View Full Version : Want to buy pastels...but which ones to buy?

07-09-2008, 10:26 PM
Hi all,
I'm planning (or hoping) to invest in some pastels and give them a go. I have almost no experience with them, but I think if I had a quality set, I'd love them. The latest I bought were Pentel oil pastels. I saw them (a set of 10) at a garage sale for $1.00! They were nicer to work with than any I aleady own. I figure that if they impressed me, the really good ones must be amazing. My question is...What type of pastels? Oil? Soft? And I know there are others that I don't even know the name of.
I have an annual Dick Blick catalogue, and feel excited to see so many brands and shapes of pastels, but am, at the same time, overwhelmed by the variety. Any input would be great! Thanks!
By the way, I am looking for pastels that have that very fluid paint-like appearence, but I don't really want to use turpintine...I have a headache problem and the use of oil paints is difficult because their strong odors worsen my headaches. I would love to capture the look of paint, and pastels do look that way.
Hopefully that all made sense! Thanks for taking a minute to read my problem!:)

07-09-2008, 11:36 PM
I would like to say that for me the two I like the best are soft pastels they are Terry Ludwigs and schmincke. but don't forget it's not just the pastels it is also the type of paper you use as well. I like the canson MI and the colorfix sanded paper, and have yet to try the Wallis which is top of the line.

Deborah Secor
07-10-2008, 01:37 AM
Hey Jenna, the difference between soft and oil pastels is pretty major. You might want to check out the Oil Pastels Forum (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=-1&f=393)and see if that appeals to you more than soft pastels. The difference is this: think dusty pastels that are dry (Soft Pastels) or pastels that behave a little more like paint (Oil Pastels)

Oil pastels (OPs) are made from powdered pigments, wax, and non-drying mineral oil.

If you want to try soft pastels, you might consider buying a Dakota Pastels Sampler. (http://www.dakotapastels.com/soft_dakota.shtml)

Hope that helps you...


07-10-2008, 09:04 AM
Hi there, yes, oil pastels and soft pastels (dry pastels) are different. Both would work well with your headaches, if you stay away from solvents with the oil pastels (you can dissolve them and paint with brushes). With soft pastels, you can apply water or alcohol, if you want to brush the dust around.

Soft (dry) pastels have the greatest range of colours, much larger than the oil pastels.

People produce outstanding paintings with both oilies and softies.

Both have to (usually) be framed behind glass.

It is *way* easier to layer and blend soft pastels.

Hope this is of some use to you,

07-10-2008, 12:48 PM
Great info! Thanks, everyone!