View Full Version : pastels-paper...what should i buy???

06-26-2003, 12:27 AM
Hello everyone,

I'm new to WC but I am in love already. Such great great inspiration in this place..
Anyways I really got back my spirit to want to do art again. I dropped out of an art school to live with the love of my life and just really couldnt find my inspiration to do much with art now a days. When all of a sudden.. I found this webpage out of nowhere.. not even looking.. and all I can think about is working on pastel paintings.. :)

so thankyou for that..

The problem and question I have tho.. is..
I'm pretty much flat broke.. and I could try and get some money for art supplies but I'm afraid not much...

so what equipment as to speak.. should I buy? I want to do detailed works of wild life animals.. perhaps of selling quality..

and all I've used in the lines of pastels is the cheap ones they sell at walmart. I was able to blend and make some wildly good pictures but still very limited into what I could really do...
Besides for walmart pastels I have some bristol paper... not really any pastel papers..

So what could I upgrade to that will help unlimit me a little and still not cost me every penny I have...?

And any reference webpages for prices would be great... :)

but i'm really looking for pastels that i could really get a lot out of that is worth it... that would be more for detailed pictures.. lots of layering.. packages with enough colors....

and paper that would be good for detailed works, but not to the extremes with the price.. the paper really isnt my biggest concern because i'll be able to update to others with the better i get and i should have a job soon hopefully so i'll be able to save up..

and i really just need pastels so i can get some of this art energy i have out :)

so any help would be so greatly appreciated..

I've done some researching on the site and have a small idea but i wanted to post my own to get a more direct response..

thankyou much... sorry if i was rambling a little too much in all that :cat:

06-26-2003, 01:01 AM
Hi, as far as "cheap papers" goes for pastels in local art stores i really dont think there is such a thing. I started a thread yesterday about what papers the pastel artists use "Question for all you pastellists" and ive read alot of good stuff about variety.

If your on a budget i can help ya there ;) . That is if you dont mind buying online. There are a couple very good art supply sites online that sell at low prices,


I have to say tho out of the two misterart.com is the cheapest on pastel papers, and has a good variety. I buy from them alot. Plus if i may advice, if your wanting better pastels at under half the price, ebay is the way to go. Plus dickblick.com is having an awesome sale on pastels. Other than all of that , when i first started i used just big sheets of watercolor paper in wire bound books, but it limits you alot. Try those sites and see what you can come up with , it doesnt cost anything and you might be surprised with what you find.


06-26-2003, 01:17 AM
Thanks for your reply :) these websites will be relaly helpful for me to at least plan goals on what to buy :)

Another thing I dont think i was saying too clear is... i really need the help of what to get pastel wise.. like hard soft.. how many hards vrs softs.. just recommended suggestions..

based on other people using pastels for very detailed works.. and mostly subjects of animals, flowers...

Like for a limited supply what really would i need to make the most out of it.....?

It's just really hard to really know without the experience of using any of them...

It's kinda like a.. getting started package.. what would it have?

hehe, i hope i'm not being confusing :)

06-26-2003, 01:32 AM

LOL, k im sure other people would jump in here with some advice but this is what i did when i first started. "saving money too lol"

There is so many to choose from to begin with, most people will tell ya to start out with student brands til you got enough experience (and money) to buy the really good stuff, but i usually tend to do the oposite :D . I surfed the web for about a month looking for the "perfect set" for pastel painting, i ended up buying all of this from misterart.com and ebay

entire set of Prismacolor Nupastels (for sketching and details)

5 sheets of velour in differant colors, i love this stuff, plus my hero of all pastel painting is Lesley Harrison, Her book "Painting animals that touch the heart" is the best to me so far. she uses several differant types of pastels on velour, plus she gives a couple other pastel papers to use.

about 5 sheets of Mi Tintes papers in various colors

Blending torts, Color shapers, charcoal pencils, kneaded erasers.

I also bought a fixative but the first time i used it , i found out that its wasnt the best thing to use on soft pastel paintings, so a wasted 7 bux there :rolleyes: .

To be honest tho, when it comes to pastel painting theres not really much you need besides paper and pastels. all the blending you can do with paper towels, fingers, q-tips etc.

I dont buy soft pastels online anymore as i make my own now, but when i couldnt make them, the first soft pastel set i bought was a 60 landscape set of Rembrandts on ebay. they are sorta semi soft, as nupastels are hard. figured these two sets would be perfect for me til i got enough experience to broaden my horizons about 3 years later (today).

Hope this helps

06-26-2003, 01:50 AM
Its a little funny how i have all these materials from the art school.. and nothing i have works for pastels.. when all i feel like doing is pastels *giggle*

too bad i couldnt have put 6 thousand into pastels instead of the little time of school! lol how fun would that be to go to an art store with 6 thousand dollars :)

anyways thanks for your advice again :)

I've been constantly studying pastels and pastel papers for a few days now so i hope to hear more suggestions.. it's really great to hear what others have done to start out with
besides for the cheap walmart 2 dollars for 10 brand :)

06-26-2003, 08:13 AM
Another good source online is Art Supply Warehouse:


If you are looking for some nice but not too expensive pastels to use you might try some of the half stick sets. A good starting one is Rembrandt. They are good quality and a lot of people start with those. They have several sizes of the half stick sets and you cn usually find one for not too much money.
I kow the papers can be expensive but there are pads of papers which are not too bad. Anything with some texture should work. ANd you can buy individual sheets of Canson, which a lot of us use.
There are several threads around with information in what people recommend using. Here is a link to the Index page for the Pastel Hall of Fame:

Have fun!


06-26-2003, 08:18 AM
Ooo thankyou meowmeow :)

Kathryn Wilson
06-26-2003, 09:42 AM
Let me jump in here real quick and recommend that you do not go too cheap on materials for you will be disappointed with the results and it will be a waste of money. Go for the medium priced pastels and paper.

A set of Nupastels is good for drawing and starting your painting with tonal values. They are hard, but on sanded paper you can do quite well. They are not expensive. A set of Rembrandt's "General" set can be bought on Ebay for around $20.00, sometimes less. These are a good medium soft pastels and it's where I started. They also offer a Landscape and Portrait sets with colors more specifically suited to those types of paintings.

If you have a fairly stiff watercolor paper laying around, you might try buying the Goldenrod or Art Spectrum jars of primer. It will give you the sanded ground that many artists on here prefer. You can buy the clear in each and tint with a color paint to tint the background. This also saves on pastels when you have a tinted background to start with, then you don't have to fill in the background totally with pastel.

Hope this helps -

06-26-2003, 02:38 PM
If you dont mind me asking, what did they teach you in art school for $6,000? Thought about checking into a class............

Great advice there kyle, i think i went over board in my advice , we practicly said the same thing, but in my giddiness to help , i think i kinda overwhelmed ...................:o

06-26-2003, 04:43 PM
*giggle* that's cool thanks!

i went to school to major in graphic design.. wanted to put my skills to some money making thing and i love computers *complete computer nerd on top of being an artist*

anyways so it would have added up to about 60 thousand if i stuck around and finished it.

i was going to the art institute in portland..
they definetly have some good teachers

if i can save up enough money and find a place to live in a near city of one of their schools i'd definetly think of going back into it :cat:

06-26-2003, 04:53 PM
and thanks kyle-

so with all of your advice, i was thinking of going with a set of rembrandts.. well half sticks for now.. and some canson paper from that site someone brought up.. the warehouse one.
i'm going to try and get just about 100 dollars worth of supplies..
oh and that 25 dollar mixed paper set from dakota.. i think that would be good for me to try a mix of different papers..

does this idea sound about right?

and maybe a thing of primer to try that out too...
i cant bring myself to getting too low on costs with everything. it's so hard to not want it all lol...

but i think getting the minium of canson papers (10), and 60 half sticks of rembrandts i can start getting on another level with art.
which is 53 dollars on the warehouse site..
and then other things if i want to experiment more will bring the costs up fast.. like 25 dollars for the mix of papers.. primer.. etc..

so does this idea sound worth the costs?

Kathryn Wilson
06-26-2003, 05:25 PM
I think you've got a good combination and will enjoy using what you are intending to buy.

06-26-2003, 05:27 PM
SOunds like a good use of the money to me. The Rembrandts and Canson definitely. I have the sample pack from Dakota and have enjoyed trying stuff. I know anyone who has gotten it also liked it. I am trying to think if there is a better way to spend the "extra" $25 and not sure.
GO for it! ANd let us see what you do!


06-27-2003, 07:52 AM
SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS?????!!!!!!!!!! Good grief. Is that what it costs you people to go to school in your country?

If so, I would most definitely explore the idea of moving abroad, and finding a course to do in another country. I cannot believe this sort of cost, from your own schools in your own country. If we go to a private fee paying institution over here, to do any kind of "supplementary" education after leaving general education, we might have to pay, say, approx $7000 for undergraduate and post graduate course, and a graphic design course would last, on average, 3 years.

No wonder you dropped out.

Deborah Secor
06-27-2003, 08:35 PM
One more cheap but useful suggestion: try buying some 600 grit wet-and-dry sandpaper at a hardware or home supply store. It's a very dark charcoal gray color that makes your pastels look yummy. Tape it down on a drawing board all the way around and remove the tape carefully when you're done. It's not going to give you archival quality, but it'll get you started on sandpaper so you can see if you like it.

Be careful with the Rembrandts as they can have little rocks in them that will scratch the paper, but have fund layering and blending on this paper.

Hope this helps...