Pastel Colour Charts

One of the most useful tools for a practising artist is a personal colour chart of all the pastels in his/her collection - leaving room for additions either by hue or tonal value.
The next most useful tool is a set of manufacturers' colour charts. These will allow you to see the full range of colours available, and also permit you to preselect pastel sticks before sending your hard-earned money into the ether.
Most manufacturers provide a colour chart online - either a pdf document or a set of jpeg images. Some makers will provide a printed chart, with or without an online version; the posher ones will do a handmade chart - at a price.
I am listing here the major pastel makers, with a web address for their colour chart pages. Apologies to any that I have still left out. You may email me for inclusion. (The manufacturers are listed in no particular order.)

Henri Roché Pastels 
Henri Roché pastels are the oldest pastel brand in the world, dating from around 1720 and used by artists such as Rosalba Carriera, and Edward Dégas. At its height in the 1970s, the entire range of Roché pastels exceeded 1800 colours. Today, Isabelle Roché and Margaret Zayer are busy expanding the collection that currently comprises 1201 colours, divided into ranges of nine gradations. Each range is composed of pure colours that are either gradated with white, black, or crossed with another colour.
The full set of colours is visible here on the online shop.
Manufactured in small quantities, Roché pastels are individually hand-rolled into a form suitable for both bold and detailed work. With exceptionally lightfast pigments and a minimum of binder, the pastels possess a particular texture that allows them to adhere well to a number of supports, as well as display a remarkable intensity and clarity of colour. These are top of the range products, expensive, and not for the beginner. But the quality is superb and the personal service second to none.

Gondola Pastels
Thanks to a Japanese artist who posted their work on Facebook, I have been made aware of a pastel brand that is completely new to me, Gondola Pastels. Manufactured in Japan by an art materials company that has been in business since 1919, Gondola Pastels is a range of 242 colours, hand made in Kyoto, and size (Diameter x Length): 1.2 x 2.1 (cm) / 0.5 x 0.8 (inch)

They are available from Art Supplies Store, 1-1259-64 Shiomigaoka, Nakago-Cho, Kitaibaraki, Ibaraki 319-1553 JAPAN. The web address is

The 242 stick set, in a wooden box, costs $270, which seems good value.
The manufacturer's web page states: Gondola pastel is Japan's first soft pastel manufacturer that started business in Kyoto in 1919. For 90 years since our establishment, we have carefully created the colors according to the light of Japan one by one by hand.
In 2011, based on the idea of ​​Takiko Inoue, who received the Kyoto Culture Venture Competition First Prize , he created and launched " Kyoto Seki pastel" which gathered the traditional colors of Kyoto.

Richeson Pastels
Jack Richeson offers a trio of pastel types; The soft handmade pastels
offer a consistent application without crumbling. They are available in half- or full sticks (23/4 x 5/8 ins). The soft round pastels help you create broad smooth strokes or fine details (2-3/4 x 1/2 ins). The Richeson Semi-Hard Pastels (3-5/8 x 1/4 ins) are perfect for underpainting and have great flat edges for shading. All are available in 120 colours. Information and colour chart available here.

RustyTone Handmade Pastels
First developed in 2008 by Australian pastellist Leigh Rust, these pastels have grown from a small range of 30 pastels designed to complement the existing brands on the market to becoming a full selection of more than 200 colours. Each colour is available in Thinline or Regular size.
These pastels have been compared to Unison or Terry Ludwig. Pricing in in Australian Dollars. The colours are featured on this webpage, and a colour chart may be downloaded here.

Jaxell Pastels, from Honsell Art Products, seem to come in two formats, a 72-stick square set, and a 90-stick round set. These latter are labelled "extra fine", and measure 66mm in length by 10mm in diameter. Jumbo pastels are also available. These pastels are ideal for beginners, as they are relatively inexpensive. In fact, the square sets are recommended for students and beginners by Géant des Beaux-Art. You can find a colour chart on their site at this page. I have a wee box of 15 that was a complimentary set, but with such a small selection of wildly different hues I have yet to find it useful. Incidentally, the web address on my box, seems to be inaccessible without a password, so I don't see the point in listing it. However, the Honsell site is accessible, and if you look at page 7 of their pdf catalogue, (click on HONSELL Katalog Nr. 01 Pastellkreiden) you can see a chart of 72 colours, presumably the square set.

Jackson's Soft Handmade Pastels are new to to the market as of April 2014. Of the highest professional quality, There are 200  colours, tints and shades in the full range, as well as wide array of themed selection sets. Sets of 14 individual Soft Pastels ordered are presented in a handy pastel set box. Each pastels is about 2 ins (50 mm) in length and about 5/8 inch wide; they are not unlike Unison. They are described as lightfast, with the exception of the 4 fluorescent colours; in use they are soft and buttery,  not quite as soft perhaps as Sennelier, and Schminke, but not far off. They retail at approximately £1.50 each, thus making the full set reasonably attainable for the serious pastellist. A colour chart is available in pdf format; this is an image of the range:

Jackson's Hard Pastels are manufactured by Jackson's Art Supplies. The full set consists of a modest 64 colours supplied in square half-sticks. There is a very useful range of neutrals in grey and in earth shades; two rather day-glow shades of pink and orange respectively; and a set of blues and greens that includes shades for blue and turquoise seas. When I checked the catalogue the full set appeared to be retailing at an astonishing £7.95 - at that price they are perfectly pitched at the beginner who wants a decent range of colours without breaking the bank. This set retails at the price of about 3 full sticks from the main pastel makers. I have given them a brief trial, and they glaze well over existing layers on paper such as Canson Mi-Teint Touch. They are softer than Nupastel, - somewhere in the region of Rembrandt perhaps. There is no colour chart, so I have photographed the set for posting here. I have no information on light-fastness or pigment to binder ratio at this time.
Jackson's Pastel Set

Blue Earth Pastels are available in 10 boxed sets, each consisting of 21 individual sticks, organized by hue, value and intensity. Six of the boxes represent the warm and cool side of the primary colors and three boxes are devoted to the secondary colors. Each contains the hue in six values from light to dark and 14 greyed variations. The tenth box is composed of warm and cool grays, warm and cool whites, and black.
As of Fall 2013, this range has been expand to 336 pastels. For each of the color ranges, a fourth row or 'D' line has been added. This row is further de-saturated with the complement for a very subtle, neutralized, grayed row of color. With this addition, each color range set now has 28 colors. A new Turquoise set of 28 colors was added to fill a gap in the previous color range.
Here is the Blue Earth colour chart before the expansion of the range (for the updated chart, see the website).

The website is and the pastels are available from Dakota Art Pastels.

Sennelier Pastels, also French, are very soft and come in a range of 525 colours including the glitters. 
You may download a pdf chart at

Swiss manufacturers Caran d'Ache have just (April 2012) launched a range of pastel "cubes" (square sticks) and pencils in a range of 84 colours, to complement one another. The colour chart may be saved as a pdf at  

The very soft Schminke pastels of Germany likewise provide a pdf version of their selection at

Belgian manufacturer Blockx has 204 colors in individual sticks or assortments. Again a pdf is provided at

Dutch maker Rembrandt has a range of 214 colours - each colour enlarges on screen on mouseover, but you can download the chart at

Great American Art Works
are now available in 468 colors, + 39 new in 2007. There are four charts presented as savable jpegs: Earth; Grey; Unique; Chromatics. The link is

Back to France. Pastels Girault has 300 colors, although they are aiming for a range of 526.
Currently these colours are graded by theme into four sets: Portrait, Landscape’ Flowers/Fruit, Background. Click on each colour to see it at sidebar - they cannot be downloaded. The whole website needs a makeover. It seems stuck in the same time warp as the French Pastel Society used to be before it escaped! Roché Pastels currently has the coolest website - it was designed by Antoine Leblond, son of pastellist Camille Leblond.

Artisan Pastellier in Albi, France: Didier Boinnard's shop is in the historic centre of the city, at 5 Rue Puech Berenguier.  His products are based on vegetable dyes, including Isatis tinctoria - woad, or pastel in French! 
You can buy packets of four for €13.90 to €15.00 depending on the colour range; one can of course buy larger sets of 10, 20, 40, or indeed the complete range of 50 colours. The sets are also available as portrait or landscape selections. The catalogue is available as a pdf download and the pastels are available via mail order on line.

Terry Ludwig
has a 515 colour pastel line. Only hand made charts are available at 40 dollars each - I don't know if that is per set, or for all 515. No charts are visible on line, so I have not given the web address - it is easy to find with a search engine.

Diane Townsend
has three lines of pastel - softform, terrages, and thin line. You can download a jpeg image of the collections - boxed sets, not a chart.
There are sets of all 120 Solid pure colors, 120 Light (L) and 120 Dark (D) variations of each color and 48 exotic colors set (10 fluorescent, 7 iridescent, 15 pearlescent and 16 metallic). That comes to 408 in total.
Go to and choose the line you want.

are a Japanese product. The 144 colour line is made using an entirely computerized process to ensure uniformity of both color and consistency. The medium soft consistency and the square shape are suitable for edge, lines and detail. You can buy a handmade colour chart for 15 dollars from suppliers such as Dakota. The Holbein website has a range of colour charts for their various products, and you can print off the chart you want. If you want to download the pastel chart you must right-click on the link and open the link in a new tab or window. Or just go directly to:

Mount Vision
has 347 colours with 3 duplicates added to make an even 350. Greg Biolchini chose the colors for the 50 Workshop set. It is an all-purpose set containing colors that mix well, with the selection weighted toward darker colors. The 25 Basic, Portrait and Landscape Add-on sets allow you to expand the Workshop 50 set with no duplication of colors! A handmade chart is available from supplier for 25 dollars.On the website the colurs are present as sets of 3 to six shades ( there are 11 greys) and these must be saved individually; you can also right click between the colours and choose the print option. Go to

Australian manufacturers
Artspectrum have a range of approximately 150 colours. The chart can be printed off the website, but not saved as an image, although again the individual colours can, if you have the patience.
The web address is
Note: the mis-spelling of "pastles" is a real error in the web address; use it as spelled, do not correct it.

Faber Castell
have a range of soft pastels, and pastel pencils, that complement each other.  The 60 Pitt pastel pencils chart is at a webshop site:
You can also find them spread over thhree pages at Jacksons. There's also a usefulset of colour charts, including this brand, on the following blog:

Pan Pastels
are available in 20 pure colours, 20 tints, 20 shades, and 20 extra darks. Go to to d
ownload a pdf file. Or go directly to and miss a step.

charts are available from a number of websites. There are 96 colours in this range of square section firm sticks. You can download a blank chart in which to put your own colours from
If you want a pre-coloured chart there are several options:
and go to this link for the complete NuPastel colour chart as a downloadable GIF file:
or here as a pdf:
Or you can download a set of seven small images at

A hand-made chart for the Korean
Mungyo Gallery Artists semi-hard pastels has been posted on the WetCanvas forum on  Just scroll down the page until you find them. 
The Mungyo range includes extra-fine soft; soft; and semi-hard pastels (oil pastels too).  To download the most comprehensive colour chart ever, that encompasses the whole range, go to  

Derwent Pastels
36 square hard pastels chart:
For the pencils, go to  and click on the colour chart link at the bottom of the page.

Stabilo CarbOthello
 has one of the worst websites to negotiate - maybe the word is post-modern, but they are better served by their retailers than by their own site. Jacksons have 60 colours spread over three pages. However, Hyatts have a handy one-page PDF file at

Finally, from the United Kingdom,
Unison Pastels.
There are nearly 400 colours ranging from subtle greys and earth colours to brilliant reds, blues, greens and yellows. The pastels are supplied in Mixed, Portrait and Landscape colours in boxes of 8, 18, 36 and 72 colours, but are also available individually.
The colour chart can be downloaded as a PDF file on


  1. Dakota Art Pastels has some color charts for terry ludwig pastels.

  2. I am beginning to work with Asian, African, South American skin tones aftr having worked with Caucasian skin tones all my life. Which are the base colours you recommend I start with. Thank you.