Curious about pastels but not sure where to start? I have my personal list of favorite pastel art supplies linked below.
If you are interested in exploring different pastel brands, look no further! I have listed the majority of large international pastel manufacturers and smaller U.S.-based manufacturers available as of 2023. Color charts are available to download in the right column. Additional notes are provided at the bottom of this page. These tables along with notes are available to download as a PDF (last updated March 9, 2023).
Update: As more feedback from artists are received and processed, the tables below will be updated as the first priority. The PDF linked above will be updated periodically with the date of the last revision posted.
Pastel Pencil List
|Brand||Product Line||Price||Color Range||Open Stock||Lightfastness Range||Product Information|
|Bruynzeel||Pastel Pencil||$$||48||Yes||–||Click to Download|
|Caran d’Ache||Pastel Pencil||$$$||81||Yes||2* to 5* (Blue Wool Scale)||Click to Download|
|Conte||Pastel Pencil||$$||50||Yes||1* to 4*||Click to Download|
|Cretacolor||Fine Art Pastel||$$||72||Yes||LF2 (Xenontest)||Click to Download|
|Derwent||Pastel Pencil||$$||72||Yes||2 to 8 (Blue Wool Scale)||Click to Download|
|Faber-Castell||PITT Pastel Pencil||$$||60||Yes||1* to 3*||Click to Download|
|General’s||Pastel Chalk Pencil||$||36||Yes||–||Visit Manufacturer Site|
|Koh-I-Noor||Gioconda Soft Pastel Pencil||$$||48||No||2* to 5*||Click to Download|
|Stabilo||CarbOthello Pastel Pencil||$$||60||Yes||0 to 5*||Click to Download|
Pastel Stick List
|Brand||Product Line||Pastel Type||Price||Color Range||Open Stock||Lightfastness Range||Product Information|
|Art Spectrum||Extra Soft Pastel||Round||$$$||12||Yes||–||Click to Download|
|Art Spectrum||Colourfix Soft Round Pastel||Round||$$$||20||Yes||–||Click to Download|
|Art Spectrum||Soft Round Pastel Stick||Round||$$$||154||Yes||2* to 4*||Click to Download|
|Art Spectrum||Extra Soft Square Pastel||Square||$$$$||180||Yes||–||Click to Download|
|Blockx||Pastel||Round||$$||204||Yes||–||Click to Download|
|Blue Earth Pastels||Pastel||Square||$$||357||Yes||–||Click to Download|
|Conte||Soft Pastel||Round||$$||50||Yes||1* to 4*||Click to Download|
|Cretacolor||Carre Hard Pastel||Square||$$||72||Yes||LF2 (Xenontest)||Click to Download|
|Daler-Rowney||Artists’ Soft Pastel||Round||$$||186||No||1* to 4*||Click to Download|
|Diane Townsend||Thin Line Pastel||Round||$$||64||No||–||Visit Manufacturer Site|
|Diane Townsend||Terrages Pastel||Rectangle||$$$||192||Yes||–||Visit Manufacturer Site|
|Diane Townsend||Soft Form Pastel||Round||$$||408||Yes||–||Visit Manufacturer Site|
|Faber-Castell||Goldfaber Studio Soft Pastel||Square||$||70||No||–||Click to Download|
|General’s||MultiPastel Compressed Pastel Chalk||Square||$||24||No||–||Not Available|
|Girault||Pastel||Round||$$$||300||Yes||–||Click to Download|
|Great American Artworks||Soft Pastel||Square||$$$||546||Yes||–||Visit Manufacturer Site|
|Henri Roche||Pastel||Round||$$$$||1688||Yes||–||Visit Manufacturer Site|
|Holbein||Artists’ Soft Pastel||Square||$$$||144||Yes||0* to 3*||Click to Download|
|Jackson’s||Handmade Soft Pastel||Round||$$||200||Yes||1* to 4*||Click to Download|
|Mount Vision||Pastel||Round||$$||462||Yes||–||Visit Manufacturer Site|
|Mungyo Gallery||Artists’ Soft Pastels||Square||$||70||No||–||Click to Download|
|Mungyo Gallery||Semi-Hard Pastels||Square||$||120||No||–||Click to Download|
|Mungyo Gallery||Artists’ Hand-Made Soft Pastels||Round||$$$||200||No||1* to 3*||Click to Download|
|Mungyo Gallery||Artists’ Extra Fine Soft Pastels||Round||$||200||No||–||Click to Download|
|PanPastel||Pastel||Pan||$$$$||92||Yes||2* to 4*||Click to Download|
|Prismacolor||NuPastel||Square||$||96||No||–||Click to Download|
|Rembrandt||Soft Pastel||Round||$$$||218||Yes||0* to 3* (ASTM D4303)||Click to Download|
|Richeson||Yarka Pastels||Round||$$||60||No||–||Not Available|
|Richeson||Medium-Soft Half-Stick||Round||$||120||No||–||Click to Download|
|Richeson||Semi-Hard Square Pastels||Square||$||120||No||–||Click to Download|
|Richeson||Handmade Full Stick||Round||$$$||120||No||–||Click to Download|
|Richeson||Hand-Rolled Soft Pastels||Round||$$||504||Yes||–||Click to Download|
|Schmincke||Pastell||Round||$$$||400||Yes||0 to 5*||Click to Download|
|Sennelier||Soft Pastel Pebbles||Pebble||$$$$||24||Yes||1* to 3*||Color Chart Download &
|Sennelier||Grande Soft Pastel||Round||$$$$||62||Yes||1* to 3*||Color Chart Download &
|Sennelier||Extra Soft Pastel||Round||$$$||525||Yes||1* to 3*||Color Chart Download &
|Terry Ludwig||Pastel Stick||Square||$$$||750||Yes||8 (Blue Wool Scale)||Visit Manufacturer Site|
|Unison||Large Soft Pastel||Round||$$$$||108||Yes||7 to 8||Click to Download|
|Unison||Soft Pastel||Round||$$$||380||Yes||7 to 8||Click to Download|
- Product Line: Manufacturers may produce multiple pastel product lines with varying textures (soft, medium, hard), size (regular stick vs. jumbo stick), or quality (artist vs. student). Typically, high quality professional art supplies will be priced 2-3x more than student quality supplies, and will be labeled as “artists’” to differentiate the quality.
- Pastel Firmness: Pastel sticks are categorized into 3 main divisions: soft, medium, and hard. The firmness of a pastel is determined by its ingredients and how the pastel is shaped. If a pastel is hand-rolled (formed by hand), it is typically classified as soft. This post by Dakota Pastels ranks 17 of the 39 listed pastel sticks.
- Open Stock: If colors are sold individually, the product is sold “open stock.”
- Lightfastness: I encourage all artists to consider factoring in the importance of longevity of their artwork to minimize fading over time. Lightfastness is an extra step some brands perform (either by testing their finished products with controlled UV exposure or selecting ingredients that have known light-resistance properties). If testing methods are disclosed by the manufacturer, I have included it in parentheses.
- Availability: Small manufacturers may have their products sold in a limited number of retailers and/or directly through their company website. For example, Terry Ludwig based in Colorado, USA has sets available through several U.S. retailers, but only sells open stock colors through their website. European-based manufacturers may have export restrictions on specific sets or products.
- The following companies are small U.S.-based businesses (linked): Blue Earth, Diane Townsend, Great American, Mount Vision, Terry Ludwig
- Half-Sticks: Pastel sticks are available in half-stick format from select manufacturers. I personally recommend buying an assorted half-stick set or 6-12 open stock colors before committing to larger purchases. Half-sticks are not sold open stock.
- The following brands offer half-stick assorted sets: Art Spectrum, Great American, Heri Roche, Rembrandt, Richeson, Sennelier, Schmincke, Unison.
- Cost: The price listed in dollar signs ($ to $$$$) is based on the retail price (MSRP) per unit of pastel (1 pencil or 1 stick) as of March 2023. If the pastel line is only sold in sets, an average price per unit was calculated based on sets available.
|Pastel Pencils||Pastel Sticks|
|$ = less than $2 USD||$ = less than $2 USD|
|$$ = $2 to $4 USD||$$ = $2 to $5 USD|
|$$$ = $4 to $6 USD||$$$ = $5 to $8 USD|
|$$$$ = $6 USD or more||$$$$ = $8 USD or more|
Disclaimer: The information is accurate to my knowledge as of March 2023. However companies are known to expand/downsize color ranges and reformulate colors. If you have information which conflicts with the items shown here please use the Contact Form.
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