Working with Schmincke’s finest extra soft pastels will give you a completely unique drawing experience. They have an incredibly high concentration of top quality pigment powder held together by the absolute minimum amount of binding agent - just enough to ensure that they remain a stable compound. Unlike many pastels on the market they also do not contain chalk or additives which helps keep their colouration pure and consistent throughout each pastel. This stripped back recipe results in such soft pastels that Schmincke had to design a costly and time consuming manufacturing process to stop them breaking. Each lump of pre-kneaded pastel dough is rolled into rounded skeins which are sectioned by hand and laid onto a sheet. The skeins are then cut by hand with a wire-strung frame and transferred onto wooden palettes where they are left to dry for around 2 weeks. By this time they are so soft that they need to be wrapped by hand and gently placed in their foam packaging.
The artistic Renesans dry pastels are still subject to manual production. They are dried in a fully natural way and apply top quality raw materials, including kaolin extracted in Poland, and the best dry pigments. Pastel painting sees use of dry colourful chalklike sticks, without any liquid painting agents, which are applied onto a rough surface. Pastels are composed of painting pigments with chalk, clay, or plaster for binding, which provides a soft, smooth, and easily dusting stroke. A properly created pastel offers freshness, smoothly penetrating colours, no gloss, and bright surface. Each colour is applied individually, which makes it important to have an appropriately wide colour range. Preservation of the dust falling off the surface is possible with a special fixative or a glass frame with passe-partout, which isolates paper from glass. The product range is available in 119 colours of Renesans dry pastels individually or in sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, and 99 colours.
Gioconda Soft Pastel Pencils offer the smooth finish of conventional pastels without the mess. They are highly pigmented, with a buttery smooth feel, and have excellent blending and toning characteristics on dark or light surfaces. All colors are lightfast and fade resistant. Gioconda Pastel Pencils also feature California cedar wood casings for crisp and accurate sharpening with minimal waste. They are available in a full range of 53 colors. Pencils are pre-sharpened.