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Colour Mixing


Marcus Art Oil Pastels are ideal for teaching young children the magic of colour mixing.


If they are using their fingers to mix two colours together the resultant colour is of their making. Remember just as you clean your brushes thoroughly before application of a new tone or hue or introduction of another colour you also need to clean your fingers palm or hands with a cloth as your hands are now the paint brush. Learning this practice from an early level is valuable in forming good habits and teaching respect for the material.


 Marcus Art Oil Pastels offer an important  sensory experience for the young artist whilst they gain understanding of the subtle and complex nature of colour. Practice applying small amounts of pastel on to areas of paper and blending them with fingers or palm then work the colour with a soft cloth or tissue to extend and spread the new colour. You will be surprised how much colour is contained in these small strokes, how readily they blend and how the soft blooms of vibrant colour can float on the page like water colour. 


Applying the above methods make up  colour charts by laying down one primary colour and introducing another below it to mix and create the new colour. Continue with secondary and tertiary colours to marvel at the infinite range of colour possibilities.


Depending on the colour they choose and the mix they use, the colours created will be different.



Marcus Art handmade Oil Pastels are designed specifically to blend and flow using either the hand, palette knife, soft cloth or any implement you desire to spread the coloured wax onto your chosen surface.


The oil pastels flow capacity is the key element here because the wax base responds to the warmth of hand, palm or fingers when blending. Use of a cloth or tissue to spread the pastel, can produce remarkable veilled qualities similar to water colour and further expand the students understanding of the pastel's blending capacity. 


As suggested in the previous column students will gain a sensitive understanding of the material by using small amounts of pastel to establish broad areas or blendings. Avoid build up of heavily textured surfaces with the pastel unless you feel this is absolutely what you require. You will find a contrast of lean and fat surfaces much more easier to control and especially if you require fine detail. You will observe soft and sharp edges appear within the pastel as you work. Use these to your advantage when accurate drawing or broader gestures are needed.

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Blanding By Layering


Students can use their fingers to push these soft oil pastels around the paper.


By overlaying colours you effectively blend the pastels together.

Place one colour over the next either by cross hatching or with dots of another colour. Your finger will blend the colours together breaking up the lines or dots that have been created over the background colour.


By continuing to layer colours and smudging you will build up the tone shade you want to achieve. The white is an opaque Titanium White and very little is needed to create tints of one colour.

You can also use your fingers to blend colours into each other to create a background or in a collage. Try printing on the coloured background once the sheet has been fixed with Marcus Art Non-Drip Varnish.