One of the most frequent questions I receive are from artists looking for art supply recommendations. Remember that every artist will have different preferences based on the subjects they draw and their art techniques.
Art supply shopping can be overwhelming with the number of brands and options available on the market today. Please use the list below as a guide – this is not a mandatory art supply list. When purchasing a new art medium for the first time, I recommend buying a small pastel set or individual colors (open stock) before investing in larger sets. This post contains a comprehensive list of art supplies that I regularly use for my pastel drawings.
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- Stabilo CarbOthello (available in sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, & 60)
- Derwent (available in sets of 12, 24, 36, & 72)
- Conte (available in sets of 12, 24, & 48)
- Faber-Castell PITT (available in sets of 12, 24, & 60)
- Caran d’Ache (available in sets of 12, 20, 40, & 76)
For a comprehensive comparison review on the pastel pencil brands I use, check out my blog post:
- Sennelier (I recommend the 1/2 stick portrait set for animal drawings)
- Jackson’s Art
- Faber-Castell (discontinued 2021)
- Clairefontaine Pastelmat (available in large sheets and assorted pads)
- SOFFT tools blending knives (I use the No. 1 (rounded) & No. 3 (oval) sizes most often)
- Disposable eye shadow applicators (Also found in the makeup section of many stores)
- Paper stumps (Available in various sizes. I frequently use the 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch diameter stumps)
- Silicone blending tools (Available in various sizes and assorted shapes. The tapered tip shape is my favorite for precise blending.)
- Spectrafix Degas Pastel Fixative (12 fluid oz) Note that this fixative may darken your pastel or charcoal drawing. This fixative is best used as a workable fixative (not a final finishing fixative). Always test fixative on a separate sheet first to see how the colors will be affected prior to using on your artwork.
- Mobius & Ruppert (M&R) Brass Pencil Sharpener
- AFMAT PS10 Manual Pencil Sharpener (compatible with Stabilo CarbOthello and similar diameter pencils)
- Deli Pencil Sharpener Model No. 0635 (compatible with Caran d’Ache, Derwent, Faber-Castell, Stabilo, and similar diameter pencils). Not compatible with Conte pencils.
- Glassine Sheets to prevent smudging while drawing. Glassine can also be used as interleaving sheets when storing pastel drawings.
- Mahl Stick also to prevent smudging while drawing. Often used by painters but is a handy tool for pastel work. Look into DIY Mahl sticks if you’re interested in making your own for a fun weekend project.
- Kneaded Eraser
- Wood Drawers: there are several different models available. I own two 3-drawer units from the brand Creative Mark.
Have you tried these brands before? Do you have any brand recommendations for me? Leave a comment below!
8 thoughts on “My Pastel Art Supplies”
Would you recommend buying the pastel Matt at Amazon? I like the gray but I don’t see it in pads and I usually use 9 x 12 sizes
Hi Marti, I’ve read mixed reviews on Amazon for Pastelmat due to different sellers fulfilling orders. If the seller does not provide enough padding, you can have damaged edges or crushed corners. I would read the reviews on the listing first and see if previous customers had complaints on shipping and handling.
I live in the U.S. and I’ve purchased both large sheets and pads from DickBlick and Jerry’s Artarama. Both are reputable sellers and have excellent customer service. If you live in Europe, Jackson’s Art is also an option. -Lauren
Do you have any views on Rembrandt pastel sticks? I thought I had heard you mention them in one of your livestream pastel sessions that I watch, but you do not list them in your pastel stick art supplies list so perhaps I was mistaken. But if you have ever tried them I would be grateful to know what you thought about them.
With best wishes to you for a very Happy Christmas.
Helen (Ampney Crucis, UK)
Hi Helen, Merry Christmas to you too! I do own 3 Rembrandt sets (skintone, assorted darks, and landscape). I like the size and shape of the Rembrandt sticks. However, the formula in the sets produced in the last 10 years are slightly more ‘waxy’ feeling than the older pastels I purchased second-hand. Depending on how you like to blend and layer, the Rembrandt pastels may or may not work with your drawing techniques. I would recommend picking up one of their 5-color half-stick sampler sets and trying them out for yourself before purchasing a larger set.
If you catch another live stream, I can do a quick swatch and demo showing how they apply on paper. 🙂