Product Highlights
GALLERY ARTISTS’ Handmade Soft Pastel — review

GALLERY ARTISTS’ Handmade Soft Pastel — review

GALLERY ARTISTS’ Handmade Soft Pastel — review

Gallery Artist`Handmade Soft Pastels pastel review Dominique Rovers

GALLERY ARTISTS’ soft pastels are rolled by hand. So why do we need this laborious and time-consuming method, you may ask. Well, there is a good reason: because this is how the distinctive and exceptional softness of these pastels is preserved as much as possible. You may notice this while working: these professional pastels are almost butter-like, they are so soft and glide elegantly smoothly across your paper.

Only the very best pigments are used, in the highest possible concentration, with as few binders as possible. This makes for vibrant and brilliant colours, which you can use perfectly for all pastel techniques. You can choose from as many as 200 colours. If the colour you are looking for is not among them, it’s no problem, because these soft pastels are so packed with pigment, you can mix colours yourself.

These GALLERY ARTISTS’ Handmade Soft Pastels have been available in our web shop for a while now but now you can also find them in all our stores! That is why we asked Dominique Rovers to try out these pastels.

Meet her and read her review!


Dominique Rovers

Gerstaecker – Harolds in Rotterdam has asked me to write a review on GALLERY’s soft pastels. These are hand-rolled pastels with a super-high pigmentation.

The advantage of hand-rolled is that less binder needs to be used – and so the pigment concentration is higher.

I received a nice set containing 30 colours. The presentation of the pastels looks good. A nice and sturdy box containing – well protected in PU foam – the crayons are sorted by colour. They are quite sturdy in size and lie well in the hand.

While working with them, I notice that the colour output is very good and that they are nice and soft. I am also very happy with the bright colours and they mix well amongst one another.

To give you an idea of what you can make with them, I made two drawings. Here I only used the pastels that are in this set. I normally use both pastel pencils and pastel crayons for my pastel drawings. The pencils for details and fine work, the pastel crayons for large areas and highlights. I personally have many different brands in my house, because each brand has its own characteristics – and thankfully so!

To show what these crayons can do, the sketch beforehand was done with a grey pastel pencil. The rest of the work was done with the GALLERY soft pastels.

You can work well layer upon layer and if you wipe it with your fingers, it blends together nicely. Of course, you can also choose to leave it a bit thicker on top and thus get a slightly coarser look.

All in all, it was a very positive experience for me to work with this brand and these pastels. The larger sets are obviously very nice because then you have a more extensive colour selection. With the smaller sets you have to be a little more creative to mix your colours yourself.

From individual whole crayons and sets of 15, 30 & 60 assorted colours…

…and a 60-colour set – portrait or a 60-colour set – landscape….

TIP: We also have a GALLERY ARTISTS’ Drawing Pastel set!

These square pastel crayons are slightly harder than GALLERY’s soft pastels. They are excellent for sketching and drawing on pastel, watercolour and drawing paper. In this set you will find 12 classic earth colours.

…and 3 gift sets with 100 colours each and a gift set with all 200 colours!


With pastels, you usually work on somewhat rougher paper with enough grit so that your pastel has enough grip. We have listed all suitable papers for you here. But 3 suggestions we want to bring to your attention:

    Zerkall MERIAN INGRES – for the enthusiast: classic paper with the for Ingres characteristic vergé, such a ridge in your paper

    Hahnemühle BAMBOO MIXED MEDIA – unique paper, sustainably made from bamboo and cotton linters, suitable for almost everything

    Clairefontaine PASTELMAT® – with this paper, Clairefontaine has basically reinvented the traditional pastel paper

You see – at GreatArt you can choose!

Just a quick introduction, by the way?

We’d like to introduce Dominique Rovers to you – and so we asked her a few questions….

Where do you know Gerstaecker (GreatArt NL) from?

Ah, I have been a customer at Gerstaecker – Harolds, your store in Rotterdam, for a very long time. Ever since I was at the Willem de Kooning Academy, I’ve been going there regularly to get my materials.

And what do you do now?

By now I have not only been a visual artist for years, but also a self-employed entrepreneur.

I offer oil, watercolour and acrylic painting courses and give painting and drawing courses four evenings a week in my studio in Berkel en Rodenrijs. I also teach sculpting with soapstone. And every now and then I insert an extra workshop to learn to make and print etchings. I help the people who come to me every week to realize the creative ideas they have. The subjects range from figurative work to abstract and everything in between.

And where is your studio?

My studio is in the rural outskirts of Berkel en Rodenrijs. It is a wooden garden house – small, but nice! Here one can work in a cozy environment. During the day I make my own work there, in the evening I give courses and workshops. Come along!

What medium do you prefer to work in?

I mainly work with oil paint on canvas and matte pastel crayon/pencil on special pastel paper.

And what are your favourite subjects?

My favourite subjects for my own work are animals and nature. Well, you can see that in my studio too!

Are you represented by a gallery?

Yes, there are two galleries that exhibit standard work of mine: one in The Hague and one in America. I also sell my work through Instagram and exhibitions. By the way, that can be existing work or commissioned….

More from Dominique?

She cordially invites you to follow her:

    Website – Atelier Rovers

    Instagram – Dominique Rovers

Work by Dominique can be found at:

    Netherlands – Galerie Montulet

    America – The Wooden Jewel

© 2021 – text: Dominique Rovers & editors Gerstaecker NL | © 2021 – image: Dominique Rovers, Mungyo, Zerkall, Hahnemühle, Clairefontaine & editors Gerstaecker NL


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