Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oil Sticks and Other Toys!

Today I wanted to share with you one of the products I sometimes use in mixed media pieces. I used them a lot in my Horizon Series (check out Horizons 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 for examples) and with some of my earlier works. Recently I have not picked them up, but I thought I might use them again, soon. So have you ever used oil sticks? They are basically oil paint in stick form. The finish dries hard like oil paint, but they work more like oil pastels.
This painting is my chili pepper :) The background is acrylics, but the red, yellows, greens, blues, purples, etc. are done with the oil sticks...all the blurry, smeary parts. I apply these and then use my fingers to blend them they way I would like. There are several methods of application, but this is the way I am most comfortable working with them. I try to stay away from some art products due to my asthma, so this is a compromise for me.

Several companies make this product. I am particularly fond of the Sennelier brand, however Windsor and Newton and Shiva also make a similar product. You might also find some other brands, but these are the ones I know about. The range of colors has become very wide.

Here are a few of the ones I have. The one which is third from the left is actually a blending stick. As you see, I have tried using it, however found my fingers to be better for me.
Sennelier makes these in several sizes which I find helpful. Here you see me holding one of the largest ones. While I am not a small woman, I have very small hands, so that gives you an idea of the size of this red oil fits nicely in the palm of my hand.

These form a skin you need to peel off before getting to the soft oil paint. Now some of you creative people might find these "skins" to be useful in some collage work, so that might be another idea. But once you get to that soft layer you will find a very creamy product to work with. Like oil paint, these take some time to cure, but the results can be very appealing. I basically use Master's Brush Cleaner to clean up this product from my hands...yes, I know it is a bit harsh, but for me better than other solvents.

So tell me if you have had experiences with oil sticks. Do you like them?

Another product I have recently read about is waterproof ink in pencil form! It goes on like pencil, however when water is added to it you have ink. So it is like using watercolor pencils, but it is waterproof once dried on the surface! Have you ever used these? Do you like them? Do you have any other recommendations? Maybe the liquid pencil product?

Recently, Elis also was showing some of her favorite tools on her blog. You might like to visit her to see what she has been up to, as well. And if you do not know Elis' art, you are going to be in for a real adventure!

Have a Beautiful Day!


Daphne Enns said...

Oh my goodness! Waterproof ink in a pencil???!!! I'm going to get one of those the next time I go to the art supply store.

Awesome information Kim.

Andrea and Kim said...

I, too, am eager to pick up some of those, Daphne! They sound incredible, don't they?

Thanks for visiting...

San said...

Hi Kim. Me, I've never used oil sticks but many years ago one of our artists did.

That is one hot chile pepper!

Andrea and Kim said...

Ah Ha! Well, I found them fun!

That old chili is my reminder of our 10 years of living in Texas! :) Can you tell I get my cultures mixed up...look how I spelled chili... Oh Boy!

Anonymous said...

I've used inexpensive oil pastels and experimented on small pieces of paper. Here's a chili I painted last year.
Red Round Chili

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Chewy!

I love your little chili! It is so nice and small, too. I know those kind, too. I love them so much...we kind of use a lot of habinaros (sp?) at this house.

I think maybe this chili being on my mind is the reason I thought of a cactus when I saw your new painting today!


Anonymous said...

I use oil sticks quite a lot. I find them messy but then I find everything messy - it's me, not the products! I had not thought of keeping the skins from them; brilliant ;-) I find the SHiva 'drier', and the Sennelier oilier.
I have a few Inktense pencils but have not done well with them yet. I think I need to change how I am using them.
Love the chili pepper - nice intense colours.

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Cath! This is great information on these two products. I have not used the Shiva, so this helps. I like the creamy aspects of the Sennelier a lot.

I am eager to try the Inktense pencils, but now I am wondering about your experience...Mmmm, maybe I should just purchase one or two at first.

Thanks for the kind words about the chili pepper!

Unknown said...

Kim, I just love your red pepper!:)
Every time I come here and see a new painting, I go: Ohhh!
Love the red blurring colour.
I have some of those thick oilsticks, I used them in artschool for nude painting on big size paper. Your beautiful product-pictures make me want to dig them out and get to a canvas with them:)
How do you fix those? I was told you don't but it is difficult to transport paintings done with this medium without protecting them.
I didn't try the waterproof inkpencil yet! A new discovery:)
Take care

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Andrea!

So Miss D is on a great adventure, uh? Your painting today is really fantastic!

As you can imagine I have never used these for actual drawing, but you have given me an idea now...don't you always? Anyway, I can see how they would work great for that, though.

I have just allowed these to cure hard before moving them. I have found, depending on the conditions of the air, it takes as much as 1 or 2 months, though. So I haven't done anything special. By placing the oil over the acrylic, I am creating headaches for myself where that is concerned. I can imagine using the product one would use for oil paint, though, would work as long as you are finished with any acrylic work.

I am eager to try that ink pencil, I can tell you that. It might be a positive product for travel...I am always looking for that! :)

Thanks Andrea!

Unknown said...

Kim, I just had a thought: Cathie Clevelandgirlie:) and her daughter sent me a box of Derwent ink intens pencils, the ones I painted the little fellow and his umbrella with. I haven't thought about it, but are these the one you are talking about? I haven't tried out if they are waterproof now...
Have a wonderful weekend and talk to you soon,

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you, Andrea! I have linked to the little bear on today's post, too. I am very eager to try these. Did you find them difficult to work with? Yes, these are the ones I mean.

You have a Fabulous Weekend, too!

~Babs said...

A medium I've not tried,,,the oil sticks.
I did however get some acrylic inks recently,,,,which were new to me,,,played with them a little. Nice colors!
I will have to look into oil sticks,,,,I'm sure I'd love them.

fiona long said...

Hi Kim,

I tried those oil sticks once but was so used to using a brush, they didn't give me the precision I wanted at the time. Once I started pushing it around with my fingers, I did have fun though!

Have you tried water soluble oil paints? I've no idea how that works but it could be a solution for you if you wanted to use some oils?

Andrea and Kim said...

Babs, I also think you would like the oil sticks! Let me know how you like them...

Acrylic ink! Ohh, now that is fun to play with. The WIP...Love Letters and Tears....has quite a bit of acrylic ink! I can't wait to see what you do with it! I also like the way those colors work.

Thanks Babs!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Fiona!

It is great to see you back...I have missed you!

Isn't that funny? I thought the oil sticks worked better with my fingers, too!

I haven't tried the water soluable oils...maybe I should!


Have a Fun Weekend!