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jakertanner
10-23-2014, 08:18 PM
Hi,

Thought I'd mention that the fine art store is having a big sale on Sennelier 60 half set in wooden box for less than $90

https://www.fineartstore.com/p-7955-sennelier-wood-box-set-of-60-half-stick-pastels.aspx

robertsloan2
10-23-2014, 09:39 PM
Oh very nice! What would be absolute luxury for anyone with a luxury budget would be to pick up two of those - and fill the second box with the colors left out from your Paris Collection, so that you have plenty of replacement half sticks (in those sixty colors anyway) but your 120 colors are in those handy two-tier wood boxes.

It'd be extravagant luxury - except if you use up those super soft Senneliers fast and know that you do. In that case it might actually be sensible, as long as you tend to turn to those 60 colors. Wish they'd do a Set B so it'd be easier to do that. They didn't even have a 60 color half stick set - but this may be a movement toward doing just that, a Set A & B, another way to get a Paris Collection into your hands.

I love the thickness of Sennelier Half Sticks. They're more like 5/8 sticks or 2/3 sticks with that thick width and half length, a bit easier to use than half of a regular full stick Sennelier. They might just have divided it "shorter and thicker" in molding them but they seem larger than half of a full stick and certainly handle well.

jakertanner
10-26-2014, 03:03 PM
Cool about the thicker bigger half sticks. Makes sense so they won't break as easily, I suppose that is one reason why they do that. GA and others I believe do the same as well, where half sticks are a bit larger.

I think with the Schmincke and GA and TLs that I have, I can't see adding the Sennelier to the mix..not sure what they would add, and they are also one of the pricier ones of the bunch.

I mentioned in another thread, that after sanding the Rembrandts down, they seem quite nice.

robertsloan2
10-27-2014, 08:29 AM
Terry Ludwigs and Sennelier are very comparable, thinking of mixing up those I have and bumping all my other Rembrandt halves and Art Spectrums into a different box so that I have nothing but super soft in that box.

This is one of the reasons I don't have the Paris Collection. I want it, but, I already have its equivalents. If I get it when I do it will be to have the convenience of a separate set box with a good full range that I can stack with everything else. I'd also like 120 Rembrandt and do have 120 Unison. The up side is that Senneliers and Ludwigs wear faster being super soft, so extras aren't a big problem if I paint more often.

jakertanner
10-27-2014, 09:52 AM
Robert, I have only 3 Sennelier that I got as samples. They are extremely light in comparison to other brands, but for some reason, I just can't get myself to like them..lol I would much rather have the TLs or GAs than Sennelier, I think they are a better value.

The more I paint and use the pastels I have, the more I am realizing, (as every experienced pastelist here knows already..lol), that I should use whatever pastels, hard or soft, will get the job done..to a degree.

I was worried about keeping all the different brands of pastels neat...lol Lately I have decided to just rip the papers off, not worry about swatches, and when I run out, I will get a similar color, if not the exact, so as to not keep my paintings from being stagnant in color. I do agree that separating the hard from softs are a good idea, but keep all the softs together. My only annoyance with keeping the softs so close, is that the darks need to be separated from the lights, otherwise all my light colors get scuff marks of the darks..hate that part..lol gotta at least be a little neat. I would love to have more Unisons though...maybe before the price increase I will shoot for a few more. I buy the chipped or broken sticks for 20% off at my local store, so I don't mind at all.

wakeup&create!
10-28-2014, 07:56 AM
I just make sure I take each pastel, make a blot in my current sketchbook, and then I write down the color's name for that brand, & the brand... that way when it does run out I can check that page and get it in open stock if I rreallly liked it, right? Or what if I LOSE my favorite teal while at the park? I know it's still in my sketchbook & I can replace it. Other than that little prep work, I'm also learning to let loose. Rip labels off n have fun. I always been 1 for breaking pastels in half. I mean, you have to or else you'll keep getting disappointed wen it happens naturally. It's hilarious reading the Nupastel reviews on Amazon or even Blick. Everyone is like "I am VERY disappointed my nupastels came with 3 broken!" Hahah. Seriously? They break wen u stare at them too. Haha. It's hard for me to tear the label off of my Rembrandts b'cuz they look so clean, but alas, I must.

I have a love/hate thing when it comes to the darks scuffing up the lights. I mean, I enjoy wiping each pastel off. I'm not sure why. I just do. It's a ritual that I can't help but enjoy doing every once in a while. But it can also be quite annoying when I just want to pull that yellow white out and use it and it's got Christmas Tree green all over it. Not good. Haha.

jakertanner
10-28-2014, 01:25 PM
I just make sure I take each pastel, make a blot in my current sketchbook, and then I write down the color's name for that brand, & the brand... that way when it does run out I can check that page and get it in open stock if I rreallly liked it, right? Or what if I LOSE my favorite teal while at the park? I know it's still in my sketchbook & I can replace it. Other than that little prep work, I'm also learning to let loose. Rip labels off n have fun. I always been 1 for breaking pastels in half. I mean, you have to or else you'll keep getting disappointed wen it happens naturally. It's hilarious reading the Nupastel reviews on Amazon or even Blick. Everyone is like "I am VERY disappointed my nupastels came with 3 broken!" Hahah. Seriously? They break wen u stare at them too. Haha. It's hard for me to tear the label off of my Rembrandts b'cuz they look so clean, but alas, I must.

I have a love/hate thing when it comes to the darks scuffing up the lights. I mean, I enjoy wiping each pastel off. I'm not sure why. I just do. It's a ritual that I can't help but enjoy doing every once in a while. But it can also be quite annoying when I just want to pull that yellow white out and use it and it's got Christmas Tree green all over it. Not good. Haha.


I have been trying to keep the light colors in a box with spacers for that reason...lol I like them to be clean and ready.

Take that paper off the Rembrandts for sure, they are really great once you sand that shiny surface off of them..they turn into a whole other stick..can't do that with the paper on.

Also, when I first started I made pastel charts on watercolor paper, had them neatly printed out, and started charting...then I thought, if I ever wanted to match the color, I would just bring it to my local art store, and color swatch it there. However, if it's an exotic..I call the the non-store brands (TLs, GAs, Giraults..etc), meaning ones not easily found locally, so if exotic, I will then swatch it, but never anything fancy anymore...not worth the hassle..lol it's funny how some online retailers charge you around $35 for a custom chart...it's just a color chart..why would I pay so much for it?

robertsloan2
10-28-2014, 02:51 PM
I used to chart all my colors as soon as I got new ones. Past a certain point it's more to have certain hues and values I consider essential - and not exactly which stick. The core for me is a 12 color spectrum with two or three tints each and a half dozen deep darks. Also the essential browns from watercolor sets - yellow ochre or a yelow earth with tints and a dark, red earth like burnt sienna or English Red or any red earth, Burnt Umber or a dark Raw Umber a dark brown with tints.

Charlie / Colorix only includes the yellow ochre, but I use it and dark brown when I want to stay within hue on a yellow and push it past its value range. Also the red earths are just too useful either for skin tones or red dirt in landscapes. I got used to having those hues in other media and still use them in pastels. A blue-gray is nice too with tints and a dark like Payne's Grey.

Everything beyond that is convenience colors. Seriously. They're fun colors, they mean grabbing one stick instead of two or three, they are the right note when I need it and it is loads of fun with the 200 color set having different warm blues to choose to slightly change the painting's feel.

What I do is organize them by that 12 color spectrum and then by Muted or Saturated. I don't like having lots in one category and not many in another important one, so I get drawn toward what I don't have much of in buying. So now I don't worry about replacements. I can sort of tell what it is but I'm as likely to wind up getting an extra stick by overlap in a swap box or another middle set as to buy a replacement.

I sometimes use small sets that don't exactly have what I need and challenge myself to work with what I have. If I get the Blue Earth 21 Landscape there are serious gaps in it and good values, but I saw someone do a good landscape with it and so that is a little bit of a challenge. It'd be enough for a color study of a landscape. I get annoyed at sets that lack violet and delighted with those that include turquoise.

TL Maggie Price Values would actually be perfect if some of the colors were more saturated. Not having seen it in person, I'm not sure if they aren't. But I'd have to find out for myself.

It's been years, over a decade, since I had to actually buy a replacement stick. When I did they were most often the white stick. That ends on getting a set of near-whites from any of the brands that have them, or having enough tints that you don't use up white lightening colors. It makes sense in paint to super-size Titanium White because it's there in every tint. But not in a dry medium, there it's better to have enough tints.

Being able to mix hues within the same value range is extremely powerful, so in some ways the more tints the better. Beyond that are refinements of particular pigments. So that really depends on the person and whether you start to have a favorite pigment and must always use it in large areas and do a lot of paintings of subjects that need it in big areas. I switch up my subjects and papers and brands so much I'm not replacing any of it. If I stopped buying anything then I might start running low on some rands and colors, probably landsacpe colors, but not necessarily the ones in landscape sets. I might be replacing entire sets used a lot like I can imagine replacing the 60 Rembrandt half sticks if enough of them wore down to nubbins.

And it stopped really mattering when I got a lot of Winsor & Newton pastels knowing I could not replace any of them. Once they're gone, they're gone, get similar colors in Rembrandt or Art Spectrum and move on. I still really enjoy them.

But with fewer or with maintaining a full set it's good to chart it. There's a list in my Unisons sets so if I did use up the mid-light blue gray tint I'd know which one to reorder.

jakertanner
10-29-2014, 10:33 PM
Robert, I still see W&N pastels on eBay quite often. Also, I noticed that many artists have their own sets named after them, but what I don't understand, is it seems like an endorsement, but then I see the same artist's name with another brand. Is it common in the art world to endorse multiple brands? Or am I wrong for thinking this?

Equus Art
10-29-2014, 11:34 PM
Why wouldn't an artist endorse multiple brands, Jake? Don't most of us use different brands for different applications? Or a combination of those brands in one painting?

I know Richard McKinley has two sets of Giraults and also one of GAs. I bought the GA set because I really loved the palette choice within that set. His Girault landscape set is quite a bit different from his GA one and I'd rather have the GA palette even though the Giraults are one of my favorite brands. He does claim to really like using the Giraults but then in one of his pastel blogs, he also endorses Blue Earth as a really good set. Stan Sperlak has his set of TL landscape pastels, and uses them as his work horses, but his studio drawers are LOADED with many other brands. I'm SURE if I buy all of the sets an artist I admire advocates, that one day, I too will paint just like they do! :wink2: :clap:

Cat

Potoma
10-30-2014, 07:09 AM
I have a favorite color (usually a sky blue), then I use it up and suddenly have a new favorite color. Over time, my paintings have different palettes. I kinda like the evolution. I am in a bright timespan now and like how that shows.

(Although I am a published biochemist, I am much less worried about pastel organization than you would like of someone with a vocation like that. Richard McKinley is super organized and needs to be with his lifestyle; I really appreciated how he did things when I saw him paint. My style is so very different, but it keeps me loose.)

robertsloan2
10-30-2014, 12:21 PM
I would endorse a Robert Sloan set with more than one brand in a heartbeat. What those sets are is the named artist's preferred palette especially in that brand. I would happily do that for Mount Vision and would love to put together a combination. Of course I'd love it if any and all brands did a Charlotte Herczfeld collection and gave me all 12 saturated colors, 1 shade, 2 tints, half a dozen extra lights and deep darks plus Yellow Ochre for being useful. Mine wouldn't be that different but I might put some browns and grays too depending on size of set.

I could easily do one for Rembrandt and one for Ludwig and one for Mount Vision or Unison all coexisting and I'd even recommend people get more than one if they're really layering, especially Rembie and Softer combo.

I never thought it was "this is the best brand and the only colors you ever need" so much as "this is what I'd use in this brand" often also qualified with a subject added, such as "Richard Schmidt Landscape." He'd use different colors if he did portraits or florals or still lifes. It would also help if you're used to following that artist's workshops and find other sets lack colors he thinks of as essential.

Why I'd love a Charlotte Herczfeld set is that most companies don't seem to do one. The closest they come is a couple of them have Chromatic sets but they don't do chromatic with tints and a spectrum of near whites and deep darks plus yellow ochre. There's quite a few painters that use that palette, her teacher Susan Sarback among them, I just love Charlie's work so hey, name it after her. But whether hers or some other name, wish the companies would start putting together that assortment.

Oh and while I'm fantasizing, I am so bribable! If they sent me the color chart and said "pick out 72 of these colors and put your name on the palette, we will put a photo of your art and your name on it and send you a box" I would so love to do it. I hope they actually get paid a royalty or fee for use of their art in the image but seriously, I would do it to get all the pastels. Actually a substantial payment though, they are costly little things. Well worth putting images of one or several favorite paintings on it - and it is my choices so putting my name on them is honest.

blr2449
10-30-2014, 12:48 PM
I'd buy a Robert Sloan set. :wink2:

Barbara WC
10-30-2014, 01:32 PM
I think the initial reason these sets with artists names attached to them evolved from pastel instructors putting together a palette that their students could use in a workshop. I know Richard McKinley recommends one of the sets he has put together if a student wants to take his workshop and doesn't have many pastels yet- it stinks to be in a workshop with a well known instructor if you want to learn their techniques, but don't have a suitable palette. If you look at McKinley's palette, you will notice he doesn't use the real dark colors in his paintings and uses lovely grays- so his sets are picked appropriately.

Terry Ludwig asked Maggie Price to put together a set that would be workable for beginners a number of years back. Maggie Price emphasized values first, color second, so she put together the "Maggie Price Basic Values" set for Terry Ludwig. She was a well respected teacher, and a master pastel artist, so I think that's why Terry picked her to put together a basic set. I would have been lost on how to choose among 500 colors that Terry Ludwig makes- at the time I started using his pastels, he didn't have many sets available, and the Maggie Price Values set saved me a lot of time and effort picking my own palette, and the fact that I was a beginner in pastels, my palette probably wouldn't have been very workable!

Keeping pastels clean- I recently reorganized my boxes by value- now it no longer matters if a dark purple meets a dark green, or a very light yellow touches a very light blue stick. Sorted by value, my sticks have stayed WAY cleaner than when I was sorting by color family...

jakertanner
10-30-2014, 03:41 PM
My addressing the endorsement issue with some artists was not an attack. Was curious why one would endorse multiple brands. True, we all use more than one brand, its almost a necessity to create certain effects and overall look. But not being too familiar with how things work in the art world, endorsing more than one brand seems like a conflict. Its saying I endorse brand x for landscapes, but for portraits I prefer brand y. If its the color palatte the artists are chosing, then why not have one general palatte, that can be applied to many brands, or is each brand that unique with their color choices?

Again, it is with ignorance, that I ask this, and not to criticize, but to learn. I endorse audio products in my profession, but it would be frowned upon if I endorsed competing products...just seemed odd to me that its acceptable in the pastel world.

I understand an artist being asked to put together a color palette, but then that tells me that those are the ONLY colors and brand they use for that painting. It would be confusing to a beginner to buy a Maggie Price palatte set, only to find that she uses additional colors and brands to achieve her style.

Again, my sincere apologies, still learning and I too, like many of us, would not turn down an endorsement from anyone.

Equus Art
10-30-2014, 05:00 PM
Jake, I hope my answer to you wasn't misconstrued as prickly because you questioned an artist endorsing several different brands. It was said more with a tongue in cheek rather than why you would question that. It might have turned out more like "foot in mouth". I did not mean for you to feel badly about your post.

Cat

robertsloan2
10-30-2014, 05:10 PM
Jake, I can understand that confusion. Maggie Price Basic Values is a palette that if you bought it (in general) in any brand will give you enough to paint dang near anything. It's why I tend to endorse Unison half sticks sets besides the beautiful quality of the pastels - they are sorted that way.

Brands do lean one way or another even in the entire range. Every time I look at Girault it seems like WAY too much brown and earth colors. A full set would be absolute convenience for portraits, exact match the slightest variation of skin tone across any range - there's plenty of darks for darker complexions and tints for variations in light areas. But there doesn't seem to be any organization to it. There's no way to tell if it's also strong on greens or violets. It seems to have loads of grays too.

It's why I have literally suggested a Colourist Palette to Mount Vision and other brands, so that the ones I find essential are all there in a set and I can fool around beyond that with specialty sets like thunderstorm grays. More than one manufacturer just doesn't do bright saturated greens because the majority of landscape painters don't use them. Drives me nuts because even if I don't use it in more than an accent area, I might use that stick somewhere I need to knock down a red and I like to mute in process rather than by using muted sticks. Manufacturers start as artists with some personal tastes at least half the time.

So there is a big difference in range between brands. The color I really need may not even be there in that brand, yet turn up in a cheaper one that was planned in a different way. Mungyo Gallery has a great range overall and their sets are pretty evenly balanced across all their hardness ranges. Richeson, in the same price range, also does different hardness but I actually gave away 120 Richeson hard pastels because there were too many near neighbor bright blues and serious gaps in other colors and tints and darks in the full range. Oddly, the 50 piece beginner set of three hardnesses that Richeson does is pretty well balanced for a short range in the Basic set. But weird in the portrait and landscape categories.

And that's based on how I teach, others' mileage may and will vary. Maybe it matters to some designers to have 8 different hue changes of orange leading into 8 different reds and 8 different full saturation yellows by color without tints. It's a beautiful range but a lot of them are interchangeable where actual tints would be more useful - because you could mix that range with the right yellow, orange and red sticks easily without losing intensity.

The palettes per artists are limited by how many sticks in the set. They probably include all their essential colors for that subject and as many often used extras as fit in the box - and then painting it, they reach for a color that manufacturer hasn't got in the finish. Or that particular landscape needed more reds than they had. Or something. I can see why it sounds that way.

But that comes from kit thinking. You get all the colors of paint you need for paint by number, pre-mixed. This is good for practicing brushwork. It could break down that specifically in something like a "by type of subject" set like a Southwest Canyon set or a Northwest Coast Forest set. Those might not even have to be as large a set.

I think one of the biggest reasons it didn't confuse me is that I came out of colored pencils and was used to a large range and different artists' color habits before meeting pastels. Some teachers do make kits now and put in exactly the pencils used in the project. You copy their painting with their materials and don't need to buy 19 Prismacolors plus 3 Caran d'Ache plus 5 Derwent plus two Bruynzeel to have exact match.

All those designer oranges could matter a lot to a clothing designer who's trying to get exactly the fire red fabric for the dress with its shadowing just violet over the right hue of mass tone. When I started getting lots of watercolors, the exact colors in the tubes are either useful mixes like Payne's Grey or most of them single pigment, the actual pigment will vary and handle differently even if the color is similar. That slightly more orangy red has a different feel and granulates and mixes very differently.

But that's paint, for tints just add water. A pastel selection like that will chew up your white stick very fast.

Some painters who endorse more than one brand, if I look at it the colors in the boxes are similar but the sets don't have the same number of sticks. Or not but they're using it at a different stage by texture and you'd really like to have both to get the full effect. I read on another thread about an artist who endorsed a set and chose colors but wasn't that thrilled with the product compared to their favorite brands. It made sense to me but their color choices within that are what their name on it means, otherwise why not just get a basic set and have a general range?

It actually would make sense to endorse one brand for landscapes and another for portraits if your technique and color palette varied that much. The landscape brand may not have your essential portrait colors at all, and a different texture. I'd happily endorse Girault to any portraitist due to all those neutral warms. You'll always find the right hue for that little area of the face on that exact person. It's got all the conveniences.

But I wouldn't do a portrait set without cool colors in it and wouldn't do any set without violet, which makes a Robert Sloan set have some consistencies across brands or subjects. The very short list of colors I claw the walls if I don't have includes violet and especially unless it's a tiny set, three values of it - dark, full tone and lavender. Preferably more than that. Preferably choices of redder or bluer violet. I use it a lot.

Barbara, yeah, that does wonders for keeping sticks clean. The ones in my Dakota box and any tray that's organized hue and value don't get nearly as dirty or unrecognizable. Their neighbors are close and it's only going to have dark green on the pink when I'm painting and didn't wipe my hands between the leaves and the petals. It's also why I did like set boxes for having a place for every stick, that cuts down on the cleaning.

I'm so lost in the painting though that I do still forget and grab sticks with dirty fingers, so it didn't eliminate cleaning. Today's landscape left a few Unisons grungy and I should probably clean them later.

jakertanner
10-30-2014, 05:49 PM
Jake, I hope my answer to you wasn't misconstrued as prickly because you questioned an artist endorsing several different brands. It was said more with a tongue in cheek rather than why you would question that. It might have turned out more like "foot in mouth". I did not mean for you to feel badly about your post.

Cat

Not at all Cat, but you brought up a good point, and I am just curious as to the why. No harm done, it's all a learning experience for me. Thanks !! :)

jakertanner
10-30-2014, 06:03 PM
Robert, I think what I gathered from this is that artist endorsed sets, are mostly for beginners. Because if I know what colors I want a landscape or portrait to be, why wouldn't I just buy the open stock? I think the for someone who is experienced, to buy a pre-made set with someone else's colors probably wouldn't suit their needs, as each artist is different and sees colors differently...is this a semi-true statement? Again, just trying to gather as much information about pastels as possible.

I do understand that some sets are better for certain styles of painting, actually subject matters, and from what you said, this is the reason why artists endorse different brands for different subjects.

My other point was that if an artist came up with a general color palette for landscapes, seascapes, portraits, or whatever, then the same/similar colors can be found on many different brands, and then one can choose from open stock.

I haven't purchased any sets for this reason, I would much rather create my own color set for whatever subject I need.

Potoma
10-30-2014, 10:14 PM
Barbara,
Do you have a picture of your pastel box to share?