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Pan Pastel Extra Dark Shades!!!

Stormy River
5" x 7"
Pan Pastels including five Extra Dark Shades on white wirebound ProArt sketchbook paper.

That's right, this is not on Wallis or any special paper at all. Yesterday, during the month when I gritted my teeth and bought software instead of art supplies, I got a wonderful package of review goodies from Berni at Colorfun LLC -- makers of Pan Pastels, Sofft tools and marketing this wonderful new surface, PastelMat. She wrote to me and asked if I'd like to try PastelMat. Well, yeah! I love coated surfaces and new papers, especially when they come in colors. She also asked if I had tried the Deep Darks.

So I was hoping for a sample pan of a Deep Dark, hoping it'd be a really useful color like deep dark red or green or blue -- and she sent the five color set! Hansa Yellow Deep Dark Shade is a gorgeous olive green. Permanent Red Deep Dark is as useful as the Tuscan Red Prismacolor -- a must-have hue. Ultramarine Deep Dark is as useful as the Indigo Prismacolor though it's a cool dark blue, the Pthalo Blue Deep Dark shade is probably closer to the Indigo in hue. Violet Deep Dark went into a lot of those storm clouds and is a rich gorgeous deep gray-violet, more colorful than Paynes Grey and works gorgeously with it. Chromium Green Deep Dark is a great deep dark green just the shade of shadowed pine branches and deep foliage.

I'd been meaning to get the 20 color set and will have to get all fifteen other deep dark shades eventually since I love the pans. But these five by themselves are the five most useful deep-dark colors. They rock. And as with all Pans, they can go well even on normal sketch paper.

PastelMat has a very fine-grain surface closest to Ampersand PastelBord out of everything else I've tried. It comes in eight beautiful colors, three cool and four warm with a white. Anthracite isn't black, it's a shimmering dark charcoal color that has a lovely visual texture to it. All of them have such a smooth surface that I didn't even realize at first that these were coated papers -- just that they're very heavy and the colors were wonderful. But they are!

They don't need fixative with PanPastels at all. I'm going to be testing them with Pans, soft pastels, oil pastels and colored pencils. The super-fine grain texture gives benefits of both coated surfaces and uncoated vellum ones -- I should be able to get more detail on PastelMat than on Colourfix. This may well become my fine-grained surface of choice depending on whether I want to go bold and splashy or detailed and realistic.

Berni's timing was perfect and the new goodies are marvelous. I'm having loads of fun with them. If you go to local physical art stores, talk to the managers about ordering this stuff in because if they do, it'll sell out. So far every innovation from Colorfin LLC has turned out tons better than expected, from Pans and Sofft Tools to now, this sumptuous new surface. I will post more on the PastelMat when I've done a good painting on it, want to plan it out so that I don't waste it on sloppy test sketching. Of course I could sketch with Pans in my sketchbook and then do it on the good coated paper.

Both PastelMat and the Deep Dark Pans are available at Dakota Pastels. Blick doesn't have them yet but they'll probably be cheaper once Blick does. I need to email Blick and bug them to stock the PastelMat too, the stuff is wonderful.

Here's the site for Pan Pastels. The Sofft tools are available on a linked site.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!


2013 Nano Winner
Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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