Are you struggling with choosing the right colors for your animal portraits with pastels? Or maybe you don’t know what colors are useful, or you should invest in for your start? Whether you’re hesitating to buy the whole set of the Pitt pastel pencils, or you simply don’t have the money available yet, or you would like to save money, then I’m here to help.

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Essential Pastel Pencils

I will show you here the Pitt colors you need. The pastel pencils from Faber-Castell are my favorite. They have a range of 60 beautiful colors. I will show you here on this color chart the most important colors I can recommend for drawing realistic animal portraits in pastels.

Highly Recommended

  • white
  • ivory
  • cream
  • yellow
  • orange
  • pink
  • pink carmine or rose carmine

Light Fastness and Color Durability

The problem with the pinks and the greens is that they are not very light fast. All the stars you can see in the chart determine the light fastness of the color. The more stars, the better is the light fastness. I don’t use colors with one star in commissions, for drawing and practicing it’s no problem, they are beautiful colors, but they can fade out after time, for example, they’re not very light fast.

Additional Color Recommendations

So I would recommend if you want to sell your art, don’t use them, but for practicing at the beginning, you can use pinks of the Pitt. Later I would recommend to use Caran d’Ache or Derwent pinky colors and also the green ones. Some blues are useful, I would recommend the following:

  • Light Ultramarine
  • Indigo
  • Cobalt blue
  • Permanent Green Olive or the Olive Green
  • May Green
  • Earth Green
  • Caput Mortuum
  • Medium Flesh
  • Light flesh
  • Cinnamon
  • Indian red
  • Sanguine
  • Burnt Orchre
  • Terra Cotta
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Light Yellow Ochre
  • Brown Ochre
  • Raw Umber
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Van Dyke Brown
  • Walnut Brown
  • Dark Gray
  • Payne’s Gray


So, I hope this little overview of all the Pitt colors is helpful for you. If you have questions feel free to ask me. Okay, so I hope these tips and explanations are helping you to make a decision either if you invest in the whole set of 60 Pitt pastel pencils, you will not regret it later, or just buy single pencils or the 24 set and add single additional pencils.

For beginners, I’ve prepared a free beginner’s guide you can download. It’s filled with tips and tricks to get you started with pastel/ pencils. Get it here 👇

    For more details and lessons on drawing with pastels, check out the Animal Art Club 👇