Pastels & Charcoal

Many artists choose to work in pastels because they are easy to use and the colours produced are rich and sensual. To create a work in pastels you only need paper, fixative and the pastels themselves. There’s no premixing on a palette, no need to add mediums and pastels can be applied to almost any surface.

Though pastels are like chalk, they are actually a powdered pigment bound together with a gum or resin and shaped into sticks or pencils. Several types of pastels are available in both student and artist grade. Student grade pastels are economical and ideal for experimentation. Artist grade pastels use finer pigments making them more expensive, but their strong color quality and smooth consistency are the reward.

Pastel types:

  • Soft pastels
  • Hard pastels
  • Water-soluble pastels
  • Oil pastels


Artistscharcoal is a form of dry art medium made of finely ground organic materials that are held together by a gum or wax binder or produced without the use of binders by eliminating the oxygen inside the material during the production process.