Dina Wakley Countdown! Pan Pastels

Hi friends, it’s Cathie here to talk a little about a new product that The Paperie is introducing, Pan Pastels. I have been wanting to delve into the word of Pan Pastels for a long time now so I’m really excited to get started figuring out just what they can do.


You’re probably wondering what these little discs of color are all about. Basically, they are incredibly colorful, artist-quality, low dust pastels that you apply with sponges specially designed by Pan Pastels. But that description hardly does them justice because you can use them on so many surfaces like paper or canvas or chipboard or fabric. You can use them to create portraits or to cover large areas with color. All of those options are very exciting.

Soft Tools

Whenever I get a new product, I like to play and look around to see what other artists are doing.  I flipped through my copy of our-soon-to-be-guest-teacher, Dina Wakley’s, book Art Journal Freedom, and discovered that Pan Pastels and VersaMark (or Perfect Medium) work great together. The VersaMark/Perfect Medium attracts and holds the Pan Pastel pigment, creating a neat tone-on-tone effect. You can see it on this background. You can use this technique with stamps or stencils but for this page, I used the 12×12 Tiny Circles stencil.


Here’s how the same technique looks like when you use a stamp.


And here’s how that technique looks like when you stamp with VersaMark on canvas! I love this one the best because the canvas does such a great job of holding all the color.


Pan Pastels work best on surfaces that have a tooth like molding paste. Just like the canvas above, the gritty texture of the molding paste had no trouble grabbing and holding onto color. I was even able to sand away the color in places without applying fixative first.


And textured cardstock is a lot of fun with a little Pan Pastel. Here I used Paynes Grey…


Pan Pastels come in 80 different colors. Of course, I started with mostly blue but I do have some other colors. Here you can see that I used Permanent Red to color some Studio Calico wood veneers. It was so easy to do and look how well the Pan Pastels covered the wood and still let the wood grain show through. I sanded these to add a little extra texture.


Pan Pastels are very blendable and work more like paint than a chalk pastel. It’s easy to blend colors together to get a shade you may not have but need. Here’s a pink swatch I made by laying down some Permanent Red and then blending in some Titanium White on some textured cardstock.


Please note, because Pan Pastels are indeed pastels, you need to use a fixative when you’re finished working with them or they will rub and smudge your page or project.

Here’s a final look at the layout I made using this fun product…


I am really looking forward to playing with my Pan Pastels and discovering what else they can do, and I’m excited that The Paperie is now able to order any color in the whole range. I definitely need some yellows and greens to help balance out all the blue! I hope I’ve inspired you to give Pan Pastels a try, I know I’ll have lots more to post about these products as I figure them out over on my blog: www.cathiereed.blogspot.ca.

And finally, don’t forget, Dina Wakley is going to be teaching 2 full days of classes at The Paperie, August 17 and 18. I’m not sure if we’ll be using Pan Pastels in her classes but you can order a copy of her book through The Paperie and then get Dina to sign it while she’s visiting! It’s full of techniques and ideas and inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by!


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