I use the finest quality artists materials for my pet portraits from photos and wildlife art. Not only do I use well known brands, I select certain items from within these brands which are extremely lightfast. Not all brands are totally lightfast throughout their range so I choose individual pencils, pans and sticks which have been tested using the standard Blue Wool Scale. Originally it was developed to test the permanence of colouring dyes but it has now been adopted by the printing industry and art material manufacturers are also beginning to use this same scale. I source highly rated materials which have achieved a very high lightfast rating to ensure my artwork doesn’t fade away. Usually the tests involve taking two identical samples of the same paint/liquid/ink/pencil leaving one in the dark and exposing the other to sunlight conditions for three months. The results are graded from 0 to 8, 0 being the worst with 8 having no change from the original control sample. I do not use anything with a rating of less than 6 with just a few exceptions with 5 for very difficult to source colours. My artwork will last longer than a lifetime with the correct care.

The Blue Wool Scale measures and calibrates the permanence of colouring dyes. Traditionally this test was developed for the textiles industry but it has now been adopted by the printing industry as measure of lightfastness of ink colourants.

Pastels Pencils

I select my pastels from the following brands – Derwent, Stabilo Carb’othello, Faber Castell Pitts, Conte a Paris, Caran D’ache

Pastel Sticks

Jaxell, Rembrandt, Sennelier, Torsion D’or, Caran D’ache

Panpastels from Colourfin

Charcoal Pencils

Derwent, Faber Castell, Generals

Charcoal Sticks

Derwent, Faber Castell

Again I only use the I lightfast items from these ranges.


Clairefontaine Pastelmat.

About Pastels

Pastel is pure pigment-the same pigment used in making all fine art paints. It is the most permanent of all media when applied to a permanent ground and properly framed. There is no oil to cause darkening or cracking, nor other substance or medium to cause fading or blistering. Pastels from the 16th Century exist today, as fresh and alive as the day they were painted! – Ref The Connecticut Pastel Society
Nothing beats the colourful brilliance of pastels but they are not the cleanest medium to use. Now you can enjoy all the beauty of pastel in a convenient, non-messy form. Wood cased Pastel Pencils have a soft, powdery texture which produces a velvety smooth finish, ideal for mixing and blending. And because they are pencils, they are clean and easy to control although you may not be able to resist the occasional smudge with your finger! – Ref Derwent
Pastel comes in many forms, from eye compact like blocks of colour which can be applied with tools such as colour shapers, sponges or fingertips, to sticks and pastel pencils which give the convenience of pastel but without much of the mess.I love pastel pencils, for me they have transformed my artwork. Previously I was a colour pencil artist but found they did not give me the depth of colour I wanted, once I had discovered the humble pastel pencil, my art took on a life of it’s own. I am able to create vivid but lifelike portraits with full backgrounds due to the blendability of sticks. I am addicted to pastels and doubt anything will ever compare for me.