A question we get asked very often is can you mix soft pastels and pastel pencils. The answer is yes, to a certain degree.
Soft Pastel and Pastel Pencils are two different kinds of medium and the binding is different with soft pastel.
When put together, the soft pastel is too soft to mix with pastel pencil and doesn’t combine. When doing a picture, they are difficult to mix and you can’t do it in the same way.
In my experience, the way to combine the two is to add soft pastel on top of a picture to enhance it. Think of it this way, you can’t use Soft Pastel and Pastel Pencils as the ingredients to make a cake, but you can use the Soft Pastels to decorate a Pastel Pencil cake.
Once soft pastel goes on you have to generally leave it alone. That’s why if I do use soft pastel, I leave it till last and on a background. Soft pastels tend to spread very easily which is why I prefer them for backgrounds. I use pastel pencils first to create a under-layer straight onto the ingres fabriano pastel paper and then apply them on top. If I were to put soft pastel straight onto the ingres paper without an undercolour, it wouldn’t work very well in my opinion. I believe soft pastel is better on Canson paper as it adheres better.
Polychromos Pastel Sticks combine better with Pastel Pencils because they are harder. The same goes for other hard pastel sticks, they might work. You can have more confidence when using these. We do now sell a set of 24 Soft Pastels from Faber-Castell in our online shop.
Do you combine soft pastel and pastel pencil? Let us know your experience in the comments below.