View Full Version : Making your own Soft Pastels

09-11-2013, 11:05 AM
Hey Everyone

I have just embarked on making my own pastels, so far I have used pure Sennelier dry powder pigments mixed with Gum Tragacanth and gotten some very good results. I have some Precipitated Chalk on order and Im going to use that next in the mix.

My question is is Precipitated chalk the ingredient needed for making pure soft and creamy pastels. I want to make soft and creamy ones that blend really well.

Please share your knowledge and experiences here as I would love to know.

09-13-2013, 12:36 PM
Hello Gazsta, welcome to the Soft Pastel Forum! (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814221) Click on the url for use useful information about using the Pastel forum.

It might help if you did a search to find Making your own Soft Pastels
as there have been a few threads on this in the past.
Should bring up a few! Hope that helps! I just checked it myself and came up with this one (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=596545&highlight=making+soft+pastels) From there you should get the links to the other threads:D Good hunting!

09-20-2013, 03:02 AM
Hi Gazsta

Having recently embarked on a similar journey, your post has my head swimming with the information I learn't and all the different permutations I tried. In short I found the best for myself is 2/3 chalk to 1/3 Talc as a Base mix to the same amount of pigment for what may be termed a full Tint, and a 50/50 Base and Titanium White mix to an equal quantity of the Full tint for a 50% Tint etc. on down through the tints. Although the base mix does slightly lighten the pigment using Titanium white is preferable to get the best range of lighter tints.
[I also use a 75%chalk/25%Kaolin (China clay) for a completely different feel Pastel, not Sennelier like at all.]
Different pigments require different concentrations of gum tragacanth and it is still slightly hit and miss for me at present so not much help there. Also I think I was initially creating some stress fractures by overworking them when forming them into sticks. Both square and round so don't be too concerned with with perfection, they'll still work. lol.
Hope thats a start if I typed better I'd write more and I'm pretty sure I don't have the links to the pages I found on the net. though I might have some copies of the most usable I could e-mail.
Cheers it's rewarding

09-21-2013, 12:25 PM
This is fascinating. I love reading about it when anyone's inventing their own pastels. Some of my favorite brands emerged because an artist experimented that way and came up with a unique texture and range of handmade pastels.