Baby Oil, Pencils and Pastels

Been experimenting with baby oil (stop sniggering at the back please). I nearly bought some Zest-It pencil blend the other day to try blending my various colour pencils, then I heard Baby Oil does just the same job for a fraction of the price.
Got a bottle for 99p, broke out the Q-tips et voila, it works a treat. Then I thought maybe it’d work with oil pastels too? Yep, even smoother results, almost like painting with a Q-tip, only with more control. It’s a bit tricky to get the right balance between oil & pigment but that’ll come with practice.
Tried it on my first sketchcard-size piece this morning and discovered it’ll even blend carbon pencil too, which is a bonus as that never quite sits comfortably with wax-based pencil.
So anyway, the next time you want to try something a bit different, get some dirt-cheap oil pastels and some dirt-cheap baby oil and some dirt-cheap Q-tips and have a play (although you probably need some decently expensive smooth-surfaced paper). I may even end up using them instead of pricey marker pens as it gives a more substantial finish and you have more time for blending them before they dry.

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