Friday, October 29, 2010


    I am trying to find out what the ingredients of oil pastels are, and if they are suitable for vegans. Vegans do not use any animal products, including beeswax. I have found some ingredients on the web, but they are not specific about the type of wax. Do different types have different ingredients?  I do hope you can help.

    Mineral wax, (okoezite) mineral oil and pigment. are the basic ingredients in sennelier oil pastels. There have been rumors of things like safflower oil in sennelier oil pastel products, they use this oil in there paints. However I have it on very good authority that they do not use safflower oil in oil pastels. They do in some of there paints.

Beeswax in particular would be a bad choice for oil pastels because of its rather hard nature. Some of the cheaper oil pastels do use this wax. If i where trying to stay outside of the realm of animal  products.. My choices for oil pastel would be sennelier, Caran d'Ache, or holbein. in that order. Again the information in this regard that I have from the chief chemist at Caran D'ache affirms that they use a mineral wax, and oil in there products as well. Though I am not certain with Caran D'Ache what mineral wax they are using.

Other interesting waxes for oil pastel are carnuba wax - this is natural plant based wax. There are no current forumalations of oil pastel I know of that use this though. There is a manufacture that I can not mention at this point in time that is doing some research based on this wax in regards to oil pastel.

Robert Garrett

Oil Pastel Society Memership Administrator

Members Show

Be sure to check out our Members Show. Click the link on our home page Bill Creevy was this year's judge and he will be our first Honorary Signature Member to the OPS. Bill's painting style is representational and he is at home in still life, landscape and figure painting. His favorite medium is simply drawing, but has extensive knowledge of both pastel and oil painting. He is the author of "the Pastel Book" which has a section on oil pastels.
Sennelier will be giving us the 120 boxed set of oil pastels for next year's show. Their Award of Excellence will be added to our awards and they will have a link from the Sennelier site to the OPS.