View Full Version : Organizing Pastels

Marilyn Ann
01-06-2018, 02:20 PM
I started this post but somehow lost it so here it is again. Bear with me if you receive it twice.

I have sorted my pastels! I like seeing them all lined up ready to use.

Two things I have learned:
Sorting has been a good exercise is discerning differences in hue and value and I am more aware of the colors I am using most frequently.


I had lots of pastels left over. I read where pastels can be placed in a bag with cornmeal to keep them clean. So I put my extras of like color in plastic bags with cornmeal. Was this a good idea? How often should I
change the cornmeal?


01-06-2018, 03:32 PM
It's a good idea storing in bags with cornmeal, or using bags with cornmeal to clean them. You won't have to change the cornmeal for years and years. Don't let water get in the bags and they're fine. If you see bugs in the bags, change the cornmeal because bugs are disgusting.

That is a really effective way to clean pastels and I had the same Tupperware box full of corn meal and pastels for five years for cleaning, repeatedly cleaned all my pastels with it, still didn't use it up.

It may help to take the labels off the pastels to see their colors truer in the tray though. Good sorting arrangement, value and hue. It is a lot easier to see which ones you use often or use up faster - which isn't always the same thing. A stick that's used often but only for highlights will wear down slower than one that's used in large areas when it gets used.

The more variations in hue and value you have, the slower all pastels wear down. It just worked that way for me. I don't worry about replacing sticks, since I have so many that are similar except for texture and brand, when one gets really low it might be a discontinued antique anyway. But there are lots more in current brands.

Marilyn Ann
01-08-2018, 12:47 PM
Taking the wrappers off really did make it easier to see the color. Some of them crumbled though, but I can still make good use of them.

Thanks so much for your input.

01-10-2018, 10:06 AM
Cornmeal makes a great pastel bath!
I changed out my cornmeal a few weeks ago actually, but it didn't need changing for a couple of years. I replaced it with cream of wheat because that's what I had in the pantry. :)

Save all the silica gel packets you get in other products- I store 2 of these in the pastel bath, however I do not store pastels in the bath. I keep them in various boxes- some in the set boxes they came in, and 2 dakota traveller boxes. I keep my extras/duplicates in an old large sennelier half-stick box so I can see them and use them.

You might enjoy putting your extras in boxes and making your own custom sets. This way they will be better protected then in ziplock bags.

Also, your sticks laid out nicely in the pic are all very beautiful.