This post is a reflection on my own way in the soft pastel painting. When I asked myself, what I could have done better to make my progress faster and easier, the first thing which comes in to my mind is a good set of the soft pastels. I know that it sounds like a cliche, but I truly believe in it. In this post I summed my reasons, why the professional set of the soft pastels is worth buying from the beginning.
1. You will get the basic techniques faster. As simple as that - you will exclude the need to guess, if the failure happened because of wrong technique or it was a bad quality material.
2. Your final work will look better. The cheap pastels have a smaller position of the pigment, therefore, the final works are usually quite pale.
3. You will get the desired result faster. It is important to have enough complex colors in your palette due to the specific blending technique of the soft pastels. The cheap set usually does not include such colors, so it will require much more effort to have a better transition between the colors. As the cheaper pastels do not allow too many layers, it makes the task even more complex.
4. The high cost of the set will be an additional motivation to continue! In the beginning the decision to buy the set will not be a compulsive one, so will be making a commitment already. Furthermore, your investment should pay off.
5. Afterwards you will not need to buy a new set, rather extend your personal set by buying the single pastel sticks, which almost every professional soft pastel producer offers.
It is always a "quality and price" dilemma, especially when it comes to the hobby suppliers. But unlike other mediums, such as oil and acrylic colors or pencils, the quality of the soft pastels has a huge impact not only on the result of the final painting, but on the speed of your learning progress.
I am curious to hear your option on this topic! What was your first set of the soft pastels? And what set would you buy now? Let me know in the comments below!