Pastel crayons have been used as a drawing medium since the 15th century. The term "pastel" is derived from the Italian word "pasta" (dough), because in the past pigments were kneaded into a dough with the aid of a binding agent.
Polychromos Artists' Pastels were introduced in 1911. They are highly pigmented, hard pastels that are acid-free. 48 of 60 colors are rated with *** lightfastness providing intense, smooth color laydown. Unlike color pencils that adhere to just about all types of paper, they require a drawing background of a certain roughness. Pastel crayons are therefore mainly used for surface-covering on soft, fine-grained or velvety velour paper or on heavy paper with a coarse-grained surface. It is also possible to draw on stone or asphalt. This attribute extends the pastel crayons' application options. They can be wiped or treated with a paint brush.
Polychromos Pastel Crayons have a rectangular cross section. The shape allows several different line widths which enables the artist to draw fine details as well as working on large areas. This feature gives artists the benefit of ready "edges" with which to achieve sharp delineation when required, as well as flat sides to allow uniform tonal shading.
No Addition of Fat, Oil or Wax in the Polychromos Pastel
The main difference when compared with other types of color mediums is that the manufacturing of pastel colors involves no addition of fat, oil or wax. As a result, pastels are totally dry as they wear, and are excellent in painting for various wash techniques, e.g. to achieve gently mixed shades and fine transitions.
Polychromos Pastels Are Lightfast & Color Matched
As is the case with all Faber-Castell color products, lightfastness is achieved only through using the most stringent selection of top quality pigments. The color tones, color numbering system and star rating system each correspond with Polychromos Color Pencils and Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils.
Recommended Surfaces for Polychromos Pastels
The recommended surfaces are: a heavy, coarse-grained paper, colored paper, board, brown paper, flock paper, sandpaper, wood and canvas (prepared).
Gentle fixing is recommended.