Soft Pastels: Information, advice and art instruction books

Pastels - Resources for Artists

Do you want to know more about hard and soft pastels? Whether you are an experienced pastel artist or somebody who is completely new to the joy of producing art with pastels you'll find something interesting and useful in the information and advice provided on this site.

Topics covered include
- information about and reviews of different pastel brands and supports - with links to websites for all the brands of pastels
- two polls where you can vote for your favourite brand of soft or hard pastel
- learning about pastels - books about pastels plus lots of practical tips, tricks and techniques for working with pastels,
- links to the websites of pastel societies and leading pastel artists,
- blogs by pastel artists and forums where you can discuss pastel matters with pastel artists
- and much more!

Links to some of the topics are included below.

Pastels - Definitions and History

Pastels: Technical data about their composition and lightfastness / permanence

Brands of Soft Pastels

Brands of Hard Pastels

My 'workhorse' pastels are now Unison pastels - made in the UK.  Other brands of soft pastel that have been well used in the past include

  • Rowney,
  • Sennelier,
  • Schminke and
  • Rembrandt.

Reviews of Brands of Soft Pastels Soft Pastels - Dark and Light Sets
Pastels Suppliers (UK) Pastels Suppliers (USA)

I always use an abrasive support which include:
  • Sennelier La Carte (previously known as Rembrandt and Frisk pastel card - used for a lot of my paintings
  • Art Spectrum Colourfix board - in various colours, and
  • Wallis Board

Pastel Supports - boards and papers

User perspectives on different Pastels and Pastel Supports

Tools for working with soft pastels

Working with Pastels - Tips, tricks and techniques

Lots of different ways to store all your pastels

Framing and matting pastels

Societies of Artists working in Pastels

Pastels - Exhibitions and Competitions

This site provides links to advice and information about art materials and books relating to soft pastels - plus reviews of relevant products and books.


The first pastel book I ever bought. It has an amazing amount of detail about the different brands and supports and has some stimulating 'how to' demonstrations.

For other recommended books about using pastels click the link below to see

Pastels - Recommended Books