6 Best Pastel Pencils in 2024

drawing of a misty forest made with pastel pencils next to a box of caran d'ache pastel pencils - best pastel pencils

Unleashing your creativity through vibrant colors and delicate shades is an experience like no other, and pastel pencils are the perfect tool for this artistic journey.

In this article, we delve into the world of pastel pencils, exploring some of the best brands available and offering an in-depth guide on how to choose the right pastel pencils for your artistic endeavors.

Discover more types of colored pencils in this article, listing every type and their differences.

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What are the Best Pastel Pencils?

  1. Caran d'Ache Pastel Pencils
  2. Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils
  3. Derwent Pastel Pencils
  4. Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils
  5. Conte à Paris Pastel Pencils - Pierre Noire
  6. Koh-I-Noor Gioconda Pastel Pencils

1. Caran d'Ache Pastel Pencils - Superior Blendability and Vibrancy

Caran d'Ache is a Swiss brand renowned for its top-of-the-line writing and drawing instruments. Since its inception in 1915, the company has consistently delivered high-quality products that cater to both professionals and amateurs alike. Their Pastel Pencils - Pablo range is no exception and is well-regarded among artists for its exceptional quality.

What makes the Caran d'Ache Pastel Pencils stand out is their superior blendability and vibrancy. These pencils offer a smooth, creamy texture that makes blending a breeze, creating beautiful transitions between colors. The pigments are incredibly vibrant, resulting in an outstanding color payoff that brings artwork to life.

ProsCons
Superior blendabilityHigher price point
Vibrant pigmentsMay not be suitable for beginners
High-quality materials

If you're after the best in blendability and vibrant colors, the Caran d'Ache Pastel Pencils is a clear winner. You're not just buying pastel pencils; you're investing in a tool that will help you create stunning works of art.

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2. Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils - Unrivalled Lightfastness

Faber-Castell, a German company established in 1761, is one of the oldest manufacturers of art supplies. Their Pitt Pastel Pencils are renowned for offering a great balance between quality and affordability.

The Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils are celebrated for their unrivalled lightfastness. This means that the colors will remain vibrant and will not fade over time, even when exposed to light. This characteristic makes these pencils a fantastic choice for artists who want their creations to stand the test of time.

ProsCons
Excellent lightfastnessLimited color range
AffordableHarder texture may be difficult for some to blend
Widely available

Capture the permanence of your artistry with the Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils. With their unrivalled lightfastness, your creations will remain vibrant for years to come.

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3. Derwent Pastel Pencils - Broad Range of Unique Colors

Derwent, a British company, has been creating art supplies since 1832. The brand's Pastel Pencils - Pastel Collection offers a wide variety of colors, ensuring artists have the flexibility and choice they need to bring their visions to life.

The key highlight of the Derwent Pastel Pencils is its broad range of unique colors. The set includes both traditional pastel shades and more unconventional hues, allowing for a greater scope of creativity. The colors are highly pigmented and deliver a good color payoff.

ProsCons
Wide range of unique colorsHigher price point
High pigment concentrationCan be slightly chalky
Good color payoff

Unleash your creativity with the Derwent Pastel Pencils. With a broad range of unique colors at your disposal, the only limit to what you can create is your imagination.

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4. Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils - For Exceptional Versatility

Stabilo is a German company that has been a leader in the writing instrument industry since 1855. The Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils are renowned for their quality and performance, making them a favorite among artists of all levels.

Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils shine in their versatility. These pencils can be used dry for drawing and sketching or with a wet brush to create a variety of effects. This makes them an excellent choice for artists who enjoy experimenting with different techniques in their work.

ProsCons
Exceptional versatilitySome colors may be less vibrant
Can be used dry or wetHarder texture may be difficult for some to blend
Good color range

Push the boundaries of your creativity with Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils. Whether you prefer drawing or painting, these versatile pencils have you covered.

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5. Conte à Paris Pastel Pencils - Pierre Noire - For Deep and Rich Blacks

Conte à Paris is a French brand known for its superior-quality art materials. The company's Pierre Noire Pastel Pencils are highly sought after by artists who value depth and intensity in their monochromatic pieces.

The standout feature of Conte à Paris Pastel Pencils is their ability to produce deep and rich blacks. The pencils provide an unmatched level of darkness, making them perfect for creating dramatic contrasts and deep shadows in your artwork.

ProsCons
Deep and rich blacksSpecialized for monochromatic work
High-quality materialsNot ideal for color work
Ideal for dramatic contrasts

Create powerful and dramatic artwork with the Conte à Paris Pierre Noire Pastel Pencils. The depth and intensity of the black tones these pencils offer are truly exceptional.

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6. Koh-I-Noor Gioconda Pastel Pencils - High-Quality at an Affordable Price

Koh-I-Noor, a Czech brand founded in 1790, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of pencils, charcoals, and other drawing supplies. The Gioconda Pastel Pencils are a testament to the brand's commitment to quality and affordability.

The Koh-I-Noor Gioconda Pastel Pencils are known for their high-quality performance at an affordable price. These pencils offer a smooth texture, good pigmentation, and excellent blendability, making them an ideal choice for both beginners and more experienced artists on a budget.

ProsCons
AffordableLimited color range
High-quality performanceNot as vibrant as some premium brands
Excellent blendability

Experience the perfect blend of quality and affordability with Koh-I-Noor Gioconda Pastel Pencils. Don't let a tight budget hinder your creativity.

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How to Choose Pastel Pencils?

Choosing the right pastel pencils can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to the world of pastel art. The right pastel pencil can make a world of difference in your artwork, bringing your creativity to life in the most vibrant colors. Here, we've broken down the key factors you should consider when choosing your pastel pencils.

1. Quality of Pigments

The quality of the pigments is one of the most critical aspects to consider when choosing pastel pencils. High-quality pigments will provide vibrant, rich colors that bring your artwork to life. They also offer better lightfastness, which means the colors won't fade over time when exposed to light. Look for pastel pencils that mention high pigmentation or lightfastness in their product description.

2. Blendability

Blendability refers to how well the colors merge or blend together. Good blendability allows for smooth transitions between different colors and can help you achieve a more natural, realistic look in your artwork. Pastel pencils that are soft and creamy usually offer better blendability. However, keep in mind that very soft pastels may be more challenging to use for detailed work.

3. Versatility

Versatility in pastel pencils means how well they can adapt to different techniques and styles. Some pastel pencils can be used both dry and wet, allowing you to experiment with different effects. If you enjoy trying different techniques in your work, look for versatile pastel pencils like the Stabilo CarbOthello.

4. Color Range

The range of colors available in a set of pastel pencils can greatly impact your creativity. A wider color range gives you more flexibility and allows you to create more nuanced and detailed artwork. If you're just starting, a set with a basic color range may suffice. However, as you progress and start to create more complex works, you may want to invest in sets with a wider range of colors.

5. Price

Price is always an important factor to consider. More expensive doesn't necessarily mean better. There are affordable options like the Koh-I-Noor Gioconda that still offer excellent quality. Determine your budget first and then look for the best quality pastel pencils within that range. Remember, investing in good quality materials can save you money in the long run as they tend to last longer and perform better.

6. Brand Reputation

Finally, consider the reputation of the brand. Brands with a long history and positive reviews from artists usually offer reliable, high-quality products. The brands we've mentioned in this article, such as Caran d'Ache and Faber-Castell, are all well-regarded in the art world.

Choosing the right pastel pencils ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and needs as an artist. Experiment with different brands and types to find the ones that work best for you.

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