring out how to paint by numbers.

It’s not just a matter of preference, there are plenty of reasons to choose of each of them depending on your case.

Even though they appear to be the same, acrylic and oil pastel have key differences, beginning with how they’re made.

How to Use Oil Pastels vs. Acrylic Paints


Oil pastel has qualities like wax crayons and pastel pencils. There are other types of oil pastel like the Gondola soft pastel, which is made with gum materials.



Oil pastels are color blended in with wax binder and non-drying oil. The outside of oil pastel is subsequently less powdery.

Acrylics don’t need any special substance to lighten them. You can simply use water, and it’ll do the trick.

Acrylic paint is produced using acrylic polymer emulsion and plasticizers. The completed acrylic painting can look like a watercolor or a gouache. This type of paint can attach to a wide range of surfaces like paper, canvas, and even facial highlights on dolls.


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How to Use Oil Pastels – 5 Main Differences Between Acrylic and Oil Pastel


1. Drying Time


One of the main distinctions between acrylic and oil is the time they take to dry. Oil pastel doesn’t dry, it’ll remain workable indefinitely. Oil pastels will stay vulnerable and sticky to smudging if not protected by glass. You can come back the next day and continue to paint because they’re pliable.

You can blend and push the paint so that changes look seamless. They function admirably well in realistic style paintings. For that reason, oil pastel paint by numbers is ideal for you if you like to work slowly.

When it comes to acrylic works of art, they dry relatively quickly. All needed is a couple of minutes for them to be set. With thicker layers, one hour should sufficiently be enough. Acrylic works best in case you’re dealing with graphic styles or like to complete your artwork on time.


2. Color Shift


When you paint by numbers using acrylic, they change color once they dry.  However, after the drying process, the color that is dried won’t fade while time passes. The shades and colors will look the same now as they will in 300 years!

You think you’ve broken the exact shading. When you turn your back to it, and the shading has changed! You can figure out how to shift colors with enough practice, yet it tends to be hard when you’re initially starting.

Lightfastness is vital in oil pastel or acrylic paint by numbers techniques because most of the time, your canvas will be presented to light, especially if you want to hang it. In any case, acrylic paint has a superb lightfastness.

Oil pastels never darken, yellow, or crack over time. If you’re a cautious and deliberate painter, then I’d suggest oils because you can take your time and work at a slower pace. Additionally, the colors that you’ll use are the same exact colors that will appear over time.


3. Cost


Oil pastel supplies are more costly than acrylics. You can get an acrylic paint by numbers kit that costs around $5 from Kimily. For hobbyists or students, that’s a lot friendlier on the wallet to stay with acrylic paints.



You can use acrylic paints in two different ways: directly out of the cylinder-like oils and diluted with water, which lets you use them like watercolors.

To set aside a little cash, make your first few artworks on paper rather than canvas.


4. Toxin Smell and Working Space


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The thinners used for oil pastel paints, precisely white spirit and turpentine, have an irritating and strong smell. White spirit can be irritating to the skin, and turpentine rags can unexpectedly combust! Those vapors can be overpowering when you’re working in a small space.

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Acrylic paints don’t have that issue. You can cover yourself in a work of art for long periods, and you won’t get even a headache. You’ll most likely need a huge, very much ventilated room if you need to work for long hours with oil.

Having ventilation is as yet advised as certain acrylic’s brands contain minor components of ammonia.

It’s best to review your working space before picking an oil pastel paint by numbers or acrylic kit.

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5. Mixing Colors


Mixing colors is ideal for getting the shade that you want to achieve. Blending acrylics is much harder than blending oil pastels because, by the time you start blending, the acrylics will have already started to dry. With oil pastel, you can blend tones for a long time, creating shading varieties.

Acrylic has mediums as well, which means if a medium is added to the paint, it’ll change its properties like texture, drying time, and by making it thicker. However, adding too much medium may cause the paint to be excessively thinned. This weakens the acrylic binder and can leave a lack of binder for the used color.


How to Use Oil Pastels


The primary thing to remember is that oil pastels have a unique component. It isn’t like your normal colored pencils or crayons. This guide will give you an overview of oil pastels and a few things to consider when using them.

  • Hold the oil pastel like you’d hold a key when unlocking a door or when you’re cutting a piece of fruit using a knife.
  • You need to know which colors blend and which don’t. Nearby colors on the color wheel blend nicely together.
  • You can use black to create a 3D shadow look. For example when making a shadow look for a human, you want to blend it in the back of the shape with the original color.
  • You can add white to a certain part of your painting as a highlight. Blend it over the top of a darker shade.
  • Use short, firm strokes in the beginning and gradually press firmly as you move away. This will give a scratchy or shaded effect.


When to Choose Acrylic Paint by Numbers


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When to Choose Oil Pastel Paint by Numbers



Conclusion – How To Use Oil Pastels


Have you made your decision yet? Oil pastel paint by numbers or acrylic? If you’ve made it this far, you most likely have your answer.

Although there are only a few differences between them, both are extraordinary choices.

If you’re searching for an adaptable paint that dries rapidly and doesn’t have a scent, then acrylic is your best pick. But if you need a more customary paint that takes more time to dry and is more malleable, consider going with an oil pastel paint by numbers.

To check out all of our paint by numbers kits, CLICK HERE!

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