View Full Version : 150ish unisons

10-21-2013, 05:08 AM
I thought I'd share the unisons I've collected and see at the same time whether my photo resizing efforts were successful. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2013/1286934-image.jpg


10-21-2013, 05:30 AM
Success! You resized your photo just fine. Beautiful range of Unison pastels! Very cool how you organized them in the boxes, or is that a large two-box set and a smaller grays set?

Yay for violets and greens! Gorgeous greens you have, all those different hues. I love having different greens all with tints, it's so much fun. The more the merrier for landscapes, it helps keep the trees from being all the same hue even if some of them are just a stroke or two in background.

10-21-2013, 10:33 AM
My, my, these are beautiful! I love the range too.

If you'd posted a pic of emeralds and rubies and diamonds you'd collected I wouldn't be nearly as enamored. :wink2:

10-21-2013, 12:13 PM
Quite beautiful! Thanks for sharing, I love Unisons!

10-21-2013, 12:18 PM
Ooh, they are jewels! Look at the lovely glow round them too!

10-21-2013, 01:46 PM
Love those colors! For me, I really like the violets.

10-22-2013, 02:56 AM
Have just talked myself out of getting a set of Unisons and now you post this. Thanks. Thanks a bunch.



10-22-2013, 03:50 AM
Glad yall enjoyed them. Robert, I bought a 72 portrait, an 18 natural browns, then about 70 open stock of the colours the portrait set was weak in. I rearranged the open stock and the 72 in the two boxes colourwise. The only gap now is the oranges - the portrait set gave me a bunch of nearly identical pastel apricots, but not a great choice of real oranges.


10-22-2013, 04:49 AM
Elise, there is this Orange set... 18 different oranges.... :-) (Smiling at tempting you)

10-22-2013, 12:50 PM
Hi charlie,
I'm sure these won't be my last Unisons, but other things have claims on my income, too. I might just look at them, though. For planning purposes only.


10-22-2013, 04:48 PM
Just window-shopping, naturally:


10-22-2013, 08:45 PM
Wicked Charlie! You know I'm drooling, and also over certain other 18-sets. Mew mew. Love the variety and values and hues in that Oranges set. It'd be so useful...

I need a higher income, that's all there is to it. I need to upgrade my lifestyle where something like this can just be saved up for and enjoyed at fairly reasonable intervals.

10-22-2013, 09:23 PM
Elise, for my ex-husband "just looking" = buying it :)

10-23-2013, 05:17 AM
Glorious Orange fire: http://www.dickblick.com/products/unison-handmade-pastel-sets/#photos :D :D :D :evil: :angel: :cool:

Personally, I found these very useful, and they'll last "forever" as very little is needed to make an impact, them being so pigment rich.

Seriously, Unisons are not cheap, but they do last long. I've broken all mine in halves, and after 4 years I'm still using the first halves, and I work on sanded papers. OK, I do start with Rembies, and I also use other brands, but I'm amazed at how much milage I can get out of the Unisons.

10-23-2013, 12:28 PM
Oooh I am drooling at that new set of John's Colors! They're all saturated tints, medium tints. Those are so beautiful and include some tints I wish I had in the Shadows set. Wants it, preciouss... also to get Shadows and Eye Colors back from Arkansas, also 8 Light, 8 Bright and 8 Dark.

For using them over the Rembrandts, that's a nice economical group of sets - the 8 Bright, 8 Dark and 8 Light are well coordinated for when you need those last-layer accents. John was working toward a good Colourist palette. I think all the elements are there if you wanted to cherry-pick a set of Unisons for your method, Charlie - use the hue and values mentioned in your Still Life the Colourful Way class, plus maybe a few convenience neutrals, earth colors that are handy.

I tend to shade yellow down through yellow ochre, siennas and umbers rather than its actual olive shades but doing both gives a great palette. But that's planning by hue rather than what pigments do, yellow shades always come out great natural olive greens as soon as even a touch of black is added. I know that for plein air, the 8 color set boxes are very tiny and handy, sturdy, well padded.

You're also right about breaking them and using halves. I'm not surprised that even with your productivity, you haven't used up your Unison halves. I ran into that while I was doing tons of portraits in New Orleans - up to a dozen or even twenty in a day during tourist season. The sixty pastels I bought in my first week never got entirely used up. I only wore down one color, a skin tone tint for white people's complexions that got used on almost everyone. I bought a new one when it got to about half because I was used to doing that with Prismacolors (lest I run out during a painting.)

That was using Grumbachers, not the finishing pastels use that you handle your Unisons as. I've sometimes used nothing but Unisons on sanded paper but I don't work large, so I haven't used up any halves of mine either.

Also, it's not like working with a very small palette where a stick is going to be forced to do its duty as several other ones - even your field palette is fairly large and you're using the right hue and tint for areas. You do not do large flat areas of one color in your paintings except in the first underpainting layer, which is thin and created with inexpensive hard pastels.

I love those oranges and now have got several more sets of Unison on my Motivators list for Reasons To Get Off Social Security. If I was working again I could just sell a painting when I want more pastels. I miss doing that. Sometimes commission buyers would get me the supplies I needed for their painting.

The other nice thing about breaking sticks is that I can double how much a set box will hold without losing the added protection of slotted foam.

10-25-2013, 05:57 AM
Robert, I basically have cherry picked the U:s. I started with a basic 72 piece set (a colour one), and then went on from there. As they only use lightfast pigments, there's a lack of violet pinks, but I've discovered that the Sennelier cool pinks are rather lightfast, even though the chart says "moderate".

Anyway, I have too many U:s, because I won a few sets too. And I've stocked up on the brilliant yellows and reds.

What I love with the U:s is that John did think like a painter when creating them. He didn't shade with black, but with other colours, and he tinted the greens with yellows instead of white (or, as well as with white?) as white cools and dulls, so the light greens are looking just like sunlit leaves.

It is hard work to use a minimal palette, and it takes time, but it can be done. In the studio, I even used some greyed colours, especially for repairs or subtle changes on top of multiple layers which I've applied to grey an area. The Unisons fit right into that, as they're mixed into greyed down colours.

Weaving bright colours is tedious, but I love the result, it is more beautiful and vibrant than a flat area of one stick.

I have one field palette which fits in the palm of my hand. But out there, time is of essence, so a heap of 80 nubbins really saves time.

Sarah Dowson
10-27-2013, 02:45 PM
I am a lucky girl too. My husband just bought me the 72 landscape set to go with my 18 natural earth set. An early Christmas present. I keep looking to buy more!!