How to Draw the Sun Using Oil Pastels

With most landscapes paintings, the sun is a main focal point. But the sun can be a challenging subject to pull off. Using oil pastels can make drawing the sun a little easier and add depth to your picture.

Draw out the landscape you want for your picture onto your paper. If you are going to be doing a sunset, brown or gray paper may be better than white. Be sure to make the lines light with your pencil so they won't show through.

Choose the location for your sun. The sun creates the light and shadows for your picture, so its placement it crucial. A central placement is common. For a more dramatic look, place the sun in the far sides.

Use the pastels to shade in the background. Start with a light layer of the lighter colors such as white and yellow.

Add a drop of mineral spirits to a piece of the oil pastel and mix it together. Use the paintbrush to apply the more paint-like oil pastel to your paper. Go over the first layer you created to build up the color.

Use the white pastel and block in the first layer for the sun. Use the white to also highlight the landscape as it is hit with the sun's rays.

Build up the sun's look with slight yellows and oranges and then again with the white. Take these same pastels to highlight the landscape and have the colors flow throughout the whole picture to show the effect of the sun on it.

Block in the background using directional strokes to show texture and density. Use several colors over each other to create depth.

Blend the colors together with the shade stick. Be sure to follow the same directional strokes from before.

Apply a thin layer of white highlight on the edges of the ground, leaves, or sea of the landscape by using the tip of the white rubber eraser with a small amount of white oil pastel. Add any additional markings and directions with the shade stick tip or the white rubber eraser.


Have fun and practice until it looks right to you.

About the Author

Sarah Haynes is a bachelor's degree graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been writing articles online since 2006, specializing in a variety of categories from decorating and building furniture to using programs on cell phones. While focusing on how-to articles, she has written a few pieces that expand on subjects telling about their origins and uses.