Pastel Pencils

I have really enjoyed using pastel pencils. While they have the same qualities as traditional pastels, they are encased in wood like pencils and are easy to handle and control, and your hands stay cleaner as you work. :) You can buy either soft or hard pencils, and both work well when creating details in your pastel painting.

Like soft pastels, there are several different brands of pencils you can try, each with a different feel and effect on the paper, so try out a small set or a few individual colors before purchasing a large set.

I've listed some popular brands with approximate prices below. This cost represents the retail price; you can find the pencils for less at discount art supply stores such as Blick Art Materials . (See also Art Supply Stores).

Some of the brands available are:

Cretacolor - Hard pastels. The colors in these pencils are mixable and water-soluable. Sets range from approximately $22.00 for 12 to $115.00 for 72. They are also available as single pencils for about $2.00 each.

Derwent pencils are hard pastels, ideal for adding details to a pastel painting. These range in price from $27.00 for a set of 12 to $162.00 for a set of 72.

Faber-Castell's Pitt Pastel Pencils are Geman-made hard pastels that are ideal for drawing lines, sketching, and shading. Prices range from $25.00 for a set of 12 to $125.00 for a set of 60. They can also be purchased singly for about $2.00 per pencil.

Koh-I-Noor Gioconda - These are soft pastels that are easy to blend. Sets range in price from about $20.00 for 12 to $65.00 for 36.

Stabilo CarbOthello - German-made hard pastels that are also water-soluable and easy to erase. A set retails for about $20.00 for 12 all the way to $110.00 for 60. Single pencils cost about $2.00 each.

Besides discount art supply stores, you can sometimes find what you need on eBay. Here's a list of eBay's current auctions: