Pastels & Crayons

An extensive choice of artist pastels, crayons, and pastel pencils for drawing and sketching. You can buy from the most popular brands which include the full range of colours and sets from Unison Colour Soft Pastels, the aquarelle water soluble pastels from Caran d’Ache and Derwent, and the oil and soft pastels from Sennelier, Daler Rowney and Jakar. The slightly harder Conte Carre crayons can also be ordered from this section, plus a selection of primers and fixatives.

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Soft pastels contain a high proportion of pigment providing strong, opaque colours which can be readily blended. The abrasive surface of the paper tends to create a residue of dust which needs to be blown away from the drawing to prevent smudging.

Water-soluble pastels have a water-soluble component. The colours become transparent and are easily blended with water applied by brush.

Hard pastels contain a higher proportion of binder and allow for fine detail drawing. The lower pigment content means that the colours are less brilliant than those of the soft pastels but the advantage is that less dust is generated during use. They are generally used for preliminary sketches and for adding accents or outlines to soft pastel drawings.

The finished drawings made using the types of pastels above need to be treated with a spray fixative to prevent smudging.

The soft, creamy consistency of the oil pastel is produced by blending the pigment with a non-drying oil and wax binder. The marks fill the grain of the paper and the colours can be thinned with a solvent such as turpentine. The advantage of using oil pastels is that they do not require a fixative.

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