A hand of graphite holding a charcoal stick… this image probably says most of it!
Since men discovered that charred wood makes great marks, charcoal has been one of man’s best drawing friend… but things have greatly improved recently! There is now on offer a amazing variety of graphite and carbon pencils and sticks, some are woodless and some are wood cased, some are watersoluble and some are not, some are mixed (carbon and graphite), some are in liquid form and some come as a powder, some are hard and some are soft, some are compressed and greasy and some are willow and light, some are dark and some are very very dark, some you can peel and some you need to sharpen, some can write on anything and some are happier on paper and most… you can erase!
We won’t bore you with long lists here, just pop in, we do try to stock most of the above all the time… and more!
Perhaps more with pencils than any other art material is quality important… YES the good ones are more expensive but we are still not talking toooo much money here AND how many boxes of pencils will you get in your life?? One? Two? So, might as well enjoy them!
Definitely the not-good-enough ones (the ones you can’t sharpen properly and/or deliver no colour) do not enter the store! For little hands and big designs we stock the huge Woody from Stabilo and the Stockmar wax sticks and blocks. For bigger hands but not too deep pockets we stock some Daler Rowney and most of Derwent‘s range of good pencils of all kinds: Artists, Watercolour, Aquatone and Inktense. For the professionals we carry sets of Conté‘s Carrés crayons and their pastel pencils too. In the Caran d’Ache range we stock their excellent Pablo and Supracolor and what to say of the Luminance range… to die for? the best ever? a dream come true?… and yes we have a few sets of these too!
In a way the “best” pastel does not and cannot exist! The leading artist quality brands we stock all have in common… to be completely different from one another! A little bit like choosing an H or a 6B pencil are going to give your drawing lines a very different look and the feel in you hand will be radically different too, every pastel maker will boast to have found the perfect softness but, in truth, variety is the spice of life!!
And so…. we stock 180 colours in the Sennelier Pastel “a l’écu” range of… 525 shades. They are very soft and crumbly pastels, we also have many of their lovely sets of full or half pastels and stock a limited range of large and giant ones (so big you think they will not even fit in your hand). We usually have in stock too some sets of Rembrandt pastels, a much harder one, and Schmincke sets in full and half sticks. In a different league, we also stock Conté’s pastel pencils…
In 1949, Picasso, a long-time Sennelier customer and a frequent visitor to their store across the street from the Louvre museum, was looking for a medium that could be used freely on a variety of surfaces without fading or cracking. Their collaboration produced the incomparable Sennelier oil pastels… We thought we’d go for these ones! But then we could not resist adding the wonderful Neopastels from Caran d’Ache and their more fun alterego the NeocolorII which are watersoluble. Then recently Derwent came up with its Artbars, a watersoluble wax bar, and we fell for it too! We also stock however some kids brands and some are also watersoluble, as well as the high quality Stockmar wax blocks and crayons. Continue reading