View Full Version : pastel pencils less dusty?

12-22-2013, 05:39 PM
I used to work in soft pastel years ago, but left it behind because I developed asthma. I currently work in colored pencil and oil pastel (and I love both), but sometimes I desire the soft pastel.

If I worked on a smoother paper, would the pastel pencils be relatively dust free? I am thinking of the new softer Derwent, Carbs, Pitts,or Caran.


12-23-2013, 11:48 AM
They are definitely less dusty and I especially like the PITT Pastel pencils by Faber-Castell. You can even sharpen them in a hand or electric sharpener and the points don't break off. The only thing I find is that your painting ends up looking more like a drawing if you use just the pencils. So I combine my paintings with Pan Pastels. All the best!

12-23-2013, 03:50 PM
The least amount of loose dust you can get is, IMHO, using panpastels on Pastelmat.

The combination of paper and pastels or pencils plays a huge role in how much loose dust is generated. The really sandpapery papers (with grit on top of the glue/gesso) holds pigments better, plus Pastelmat, it is really good too.

I have asthma, and work on sandpaper and Pastelmat. I have one of those air purifiers with hepa filters, and I put it on when I brush off pigment, or rub pigment in. Otherwise I don't need it (as long as I keep the studio reasonably clean).

12-24-2013, 07:40 AM
I have problem with some brand pastels i think Rembrandt (but based only 3) is problematic for me but Schmincke and Unison is not. I also otherways like more these Schminckes and Unisons. i talk how they feel and their colour range. ps. i don have asthma or maybe i have but i dont know...

12-24-2013, 10:01 AM
Out of the pastel pencils I've tried, Conte seems the most dusty--I think the Pitt, Derwent and Carb-Othello have all been fairly light on the dust. Almost no dust with Caran d'Ache cubes and a little bit with NuPastel.

12-25-2013, 02:08 AM
Pastel pencils are quite a bit less dusty in my experience, any brand. Hard pastels are similar and less dusty than softer ones. Pan Pastels are the least dusty, although it's possible to get a little bit of loose dust in the pan itself if you dab it too many times and scrub it in heavily trying to pick up more color. I did that a few times and found that leaving it there, then picking it up on later strokes worked.

They work well in combination too.

01-02-2014, 10:20 AM
Thanks so much for your answers. I will think on this some more.

01-02-2014, 10:39 AM
Thanks so much for your answers. I will think on this some more.

01-14-2014, 04:52 PM
Im quite surprised you have had issues with your asthma & the pastels! Ive had asthma since I was a small boy but never once have seen any reaction from the pastels. Does it happen immediately? Or only after you've used them for a while? I could see fixative having an effect (i always spray outside & mostly infrequently) but im surprised about the pastels themselves.

01-14-2014, 10:56 PM
Dust has become less and less as I have learned to work with a lighter touch. When I first started, I was amazed at how much dust I created ...and how it landed everywhere!