There are two types of pastels-oil and soft (or chalk). Although some of the techniques used to draw with both types of pastels are similar, oil pastels and soft pastels are uniquely different. This page deals with techniques of oil pastels.
Oil pastels are made up of a pigment that is held together by linseed oil. Oil Pastels have an oily consistency that produces a painterly effect.. The nature of oil pastels allows the artist to work them in a similar way to paint. Thus, a finished oil pastel drawing has many of the characteristics of a finished painting. Many people consider pastel a painting medium, even though the process of applying the medium is clearly drawing.
Artists may chose to work on a variety of surfaces including paper, canvas, cardboard, or masonite. Most commonly, paper is used. Colored papers are most often chosen because of the nature of the oil pastels. The tooth or texture of the paper also affects the finished image. A heavier tooth or rougher texture of the paper creates a grainy image while a smoother texture creates a sharper image.
In the following video art lesson, I show you how to draw an apple with oil pastels...