An artists' quality oil colour in stick form, Winsor & Newton Artists' Oilbar enables painting and drawing freely and directly onto surfaces.
The new Artists' Oilbar is a unique medium because it provides artists with greater buttery consistency and richness of oil colour together with the freedom and directness of pastels or charcoal.
Artists' Oilbar is fundamentally different from oil pastels or oil crayons due to its unique formulation. The new range has a spectrum of 50 colours each of which is produced by combining artists' quality pigments with linseed or safflower oil, blended with specially selected wax. It offers an exciting and versatile way of painting and drawing – from sketching, to sgraffito effects, whether used on its own or with tube oil colour.
I usually work in soft pastels or tube oilpaint, and had never tried oilbars until recently. You need to break away the waxy covering on the end of the stick, using a paper towel and a little pressure; but once done it's ready to go and you don't necessarily need a medium to get paint stroked directly onto your support.
The colours blended very effectively, either by using the sticks directly to push the paint, or a finger, brush or painting-knife. The stick colours also blended beautifully with normal tube oilpaint, including my tube of alkyd white. I have tried them so far on canvas-board and stretched canvas, taking advantage of the tooth of each surface.
Brushing them with turps or another similar diluent, after being stroked on the painting, does work ok although I sensed a difference in the consistency when compared with normal tube oil......maybe to do with the presence of wax. It isn't necessarily a "problem", just a difference in result.
The paper wrapping helps to keep your hands clean when holding the sticks. However you will need paper towels handy to wipe away excess paint from their ends, especially after blending one into another. A tray or paper sheet will also be useful, since they can roll around and deposit paint where you least expect it.
Broad strokes and a bold approach are best, because this is quite a physical medium to handle. It lends itself to large expressive paintings, discourages "fiddling" and could well be addictive. Christine Derrick (Bristol, United Kingdom) on 20 Sep 2012
I prefer these oil sticks to any other, they have a creamy consistency and blend well. I liked that your company sell them individually because you go through the white more than any other colour. Andrew Williams (Wakefield, United Kingdom) on 6 Sep 2012
As an Oil bar fan, I had been trying to source these locally with no success. Ken Bromleys has a fantastic range of colours at exceptionally reasonable prices. I will be buying more. Thanks Malcolm Greig (Leven, United Kingdom) on 27 Jan 2013