Originally Posted by Nalatu
What is the difference in performance between white charcoal pencils and white pastel pencils? From what I've read, they're basically the same thing- titanium white pigment mixed with a clay binder. Are they also the same in texture and handling? Do they both blend easily on toned paper? Is one smoother than the other or less likely to lose its point?
I ask because the local art store doesn't sell any open stock pastel pencils, but they do have some packs of white charcoal pencils. I want to know if I can get by with the white charcoal or if it's better to wait until my next online order to get the pastel.
If you are referring to General's "White Charcoal" pencils - they are made of Calcium Carbonate and a binder inside a wooden (cedar) sheath. There is zero titanium white pigment in these pencils. There is zero charcoal in them ( I have never seen white charcoal so the name seems ill advised - but it's been that way for 20 years or more so.. there you go!)
White pastel - like nupastel pencils or lyra or conte and sticks from Prismacolor will have pigments in them - like titanium and often white chalk as well. On toned paper - the brightest white I have found, bar none, is the General's White Charcoal pencils. Nothing else is even in the ball park - carb-othello, nupastel, wolffs, - you name it - they are gray-ish and weak relatively. The lyra is not smooth, not bright and looks meh.. Most of these other whites will get waxy quickly and will stick to the tooth ( nupastels have a nicer, dusty stroke to them however) of the paper..
Back to your question - it all depends on what you want to do with them..