Soft Pastels offer brilliant colors and high pigmentation. They are ideal for artists who wish to use intense colors. They offer a lot of diversity, as they are mixable, wipeable, and water soluble. They can be used to achieve a wide range of drawing effects, from crisp lines to soft feathery textures.
Historically, pastels can be traced back to the 16th century and have been used by many famous artists, but they became especially popular in the 19th century. Delacroix, Manet, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Whistler and Degas all used pastels for finished work as well as for sketches. Because they have no liquid binder, they do not degrade over time. Soft Pastels are the most popular form of pastels and have more pigment and less binder than other forms of pastel. They are most popular with professional pastel artists