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Oil Pastels on Sand Background Technique

Sometimes, just applying one art medium over another gives a cool effect. In fact, I learned a lot of these duo combinations from a book called Mixed Media Pocket Palette. I'm going to teach you one of the combinations that looks super cool.

Plus, you get to try a texture goo you might not have tried yet. It is a sand texture medium. You can buy sand texture gel on amazon or you can actually just mix sand with either gel medium or acrylic paint. Here's a post from Art Is Fun that covers a lot of information about texture mediums.

awesome effects of sand medium and pastels


So I went the easy route and bought the sand medium on Amazon. It was a decision helped by the fact that I didn't have any sand around, so a purchase needed to be made regardless.

Start by squirting some sand gel in a cup and then add some acrylic or craft paint. It doesn't take a lot of paint to color it. It depends on how much sand gel you're using.

acrylic texture mediums
sand texture technique

Use a spatula or whatever you've got to spread the colored sand onto your substrate (canvas, card stock, art journal, etc.) It depends on you how thick you want it.

textured acrylic painting techniques

How do you use sand texture gel?

Let it dry.

Now for the cool part.

Get out either chalk or oil pastel. I first chose chalk but realized that the oil pastel would probably stick better. They produced the same result, which was good. And you're going to spray it with a coating no matter what so either pastel choice will work.

Using the whole length of pastel, rub it over the colored sand.

How do you use oil pastels on a background?

You'll be stoked about the results.

It appears like little piles of pastel are sitting on top of the sand peaks. It looks really cool.

oil pastel art ideas tutorials painting techniques

Don't forget to spray on a coat of either workable fixative or some spray medium so that the pastels stay put. I used workable fixative because I'll be adding to it and I had some.

I made several different color combinations:

oil pastel art techniques mixed media

oil pastel techniques mixed media

sand texture paint techniques

Isn't that cool?

What other combination of materials have you made? Share in the comments.

Get the supplies on Amazon:

Other background techniques you might like:


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