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jakertanner
08-11-2014, 08:13 PM
Hi,

was wondering how most of you go about replacing open stock pastels, once they are low in your boxes...In other words, once you organize your pastels by temp, hue, etc, how do you know which color to replace exactly, as some brands have extremely similar colors that it's hard to tell them apart, or do you just get close? Do you bring a color swatch or sample to the art store? Not sure about this process...sorry for such a beginner question.

Also, how do most separate brands or know which brand is what when they are so close...Unison and mungyo hand made pastels even look similar in size, but I am not experienced enough to tell my feel...is it a color thing?

Thanks again.

Saskia
08-11-2014, 08:38 PM
I would say that if two pastels are so similar that they can't be told apart, it probably doesn't matter which one you use.

I keep lists of the pastels I own, and make color charts. Some people break them and keep the halves with the labels separate, so they can replace them when they take out the last half. Just common sense stuff, really. Experiment and find what system works for you.

robertsloan2
08-11-2014, 08:39 PM
I'm not sure what others do. Back in New Orleans, I did run down pretty far on a couple of skin tones, a tan and a skin highlight beige. So I brought those stubs into the store and matched them against the sticks and bought replacement sticks. I just bought new ones before running out completely. I think if I had an unlabeled little piece I wanted more of, I might literally mail a swatch to Dick Blick with my best guess as to brand and ask them to match the swatch. Or to Dakota.

Or, if I really wanted to be able to replace with exactly that color, purchase the handmade color swatches for that brand from Dakota. They're only $25 to $35 for the entire range in swatches for a given brand, so getting that I could know what color number to order from open stock. Dakota's good for having them on most of their pastels but doesn't have them for Ludwigs.

Functionally it's less likely though. When I reached a certain level of collection, instead of worrying about exact matches I started to think more in terms of color groups and where my collection was lean. I have them organized by hue and value, if the green tray looked skimpy I'd look for what hues were short and look for those hues in brands currently available. And go through my extras, because I did also buy up a lot of discontinued open stock Winsor & Newtons at a dollar a stick, fifty cents for half sticks, have a whole drawer of them with tons of good yellow greens and some great pinks mainly.

My big set of Winsor & Newton if I didn't have a replacement color in those extra grab bag ones, I could not replace it so I'd look for a similar hue in a similar texture of Art Spectrum or Rembrandt. And not be fussy about exact match, just, two value steps up in a blue-violet type of search.

I substitute near colors easily and rotate my pastels so much that they're not wearing down very fast. I am more likely to add more new ones in a new brand than to replace older ones.

jakertanner
08-11-2014, 11:53 PM
You both make good points...so I guess through practice, even the closets looking pastels will have their own uniqueness...got you...thanks for taking the time to answer.

Donna T
08-12-2014, 04:30 PM
Hi Jake, I make color charts too. I use a spiral bound pad of watercolor paper, divided into sections for each brand of pastel. I keep some little strips of the same kind of paper held together with a clothes pin (high tech!) near my pastels. When I get low on a favorite color I make a little spot on the end of one of those strips and then all I need to do is lay it next to the samples in my color charts to match it to a brand and name or number. So far I've been able to match even the tiniest little piece of pastel.

DAK723
08-12-2014, 05:51 PM
Jake, I make very sloppy rather disorganized color swatches like these:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Aug-2014/82335-pastel_charts.JPG

Personally, my number of pastels never exceeded 200 or so, and I use only 3 or 4 brands primarily, so I can usually tell what brand a stick is. If not, then essentially any brand will do. When people organize their pastels by hue or value like this:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Aug-2014/82335-65872-13766-Pastels_reorganized_500.jpg

it usually means that the brand is not that important and any brand with the same color will do.

And, yes, I have taken little color swatches to the store when looking to replace specific pastels.

Don

JustinM
08-12-2014, 08:07 PM
I brought those stubs into the store and matched them against the sticks and bought replacement sticks. I just bought new ones before running out completely.

I tend to be pretty methodical (anal retentive?) about my materials so I almost never run out & I tend to keep my pastels (or my watercolours etc) in an order that is identical to my swatch charts. That way I know when Im getting low & will usually buy before I run out, but in the cases where I have lost the label or gotten them out of order, like you, I will take the stub to the store & match.

robertsloan2
08-12-2014, 10:36 PM
Don, that is an interesting point, your box doesn't even have dividers but is organized hue and value in a way that's easy to use. Also easy to tell working with it that say, you're low on turquoise tint and need a similar hue but any good brand. I don't go that far with mine, so I have avoided certain brands in open stock.

I put Sennelier Half Sticks into mine but they're shaped different from half a regular Sennelier stick. The normal Sennelier sticks are the shape of the Rembrandts and Art Spectrums so I'd have to make a mark to know what I was using - but are so soft I wouldn't want them in early layers unless I was using Senneliers throughout. I swap interchangeably within groups or types of pastels - hand rolled, medium-soft AS/Rembrandt, super softs. If I were to choose a specific super soft color to go in it I'd probably get a Terry Ludwig since those are so distinctive.

Though since that box is full I'm thinking of taking out two of the three Ludwigs when I get a box to keep Ludwigs in. Debating between a 90 color slotted foam Ludwigs box or another three drawer wooden box with foam inserts, the Ludwig box would be more portable but the wooden one take less room.

jakertanner
08-12-2014, 11:20 PM
Thanks for all the great input and suggestions by everyone. Love to see color charts..I am working on mine, watercolor paper, had it printed out nice and neat from Staples in table format with room to add swatches. I think I personally need to keep a few pastels separate until I can familiarize myself with each texture.

Here's a question for you...this is my scenario at the moment. I got a luxury box of Rembrandts with full and half sticks...got it on clearance so it didn't have the names...no big deal, since the full sticks have wrappers, but I am lost in trying to make my color swatches with the half sticks..no idea what's what.

Short of taking all of them to the local store and painstakingly trying to match the colors, how do I do this? The computer monitor is terrible for color matching. Case in point, I had 2 popular sites up, and a manufacturer's site to compare the same color charts, and no two colors matched. So which site is best? The color differed so much from the two that a grey looked red. No exaggeration...the hues were that off. Can anyone recommend a site that they ordered from and got exactly what they expected?

So if I don't have a color, but I want a certain shade from a brand, and only have the internet to rely on, how does one choose accurately?


Thanks!!

allydoodle
08-13-2014, 01:07 AM
I have color charts for my Ludwigs (they come with a blank color chart in the box). Ludwigs don't have any markings or wrappers, so charting them before taking them out of the box is the only way to keep track. The numbers on the charts are in the same order as how the sticks are placed in the box. I've actually "rebuilt", for lack of a better word, my Ludwig Plein Air 60pc set, because I like the selection and I wanted to use it for a landscape painting. I had all the sticks mixed in a Heilman box that holds my Ludwigs, and believe it or not it wasn't that hard to put the set back together. The color chart came in real handy...

I also did a chart for my Girault skin tone set and gray set. My Mount Visions are broken into thirds, one piece goes into my Plein Air box, another into my studio box, and the third one is left in storage with the label. My Great Americans are split in half, one piece in my studio box the other in the storage box with the label. All my other pastels are just in my studio boxes. I've got Unison, Mount Vision, Art Spectrum, Rembrandt, Diane Townsend, Daler Rowney, Sennelier, Great American, Girault, and some very old Grumbacher sticks altogether, sorted by color and value. My Ludwigs live in a Heliman box in my studio, as well as some Ludwig boxes (they all don't fit in the Heilman...).

That's my setup, it works for me!

Potoma
08-13-2014, 01:31 AM
I use my favorite until it is gone, then I find another favorite.

:) :)

jakertanner
08-13-2014, 06:05 PM
I use my favorite until it is gone, then I find another favorite.

:) :)

lol, I like that.

jakertanner
08-13-2014, 06:09 PM
I have color charts for my Ludwigs (they come with a blank color chart in the box). Ludwigs don't have any markings or wrappers, so charting them before taking them out of the box is the only way to keep track. The numbers on the charts are in the same order as how the sticks are placed in the box. I've actually "rebuilt", for lack of a better word, my Ludwig Plein Air 60pc set, because I like the selection and I wanted to use it for a landscape painting. I had all the sticks mixed in a Heilman box that holds my Ludwigs, and believe it or not it wasn't that hard to put the set back together. The color chart came in real handy...

I also did a chart for my Girault skin tone set and gray set. My Mount Visions are broken into thirds, one piece goes into my Plein Air box, another into my studio box, and the third one is left in storage with the label. My Great Americans are split in half, one piece in my studio box the other in the storage box with the label. All my other pastels are just in my studio boxes. I've got Unison, Mount Vision, Art Spectrum, Rembrandt, Diane Townsend, Daler Rowney, Sennelier, Great American, Girault, and some very old Grumbacher sticks altogether, sorted by color and value. My Ludwigs live in a Heliman box in my studio, as well as some Ludwig boxes (they all don't fit in the Heilman...).

That's my setup, it works for me!

I love the Ludwig chart, I have one, saves me the trouble.

I fear not put the Ludwigs in with others, they feel so fragile..lol And I think as small as they are, I may break them in half, I think will offer more control.

But how about when reordering? Do you ever try different colors based on how it looks online? I don't have sets, other than that Luxury box, so I don't have anything to base colors on really except the internet. It's unfortunate that the locals stores will sell tons of brands online, but then carry only 3 in store...unless anyone is lucky to live next to the Fine Art Store, Rochester, NY...they actually have everything they sell online in store, but it's like 4 hours away at least..lol

Colorix
08-13-2014, 06:40 PM
Jake, you're lucky to have Rochester only 4 hours away. It is some 8 hours by plane away for me. And when I visited, I didn't even know about the store! I live in a country that has 3 quality brands only, if one considers the "workhorse" Rembrandt as quality. The other two are Sennelier and Schmincke. I get my Unisons, Rochés, Giraults and Terry Ludwigs online.

The first thing I do when I get new pastels is to make a mark in a (home made) chart, and write the number of the stick (like Don). I mix my pastels in my palette, though I do separate the harder ones from the softer ones. The fat and *sturdy* TL won't break, unless you drop one. (Or drop another pastel on top of a TL... it split!)

With charts, it is easy to find the number of the favo nubbin -- unless it is a fugitive pigment. I had this versatile dusty pink nubbin, and couldn't find it in my charts. Turned out that it was -- had been -- a fugitive vivid cool violet pink... it has since been discontinued by Rembrandt, prob'ly because of the lack of lightfastness.

Yeah, I do order some from online colour charts. There is always a use for them even if the actual stick doesn't live up to expectations.

The very best experience I've had is with the Roché pastels. I told them my aim (pastels of the same value), gave them my best guess from their charts, and they went a value up or down from what I've ordered to match the actual real life value. That's customer service! (And should be, considering the price. Gotta love them Roché pastels!)

Often unwrapped sticks have a colour chart (if only by number) somewhere in or on the box. Check your set, it might reveal what the half sticks are. And then guess... Good luck!

DAK723
08-13-2014, 07:05 PM
Don, that is an interesting point, your box doesn't even have dividers but is organized hue and value in a way that's easy to use.

Alas, I have no box like the one I used as an example - nor do I have my pastels organized in such a manner. I just "stole" this pic from an anonymous thread. Maybe someone will recognize their pastels!

Since pastels are sold in "families" with values ranging from light to dark (often, but not always, a pure color and tints and shades) I find it easiest to store my pastels by keeping the families together.

Don (who feels guilty because he does live in Rochester, NY and the Fine Art Store is only 10 minutes away...)

allydoodle
08-13-2014, 07:22 PM
LOL Don...... aren't you lucky???? Or maybe, not so much, as it could mean I would be lured into the store regularly...... I would probably be broke!!!

Jake, I do order online from open stock just based on what I see. I'm usually happy, I figure I can always find a use for them. I've got enough sets, so now I just fill in with open stock orders, and doing it online is the most cost effective way. Plus, you just can't get most of these brands locally, online is the only way to go. I guess I just haven't met a pastel I didn't like.....:lol:

robertsloan2
08-13-2014, 08:29 PM
Don, you are so lucky being able to go to The Fine Art Store in person like that! It sounds like so much fun. I can see buying open stock pastels in person would be an incredible thrill. Would love to go to Dakota Pastels someday on vacation. Just actually go there to their candy store.

Charlie, that is so cool when you order Roche' pastels. Glad they are doing that for you. Makes sense too given their price that they'd do such personal service.

Thinking about ludwigs storage, I might be better off with two 60 color boxes if I keep getting more... it'd let me get both of the 10 color blue little sets and also enough pinks and other greens to fill out the whole. I was happily surprised at what I have but I have some gaps and some thin areas. Not as many pinks and mid tints as I'd like when I'd prefer having a full spectrum of them. But love the gradations of the Violets and Sunset sets. Maybe I do need both blues for different skies.

I gave up exact match replacements anyway when I found out my Rembrandts were antiques and W&N ones discontinued. Better to just order hue and value. Though I could match hue and value better if I get some of those Dakota color charts and choose open stock easier with them.

getdusty
08-13-2014, 08:36 PM
I think we should all take a field trip to the fineartstore and then stop by Don's for coffee! :)

jakertanner
08-13-2014, 09:03 PM
Alas, I have no box like the one I used as an example - nor do I have my pastels organized in such a manner. I just "stole" this pic from an anonymous thread. Maybe someone will recognize their pastels!

Since pastels are sold in "families" with values ranging from light to dark (often, but not always, a pure color and tints and shades) I find it easiest to store my pastels by keeping the families together.

Don (who feels guilty because he does live in Rochester, NY and the Fine Art Store is only 10 minutes away...)

Don, you opened up a can of worms now..I will just order from you...LOL

jakertanner
08-13-2014, 09:04 PM
I think we should all take a field trip to the fineartstore and then stop by Don's for coffee! :)


Count me in!

jakertanner
08-13-2014, 09:06 PM
A little off topic, but since discontinued pastels came up possibly due to lightfast ratings...does anyone shun away from pastel colors that have 1 star? Like Schminckes? I see two similar colors, one has 1 star, the other has 4 stars..I bought the 4 star color..they were close.

robertsloan2
08-13-2014, 10:06 PM
I think we should all take a field trip to the fineartstore and then stop by Don's for coffee! :)

LOL you got it! Count me in! Coffee and more pastels, can't beat that!

Jake, it's really good to look at ratings for lightfastness. Though my Winsor & Newtons were canceled because they couldn't get the good pigments any more, not because they weren't lightfast. Sources must dry up sometimes or costs go up. Much better to get the higher rated color unles getting the full range - even then I'd sort them and keep the one star ones for sketchbook use and stick to the good ones.