Jackson’s Art Supplies also do their own range of art materials and quite often when I visit there I see their bargain box of 12 half-stick pastels at £1.00. So, I bought 2 of the small boxes for my boys to play with and the box of 64 for myself – at £9.00 approx for 64 you can’t really say no can you? I am planning on trying pastels soon (well, as soon as I pluck up the courage!) and these seemed like a reasonable student grade start.
But then you open up to a veritable chocolate box treat of 64 little half-stick pastels in a glorious range of colours. There is at least 7 or 8 pastels per colour range and 2 whites. There is even a selection of neons. I also love the way they are presented, on their edge, like little oblong pyramids. It makes it very easy to grab hold of them.
In doing the colour swatches the first thing that struck me was that the pastels aren’t as soft as I thought they’d be. They are actually quite hard – they remind me of Conte Carres Crayons. Once you get through the smooth outer shell, they do soften a little. There is the occasional hard pastel.
The pastels are quite bright on the paper and they lay down pigment quickly. They are quite dusty but no more so than other pastels – certainly not a noticeable hindrance or annoyance.
But really, to give you a proper impression, I’ll need to actually try a drawing with them.