We stock a range of artists soft Pastels and Oil pastels Including:

Rembrandt Artists Soft Pastels (partial range only > going out of stock)

Faber Castell Polychromos Artists Pastels (partial range only, includes colours from original 120 colour range > going out of stock)

Schmincke Soft Artists Pastels (partial range only > going out of stock)

Conte Pastels including sketch range

Faber-Castell PITT Pastels pencils are available individually

Plus a range of mid-priced sets of pastels (oil based, water-soluble wax, soft acrylic etc)

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Pastel sticks or crayons consist of pure powdered pigment combined with a binder. The exact composition and characteristics of an individual pastel stick depends on the type of pastel and the type and amount of binder used. It also varies by individual manufacturer.

Dry pastels have historically used binders such as gum arabic and gum tragacanthMethyl cellulose was introduced as a binder in the twentieth century. Often a chalk or gypsum component is present. They are available in varying degrees of hardness, the softer varieties being wrapped in paper. Some pastel brands use pumice in the binder to abrade the paper and create more tooth.

Dry pastel media can be subdivided as follows:

  • Soft pastels: This is the most widely used form of pastel. The sticks have a higher portion of pigment and less binder, resulting in brighter colors. The drawing can be readily smudged and blended, but it results in a higher proportion of dust. Finished drawings made with soft pastels require protecting, either framing under glass or spraying with a fixative to prevent smudging; Hairspray also works. White chalk may be used as a filler in producing pale and bright hues with greater luminosity.[2]
  • Pan Pastels invented in the past few years are formulated with a minimum of binder in flat compacts like women’s makeup and applied with special Sofft micropore sponge tools. No liquid is involved. Pan Pastels can be used for the entire painting or in combination with soft and hard sticks.
  • Hard pastels: These have a higher portion of binder and less pigment, producing a sharp drawing material that is useful for fine details. These can be used with other pastels for drawing outlines and adding accents. Hard pastels are traditionally used to create the preliminary sketching out of a composition.[3] However, the colors are less brilliant and are available in a restricted range in contrast to soft pastels.
  • Pastel pencils: These are pencils with a pastel lead. They are useful for adding fine details.


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