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View Full Version : Faber-Castell Polychromos?


Tigrrrl
10-03-2008, 06:30 PM
HiÖIím new to this particular forum, and I hope Iím posting this question in the right place.

How would you describe the working properties of Faber-Castell Polychromos Pastels? Are they similar to Conte crayons, NuPastels, or neither? And how do they stack up against Cretacolor?

(Iíve been away from art for a while. I used Nups 10 or 15 years ago, but they generated a hideous amount of dustóand Iíve got respiratory issues. :crying: From there, I moved on to Sakura Nouvel Carre Pastelsóa lot less dusty that the Nups, but I donít think you can even buy those in the US any more. Also experiment with oil pastels, but still get the urge to use conventional pastels from time to time.)

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this topic. :cat:

Colorix
10-03-2008, 06:37 PM
Hi and welcome!

Have no input on the pastels, but on respiratory issues. I use a mask, one of those soft folded surgical ones, in order to not develop any problems. Feels a bit foolish in the beginning, but soon becomes second nature. And I do remember to remove it before opening the front door... ;-D Dirty painting-clothes, yes. Mask, no!

Charlie

robertsloan2
10-04-2008, 02:05 AM
I haven't tried those, but I might sometime. I like my Nupastels and I love my colored Conte crayons. Those are a little less dusty than even Nupastels, have you tried those? I found even the tiny 12 color set mixes well, surprisingly well given how neon bright the colors are.

Donna T
10-04-2008, 09:18 AM
I have been replacing my NuPastels with the Poly's since I learned here that the NuPastels aren't very lightfast. Some colors, the reds and violets I think, are very fugitive (I think that's the term.) While I miss my NuPastels I'm real happy so far with the Poly's. They seem to be very similar in feel to the NuPastels and cover the paper very well. I like knowing that they won't fade and think it's worth the price difference.

Donna

Studio-1-F
10-04-2008, 10:44 AM
They seem to be very similar in feel to the NuPastels and cover the paper very well.
I agree with Donna and I would add that (in my experience) Polychromos are almost identical to NuPastels in their level of dustiness, but neither is very dusty at all (at least compared to the standard softies). You might want to look into the Conte hard pastels, although I can't find any place in this hemisphere that sells them individually. Just the sets. (http://www.dickblick.com/zz202/01/)

Jan

ElsieH
10-04-2008, 11:34 AM
:wave:

I think of NuPastels and PolyChr. as being very similar in feel and hardness.
I'm gradually shifting to the Polychr. for the reasons stated about color permance.

On the dustiness issues:
I'd say wear a mask, also stick to the harder pastels and away from the softest. But, somehow that means not being able to use all those wonderful pastels like Unison, Terry Ludwig, Great American etc.
If you really get back into pastels, consider one of those airfilter machines.

Here is another idea: try Oil Pastels! They are quite different than the "soft" pastels, but they have no dust involved.

Dougwas
10-04-2008, 01:06 PM
I find that the Polys give off very little dust. I think the amount of dust produced by any pastel stick has alot to do with the type of paper you are using. Canson gives off more dust that Wallis. With more tooth the Wallis keeps the pastel where it belongs. (mostly)

I am curious about the new Richeson Semi-Hard pastels. Dakota has them on sale. Dakota says they are slightly softer than NuPastels but at less than a dollar each I might have to try them out. The only problem is they only come in sets. Maybe individual stick will be available later.

Doug

robertsloan2
10-04-2008, 08:00 PM
Jan, those are the color Conte ones that I have! I love those. Their texture is just right, and the colors are so bright... but mix so well when I want to mute them down. They are handy when I want to work small too. It's the first dry medium where I use a 12 color set regularly without whining and wishing I had more colors at hand.

Rusla
10-04-2008, 08:16 PM
I love my Faber-Castell's they are a little like Conte. Nu Pastels I hate they are so very hard. I also have some Stabilo's so I use Conte, Castell, Stabilo for the pencils.

Randi-Lee

Studio-1-F
10-05-2008, 11:39 AM
Jan, those are the color Conte ones that I have! I love those. Their texture is just right, and the colors are so bright... but mix so well when I want to mute them down. They are handy when I want to work small too. It's the first dry medium where I use a 12 color set regularly without whining and wishing I had more colors at hand.
I disagree!!! I liked my twelve color set a lot too! And I wanted more. But when I discovered that I couldn't buy them individually anywhere (http://jeanvincent.com/contecrayons3.htm) (at least that I could find) I decided to ween myself off of them.

This marketing decision by Contť is unfortunate, if you ask me. I suppose that they just decided that among them the Polychromos, Cretacolor, and NuPastels market share was just too huge and daunting for them to commit serious resources to attacking. Too bad, 'cause their product is great. Guess they sell enough of the sanguine to keep them comfortably afloat.

(I wonder if we can assume that they use the same recipes for their pastel pencils (http://fineartstore.com/Catalog/tabid/365/List/1/CategoryID/9562/Level/a/Default.aspx). If so, maybe we just go with those.)

Jan

robertsloan2
10-05-2008, 05:34 PM
I've been tempted by their pastel pencils and may try some in order to compare them. I'm not as concerned about replacement colors, since the ones in the small sets get used pretty evenly. I use white a lot, but white is one of the colors I can get separately. I change subjects so often and do florals and brights paintings so often that I'm not as worried about separate stick replacements.

But you're right, it is a unfortunate marketing decision. There's no place in the USA that I know of that carries them individually either, and the range of 48 isn't the range they sell in France. Heh, if I ever get a European vacation I may stock up on those.

What would be cool if they're going to do it that way would be if they did more color-themed small sets, like blues, or reds and oranges, the way some pastel companies have a dozen varieties of themed small sets you can get.

Tigrrrl
10-08-2008, 01:21 AM
Thanks, everyone, for all the good information--lots to think about before I go placing any orders. Robert, I almost forgot about some Conte crayons that were included in a sketching set I bought--I'll have to spend some time with those. :thumbsup: And Charlie, I love your comment about not answering the door in a surgical mask :lol: (although it might serve to scare off the door-to-door salespeople!) Again, my thanks to all who volunteered information......Linda :cat:

knippes
10-09-2008, 01:11 PM
Hi Linda,
You've gotten a lot of great advice here. I just wanted to add that I purchased an air filtration unit at Home Depot for around $100.00 and it seems to help me a lot. I get pretty good headaches from the dust if I don't use it, but they seem to be pretty much under control when I used the system. But, I do paint in a small bedroom, so keep in mind that the unit has to be properly sized for the room.
-Kym