Talking about R&F Oil Pigment Sticks


R&F Pigment Sticks give the artist access to direct, spontaneous colour and tone allowing for the true embodiment of expressive and creative intent. They are handmade in small batches to create the highest standards for use by the artist, in both colour and smoothness of application.

R&F Pigment Sticks are oil paint manufactured with enough wax for the paint to be moulded into stick form. They are a unique artists' painting tool, allowing the painter to draw or paint directly onto a surface without brushes, palettes, paint tubes, or solvents. They consist of a natural wax (beeswax & plant wax), linseed oil, and pigment – resulting in an oil stick with a lipstick soft consistency. They are popular for painting, drawing, and printmaking techniques. 

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.

Three convenient sizes are available:

38ml - 19mm x 127mm | 100ml - 32mm x 127mm | 188ml - 38mm x 165mm 


These are Pigment Sticks® without pigment. They are ideal for glazing colours, can be worked directly into a colour to increase the colour's transparency, or used to blend colours together on the surface. Available with drier and without. Pigment Blender sticks with drier contain a small amount of Cobalt Drier added to speed up the drying time. The use of a Cobalt Drier can affect colour, so best use is to work colours on top of it after it has been laid down on the surface.


Download the R&F Pigment Stick Colour Chart with drying rates HERE or discover the R&F painting and technical guide HERE 

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. R&F formulated their 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 colours.


  • 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.

Using R&F Pigment Stick

  • 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 colour, and be spontaneous and gestural.

  • Monotypes: Printmakers are falling in love with Pigment Sticks®. Anyone who has spent hours trying to mix colours with only nine or ten printmaking inks will find our palette of 91 colours 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 colourless Pigment Sticks® – essentially a stick without pigment. They can be worked into a colour to increase its transparency or to blend two colours 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 colours on the palette or in the painting.


The term “support” refers to the foundation, or backing, on which the actual painting surface (ground) is applied. Pigment Sticks® can be used on any ground suitable for use with traditional tube oil paint. Normally that means a sized canvas, panel, or paper. Ampersand’s Gessobord™ is ideal because of its dimensional stability. More absorbent surfaces like clay coated papers or Ampersand’s Encausticbord™ will cause the paint to dry faster and leave a matte finish that is preferable to some painters. When thoroughly dry, Pigment Sticks® can be varnished just as you would an oil painting.

Sizing: As in oil painting, all canvas and paper surfaces should be sized. To size, use one or two coats of acrylic gesso, acrylic medium, or PVA sizing. Other options include rabbit skin glue and shellac.

Grounds: Any ground (ie: gesso) suitable for traditional oil paint can be used with R&F Pigment Sticks®.

Recommended supports for Pigment Sticks® include: stretched canvas, paper, clay-coated paper, Ampersand’s Encausticbord™ or Gessobord™, plywood, or Masonite panels, copper, iron, aluminium, glass and Plexiglas.


R&F Pigment Sticks® are pure oil paint without filler, additives, or driers. Eliminating the need for solvents also makes using our Pigment Stick® safer. Some Pigment Sticks® contain pigments that are carcinogenic upon ingestion (breathing, eating, absorption through abrasions on skin). These pigments include: cadmiums, cobalt’s, and chromium oxides.

Linseed oil is flammable and it a key component to Pigment Sticks®. Rags and materials soaked with linseed oil and solvents may also smolder while drying. Using a metal waste can with a lid will reduce the risk of fire by smothering any potential flames. Pour water on trash and take it out regularly to lower the chance of fire.

Although pigment particles are too large to be absorbed through the pores in the skin, pigment can be absorbed through any abrasions on the skin. It is recommended that you use a barrier cream or gloves when working with Pigment Sticks®.

Do not eat, smoke, drink, or hold painting brushes and tools in your mouth while painting. Always wash your hands before doing any of these things if you have been working with Pigment Sticks®. Ventilation is not necessary unless solvents are being used with Pigment Sticks®. Many times, oils can replace solvents for cleaning and for mediums. We also recommend separated your studio space from living space to reduce long–term exposure to toxic artists materials.

Buy R&F Pigment Sticks online at Parkers Sydney Fine Art Supplies.


Shop the R&F Pigment Stick Collection at Parkers