Creative Ideas


A Framed Picture, Created With Oil Based Pastel Crayons

A framed picture, created with oil-based pastel crayons. Something for everyone who likes abstract designs. Discover the effects you can achieve with the sgraffito technique. 

What you need:

  • A sheet of strong textured paper (A4/quarto size)
  • Creative Studio oil-based pastels in blue (numbers 145, 110, 151), green (numbers 171, 167), brown (numbers 187, 176) and reddish orange (numbers 108, 110, 115)
  • A pointed object (e.g. a nail or bodkin) for the sgraffito
  • Skin-care oil (you can also use salad oil or medicinal paraffin)
  • Kitchen paper towels
  • A suitable frame

It's very simple:

Using the yellow crayon, draw some large irregularly spaced waves down the paper. Then colour in the various areas with the lighter colours, one after the other. Don’t lay them on too thick: it’s more effective if the grain or texture of the paper shows through.


Now work over the areas with the corresponding darker hues. Again, allow the lower layer to show through to some extent. Afterwards, use the darkest blue to create some shadows on the green area, and similarly dark brown on the orange-red area. That way, the colours harmonize nicely.


Put a few drops of skin oil (such as is used to prevent nappy rash in babies) on a paper towel and use it to merge the colours so that you get attractive transitions. At all stages you should leave some speckles of white.


Finally take your pointed stylus and scratch wavy lines to reveal the lower layers of colour. You can always put another layer of colour on top in places, or dab with the oil again.


Some parts of your picture will probably be more pleasing than others. Assuming the frame is smaller than the paper, you can choose the most attractive region, cut it to size, and fit it in the frame. 


Be brave: experiment! Try out other colour combinations: for example, various pastel shades. Or match the colours to a picture or photo that you like. Faber-Castell oil-based pastels offer a wide range of colours to choose from. You can also try different kinds of paper.

© 1761-2017 Faber-Castell | Last modified: 09/22/2013