Today I’m going to give a detailed review of the Cray-Pas specialist artist grade oil pastels. Due to the scanty reviews of oil pastels on the internet, I’ve been meaning to review these pastels much sooner(only if I had stopped taking erratic life decisions, would that be possible).
The specialist pastels were something that I looked up for, ever since I bought the Mungyo oil pastels, due to their unique design of the pastels and detailed product description (and the unending human greed).
Cray-Pas has come up with three different oil pastel sets catering to three different age groups. They are:
- The Cray-pas junior: for kindergarten kids
- The Cray-pas Expressionist (for everyone else above kindergarten)
- The Cray-Pas Specialist (targeted for artists)
I have the Cray-Pas specialist oil pastels in 50 shades. It comes with a colourless blender and two metallic shades.
- Rich, vibrant colours
- Square shaped pastels, which work better especially while working on smaller paintings.
- The colours are lightfast and have the lightfastness ratings mentioned on them. (Lightfastness is the property of a colour which makes it fade-resistant).
- They crumble a lot while working with them when compared to Mungyo Gallery Artist’s soft oil pastels.
- All the colours do not have a uniform formulation. Some of the colours are dry and patchy.
- The colourless extender is very soft like butter and breaks when pressure is applied. Though it has to be soft to blend different colours together, so I don’t think that’s entirely a con. However, I find that it doesn’t work up to its mark in blending colours.
- With the huge price difference between expressionist and specialist, the output of both of them is similar (refer the picture below) and I find the former to be comparatively smoother.
- Some of the shades in the set are very similar to each other that they are almost indistinguishable, and the shade range is biased over blues and greens.
- The pastels aren’t smooth, which I thought was requisite to artist grade oil pastels. However, they do blend well.
- They do not many give many layers of application.
Having said all the pros and cons, I still love these pastels and I prefer them over the other brands that I mentioned because of their vibrant colours and their unique texture that gives a depth to the painting. This texture in the painting can also be seen in the cray pas expressionist. If you’re a student who’s on a budget, go for the expressionist or the pentel oil pastels. However, if you love to make bold, expressionist artworks, these pastels are for you!
Here are the pictures, swatches of these pastels:
I’ve also reviewed them on my youtube channel, and you can watch that video here: