A soft pigmented, wax/oil-based drawing stick. Oil pastels contain a pigment or dye dispersed in a wax (such as paraffin or microcrystalline) base that is softened with a nondrying oil such as coconut oil or mineral oil. They may also contain tallow, stearic acid, and glycerol as well as fillers such as calcium carbonate. Oil pastels produce a soft, nondrying film that can be blended easily. They were first introduced as children's crayons in Japan in 1925.
Synonyms and Related Terms
pastel crayon; oil crayon; Cray-Pas® [Sakura]; craypas (sp); Sketchos [Prang]
Soluble in most petroleum and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Hazards and Safety
Halos may form when used on absorbent material. Bloom may form on surface. Some colors are not lightfast.
° M.Holben Ellis, M.Brigitte Yeh, "Categories of Wax-based Drawing Media" WAAC Newsletter, Vol 19(3), 1997. ° M.H.Ellis, "Oil Pastel", in Media and Techniques of Works of Art on Paper, New York University Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York, 1999.