Oil Stick 

Oil Stick

Oil stick, or oilstick, is an art medium for applying color. It is produced in a stick form similar to that of a crayon or oil pastel. It is distinguished from oil pastel, to which it may appear similar, in that theoil used is comparatively volatile, causing a skin to develop on exposed surfaces. Oil sticks are oil paint in solid form. Oil stick...

Oil stick, or oilstick, is an art medium for applying color. It is produced in a stick form similar to that of a crayon or oil pastel. It is distinguished from oil pastel, to which it may appear similar, in that theoil used is comparatively volatile, causing a skin to develop on exposed surfaces. Oil sticks are oil paint in solid form. Oil sticks are made by compressing wax and oil until it forms into an oil stick. The same basic pigments and drying oils that are used in the formulation of tube paint are combined with wax and rolled into a crayon. Oil sticks can be used to concur drawings, paintings, and sketches. It is not a common medium nor a much used medium however is highly effective in art.



R&F Pigment Stick

R&F Pigment Sticks® are oil paint manufactured with enough wax for the paint to be molded into stick form.  They allow the painter to draw or paint directly onto a surface without brushes, palettes, paint tubes or solvents.  We use only the basic traditional materials: natural wax (beeswax & plant wax), linseed oil, and pigment, and we use them with absolute purity. The result is an oil stick with a lipstick soft consistency.

Pigment Sticks have none of the additives, extenders, substitutes, or facilitators that are commonly used in industrial production.  While the use of these adulterations can save a lot of work and reduce the cost of materials, they lower the quality of the paint.  To do without them it is necessary to create a very precise balance of the ingredients.  Consequently our formulas are complex and our manufacturing is labor intensive and thus handmade in small batches, carefully milled and molded.

Oil paint in stick form represents a revolutionary development in oil painting. It means that the paint can be applied directly to a surface without the distancing factor of the brush. This makes it possible to dispense not only with the brush, but with knives, palettes, and solvents, thereby making oil sticks more immediate and portable than standard oil painting materials. We formulated our Pigment Sticks® to be equal in quality to the finest oil paints. They are richly pigmented, with a lipstick soft consistency that gives them the same fluidity, subtlety, and durability of traditional oil colors.

•  Used as Oil Paint: One way to use R&F Pigment Sticks® is to treat them as if they were regular tube oils (almost like squeezing a tube right on the canvas) or use them in combination with tube oils. You can work on any surface just as you would with oils. Use brushes, solvents, and rags once the paint is on the surface. Many people dip the sticks in mediums or Alkyd driers and then attack the surface. Others will use them to start a painting with a quick sketch. Some will do their painting with tubes and brushes and then put in final details and lines with the sticks. 

•  Used as a Drawing Tool: Pigment Sticks® are becoming more prevalent as stand-alone painting and drawing tools. Many instructors use them in their drawing classes or in drawing marathons. They are a wonderful bridge between drawing and painting and their very nature causes artists to loosen up, use more color and be more spontaneous and gestural.

•  Monotypes: Printmakers are falling in love with Pigment Sticks®. Anyone who has spent hours trying to mix colors with only nine or ten printmaking inks will find our palette of 91 colors very liberating. Their immediacy, and mark making ability afford an endless range of options. 

•  They can be thinned with turpentine or mineral spirits
•  They can be worked with mediums by dipping them into stand oil, linseed oil, alkyd mediums, or resin gels.
•  They can be mixed alongside tube oils or used to draw over dried oil paintings.
•  Blending Sticks are colorless Pigment Sticks® – essentially a stick without pigment. They can be worked into a color to increase its transparency or to blend two colors together on the painting.
•  Pigment Sticks® can be manipulated with a paint knife until the paint is a buttery consistency, so that it can be brushed or knifed onto the surface. This method can be used to mix colors on the palette or in the painting.

Supports: Pigment Sticks® can be used on any ground suitable for use with traditional tube oil paint.  Normally that means a sized canvas, panel, or paper.  More absorbent surfaces like clay coated papers or Encausticbord™ will cause the paint to dry faster and leave a matte finish that is preferable to some painters.

Sizing: As in oil painting, all canvas and paper surfaces should be sized.  To size, use one or two coats of acrylic gesso, acrylic medium, or PVA sizing.  Other options include: rabbit skin glue and shellac. 

Grounds: Any ground (ie: gesso) suitable for traditional oil paint can be used with R&F Pigment Sticks®.

Varnishing: When thoroughly dry, Pigment Sticks® can be varnished just as you would an oil painting.

There really is no general recommendation for a starter palette of colors, since different artists have individual preferences, but we recommend that you choose a good balance of opaque and transparent colors.  Everyone tends to gravitate to their own color palettes. Try out your favorite oil colors in stick and build from there.

Shiva Artist's Oil Paintsticks

When you’re ready to start your next oil painting, pick up Shiva® Artist’s Paintstiks® instead of a brush. Ideal for sketching and outlining, Paintstik Oil Colors are refined linseed oil blended with a quality pigment and solidified into a convenient stick form.

Artist’s Paintstiks can be spread or blended and used in conjunction with conventional oil paint. There are no unpleasant odors or fumes, so you can paint virtually anywhere, at any time, on almost any surface from paper to panel to fabric.

Artist’s Paintstiks are “self-sealing.” That is, they form a protective film so the color won’t rub off or dry out. Yet they always stay moist and fresh, providing an indefinite shelf life because they reseal in 24 hours. This film is easily removed by peeling it away with a paper towel, or rubbing it off gently. It can also be removed by carefully paring it with a knife (it can also be sharpened to a point in this manner). When the stick has begun to wear to the edge of the sleeve, simply loosen the sleeve from the oil stick at the seam, open the sleeve and push the stick forward. Press the sleeve around the oil stick again and repeat the peelingprocess as needed. 

Remember that Artist’s Paintstik Oil Colors are oil color, the same as tube oils, so all the same techniques, mediums and surfaces can be used including varnishes. Paintstiks areavailable in 51 Professional Colors, 16Iridescents and 12 Student Colors.


Winsor & Newton Oil Bar
We're rather excited about our Oilbars - they combine the buttery consistency of oil paint with the freedom and immediacy of charcoal and pastels. Don’t mistake them for oil pastels, though - Oilbars are made to a special formulation of linseed or safflower oil and wax. You can use them on their own or with tube oil colour and there are 50 tones to choose from.