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View Full Version : Do pastels ever get old and lose their freshness?


Alex1
10-03-2011, 01:53 PM
I found a set of Rembrandt soft pastels in the attic. They're probably 30 years old. Will they still function like new ones?

IMaybe
10-03-2011, 02:01 PM
:) Of course they will. Even if theyv'e been wet, then dried out or whatever-----they will. They are pure pigment, with a little binder---if dirty you can either gently vaccum then, or sotly bounce them in some ground rice or cornmeal. Try them out on some paper or something.

How many in the set?? A very wonderful find in my books!

DAK723
10-03-2011, 02:02 PM
They should as fine as far as I know. I have pastels that are close to 30 years old. It is possible that very extreme climatic conditions (like an attic) might change them, so I would give them a try.

Don

Alex1
10-03-2011, 02:07 PM
"How many in the set??"

It's a set of 30 full sticks, all fleshtones. Thank you both for the replies.

Colorix
10-03-2011, 02:12 PM
They should be absolutely fine. As they're mostly dry pigment, there's basically nothing that can go bad. (Unless they've gotten moist and mouldy.)

JPQ
10-03-2011, 03:40 PM
They should as fine as far as I know. I have pastels that are close to 30 years old. It is possible that very extreme climatic conditions (like an attic) might change them, so I would give them a try.

Don

Offtopic sorry about that but what kind hues are these oldies ? :)
ps. i also have coloured pencils which are over ten years old... funny thing even my first artist quality pnecils i have but i used some others to end. nad one reason is green which is fourth pencil what i buyed is usefull mainly when i mix. offtopic totally but i want tell reason why is this way.

Alex1
10-03-2011, 03:42 PM
"what kind hues are these oldies ?"

They are all flesh tones.

robertsloan2
10-03-2011, 06:16 PM
My Rembrandts were older than that and they work just as well as any new pastels. The set box looked like it came from the 1940s or at newest 1950s! Pastels don't go bad with time the way oil pastels sometimes do.

ironbrush
10-03-2011, 07:56 PM
Hi Alex...
I can tell you this about the pastels I currently have and use. My original pastels were a set of 48 Weber-Costello softies and was given to me, believe it or not, by my art teacher when I was in high school in 1964 (age 15). I don't think they are produced any more at least I haven't seen any around. I still have and use many of them although they are in much smaller pieces now. I also have a near full set of Nupastels since about 1970 of which I still use. I've never noticed a difference in the way they apply to a number of different papers/surfaces. I can tell you this though a couple pieces I have are a bit hard almost to the point of not leaving pigment. I loosely wrapped a few of those "hardened" pieces in a couple layers of paper towels and put them in a tightly closed container with a small dampened piece of sponge for a week. That seemed to help but a couple still have a hard spot. Every once in a while I have to swipe the side on a piece of 200 grit sandpaper to take that hard spot off again. Sooner of later I use those up.
40 - 45 year old pastels still work so yours should be fine. The color selection of newer sets are better and seem to be smoother by comparison.
Steven

JPQ
10-03-2011, 08:13 PM
and i almost sure new have wider selection becouse we have more pigments now.