Koh-i-Noor Gioconda Soft Pastel Pencils Review

I like to use dry drawing materials in the form of pencils. Maybe, you’ve read my recent post about Koh-I-Noor sanguine, sepia, charcoal and white chalk cored in wood.

Today I want to tell you what I think of Gioconda dry pastel.

The Key Features of the Product

The pastel pencils Gioconda can be ordered in packs from 6 to 48 pcs. Buying them by the piece isn’t possible.

That’s a pity: some other manufacturers, for example, Derwent, allow purchasing similar items in single units.

Color Selection

Koh-I-Noor pastel has a great color range. The sets of 24-48 pencils include both bright tones and brownish ones (if you draw realistic portraits or landscapes, you know how valuable the natural hues are).

While describing the pastel, the producer writes: ‘The сhalks are strongly pigmented with high lightfastness’.

All the colors look rich and vivid, indeed. As far as fade-resistance is concerned, I am unable to say anything right now. I tested my set only a few days ago.

Size and Material

The diameter of the rods is big enough, 4,2 mm (the common lead size for graphite pencils don’t exceed 0.7 mm).

Thanks to that feature, Gioconda pencils make various marks.

The cores are made from pure components:

  • micro-pulverized pigments
  • kaolin,
  • carbonate of calcium,
  • special binding agents.

Each pastel rod is encased in nice California cedarwood providing a comfortable grip.

Gioconda has excellent blending characteristics: the colors are easily mixing with a tortillon or a finger. New strokes cover older marks without any difficulties.

Packaging

These pencils usually come in a tin box, except for the set of 6 colors (it’s available only in blister pack).

The pack looks sturdy.

I think it will protect my pencils well when I decide to draw outdoors and bring them in my art bag.

What to Consider When Buying Gioconda Pastel?

In my opinion, the fine artistic chalks from Koh-I-Noor are good, but it doesn’t mean that you should order the product right now.

Think carefully whether it meets your needs or not.

Pastel pencils are suited for drawing on paper of relatively small format, A4. If you prefer larger formats, they will work effectively only in conjunction with pastel sticks. In that case, the pencils will help you to finish your pieces by adding important tiny details, creating outlines and shading.

Even soft dry pastel leads are harder than chalk sticks. The Gioconda pencils aren’t an exception in spite of the fact that they went on very smoothly in comparison with similar products from Faber Castell Pitt or Stabilo.

There is one more important thing to bear in mind.

Many Koh-I-Noor pencils of powdery medium – not only pastel but also sanguine, charcoal, etc. – have a friable leads.

They break into regular sharpeners so quickly, that you risk wasting half of your pencil in a minute.

In order to solve the problem, you’ll have to buy either an electric sharpener like X-ACTO School Pro or a quality craft knife.

Watch the video:

The artist, Harry, is showing his sharpening technique (5:45). He also is demonstrating the advantages and disadvantages of Gioconda soft pastel pencils.

His review may give you answers to the questions, which I haven’t focused on.

Helen Dickinson
Helen Dickinson

Hi! I am Helen, an artist. My favorite art supplies are watercolor paints, brushes and paper, but I also enjoy experimenting with the other materials. Maybe, my knowledges will be useful for you.

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