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Old 12-27-2009, 05:59 AM
Lexycat Lexycat is offline
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Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

Hi to all,

I haven't posted here before, usually hang out in the Coloured Pencil forum. I've just started using Pastel Pencils, and while really enjoying using them, trying to sharpen them is driving me crazy I'm so used to a battery operated sharpener for my wax pencils but this doesn't work for the pastel pencils, I'm alternating between using a craft knife and razor blades, but apart from being messy with shavings flying everywhere, its impossible to get a sharp point without them breaking. I know there are sharpeners out there advertised as being for pastel pencils, I've heard mixed reports, so if anyone knows of one that actually works I would just love you forever
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:37 AM
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Colorix Colorix is offline
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

Hi there, (love your line in the signature, it is so true for me too).

In Pastel Talk forum (where I think this post will be moved to), I used the "search this forum" tool, entered "sharpener", and found amongst others this thread.

And here is a tutorial on how to sharpen with a knife (keeping control of the process), scroll down a bit to page 9 and you'll get to it.

Charlie
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:18 AM
Lexycat Lexycat is offline
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

Thanks very much for the helpful reply - oops sorry if I posted in wrong place!
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:30 AM
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Devonlass Devonlass is offline
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

Lexycat - did you see the posting immediately above this one which gives lots of info on sharpeners.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:53 AM
Lexycat Lexycat is offline
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

I did, thank you, I'll see what's available online in Uk. Thank you, I'm feeling hopeful.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:55 AM
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

For my conte, pastel, and charcoal pencils (sometimes color pencils), I use the General brand pencil sharpener. It's a little plastic thing (normally has a small hole and a large hole). Usually when you go to the art supply store they have the little hand held metal/silver ones. Somewhere in the vicinity should be a little red (or sometimes black) sharpener. I've never had broken lead with it.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:23 AM
Lexycat Lexycat is offline
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

Thanks, I'll try those coloured ones - not much point spending a lot on a sharpener for pastel pencils, as I dont think from what I've read they work for too long
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:03 PM
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

Best sharpener I have for that is the cheap little red General's one for 99 cents on Dickblick.com. No kidding, it's great.
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:53 PM
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

I read through hundreds of posts on sharpeners. came down to a cheapo handheld thing and an xacto knife. :-( terribly fragile things these pencils...
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:48 PM
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Potoma Potoma is offline
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

I use the big orange ones you get at Home Depot.

I remember hearing years ago to freeze make up pencils for them to sharpen better. Anybody every tried with with pastel or colored pencils?
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:21 PM
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

This is one of the saddest things about working in pastel pencil. I have tried them all, from the cheap to the semi-expensive...even a $40 electric sharpener eventually gummed up, jammed up, and stopped working - after only a few weeks.

I find that the best sharpener is the little metal one that comes with the 2 pack of Generals white pastel pencils. Easy to find, even Michaels carries them. And I always need those pencils, they have a good hard texture, great for detail, I use them both with soft pastel works and charcoal work. I wish generals sold them in bulk, because even they do not stay sharp for long, not with the constant sharpening necessary with pastel pencils.

Oh, and I have used the generals red plastic sharpener too. Another good one.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:40 PM
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???



A couple of things that has been helpful for me:
Have a separate sharper for each type of pencil you shapen, I have one I keep just for graphite, a different one for colored pencils, one for my conte pencils, and yet another for my pastel pencils. It may seem strange, but switching back and forth there are some materials that build up and react with other materials.
Another, that is especially helpful with pastel pencils, but applies to all hand held sharpeners: You have to hold the pencil and the sharpener straight with each other. If you tips a little it puts a lot of pressure on the pastel/lead etc. and it will snap easily.

Also, make sure you use the kind that you can replace the blades on. A dull blade will put too much pressure on the pastel/lead etc.

The Derwent pencil company of the UK has a nice little bit on their web site
about sharpening. They say that a good sharp blade will produce a nice continuous curl of the wood. If you are getting lots of little chips instead, your blade is dull.

Happy Sharpening and Painting!
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:00 AM
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

Elisie, that is a good idea, having the seperate sharpeners. I tend to have several laying around, and just grab whichever is handy for whatever I am sharpening. Not being very organized, I will have to label them, but I think I will try your advice.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:42 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???



Just have to come back in here with my little discovery today:
I was painting away and needed to have one of my pastel pencils very, very sharp and pointy for a very delicate line.My sharpener worked sort of well, but I still needed it finer. Rats, I could not lay my hands on a sandpaper paddle....not to break the moment in the middle of the painting, I looked around. There on the shelf was a "stinker", one of those paintings that just did not work out...it was on Wallis paper...awh! I grabbed it, using a space that had very little pastel on it (the Wallis paper) I used it to get the point I needed! So....you know that to do with that scrap of sanded paper, keep it handy!
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:34 PM
Lexycat Lexycat is offline
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Re: Sharpener that works for Pastel Pencils???

Lots of good info in this thread - thanks everyone who replied, its harder to get supplies here, we dont have a Dick Blick and pencil art is not big, so far the safety razor blades work best, but would prefer a sharpener, have ordered the little Derwent ones from my local art shop, will see.......
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