Introduction To Painting A Flower with Oil Pastels
Painting with oil pastels is surprisingly easy with little to no mess or toxic chemicals.
I created this easy step by step flower painting tutorial to help you create your own artwork!
I started off with a simple frame with non-glare plexiglass as my size parameters. I added plastic spacers to the plexiglass on the inside to keep it from touching the artwork.
I knew my size would be 6 x6 and nestle into the frame perfectly, so I didn’t need to tape off the edges of the paper. I used Strathmore Mult-Media Paper. You can find it here. If you are interested in different papers and surfaces for oil pastels, please read our article here.
Step By Step Follow Along Directions To Create Your Flower Painting
Lightly sketch out your flower petals using a pale-colored pencil.
Lay your artwork on a paper towel to protect your table surface.
Lay in the basic colors using your favorite soft oil pastel sticks. I began with Neo Pastels, Mungyo and Sakura Expressionist oil pastels because that is what I had on hand. I found that they were really quite dry and easy to draw in my outlines and fill in shapes.
I began finger blending the basic colors. This is one way oil pastels are much better than crayons: they blend seamlessly! I tried using Stomps as well and found either finger or stump to be effective.
Just massage in the pills to blend them away.
Continue around the painting, adding initial colors with the oil pastels, finger blending and brush blending with a tad bit of OMS to dissolve the stubborn areas.
Make sure to use a small bristle brush…soft brushes will not have the strength to handle the scrubbing.
Using a scribble technique to create a dark background, combine scribbles of darkest blue, darkest purple, darkest brown and black. Don’t blend with fingers or stomps. The broken color will had textural and visual interest.
Add Sennelier oil pastels for lush, beautiful color and blend. What a difference! I worked my way around all the flower petals and the bud and leave using a top layer of appropriate Sennelier sticks and finger blending. This got rid of all the white paper sparkles showing through.
Sennelier is so much softer in application (like lipstick) and so much easier to blend! It feels and looks like artist oil paints. All that translates into a more vibrant color and no grainy texture.
These sticks were especially effective on the white areas of the petal edges.
If I had had a large palette of Sennelier pastels, I would definitely have preferred to use them from the get-go. If you would like to see a set, you can find them here at Dick Blick and on Amazon. I own the set of 24, but when the budget allows I’ll spring for the 72 set for sure. Santa, I need the box with the complete line!
As the last step, I refined the edges with my darkest sticks and tightened up the thin points of the background darks around the petals.
Framing Your Flower Painting:
The painting looks so much better when framed! It really finishes it off. This frame from WebPictureFrames.com is a great price and you can add acrylic non-glare ‘glass’ and 1/4inch spacers for just a few dollars more. I like to keep a couple of them on hand for small studies and paintings.
Great Additional Resources for Painting with Oil Pastels:
In this article we reviewed the top best oil pastels and give you our ProTips and test results.