First sketches with Pitt Pastel Pencils

September 6, 2023 | 10 Comments

In the past week, I’ve been sketching with Pitt Pastel Pencils by Faber Castell. And it’s been a lot of fun to try a medium that I generally avoid because I’m a messy sketcher and do not like smudges!

I was given a 24-set of the Pitt Pastel Pencils in the mystery box of art supplies sent to me by Faber Castell Australia.   Aside: If you are in Australia there is still time to enter the #Colour4Life competition which has amazing prizes – find out more here.


One of the things about Faber Castell products which I love is their colour indexing system so this means that even though I’m using a brand new medium I’m already familiar with the colours making it much easier to use straightaway. These are the colours in the 24 set.

BTW I have not photoshopped out any smudges so these images are a good record of what the pastel work looks like in my current sketchbook. I separate the most recently completed pages with a few sheets of card,  spray the sketches with a few coats of Spectrafix non-toxic fixative (which helps a little) and then just accept the result after that!


The first sketches I did were of a few objects just to get a feel of using pastel pencils and really enjoyed it! Notice the comment about being aware of the dust on the page. 🙂

And then I did a few sketches in my local area trying a few different techniques.

I really enjoyed doing these and it’s so much fun to be able to easily soften areas (yes! I’m starting to get used to smudges!)

I would love to hear from any of you (in the comment section below) who use pastel or pastel pencils for sketching. Note: I’m interested in sketching – not pastel painting. 🙂

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  • Tina Koyama says:

    I have tried these several times and love the way they blend, but I can’t stand the dust and mess. I also don’t like using fixative because I have to go outside to spray it. Sketching time is too precious to me… they are just not worth the high-maintenance.

  • Gayle Coward says:

    I have the full set and I’ve used them a couple of times, but too messy for me.

  • Carina Rijnhart says:

    Are you using these pencil on your regular paper?
    I never could be bothered starting with pastel pencils because one needs to buy a different paper again ?

  • Ina Iansiti says:

    I really love these, Liz! It’s fun to see you exploring a new medium. I especially love the green door one. As I said on instagram, it’s been years since I’ve worked in regularly pastels, but they were my preferred medium for a long time. I did a series of 100 self portraits in 100 days, mostly in a 9×12 sketchbook, most of them only using pastels. I’m not sure if I can post a link here, but this is my favorite one of the bunch (after a Cezanne painting). You can also see in the blog banner, and in a small image on the right of the blog, a few other pastels from the series. [full disclosure: if you scroll through more of the 100, there are a lot of duds. 😀 ] Have fun playing!

  • Lori says:

    Hi Liz,
    I love your sketches with the pastel pencils.
    Looking through them, I do have a question. Your sketch with the green door has detail markings. Did you use a fountain pen, a micron, or something else?
    And did you do those details before or after the color?
    Thank you for sharing your experiments with us ?

  • gary scott says:

    I love your sketches, but these pastel drawings aren’t up to your usual standard. Sure, it could be the new media, but I think it’s the media’s fault. Without the use of a media with a sharp point, the lines look fat and sloppy, Thus, the drawings lack the detail that I associate with your work.

  • Jamie C says:

    I love seeing your familiar places sketched with the pastel pencil, it really gives a feel for what the medium is ending up for you. Looks fun. I’ve used pastels in the past, but only soft pastel sticks, not pencil, and only on individual sheets of paper, not a sketchbook, so I don’t have much helpful to add. I love working with them, but I was always afraid of smudges in a book. The fixative might take care of that. I was a big fan of deliberately smudging and blending with tortillons, blending stumps, even a finger, a cotton ball, a napkin, etc. Lots of different textures and effects that way. I’m looking forward to seeing your continued experiments!

  • Liz Steel says:

    Thanks for all the comments everyone!

  • Marta says:

    i have been struggling with both charcoal and pastels until I have tried the pastelmat paper. I don’t know how else to use these mediums. I am now experimenting with Talents’ art creations sketchbooks and baking paper between pages…

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