PDA

View Full Version : pastel pencils


bytesniffer
03-22-2015, 10:55 AM
I have a electric pencil sharpener and it works really great.
Tried sharpening pastel pencils with razor and or manual pencil sharpener and lots of breakages. I want to buy conte of Paris pastel pencils but the say they are bigger and afraid they won't fit in my pencil sharpener.
Does anyone have these and do they fit in a regular pencil sharpener ?
Thanks :wave:

Grinner
03-22-2015, 12:06 PM
Hello! If you are getting breakage, it may be because the pencils have been dropped. So first, if you do get the new set, remember to be careful not to let them or their container take any falls :)

Meanwhile, the only sharpening method that has worked well for me is using a blade - sharpeners just tend to twist off and break the pastel in the pencil, in my experience, since it's far softer than the graphite or colored pencils that they were designed to sharpen. Have you seen this approach (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1317328)? It made a big difference for me. Good luck!

TBuneaux
03-22-2015, 12:28 PM
What brand of electric sharpener do you have? I really don't like the one I have and would like to find a better one. I have a few Conte pencils and they are a little big bigger than the other brands. I don't know if they would fit in your sharpener but I have to use the larger hole in the manual sharpeners I have.

bytesniffer
03-22-2015, 02:23 PM
I have a Panasonic regular electric sharpener
Currently I'm using stabilo pastel pencils and it is so easy to put one in and sharpen it to fine point in a second. But conti pencils I believe are better quality but don't know it they are two fat. New sharpener is like 50 to 90 bucks for new one . I was just wondering if anyone was using them
And if you had to buy sharpener that can take larger pencil.I don't want to sharpen by hand.

Mamalynn
03-22-2015, 07:36 PM
Hi bytesniffer--I have a set of Contes and I love them but they do they not fit a regular sharpener. I bought a multipoint sharpener to use with them but honestly I have some difficulty even with that, although they do fit in the sharpener. I tend to use a knife to sharpen. It takes a while and some patience. Lynn

robertsloan2
03-23-2015, 02:29 AM
I have the Multipoint hand crank sharpener from Jerry's Artarama. I love it. It's the gentlest for pastel pencils and very soft colored pencils. I don't have the patience or hand strength for blade sharpening and so I prefer the crank sharpener.

However little hand held ones will work if the blade is fresh. Blick finally started stocking pencil sharpener blades so the little hand held ones are good when taking the pencils with for sketching outdoors. Any hand sharpener with a wide hole works OK for pastel pencils while new, children's cheap ones are just fine. Switch the blade from the normal hole into the wide hole wen it starts to slow down and not be as super easy as using a new one is.

Internal breakage happens when pencils are dropped. It's worth the money to invest in a good sturdy case with elastic bands holding pencils in. I bought Global Classic leather cases for a long time but the inexpensive Niji pencil wraps seem to be doing well for my Stabilo ones. I'm careful not to drop the roll or have more than one pencil out at once.

Multipoint Professional sharpener does handle extra wide pencils like Conte pastel pencils or Derwent Artist and others like that. It's handy that way and lets me customize the point shape too. Only sharpener that actually gives me a long narrow point on a pastel pencil, great for things like signing ATC cards or doing tiny cat whiskers or something.

For a white though, General's White Charcoal Pencil is absolutely the brightest softest most opaque white. I'd use that for white accents and sketching on dark papers. I bought a dozen of those to get bulk discount and to not run out of them.

bytesniffer
03-23-2015, 09:50 AM
Thanks for all the info
I have only used the stabilo chalk based pastels so wanted to try another brand and I have to order sharpener with pencils. I cant handle doing it by hand to impatient.
:wave:

GaryNorthants
03-23-2015, 08:06 PM
Use a knife then sandpaper to sharpen to a chisel edge. That way you get 2 points, a fine edge and a nice wider side to use to vary strokes :)

Grinner
03-23-2015, 09:09 PM
Use a knife then sandpaper to sharpen to a chisel edge. That way you get 2 points, a fine edge and a nice wider side to use to vary strokes :)
Ooh, a chisel edge. That's a great idea! I might have to try that. Thanks :)

JustinM
07-29-2015, 04:48 PM
I have a electric pencil sharpener and it works really great.
Tried sharpening pastel pencils with razor and or manual pencil sharpener and lots of breakages. I want to buy conte of Paris pastel pencils but the say they are bigger and afraid they won't fit in my pencil sharpener.
Does anyone have these and do they fit in a regular pencil sharpener ?
Thanks :wave:

Digging up an old thread here but I just wanted to chime in on the Contes.

I have found that basically NO sharpeners will work for an extended period of time with them. Its such a shame because they are easily my favourite brand of pastel pencils but they are just so tough / time consuming to sharpen. Mostly I use Bruynzeel now because of how easily they sharpen (I use an electric sharpener & have been using the same one, flawlessly for nearly a year now with no issues).

The conte's as others noted, are large, so they dont fit in most sharpeners (you need an 11 or 12mm hole). But the problem doesnt end there. I actually think the issue is the wood casing. I am not sure if they use a different type of wood, or a different process but no matter what i try, they kill the blades:

- Standard electric sharpener (with large holes) i have been able to get a couple of weeks out of one & then they dull and are useless. Not a cheap fix.
Plus there were usually issues with breakage.

- Multipoint sharpener - sharpens them absolutely beautifully. But they will kill the blade. Tried all sorts of things but no matter what i do, eventually it becomes dull from the Contes. I have about 6 of these now (got them on a blowout at Jerrys for like $9 each) but use them sparingly as they dont last long against the contes

- M + R brass pencil sharpener - these work very well. Time consuming. The blades normally need to be changed every 25 - 50 contes. This is not a problem as blades are dirt cheap but no matter what is use (german blades, cheap chinese ones) they all seem to wear out within that number of sharpens. When i remove the old (dull) blade i can see a noticeable "dent" and dull area where the contes make contact.


So, in closing, ive yet to find anything that can stand up to the contes. If and when I do i think i'll go back to them as my pastel pencil of choice but for now I use them sparingly with the Bruynzeel as the primary when i use pastel pencils.

Mike L
07-30-2015, 08:51 AM
... no matter what i try, they kill the blades:



Probably not the wood (most likely cedar), but the pastel and binder together. Soft pastels are dry - pigment and binder - so act like fine abrasive against the steel of the blades grinding away the metal.

R/Mike

JustinM
07-30-2015, 11:12 PM
Probably not the wood (most likely cedar), but the pastel and binder together. Soft pastels are dry - pigment and binder - so act like fine abrasive against the steel of the blades grinding away the metal.

R/Mike

Yeah im not sure Mike. its definitely something in the conte's specifically as i have zero trouble with any other brand. but you're probably right its some binder or other in those contes that does a number on the blades. A shame.

robertsloan2
07-31-2015, 03:07 AM
Thanks for the warning. I love my Multipoint, only have one, and if Conte's will kill it, then I won't use it for those. It takes fat pencils easily and choked a couple of times on a pastel pencil point getting stuck but I got it out and it was fine. Same as when that happened to an electric.

Lizzy57
01-28-2018, 12:53 AM
A few years back you mentioned a pastel pencil sharpener prototype you were working on. Did that come to fruition? thanks!

robertsloan2
01-28-2018, 08:50 PM
I don't remember that. But I did and do use General's Little Red All-Art sharpeners with fat pencils and the Conte would fit them as easily as my Derwent Artist fat pencils or any other fat-pencil brand. Some electric sharpeners don't have a problem with fat pencils. A way to try it would be to get one pencil that size, run it through and see what happens.

Personally, while I can see the benefits of knife sharpening pastel pencils and shaping the point, my disabilities give me problems with actually doing it. I don't have the hand strength to do it well, had problems cutting the wood. This is also why I do not do wood carvings at all though that may change if I get big enough pieces of balsa. These are personal limits and I found them out the hard way, trial and error.