Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils
Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils
As most people in the art world know and in particular those passionate for colored pencils, Faber Castell is one of arguably thee biggest name on the market. I say arguably because certain colored pencils work better for certain people, the type of pencil one uses very much depends upon the type of art you are doing and the paper you are using. Never the less, Faber Castell produce some of the finest quality art products in the world.
In this review I will be looking at Faber Castell's beautiful Pitt Pastel pencils. I personally love using Pastels, however, it is definitely a medium I need to really work hard with and improve my skills on as my art would suggest. So in this review I will be focusing in on all the characteristics of the medium and performance abilities
Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil Sets
before we get into the nitty gritty of these pastel pencils, lets take a look at availability which for a lot of artists can be every bit as important to them as the performance.
The smallest set the Faber Castell Pitt Pastels come in are 3 pack blister sets, I actually think this is an amazing way for an artist interested in getting started with pastel painting but doesn't have the budget or desire to go all out and get the largest set. The 3 Pastel Pencil Blister packs, is a fantastic way of building up a collection of colors you know you are going to use as opposed to a full set were your style of art may not warrant all colors.
The next sets are the tins, ranging from a set of 12, 24, 36 and 60, sixty being the largest set in the Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil collection. Of course the Faber Castell Pastel Pencils are also available open stock which is a must have for artists doing commissions or the style of art commands a concentration of a particular color group.
Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Characteristics.
The second you open a tin of Faber Castell Pitt Pastels, you instantly know that this is an art supply incredibly well crafted. The barrel is made from top grade Cedar wood however the barrel has simply been varnished and shows the grain of the wood beautifully. I personally think this gives the pencil a very stylish look and feel to it.
The core of the pencil is a generous 4.3mm with a total barrel diameter of 8.2mm, this pencil really feels good in the hand. Pastel pencils allow pastel artists who paint using pastel blocks or hand made cylindrical gems, the ability to provide detail, however, many pastel artists also just use the pencils and are able to deliver absolutely stunning works of art.
Information on the actual pencil is as follows, running along the barrel from core to end, along one side is the place Faber Castell's HQ is located which is "Germany". Further along is printed the type of pencil which is "Pitt Pastel" and finally the Faber Castell logo and name.
On the opposite side is a bar code for open stock reasons, further along is a number, "Example 1122 - 188" the first part of the number corresponds to the pencils being Pastel Pencils as opposed to the Polychromos or Albrecht Dürer. The second part of the number refers to the actual pencil pigment, this is for when you need to order open stock and you will need to use the number as there is no color name on the barrel. I personally would love to see Faber Castell print the pigment name on the barrel as well, but I feel that way toward all pencils or markers that fail to name the colors.
Finally at the vert end of the pencil there is a color cap which indicates the actual pigment of that particular pencil, this is obviously for when the pencils are stored and only the ends of the pencils are visible, allowing the artist to select the desired pencil without having to rearrange all pencils.
Faber Castell Pitt Pastell Pencil Performance.
As I have mentioned, a lot of Pastel artists, when using traditional block type pastels, would use pastel pencils to provide detail for them. With the Pitt Pastel pencils, they are perfect for this type of work. As you can see from the image below, using a mechanical sharpener, you can get a fine point which when used delicately can actually stay sharp longer than you may expect. The pigment in the Faber Castell Pitt Pastels is very strong and so allows you to use a light touch while still achieving a beautiful line or general coverage.
However, many pastel artists, crafters or mixed media artists are quite happy using pastel pencils on their own or combined with a totally different medium altogether, again, due to the wonderfully rich pigments used in the Pitt Pastels, this can be achieved with no problems at all.
Although the actual core of the Pitt Pastel pencils is not like your traditional soft pastel blocks, the coverage and layering you can achieve due to the generous 4.3mm core is perfect, but with these particular pastel pencils you also have the added benefit of creating detailed work.
Blending and color mixing is also effortless, I personally use smudger's which look like regular paint brushes only with shaped rubber tips as opposed to bristles, some people refer to them as shapers. They simply allow you to blend and push the pigment around the paper and with a level of accuracy you don't get using your fingers.
One of the bonuses I have found using pastel pencils is the lack of pastel dust, don't get me wrong it does appear, but not to the extent pastel blocks etc do. I know that some people simply don't like the texture of pastel dust on their hands or worry about the breathing in of pastel dust, using pastel pencils will certainly minimise this experience but not completely eradicate it.
The image below is a painting I completed using the Faber Castell Pitt Pastels, this was actually from a tutorial on YouTube by the amazing pastel artist "Colin Bradley".
Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Lightfast
I guess as to be expected from a Faber Castell product, the lightfast rating of them is really high and each individual pencil has the rating stamped on the barrel in the form of stars. the rating is out of three stars, three indicating the highest lightfast and one the lowest. Of the sixty colors available 35 pencils are rated 3 Star, 11 pencils are rated 2 star and 14 are rated 1 star, this is a pretty good lightfast account for pastel pencils.
Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil Pricing.
As always, the prices I quote on my reviews are obviously at the time of writing the article and are taken from the cheapest prices I could find on Amazon. It is always worth having a look around to find the best prices.
Here in the UK the blister packs of three Faber Castell Pitt Pastel pencils will cost approx £5.65, the tin set of 12 will cost you £13, the 24 set will cost £29, the 36 set will cost £44 and finally the largest set of 60 Pitt Pastel pencils will cost £66 which works out less than £1 per pencil which I think is amazing value. For an open stock individual Pitt Pastel pencil it will cost £1.80.
Prices in the US for the same sets are as follows, the blister packs of three pastel pencils will cost $5.99, the set of 12 pastel pencils in a tin will cost $19, the 24 tin set will cost $32, the 36 set will cost $52 and finally the largest set of 60 will cost $79. Also the open stock individual pencils can be purchased for approximately $2
The same sets for our European fellow artists will cost €7 for the three pencil blister pack, €17 for the 12 tin set, €36 for the 24 set, €41 for the 36 set and for the largest 60 set it will cost approx €69. Also, the individual pitt pastel pencils will cost €2.94.
I had a lot of fun using these, I have to admit though, I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to my artistic abilities with pastels and watercolors, so I am more than happy to continue trying to improve with this wonderful set of pastel pencils from Faber Castell.
If you are worried about pastel dust on your hands or perhaps breathing in pastel dust but love the idea of trying pastels, I would definitely recommend these amazing Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils. You can't avoid the dust completely, but the levels are incredibly minimal when using these wonderful pencils.
Don't forget you can check out our YouTube video demonstration of these excellent Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils by simply clicking the link.