PanPastel: First Steps

BTW, this has not become an art blog.  Because I like to add design and color to fabric and garments, I’m always looking for new ideas. I’m just as interested in folding, stitching and dying (activities more often associated with garments). PanPastels will be utilized in my garment sewing too, but first I have to explore the medium a little.

Dick Blick has been my source for art supplies since the 80’s. But there are many other quality sources. Should you desire to purchase, by all means, choose your favorite vendor.

I experimented with chalk pastels during my student art days. These are hardly the same animal.  The first thing I noticed  is that they come in a pan (a large pan and hence the name PANpastel) instead of a stick. Instead of talc, they are created with an oil base which makes them creamy.  Never did I see any chalk pastels with this intensity of color which I’m told is because they are pigment rich achievable due to the pan format.    They are available for purchase in sets or individually. No matter where purchased, more than one will be a pricey proposition.  I looked at sets which is the least expensive option (when you divide total price by number of pans). My problem with sets is that it would take a large set to achieve the color range that I use. In that large set would, undoubtedly, be many colors I’d never use. Also at this time I’m experimenting. Exploring.  I’m not even sure I want to complete a single project let alone multiple projects that would justify the expense of the largish set.


And then the tools….


This set at Dick Blick as of 10/4/2014 is $25.70.  I did see several people using, with some skill I might add, brushes.  I love brushes myself, but most demonstrations included and were very enthusiastic about the effects achieved with these tools which were engineered to work with PanPastels.

OK so what to do because obviously I was going to sample these. I decided to control some of the cost by remembering my watercolour training. In watercolour shape, form, texture, dimension etc is achieved by reserving your whites and carving out the shapes with your hue, tints and tones.  I discovered in Machine Embroidery that I didn’t need thread in every color of the rainbow or its many tints and tones. A hue, its tint and dark (3 spools)  would be more than sufficient for any embroidery that I do.  So I looked through my stash of possible artsy projects (I’m a person with multiple stashes) and decided upon a project that I had been considering for fabric paints that would need 2 hues along with their respective tints and tones. I chose Red Iron Oxide and it’s dark. I added Titanium white to my cart then hesitated. Purportedly, the tint can be created from the basic hue. But I had no idea how much mixing would be required. I decided to stack-the-deck in my favor by adding the Red Iron Oxide tint.

I looked at the tools…. and looked at the tools. Each item in the set above is available individually. I was questioning did I want to spend $26 for tools I would use once and then allow to gather dust.  I’m not poor. I worked hard and consistently during my working career and retired comfortably but not stinking-rich either.  I have some disposable income and when wisely used I feel no lack in my life.  Would buying all these tool at the onset be a wise use of my $$$ or wasting money that could add to my life in other areas???

I didn’t add tools to the cart. I wanted to be sure I would use these PanPastels more than once. Seriously, there have been so many mediums and tools I’ve dabbled with that didn’t interest me beyond the first experiment. I often rein-myself-in with the same questions. Am I really going to use this?  Is this really a good use of my resources (time, money, materials)???

So I checked out with 4 PanPastels. Less than $21. Not bad for experimenting with a new medium. Then there was shipping. This was going to cost me $8.95 for shipping. I’ve cancelled many an order because of high shipping costs. I do have a problem in that I can’t buy these without driving 180 miles; and then 180 miles home. Oh I can buy pastel sticks, but I want PanPastels. and I want them in colors that I will use (if I like PanPastels) for multiple projects.   So I re-thought this purchase. I decided that I not only wanted these but I wanted them immediately. After all, $14.95 was less than an $60 road-trip to Sioux Falls and I could have my goodies in 2 days. Yes, I nearly doubled the cost of my items because I was so eager to use them.  We all have faults; impatience is one of mine.



2 thoughts on “PanPastel: First Steps

  1. Thank goodness you’re back! I’ve been quite worried about you, wondering if you are ill. Your blog is my absolute favourite to read. I really like the way you go into detail and analyse everything. I’m sure you have a lot of fans out there, who like me, seldom leave comments. Nevertheless, we do appreciate the time and effort you put into writing your blogs. Many thanks from Julie in Yorkshire, UK.

    1. Thank you, Julie. It’s nice to be missed. Yes I have been sick but not critically. I had a summer cold which hung on and on. Then caught strep throat which worked it’s way into bronchitus (sp?) In the last 2 months I’ve started and wadded 3 projects. I just don’t feel like working and when I do, I don’t think clearly. But I’m not critically ill. I’ve called the doctor’s office once, didn’t even go in to see her. I keep hanging on wish this “stuff” would go away.

Comments are closed.