Oil Pastels vs Colored Pencils: What is the difference between the two? 

Oil pastels and woodless colored pencils are two of my favorite creative media, and I wanted to share what distinguishes them from each other, and what similarities they have. 

What are oil pastels?

Oil pastels are made from a pigment that is bound together using wax and a type of drying oil such as linseed oil. Because of this heavy oil consistency, oil pastels create a more painterly look than that of a “soft” pastel.

What are woodless colored pencils? 

Woodless colored pencils are solid color lead sticks with a lacquer coating. They have five times the amount of color lead as a regular colored pencil. 

What are the differences between Oil Pastels and Colored Pencils: 

  1. Colored Pencils allow you to have more control and you can create more precise details as they have a sharper point. 
  2. Colored pencils typically have a wider color range as compared to oil pastels. 
  3. Colored Pencils offer you more variety in terms of mark-making - you can create delicate, fine lines and loose, broad strokes, and blend colors together. 
  4. Oil pastels are blendable as well, just in a different way. You can create different textures with mark making, but some oil pastels don’t blend as well as others. 
  5. Oil pastels can be messy, and can leave your fingers with a waxy film. 

Here is a quick video of a few examples of mark making and blending using oil pastels and woodless colored pencils.