• Arlene's Artist Materials

Schmincke Soft Pastels, A Testament to Quality and Craftsmanship

Updated: Jan 28, 2021


September 12, 2020



The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the interviewee, and not necessarily that of Arlene’s Artist Materials. Please contact with any questions. Photos by Andrew Ochal.


You should want the best. If you are going to use your most valuable commodity, time, to create then you should use products that mirror that same commitment. Quality also means results. Using quality products fosters creativity and aids in experimentation. It's a breath of fresh air. Freeing you as an artist to flow with your creativity and develop as an artist. Schmincke Soft Pastels are just that; high grade materials born out of a commitment to making the best quality products for artists.

I first came in contact with Schmincke Soft Pastels when I worked in Rochester, NY. Pastels were huge there and I fell for their allure. Schmincke pastels stood out from the rest for not only the size but their butterfly texture. Silky almost creamy application that worked on every surface. This is achieved of course by making every single stick of Schmincke Pastels by hand. Expert craftspeople use traditional time consuming techniques to masterfully engineer each stick perfectly. After which they are left to air dry for 8 days before they are labelled by hand. Now that is a commitment to the craft of making art supplies.

Coming to pastels from a painting background, I was also attracted to Schmincke Pastels color range. Similar to a professional oil paint line, their colors are saturated and lush. Unlike paints pastels are shades and tints to help artists create gradation of color. The complete range of Schmincke Soft Pastels includes 400 colors divided into 75 colors with 5 tints each. This balanced range is supplemented by a 10-step neutral grey series, 5 dark shades, gold, silver, 2 black shades, white and 5 special pearlescent shades for specific effects.

Each pastel is wrapped in an information sheet that denotes its color name, number and graduation of tint:

B – the black graduation

D – the pure color

H – the darkest white graduation

M – the medium white graduation

O – the lightest white graduation


About Schmincke:

"Meliora cogito" - "I strive for the best"

For four generations, Schmincke’s goal has been creating the very best fine artist colors for demanding artists in Erkrath, Germany. Not only is it their goal but their passion to supply the very best artist colors. The artist's satisfaction motivates Schmincke. They believe those who donate their valuable time to creative activities usually wish to use the best possible materials. Therefore they are faithful to their customers and contribute to a beautiful colorful world.

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