Japanese Pastel Set, 48 Colours


Based on French soft pastel production methods, Crown Chemical Company Pastels, established in Kyoto, 1919 sought to produce a distinctly Japanese art material at the behest of Japanese impressionist landscaper Yazaki Chiyoji (1872 - 1947) who favoured the medium. While soft pastels were widely used amongst artists, not least Degas, these were and often are used in combination with other mediums, or for quick and preparatory sketches. Indeed, where paint requires water, brushes and easels - pastels can be transported easily, they do not require any water or drying, but allow for strong, clear and vivid colour comparable to oil. 

Crown Chemical Company is notable for being the first and sole producer of soft pastels in Japan, thus bringing to their product a distinctively Japanese flavour suited to painting the landscape of Kyoto. If you have been using commercial, mass manufactured pastels before - which contain chalks and other dusty fillers - this medium is incomparable. They are carefully handmade, in small batches, with the aim of giving each colour the greatest clarity and brightness, allowing the artist to explore the pigments' full character.  

Also available as a larger set of 150 colours

Material: Soft pastels
Included: 48 colours in wooden presentation box; colour chart.

Here pictured are some examples of works by Yazaki Chiyoji and his contemporary Tsurunosuke Takeuchi, both known for their work with pastels. 

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.