View Full Version : anyone tried faber-castell pastels?

Lisa Fiore
03-04-2008, 06:29 PM
Hi! I've been using faber-castell pastel pencils and love them, so I thought I'd finally try the regular pastel sticks. When I saw the prices of most of the brands, I nearly fell over, so I ordered a set of f-c soft pastels which were very affordable. (I'm a stay-at-home mom and I love to draw/paint when I can find the time, but it was hard for me to justify spending so much on pastels--especially if I turn out to be terrible at it!!) Since ordering, I've been reading on here about how important it is to have good quality pastels, as light fastness is an issue with the cheaper brands, etc. Well, my new f-c pastels came today, and while I'm excited to try them, I'm wondering if my paintings will fade away because the quality of the pastels is not good? What should I have ordered? I've been learning so much on this site and really appreciate others' advice/experience. Thanks so much!!

Merethe T
03-04-2008, 06:58 PM
Faber Castells are a good buy, good quality and good prices...I've been using them for several years, and all my paintings looks just as bright and rich as they did when I painted them. FC's are still workhorses for me - no need to worry in other words!

As for other brands - a matter of style and personal taste...I love Terry Ludwigs, GA's, Giraults and Unisons...others will have other opinions. FC's are a good start, and as soon as your hooked you'll have a great time testing other brands...;)


03-04-2008, 07:03 PM
Hi Elizabeth, I have a full set of FC pastel pencils, and also a full set of FC Polychromos pastels and I like them both a lot. If you have bought the FC polychromos pastels, then you won't have any lightfastness issues but I'm not so sure about the Goldfaber pastels, in a blue box, I think. The latter, I believe, are student quality and won't be so lightfast, nor so rich in colour pigment. Having said that, they are probably ok to begin with. FCs tend to be a harder soft pastel compared with many others, but I usually start a painting with my polychromos, and use softer brands to finish with. I haven't painted for a very long time now, but hope to change that situation very soon! Enjoy the pastels you have now, but be warned!, they are very addictive, and you will want to keep buying more!
Best wishes, Dave

03-04-2008, 07:15 PM
Elizabeth, the FC Goldfaber pastels are a student grade of pastel, and therefore are limited in their range of values and color selection. However, they are also a very good price for quality, and since you are at the beginning of learning to use soft pastels I think you will be happy using them. The Goldfaber selection is a lot softer than the polychromes, and work very nicely in layering one over the other to produce new colors and values. It just so happens I suggest to anyone wanting to try soft pastels, but not spend too much money that they buy the whole FC Goldfaber set. They will hold their color longer than you will want those "first attempts" to stay around, and remind you in years to come just how far you've advanced in your knowledge and expertise! :o


Lisa Fiore
03-04-2008, 07:54 PM
Thanks so much--I feel much better about my purchase now!! :D

03-04-2008, 10:20 PM
I have not just the full set of sticks but pencils too of the FC's. However, I am fickle. I have fallen in love with Pan Pastels and fear I may never go back to my sticks. Don't get me wrong of all the dusty pastels that come in stick form and pencil, I love the FC's most of all. I guess I should not neglect them so and go and use them again it is just I can't seem to walk away from my Pans.


03-07-2008, 10:30 AM
Yes and I love them, but have only a box of 72 half sticks the range of color is great. Wish they were full sticks.

03-07-2008, 05:19 PM
I was interested to see that some people are able to work with these, as I have found them not at all usable. I have found that they leave a spotty, grainy, flecked layer of pastel down on any surface (kind of like cheap brown watercolour paint sometimes does), and also don't seem to either blend, or layer, or combine in broken colour successfully, going kind of muddy. I have some other brands that are even cheaper which work much much better.

I have two boxes of 48 half sticks, the first one I bought myself and tried, the second I unfortunately received as a gift and haven't even touched. If anyone has any suggestions for ways to make these usable I'd be glad to hear them, although I can't imagine what that might be.

Elizabeth, hopefully you have found that you like them, but if not don't be put off of trying other cheap brands. In any case, the pastels won't fade that quickly and if you are new to pastels and cost conscious, using expensive materials can put you off of experimenting or practicing, and you end up not using them that much anyway. Better to do paintings that eventually fade, then end up not doing many at all. Anyway good luck and enjoy!


03-07-2008, 07:22 PM
A 72 box of half sticks set was my first set of pastels. I refered to them as (fondly) El Cheapos and was able to do some decent work with them. Are they as good as Artis grade, no. Nor do they cost anywhere near as much. They are however a lot better than the bulk of what you will find in a craft store. The biggest difference I've noticed is they don't have as much pigment and don't lay down quite a creamy. If I was starting out all over again, I'd probably buy them again. To try the medium I don't think you can beat the value they offer.