View Full Version : Pan Pastels

07-05-2014, 08:17 PM
I'm a newbie and have just spent a couple of hours browsing. I'm looking for any/all info/advice about pan pastels. I tried searching for pan pastels but came up empty. Any advice on where to look?

07-05-2014, 08:52 PM
Oh boy, have you come to the right place. Try these two monster threads:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=455375 (old thread)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=455375 (new thread)

Fantastic demo by Deborah Secor:


Also search Youtube for more demos, as well as the PanPastel site itself.

07-06-2014, 01:49 AM
Pan Pastels are popular in this forum. I've got the full range set and have posted heavily in both of the big monster threads. They're clean, convenient, mix like paint, nicely opaque but you can sometimes get some transparency if you go lightly on a surface. Also cheaper in the sets than individually and the sets come with the Sofft tools that really are the best thing to apply them. They are not the same as similar looking cosmetic sponges and applicators, different sponge formula.

We're almost getting to where a new monster thread would be a good idea.

07-07-2014, 10:28 PM

Thanks so much for the extremely helpful reply. I'm sure I'll eventually get used to the search function here, but you have surely saved me significant time.

All the best to you.....

07-07-2014, 10:31 PM

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the info and look forward to any new threads.

07-12-2014, 12:04 PM

I noticed that the two links you provided are identical. Is there a second one?


07-12-2014, 12:27 PM
Oh, I'm sorry, thanks for pointing out the mistake! Here is the link for the second thread:


07-12-2014, 03:40 PM
Hi Saskia,
I hope this doesn't double post, I just hit a wrong key :D

I'm probably in the minority, but I find pan pastels a bit redundant. I usually use my Ludwigs and a fingertip or tool in the same way. Plus, Ludwigs mix wonderfully with water. I don't find the pans quite dense enough, but like I said, probably in the minority. I'd start with a couple and see how you like them? :confused:
Pans or no, happy painting!

07-12-2014, 04:28 PM

Oh, I have tried the pans, and although I've seen wonderful things done with them, like you I prefer stick pastels. I was just telling starku where to find the threads.

I actually sold all my Pans, realizing I would rather spend my time improving my skills with the sticks. I didn't see them as redundant, necessarily, since to me they seemed to be a different entity, but I thought they would bring a whole new learning curve that I didn't want to commit to.

It is interesting, though, that you say you use Ludwigs in much the same way.

07-12-2014, 10:15 PM
Oops, that post (mine) was meant for starku. My apologies Saskia!

But yeah, I just started working with combinations of pastel/gouache and pastel/watercolor, and found that some brands are more water solvent than others, although most will eventually dissolve. Ludwigs are particularly nice for this!

07-13-2014, 02:26 AM
Chuas, thanks for the tip about Ludwigs.

I love my Pans and treat them as what they are: another type of pastels, another form of pastels. I also love my pastel pencils, hard sticks, different brands and am looking forward to a set of Townsends. But then I don't think of any artist grade pastel as redundant. There's usually something cool about it even if it's a color I used to hate and a texture hard to handle until I find its favorite paper.

Even cheap student pastels have uses, pavement painting among them.

Best way to try a few cheap: the small Painters sets.

5 Color Painters is get five for cost of about three?

10 Painters is a complete minimum palette and an excellent portable plein air palette, with or without tray.

20 Painters is the full range of pigments without convenience colors and easily upgraded to the full set.

6 Metallics are really great for metallics and could be used to do flat metallic areas with sticks, or a couple of those like silver and light gold could be used with sticks to see if you like handling them. The colors blend well and they handle like the other Pan Pastels.

I saw paintings in a Pastel Journal article where the artist gold leafed backgrounds around pastel painted realistic shells and other subjects. They were gorgeous and I wanted to get effects like that. Also Deborah Secor did a great hummingbird on flat gold background done with TroCol bronzing powder. Metallic Pans are a bit cheaper and as bright as the TroCol light gold I got in Arkansas.

SAS Designs
07-15-2014, 12:31 PM
Tremendous advantage for people with any problems like asthma, the pan pastels produce MUCH less dust.

07-15-2014, 11:26 PM
Agreed, and they're light on cleanup as long as you keep a roll of paper towels handy to clean sponges on. Just bunch up the used ones and toss them. It does take actual paper towels. I experimented using cloth diapers for cleanup and they didn't work as well, shed fibers onto the sponges.

07-16-2014, 05:04 PM
Chuas, thanks for the tip about Ludwigs.

I love my Pans and treat them as what they are: another type of pastels, another form of pastels.

:lol: A true pastel devotee never met a pastel they didn't like! I bow to you, Robert!

07-18-2014, 01:32 PM
I'll second that, Chaus! :)