Pastels have never been my thing. They are too chalky, stick to my fingers, break, get all over everything. And I was completely wrong. I have discovered soft PanPastels.
Soft, blendable and easy to apply, Pan Pastels have real sticking power. You apply them with a sponge applicator that looks like a makeup sponge. The company makes them in several shapes and sizes.
You can buy them individually, but they also come in groups of five, in plastic rounds that screw, bottom-to-top and make a handy stack to take with you.
Because I am currently on a black-and-white neutral kick, I ordered the five shades of gray. They blend with the use of a sponge on a stick and after a few minutes, won’t smear. I rubbed a paper towel across the colors, including the black, and got no rub-off.
I use the Pan Pastels in my journal, which means the pages rub against each other, but it
doesn’t matter–the color stays put. To get the color off, I had to use an electric eraser. They blend for backgrounds, creating sweeps and veils of color. You can buy a variety of tools for application.
Available from serveral art supply stores including Dick Blick, they cost about $5.00 each, or come in pre-selected sets of five, 10 and 20 in various shades. Sets of five are $18.49; sets of 10 are $34 and sets of 20 are $65.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach. She teaches seminars and workshops in writing skills and raw-art-journals.