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 the lovely hand-made Unison, some Rembrandt and Schmincke (much harder) sets in full and half sticks. In a different league, we also stock Conté’s pastel pencils and now also have in store a selection of the delightful Pan pastels which are quite a different animal again… more like pastel paint!
(PS Products’ descriptions will be followed by BB for Byron Bay / BA for Ballina or M for Mullumbimby to indicate availability in those stores. BB alone stands for available only in Byron Bay.)
- Art Spectrum’s extra soft square pastel coming soon in 180 shades BB/BA/M
- Conté’s pastel pencils 48 shades BB/BA/MI like these fat pencils! (apart from the fact you need their own Conté sharpener to do a good job…). As all Conté products, they are top quality and highly pigmented. They have a bit of a grit that allows to deposit just the right amount of pastel on your paper while, of course, being much more precise than the sticks.
- Pan pastels BB/BA/M are professional artists’ quality soft pastel colors packed in a pan format (these are conveniently stackable). They can easily blend and be applied like fluid paint. With minimal binder and fillers, loaded with the finest quality artists’ pigments, these have excellent lightfastness and are fully erasable. They are easily applied with fingers but, for more precision, use some of their Sofft Tools
- Sennelier Pastel “a l’écu” BB/BA/M We stock 180 colours which you can buy individually. We also have many of their lovely sets of full or half pastels and stock a limited range of large and giant ones!
Sennelier extra soft pastel is composed of high quality pure pigment grounded with a natural transparent binder. The high quality composition of “à l’écu” pastels is the result of a perfect balance between binder and pigment. For gradient shades, increasing amounts of mineral fines are added, ultimately tending towards white. The exceptional brightness is the result of the pigment and of the natural mineral fines discovered by Sennelier in 1905 and that have been used ever since. The manufacturing process of the Sennelier cylindrical pastel does not compress the paste and the pastel dries naturally in the open air. The life span of a piece of work is guaranteed by the quality of the pastel, but also by the quality of the substrate.
Pastel paintings will always remain sensitive. Therefore, they should only be treated with a special fixative – like the Schmincke or Sennelier fixative for pastels which we stock. If a lot of overlapping is performed, it is preferable to fix between layers too. Avoid, however, fixing the final layer too heavily, as the original vibration of tones will be lost.
We also stock a array of pastel paper from Colourfix and Canson (Tex Mi-teintes) and some Golden and Colourfix primer for you to prepare your own supports.