Today's delivery brings me the Faber-Castell PITT Pastel Pencils in the full set of 60 along with some nice Daniel Smith watercolours in some really gorgeous colours. So, first the pencils...
This is my first experience with pastels, in any form, and I wanted to get a feel for how they worked in comparison to coloured pencils. Not surprisingly, it's very, very, different. For one, the pastels feel scratchy, they don't have that smooth feeling that the Polychromos line does, but I didn't expect that, I expected that chalky feeling.
The pencils, typical of F-C, are nicely made and feel good in the hand. The ends are coloured to match the lead and generally seem pretty accurate in proper light. I use daylight balanced LED lights in swing arm desk lamps to help with colour accuracy. Blending was easy, I tried both my finger and cotton buds. I recommend the buds. I also tried a blending stump, the other two were definitely better. I need to play around some more with the options. Anyways, sticking with a cherry theme:
This was a quick sketch and you can see the trouble with blending using a cotton bud... A little messy on some of the edges!
I didn't do a painting with them, but I did swatch them out using my new system. In this model, I cut paper into 2.5" x 3.5" cards (baseball card size) and include the colour name, the manufacturer, the pigment (when in the pigment list), and then do a darker to lighter swatch over a line. These all fit nicely into acid-free archival storage designed for baseball cards and then I can binder them. I've already carded up my Sennelier and Daniel Smith collection, but the Winsor & Newton, Faber-Castell, Hydrus, and Inktense will take some time since I have a lot more of them. In any case, the swatches:
I really like the Quin Gold, I can see that being used in sunrise/sunsets and creating a really rich sky scene. The Undersea Green is a really nice shade that will also work well in landscapes and flower/plant paintings. As always, Daniel Smith makes a really nice paint, this is why so many swear by them.