12 Handmade Colour Pastels, Botanical Colours


In modern-day mass manufacture, pastels have been known to be formulated using chalks and other dusty fillers altering potency of colour and texture. In the face of such declining quality Rebecca Wallace and Pip Seymour, two artists, art lecturers and colour specialists, began making paints to their own tastes and recipes looking to emulate art materials from the past, with more variable grain and natural appearance, offering long forgotten pigments and colours.

Its this in mind, this set has been created exclusively for Choosing Keeping. 12 exuberant colours which draw inspiration from the Pflanzenfarben-Atlas, a colour mixing guide published in 1957 with instructions on how to match flower colours with extreme precision.

The ideal support for these pastels is a somewhat rough surface with pronounced grain which can capture the pigment and hold on to it. For the sake of longevity we recommend sticking to acid-free paper to avoid unwanted colour shifts as time progresses. Our 17 Century Drawing Paper Sketch Pad is the perfect companion for this set of pastels.

They can be used dry and wet, when applying a wet brush either to the pastel or after application.

Cowslip Yellow (cadmium lemon)*
Crocus Yellow (cadmium yellow deep)*
Nasturtium Red (cadmium orange)*
Fireglobe (cadmium red)*
Maiden Pink-Red (cadmium purple)*
Corncockle Violet (cobalt violet light)
Vervain Violet  (cobalt violet deep)
Cornflower Blue (ultramarine blue)
Senecio Blue (cerulean blue)
Echeveria Blue (cobalt turquoise)
Selaginella Blue-Green (cobalt green light)

Juniper Green (cadmium green)*

The metal mineral pigments that match each flower shade are noted in brackets.

(*) Contains cadmium pigment

General Notes and precautions when working with Pastels

When working with soft pastel, be aware of nuisance dust. It is ideal to wear disposable gloves and a dust mask when working with pastel, especially if working in a  vigorous/expressive manner, where pigment dust becomes temporarily airborne.

To counter pigment dust, spray a fine mist of water in the workspace before beginning to paint with pastels. This will catch any dust and force it down to floor level. Ideally, work in a ventilated space.

Do not eat, drink or smoke when working with pastels. Wash hands before eating or drinking.