Set of oil pastels & inspiring book
December 18, 2006 10:17 AM   Subscribe

[GiftFilter] I need a good set of oil pastels, and an inspiring book.

My friend is amazing at art, but she hasn't done it in a long time, due to certain circumstances. Her favorite medium is oil pastels, but I have no idea what to look for.

Also, I'd like to get her inspired through some kind of artsy book (no need for oil pastel based)... preferably postmodern type (graffiti, etc.).
posted by senterstyle to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Here's some good graffiti books.
posted by phirleh at 11:52 AM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

Generally, artists have a favorite brand - it's like a favorite flavor of ice cream.

However, here's a few suggestions:

oil pastels:
(Sakura Cray-Pas Expressionist Oil Pastel Sets)

(Reeves Large Oil Pastels)

(Gallery Oil Pastels)

maybe a pretty pastel box:
Artbin Pastel Storage Box

Blick Master Series 2-Drawer Wood Pastel Cabinet

As for books, all artists like art books. To me, the best visual reference and enjoyable flip-through book is anything by Sister Wendy (sure, not super academic, but):
Story of Painting
1000 Masterpieces

Or a nice pastel-themed item:
The Pastelist's Year: Painting the Four Seasons in Pastel
posted by eatdonuts at 12:06 PM on December 18, 2006

in the BBC version of the sitcom, "the office", [SLIGHT SPOILER] the final episode has a pretty inspiring moment with abandoned dreams of art around christmas-time. [END OF SPOILER] i won't say anything else about it, in case somehow you haven't seen it-- but if you buy the full series (2 seasons on DVD, with series finale), you might inspire her that way. it's a great scene.
posted by twistofrhyme at 12:29 PM on December 18, 2006

I swear by Cray-Pas. Get the professional version, though, not the budget cheap-o student cray-pas.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:39 PM on December 18, 2006

Best answer: The three very good brands are Holbein, Sennelier, and Sakura 'Specialist' - Sakura makes different grades of oil pastel, and Specialist is the best. Sennelier has some metallics and iridescents, which can create interesting effects. I would encourage you to support your local independent retailer rather than a chain, but if there isn't one near you Dakota Art is a great pastel source. Their custom 'bright sampler' set might be good for graffiti art, and would give her a chance to try different brands in one set.

If your friend works big - like 5x7' or wall-size, you might try WN oil bars , or R&F paint sticks. They're essentially giant oil pastels, but they do dry rather than stay sticky. (Oil pastels don't dry, and so they don't set and can be smeared--so they have to be framed under glass or sprayed with a fixative to 'set' them.)

It sounds like the kind of book you're looking for is more about the inspiration than technique, so it might be a matter of just choosing one featuring art she admires.
posted by tula at 1:40 PM on December 18, 2006

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