Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Caran d'Ache NEOART Pastels

I came across Caran d'Ache NEOART Aquarelle Pastels for the first time at Patchings recently. Always a sucker for a big wooden box full of juicy colours I took a photo!

...and then started to try and find out a bit more about them to see if they're likely to be something I want to investigate further.  (I've got to that point where any new product needs to earn its place in my home).

I particularly wanted to know what was the difference between these bigger NEOART pastels and the smaller Neocolour II pastels.

This post provides links to:
  • the Caran d'Ache product pages for Neoart Aquarelle Pastels
  • explains the difference between NEOART and Neocolor II
  • comments by bloggers and people participating in forums
Caran d'Ache NEOART Aquarelle Pastels

This is how Caran d'Ache describe them
NEOART™ Aquarelle
Pastel of large diametre recommended for works on big surfaces
Bright and semi-opaque colours
Very high pigment concentration
Now - these are:
  • NOT dry media (ie soft or hard pastels as we normally think of them)
  • NOT another name for Caran D'Ache Neocolor II wax-based water-soluble pastels used by a lot of artists for underpaintings
    Both NEOART and Neocolor II are water-soluble wax pastels - but
    • Do they work in the same way?
    • What, if any, are the differences?
    These tables summarise their characteristics.  They persuade me that those using Neocolour II for underpaintings would do well to check out their favourite colours in the NEOART pastels

    Water-soluble wax pastel
    Artist / Professional Grade
    Very high pigment concentration - provides exceptional purity and intensity
    Excellent Lightfastness
    Strong, bright semi-opaque colours (60 in total) - available in sets and individually
    dry or wet drawing on all supports
    techniques: watercolouring, washes, scraping back (Scraffito)
    Large diameter (width of large marker pen)
    Brochure (PDF)

    Colour Chart - PDF

    Neocolor II
    Water-soluble wax pastel
    Hobby Artist Grade
    High pigment concentration for bright and opaque colours
    excellent lightfastness
    exceptional covering power
    dry or wet drawing on all materials
    widest range of colours for water-soluble pastels on the market
    normal pencil stick breadth
    Brochure - PDF
    Colour Chart - PDF

    Product Reviews by artists online

    This is what I could find from artists commenting online
    A big difference to the artist between the two is the size and hardness. The Neoart pastels are harder and seem a bit waxier than the neocolors. Since they come in a large size, they are a bit more awkward to hold in the hand, and the ends are blunt, not sharpened, so control can be a bit more difficult to achieve with them.
    • Kelly Kilmer is a mixed media artist/tutor and major fan of NEOART Pastels.  She describes them as "must have supplies" and she ships and repackages them for her students
    Caran d'ache Neo Art Watersoluble Wax Pastels (NOT oil based at all, these are big chunky crayons) I Love these to add color "here and there" on a page. I mostly use them dry with a heavy hand and "rub" them into the page using an old rag. Yet, since they are watersoluble anything "wet" will move them around. I have two sets of the 60 colors (one for me, one for classes) and these puppies last a LONG time. I dumped them out of the box and put them in a bag and they're not so "precious" once you do that ;)
    • Jolene in Orange County, California shows us what you can do with them in a 2007 post Caran d' Ache 
    After everything was dry I started coloring with the wax pastels. I smooshed them around with my fingers and rubbed them with an old rag. Then I grabbed the first sharp object I found on my art table (a needle I use for bookbinding) and I began to scratch into the pastels. And oh how I loved the effect I was able to achieve! 

    UK Supplies

    In the UK it appears that you can order sets from Jacksons Art.  The stall that brought them to Patchings was Caran d'Ache working with Gadsbys of Leicester

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