The oil pastel can be used both on its own and in combination with other media, making it a very versatile medium. In addition to the wide variety of colors, they also offer blended oil pastels, but how can you blend them? The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how to blend oil pastels beautifully so that you can easily do your next project.

Prepare your drawing by planning it. Since the oil pastels can’t be erased once they’ve been applied, composition is essential. You should sketch out the design in a light way. Create a design by drawing and coloring, and then blending your colors with a Q-tip or cloth.


1. Create a design plan

Your design should be planned before you begin drawing.  If your oil pastels blend well, you will be able to see whether they work well together. To add depth to your design, start with one color as a base and then layer other colors on top of it. Outline your drawing by drawing a light sketch on the paper.

2. Drawing and coloring

You can color your design after you draw it. There are designs that require you to blend as you go, while others don’t.

3. Use the tools to blend

When you’re finished coloring everything and blending your colors, it will look smooth. Layers may be added to give it texture and depth, and then blended lightly to create depth and texture.

These blending tools can be used with your fingers or any other tool, such as your fingers. Make your pastel drawing more interesting by using blending methods to soften the edges. 

Blending Methodologies

1. Blending of oils

Blending of oils

Blending oil pastels requires the use of linseed oil or walnut oil. The painting will lose its composition, however, because they leave a slight yellow tint. Baby or mineral oils are also inexpensive substitutes.

Mix pastels with a few drops of oil in a shallow dish or on a painter’s palette. By blending them without oils, you will see a smoother result.

2. Distilled water

Distilled water

Oil pastels blend perfectly with mineral spirits. A good reason to use mineral spirits for blending is the smooth effect mineral spirits have on the oil pastel, and the ability to pick up colors using the pastel brush and use them to add texture to a plain area.

3. Scratching

The process of stippling is when you apply dots to an object (i.e., adding colors to create  depth). Nature scenes can benefit from this technique when applied to trees, branches, and leaves.

4. Crumbling

You’re much better at scumbling than you thought. This is accomplished by scribbling colors together until the right value and texture are achieved.

5. Dot-crossing

By adding colors in different directions, you make a cross-hatch pattern.  You could, for example, use blue oil pastel for horizontal lines and yellow oil pastel for vertical lines. Blend the horizontal lines with more blue and the vertical lines with more yellow until they blend together.

6. Blending before mixing

Oil pastels are pre-blended before being applied to canvas or drawing paper. The paint is oily after you break it and blend it. You can use a palette knife, your fingers, or silicone brushes to apply it to the canvas.

7. Pastels blended with pastels

Another way to blend oil pastels is with pastel on pastel blending. Using heavy pressure, apply the oil pastel to your paper, and make a lighter application at the end when you want the colors to blend. Next, paint over the lighter part with heavy pressure.

Work in circular motions with the lighter color to blend the darker color to achieve the blending finish you want.

8. Graphite


Oil pastel drawings can look lovely when sgraffito is used appropriately (italian for scratching). While it doesn’t constitute an actual blending technique, it’s an excellent way to experiment with well-blended oil pastel.

For the graffiti detailing, apply oil pastels over top of each other, starting with a colorful mixture, and then overlaid with black and white pastels. Keep applying pressure until the whole surface is covered. Scratch a design over the oil pastel drawing with a fine tracing stylus or an empty pen. For example, a wooden stylus, a palette knife, and other scraping tools may also be used.    


To increase the effect and intensity of different colors, use white, grey, or black pastel colors. Darker colors are often preferred over lighter shades. 

Use consistent pressure when applying pastels.

Oil pastels should be applied with the same amount of pressure for consistent paint thickness. Adding more layers and blending again will create a stunning result. Oil pastel colors should be blended with heavy pressure.

To keep your fingers dry, make sure they are completely dry.

You should let your hands completely dry before mixing oil pastels. The quality of paper could also be affected by moist fingers. Deformity should be avoided at all costs. Keep your hands and palms dry at all times.

For each color, use a different finger.

Use different fingers for different colors. It is possible to change the colors on the canvas if you change these colors. If you don’t have hand sanitizer nearby, you can also keep moist paper nearby so that you can clean your hands.

Small circular motions should be used when blending.

After you overlap two colors, spread another pastel over the overlapping lines by making small circular motions. Smoothing the transitions will result.

Utilize light and highlights.

As in charcoal drawings and watercolor paintings, tones and values matter in oil pastels. To give depth to your paintings, make sure to use white space for the light and highlights.


Several tools can be used to blend acrylic paints for amazing results.


It is most convenient and easy to blend watercolors with your fingers. If you want to blend colors, be sure your hands are dry and you’ve washed them. Hands can also be protected with fingercots or rubber gloves.

Shapers for pastels or pastel brushes

Paint brushes have longer bristles than pastel brushes. There are brushes that blend the pigments with nylon and brushes that use pony bristles.

A pastel shaper, on the other hand, has a flat, chiseled surface that gives you a flat, even stroke.

Stump or Tortillion

Oil pastels blend well with Tortillion. It’s perfect for portraits, realism, and small pieces because it allows you to blend colors in small spaces. You can also use stumps with oil pastels since the shape makes it easy to blend colors without destroying your painting area.

Knitted eraser

Blending oil pastels is easy with a kneaded eraser. The versatile tool is not only useful as an eraser, but also as a multi-functional tool. It is fine to use an ordinary eraser if you do not have a kneaded one as long as it does not scratch the paper.

Chamois cloth

Using a chamois cloth is a great way to blend colors. In order to blend large areas quickly, you can use this soft material to wipe or rub the majority of Just wrap one side around the canvas. Gently wrap the edges of the canvas. Continue blending with a new portion.

Items used in the home

Q-tips and other household items can be used. If you’re blending oil pastels, use cotton balls, paper towels, or clean rags. The chamois cloth can be substituted with cotton balls or paper towels instead of a tortillion.

Questions and Answers about Blending Oil Panels

When blending oil pastels, what is used?

Using paper towel, blending stumps, or your fingers, you can blend pastels by friction (or using mineral spirits or oil). For darker colors, you may blend with lighter colors.

How should oil pastels be blended?

Blending oil pastels does not require a specific tool. A paper towel, a Q-tip, a cotton ball, your fingers, etc., are all good choices. Oil pastel painting can still be done without tools, but having them helps.

What are the challenges of blending oil pastels?

No. However, mastering your technique is critical to getting the finish you want.

Are oil pastels diluted with water?

I agree and I disagree! As mineral spirits did for oil pastels, water can’t dissolve them. Soft pastels that dissolve in water work well when blended with water. You can create the same effect as a watercolor wash by adding water to soft pastels.

Smudge pastels in what way?

Oil pastels are more intense and do not work well with smudging, so smudging is mostly used for soft pastels.


One of those challenging mediums, oil pastels are worth the effort even though they are frustrating to use. It becomes easier and more fun to work with colors when you know how to blend them properly.

How will you use oil pastels now that you know how to blend them? We can help you get started on the right path if you share your ideas with us. Contact us today!

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