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View Full Version : Review Unison Portrait 72


elisehbeck
07-19-2013, 09:31 AM
and Unison Natural Earths 1-18

Hi All:wave:

I bought these to give a jumpstart to my pastel collection. I'm new, see, but only to pastels. I thought it might be of interest to some of you if I wrote down my impressions.

Firstly, the texture of the pastels is nice - soft but not crumbling or melting away. The only problem here is that with new pastels the edges feel very hard, almost like they have a protective coating on them. Once I scratched a tiny bit off and found a soft bit, they worked perfectly. Is this similar to other brand new soft pastels?

Now the colour selection. I'm pretty happy overall - there's a good selection of yellows, many peach, apricot and coral tones (for painting pink people), red violets, blue violets, some middle blues, some nice dark browns, and some muted greens and a bunch of muted turquoises colours. Where it's weak is pure greens - there aren't many highly saturated blue greens or yellow greens. There's also a lack of reds mostly because these spaces are taken over by pinks. I could easily swap a bunch of these light tinted peachy colours for a larger range of reds. And while the muted greens are very nice, at times I wanted bright greens for blending and they weren't there. I'm quite fond of the selection of middle to light value, slightly muted pinks and purples - wonderful shadow colours. I'll be looking to expand my collection with some pure greens, reds and cool blues.

The natural browns are great. They're a selection of light and dark browns which are yellow- pink- olive- and grey-tending.

One last note. I bought some hahnemuhle ingres papers, but my new pastels ripped up the surface quite quickly. Has anyone else had this experience? I also spread some coarse pumice gel, mixed with pastel-ground, on some other papers, but it looks so coarse I don't want to use it for my lovely new pastels. It looks like it's going to eat them like bitumen eats chalk.

cheers
Elise

p.s... I accidentally ordered some panpastels... don't tell husband what they cost :clear:

JPQ
07-19-2013, 10:55 AM
My Unisons dont have such a cover i think and Rembrandst (3) what i owned has it at least these not so very new (but less than 5 years old) dont cover well.(i mean Rebrandts dont cover).

gecko99
07-20-2013, 03:53 AM
Hi Elise - thanks for your review - I have the Natural Earths and love them, can't help you with the Ingres paper, sorry.

What I could help you with is ways of smuggling art supplies into the house and playing down the cost...Necessity is the mother of invention and all that :)

Nicole

allydoodle
07-21-2013, 11:12 PM
Hi Elise - thanks for your review - I have the Natural Earths and love them, can't help you with the Ingres paper, sorry.

What I could help you with is ways of smuggling art supplies into the house and playing down the cost...Necessity is the mother of invention and all that :)

Nicole

I can relate, just sayin'........ :lol: :lol: :lol:

Finvarra
07-22-2013, 07:21 AM
Hi Elise, welcome

I started my pastel collection with the 72 portrait Unison set, and found it very good, adding just a few lights. I mostly do portraits, but also some landscape work, so I added more greens and earthy colours at a later date when funds would allow. I think it's a good base set. I too found that some of the pastels had hard edges, but when broken off they were fine. I visited their factory a couple of years ago. The pastels are all hand rolled and air dried, and I guess it depends on the weather how they dry!

I use Pastelmat and find it doesn't eat the pastels like other papers, so is very economical on the sticks, the pastel doesn't fall off and it takes many layers, plus has a smooth surface (don;t like textured surface). Perfect combination.

Enjoy experimenting.

Cheers
Lesley

robertsloan2
07-27-2013, 02:08 PM
Sounds like you need to pick up a small greens set to supplement it and maybe some reds. I got the general assortment and got the Shadows set of 8 to have violets in it, but that doesn't have tints of the violets, just what look like pure tones. I might have to do that again.

Frustrating if the set doesn't meet your needs. I don't know if the Landscape and Portrait sets overlap or not, you'd have to study the site to see if they do.

My Unisons didn't have that coating problem but running them over a bit of sandpaper will take the coating off Rembrandts. So will breaking the stick to get to what's inside it. Never had that problem but some brands do that. So do some hard pastels, my NuPastels were all like that when I had them.