How to choose Soft Pastel Set


Introduction to Soft Pastels

Soft pastels, a favorite medium among artists, offer a unique blend of vibrant colors and versatile techniques. Unlike oil or acrylic paints, pastels consist of pure powdered pigment combined with a minimal binder, resulting in an incredibly pure color. This medium is renowned for its direct application, allowing artists to create rich, velvety textures that are difficult to achieve with other art materials.

Understanding Basics

Soft pastels are made by mixing dry pigment with a binder, typically a gum or a resin, which gives them their characteristic shape and softness. The proportion of pigment to binder affects the hardness of the pastel, leading to variations like hard pastels, soft pastels, and oil pastels, each suited for different artistic techniques.

Working with soft pastels requires a delicate balance of pressure and technique. Light strokes can produce a faint, transparent layer of color, while heavier pressure yields intense, opaque hues. Blending, a crucial technique in pastel art, can be achieved with fingers, blending stumps, or brushes, offering a range of effects from smooth gradients to textured mixes.

Selecting Pastels for Master Level Artists

Master level artists seek exceptional quality and performance in their pastels, aiming for materials that can flawlessly translate their artistic vision onto the canvas. High-quality pastels offer superior pigmentation, a broad range of colors, and a consistency that allows for nuanced control and layering.

Soft Pastel Set-90 Colors With Wood Box

This premium set of 90 soft pastels comes in a durable wood box, offering a wide array of rich, blendable colors. Ideal for artists seeking depth and subtlety in their work, these pastels provide smooth application and excellent color payoff, perfect for both fine art and creative exploration.

The cost of these premium brands reflects their quality. A set of 120 Sennelier pastels, for instance, can cost around $300 to $400, a significant investment but justifiable by the exceptional color quality and longevity they provide. These pastels often boast lightfastness ratings that ensure artwork longevity, an essential factor for professional artists concerned about the preservation of their work.

Choosing Pastels for Standard Level Artists

Standard level artists often look for pastels that offer a good balance between quality and affordability. These artists require pastels that perform well for various techniques and applications but at a more accessible price point than those used by professional artists.

Soft Pastel Set-48 Colors With Cardboard Box

Contained in a practical cardboard box, this 48-color soft pastel set is perfect for artists on the go. The pastels offer vibrant colors with a velvety texture, ideal for blending and layering. This set is an excellent choice for students and artists who value both quality and convenience.

Soft Pastel Set-36 Colors With Cardboard Box

This 36-color soft pastel set, housed in a convenient cardboard box, is perfect for artists seeking variety and quality. The pastels provide vibrant colors and easy blending, making them ideal for layering and creating subtle shading in art projects.

These pastels are also designed for practical, everyday use. They often come in sturdier packaging, making them more suitable for artists who travel or work in different locations. The durability of these pastels means they can withstand regular use and handling, an important consideration for artists who practice frequently.

Pastel Sets for Beginners

For beginners in the world of pastel art, choosing the right set is a crucial step in their artistic journey. Starter sets should offer a balance of quality, affordability, and ease of use to encourage learning and exploration.

Soft Pastel Set-24 Colors With Cardboard Box

This 24-color soft pastel set in a cardboard box is a great choice for artists seeking a balance between variety and portability. The pastels are known for their vibrant hues and ease of blending, suitable for both detailed work and larger color fields.

Soft Pastel Set-12 Colors With Cardboard Box

Compact and travel-friendly, this 12-color soft pastel set comes in a cardboard box, ideal for beginners or artists on the move. The pastels offer rich pigmentation and smooth texture, perfect for small-scale projects and experimentation with color.

A good starter kit should include a variety of colors, allowing beginners to experiment with different hues and combinations. A typical beginner’s set might include 12 to 24 colors. This range is sufficient for learning how to mix and blend colors without overwhelming the beginner with too many options.