I was so incredibly fortunate to get an invite by Caran D’Ache to do some demonstration of painting and sketching with the Neopastel oil pastels on the Paperworld Frankfurt 2013. Those four days of painting and talking were exhausting and great. There was the opportunity to speak directly with the professionals of Caran d’Ache about the colours, the pigments and their durability.
Oil pastels are among the most durable media you can get, because the pigment is protected by the oil and waxy binders around the pigment. In dry pastels the pigment is exposed almost naked to the UV-light. Caran d’Ache produces, in fact is casting, 96 different colors now of which only 10 are classified as very good compared to excellent and good. There are no good pastels because all others are in the highest class “excellent”. This was really very good news.
I find the Caran d’Ache oil pastels are easy to use because the consistency of the sticks is the same on each colour, which applies also to the high opacity. From all the different qualities I have used so far the Neopastel is nearest to soft pastel in handling.
Even though the place was very busy and a lot of talk was going on I was able to do some work. Til then I had only used the 48 color set. At Frankfurt I could use the 96 color set which indeed makes a big difference: more warm and cool grays,more browns and greens are great for landscape painting.