SketchBox - July 2018

The July edition of my monthly SketchBox subscription arrived and this time loaded up with a medium I've wanted to try for a while...

You can obviously guess what the main ingredient of the box was from the article image: PanPastel! Basically, it's compressed pigment in a special binder in pan form and you apply it paper using a variety of sponge tools. I've been wanting to try this for a while.

So, what's in the box?

  • A set of 5 PanPastels: Yellow Ochre, Permanent Red, Phthalo Blue, Titanium White, and Black
  • A custom mix of Sofft tools
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel pencils in Turquoise Blue and Black
  • Derwent Dual Art Erasers
The colour choices are quite good, you can do a lot with the basic primary set and the two shades. Of course, this could whet your appetite for more (it did for me, I have also bought the 20 colour landscape set).

The way the pans work is that they basically screw onto each other, creating a nice stacking mechanism that stays put. It's a little fussy, but you get the hang of it.


Needless to say, I gave it a go. I do have PastelMat paper, but for this I just went with some basic sketch paper I had kicking around. I didn't know how well this was going to work and PastelMat is spendy. Anyways, given the nature of the colours and that I wanted to basically use the supplied tools, I went with a sunset scene:


This gave me the chance to try out the blending and speed of application. Let me tell you, they blend well and the speed of application is amazing. I'm quite impressed. They're also a lot of messy fun, you will get pastel on your hands.

So, big thumbs up for the July SketchBox.

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