Satisfying The Desire to Draw in Oils

January 12, 2022

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. They use only the basic traditional materials: natural wax (beeswax & plant wax), linseed oil, and pigment. 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 adulterants can save time and reduce cost, 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, handmade in small batches, carefully milled and molded.

Using Pigment Sticks®

Oil paint in stick form 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.

Suggestions for How To Use Pigment Sticks

Used as Oil Paint: One way to use R&F Pigment Sticks® is to treat them as if they were regular tube oils 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. Some artists use them to start a painting with a quick sketch. Others do their painting with brushes and put in final details with the sticks.

Used as a Drawing Tool: Pigment Sticks® are becoming more prevalent as stand-alone painting and drawing tools. They are a wonderful bridge between drawing and painting and their very nature causes artists to loosen up, use more color, and be 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.

Benefits to Working with Pigment Sticks®

  • 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.