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Four Things That You Need to Keep in Mind Before Purchasing Pastels

Pastels are usually available in many types, each with its own unique features. The most common types of pastels that are available on the market include soft, hard, oil, pen and pencil pastels. The sole purpose of pastel products is to make artistic works. What is driving most artists to embrace pastels is the fact that it does not require much to make art, all you need are pastel sticks, paper and fingers to start drawing. This article intends to provide you with an overview of what pastels are all about, so that you will know what to keep in mind when making a purchase.

Factors that you should consider

  • Quality

There are two kinds of grades that are available for pastels; the student’s quality and the artist’s quality. Artist quality is of high quality because it entails the best available pigments and also has a higher pigment to binder ratio. This implies that the colours involved are more intense and strong. The colours also do not fade easily and can stay for a long time.

On the other hand, the student’s quality usually has cheaper pigments, but has more binder and fillers, thus the colours are not as intense as with the artist’s quality. They are usually used for learning and practising purposes.

  • Safety

While working with soft pastels, you should take great care, because they usually release fine dust particles into the air which, when inhaled, could result in serious respiratory illness. You can avoid this by wearing face masks when using soft pastels or work in an open space where the dust particles will easily find their way up.

  • Colours

Although pastel colours do not mix as well as paint, there is a huge range of colours to choose from when it comes to pastel. Pastels can be bought in sets or individually. As a beginner, you need to find out the type of pastels that will suit your needs. It will save you time if you buy them individually and keep the cost low. Once you have an idea of the type of colour that you want, you can now purchase a set with colours of your interest or even select a custom range.

You will find out that some artist’s colours are quite expensive when compared to others, due to the fact that particular pigments are expensive to produce.

  • Pastel type

As mentioned out earlier, there are five major kinds of pastels: pan, hard, soft, pencil, and oil pastels. The differences arise in how they are mounted together. Soft, pencil and hard pastels are bound with a resin binder, meaning that they are compatible and can be applied together on the same painting.

Advantages of pastels

The following are some of the main advantages of using pastels over ordinary paint:

  • Easy to apply

Pastel is easy to apply and is user-friendly. A paint will require careful handling because paints have a higher risk of staining clothing and other materials.

  • Easy to clean

Most pastels can easily be cleaned because they are in a semi-solid state, and cannot stick on surfaces easily. Thus, you can easily wipe them off using water and a clean cloth.

  • High quality

Pastels usually result in high-quality drawings, especially when you are using the artist’s quality because the pigments can be distinguished easily from one another.

Don’t worry about where to buy sennelier pastels. These are easily available in professional art supply stores.


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