Oil crayon

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Oil and Wax crayon on canvas; MFA# 60.1158


Cray-Pas Expressionist oil pastels

A soft pigmented, wax/oil-based drawing stick. Oil crayons are made with Nondrying oil and Pigment or Dye dispersed in a Wax (such as paraffin or microcrystalline) base. The oil softens the stick such that is works with almost any kind of paper or canvas. Oil pastels produce a soft, nondrying film that can be blended easily. There are various other additives that are included in the core to give each pencil a unique color, texture, and many other characteristics.

Synonyms and Related Terms

oil pastel, paint stick

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in most petroleum and chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Resources and Citations

  • 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.