Charvin Water Soluble Pastel Painting Sticks~Quick Product Review

On the box:
  • Multipurpose semi-hard pastels for use both wet or dry
  • Master quality, concentrated, highly lightfast pigments
  • Use as is or combine with water for stunning effects!
  • Create painterly effects while retaining linework
  • Square sticks measure 2 5/16" long by 5/16" thick
  • Great for spontaneous sketching as well as detail work
  • Available in sets of 24 or 48 vibrant colors
  • Perfect for drawing and painting in the studio or on the road!  
I was curious to compare the water soluble qualities of this brand to other ones not branded as such.

charvin comparison ncwren


  1. Although it doesn't show well in my photograph the Charvin painting pastels did 'melt' easier than the other three I compared them to. The first comparison was to pull the pigment from the stick with a wet brush. All of the pastels handled this well-the Charvin pastel did have a slight edge with the brightness of the pigment load.
  2. The second row shows the pastel on paper dry and then moistened with water from a brush. Again fairly equal pigment load, but less scrubbing with the brush with the Charvin brand.
  3. The third row is dipping the pastel directly into the water and painting it on directly. I did smooth out the second halve with a wet brush.  Same behaviors as noted before. The Charvin moves and dissolves without the scrubbing action.
charvin pastel comparison ncwren

I can't say that this is a must have product. The claim of water soluble is not unique to this particular brand. That being said they are exactly what the advertisement says. The price was great. I bought mine from Jerry's Artarama for $9.44 us. It is also available from Amazon: Charvin Water-Soluble Pastel Painting Sticks Set of 48