The Pick Of our Pastels - Hobby Land Blog

In very broad terms, art pastels are defined as a coloured drawing medium made from pure coloured pigment that is then mixed with a binder to form a stick. There are many reasons to work with them as they bring a luscious and almost velvety texture to an artwork. The colours are rich and deep, and easy to blend. The best pastel paintings and drawings also have a high degree of luminosity, and unlike painting, you don't need a lot of tools to work with pastels. 

It would be wrong to think that all art pastels are the same. When you take a closer look at our range, you’ll see pastels can be quite different, with a wide diversity of characteristics and applications. In this post we’ll look at the four types of art pastels as manufactured by these world-famous brands: Reeves, Mungyo, Koh I Noor and Caran D'Ache.

  • Hard pastels, including this set from Mungyo,  are drawing sticks made of pigment, water and chalk. These are the pastels you use to create sharp and bright lines on light and dark papers. Some hard pastels are able to be sharpened, although they can’t maintain a fine point as you get from a pencil.
  • Soft pastels, such as these ones from Caran D'Ache, are composed of pigment, water and a smaller amount of chalk or artificial binder than you find in their hard counterparts. The soft texture helps to create smooth, smudgy lines and intense colour. Because of their soft nature, it’s easy to apply plenty of colour to the paper in no time at all. Being so intense and opaque, the colours also cover dark-toned papers without looking dull. Soft pastels are the easiest to blend and layer colours on top of one another and will cover larger areas the most quickly.
  • Oil pastels, like this great set from Reeves,  use wet binders, such as oils, to bring the pigment together into a solid stick form. These oil-based colours are generally more intense and because of the wet nature of the medium, it is possible to mix them. With this set of pastels from Reeves, you can use them dry for drawing or mix with turpentine and brush.
  • Pastel pencils, as manufactured by Kohi I Noor, have a fine point for creating intricate details and fine lines that can be difficult to achieve with other types of pastels. They can also be used for shading, layering, and blending, just like pastels that come in stick form. A big bonus with pastel pencils is that they’re cleaner to use because their cores are encased in wood.
Pastels are as different as the art pieces you can create with them. To ensure you select the right pastels for your project, contact us and we’ll help you make a picture perfect choice!