Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New to Me - Prima's Water Soluble Oil Pastels

Obviously I must live under a rock...albeit a lovely artsy rock I hadn't heard of Prima's Water Soluble Oil Pastels until I was browsing around Amazon over the holidays. Apparently they came out in late August of last year but I missed them somehow.   I had some bonus bucks to spend so I ordered a set.  Up until today I hadn't really had a chance to play with them much other than just scribbling them around on a card or two.

Well, today I decided to do a little investigating them because their name alone was a knob scratcher (to me).  

I am familiar with oil pastels, actually that was one of the first art mediums I was introduced to and as a matter of fact I found that very set (what was left of them) not too long ago.  The name "Water Soluble" is what initially intrigued me because traditional oil pastels are usually wet blended with a solvent of some sort...not water. 

My set was a bit worse for ware when it arrived...the box Amazon packaged them in was large enough for probably 30 sets and the little air pillows didn't do much to keep 'em safe.  While the box was in tact, the sticks were a jumble in the box.  

So I started off by just scribbling them onto plain white cardstock (Georgia Pacific).  I was thinking since it says water soluble they might be similar to watercolor crayons so I pulled those out and my trusty oil pastels.

I have to say the Prima pastels were very velvety when drawn on the paper...the medium was smooth and creamy.

The watercolor crayon was more similar to a soft watercolor pencil in the fact that the medium went down with a very even, consistent line - not nearly as creamy or as soft as the Prima.

Of course the oil pastel was very smooth and made a line something between the two.

I then put them to the water test...  (plain water & #6 round brush)

Now let me put this out there - I wasn't expecting much from the Prima (I kept going back to the name thing).  I was very pleasantly surprised!  They blended beautifully - so much so you can't even see the strokes I initially made!

The watercolor crayons blended as expected...I could still see the lines and it didn't seem to spread as rich a color as the Prima did.

As expected the true oil pastels didn't budge...

Just because I had to see it I scratched out a few lines of both the Prima and WC crayons....amazing difference don't you think?

And another test just messin' around - again on plain white cardstock.

Really beautiful results for a single line of color.

Then I did color the Prima on watercolor paper...

I used varying amounts of water just to see what the colors looked like and how they blended out.  It really is amazing how blendable they really are.  I love the feel of them when drawn on a paper (both wc & plain cs) and the colors remain vibrant and clear.

Even though the name still messes with my CDO mind because while they really aren't "oil pastels" they are an amazing color medium!  I will be back tomorrow with more on these fun new pastels.


  1. Have been looking at these Prima oil pastels for a while. Thanks for sharing your trial run as it is very helpful.
    Also can relate to Amazon's packing methods. Just have to shake my head some times!

  2. Thanks for sharing your tests. I'm always reluctant to invest in something new if I have no idea how it will work/look.

  3. What a great demo. so glad you did that. I'm with you on the name. If I hadn't seen this demo I would not consider buying something that said oil pastels that are water soluble!

  4. Thank You so much for sharing the results.I do use watercolor pencils and crayons both.

  5. Thanks so much for the wonderful demo and explanation- my mind started working and I have a few more questions...I hope I did not miss any of these answers in the demo, if so I apologize ahead of time.
    Have you seen any difference between these and Gelatos? They seem like using either would yield the same result? Also, do the Prima dry well-no additional smearing-or do they need to be sealed? Once dried, can you re-activate their properties by adding water(brush or spray?) Sorry for all the additional questions, but I am very intrigued by these, but don't want to invest if they are another version of what I already have.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!