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Questions & Answers

Many questions about our products can be answered immediately by visiting our TECHNIQUES pages.

Below we have covered the most frequently asked questions, if you have any other questions, please email us: info@colorfin.com


Can I use fixative with PanPastel ?
As it is a pastel, PanPastel could be deliberately rubbed off so some artists do use fixative, although it is not essential.  PanPastel works with all conventional spray pastel fixatives.

You could spray the final layer or use a light spray in-between layers to isolate them.
Whether or not to use fixative and the technique chosen really depends on personal preference and your working method.

Tip: When using fixative spray in light layers multiple times, building up as required - rather than spraying one or two heavy layers. 


Should PanPastel Color lids be replaced every time I stop painting?
It is not necessary to “close” the pans every time you finish painting. As with pastel sticks, you can simply leave the colors “open” in the studio, until you resume painting. Many painters love this aspect of painting with PanPastel Colors, so much more convenient than tubes of paint.

It is, of course, good studio practice, as with pastel sticks, to store the colors “closed” when not in use. PanPastel palette trays are a great way to organize and store PanPastel Colors. The unique design of the pans and jars means that the tools and colors can be stored in a clean and organized manner quickly and easily.


How can I get super fine details when painting?
While fairly thin lines can be achieved by using the edges of the sponge tools, you are limited by the size of the applicator when applying color (in the same way as you would be limited by a brush size when using liquid color) so to achieve super fine lines many artists use a colored pencil.


Can I purchase extra lids and storage jars?
Yes, extra lids and storage jars can be purchased from your PanPastel retailer: RETAIL


Can I use my fingers to blend / apply PanPastel Colors?
The color payoff is reduced when using fingers to apply PanPastel Colors instead of using Sofft tools. Also, for any artists’ medium it is always best to avoid using fingers when there is a tool, such as Sofft Tools, that can do the job better!


What is the best way to clean off my Sofft Knife Covers?
By wiping on a paper towel to remove excess color. Wipe from left to right, rather than up and down, so that the cover stays in place on the knife and will not get dragged off by the towel.


What makes Sofft sponge so special?
The sponge material used is unique to Sofft. We developed this sponge formulation specifically for use with PanPastel and other water-based artists’ colors. They really do load and release the color perfectly for art applications.

PanPastel Color formulations have very high levels of artists’ pigments, and are used on many different surfaces. Requiring a very different type of artist’s sponge - Sofft. (Unlike cosmetic sponges, which are intended for use with colors that have very little pigment and are for very limited application on a special, gentle surface - the skin).

The shapes and sizes of Sofft Tools were developed for the marks that artists make. So for example, the knives and sponge bar shapes are based on brush shapes – round, flat, oval (filbert), pointed.

Sofft sponges can be used on a broad selection of surfaces, even with “toothy” surfaces such as Colourfix papers. Obviously, the more abrasive the surface the shorter the life of the sponge.

Finally, Sofft sponges are inexpensive and can be washed and re-used several times.


Hints & Tips

Tip: Don't create un-necessary dust

One of the features artists love about PanPastel Colors is the low dust characteristic. However, it should be noted that it isn’t necessary to wipe the pan over and over to try to get more color on the Sofft Tool as this will only end up creating excess dust (& waste) on the pan. And as the colors are very richly pigmented, intense colors can be achieved as desired by layering them.

We advise swiping the Sofft Tool over the PanPastel surface 2 or 3 times to pick up the right amount of color. Then re-loading the tool as required.



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