View Full Version : Buying advice needed.

02-22-2015, 02:51 AM
This is kind of an odd problem. I am new to pastels, so I don't have many. I'll try to explain, but be brief. I had a real problem with Fine Arts Store. (Would never use them again if my life depended on it. I felt they were the most incompetent, nasty store I've ever dealt with.)

Having not gotten the pastels I ordered, which I may or may not ever get, I'm going elsewhere to order more pastels.

Here's my question.
-- Do I buy the exact same ones I ordered, knowing that someday the ones I ordered may or may not come to me in some way. (I doubt it, or could be months or years.) Or ...
-- Do I instead buy colors in the same family, but slightly different values, so I have something similar to what I had decided I needed, then if I do get the others, I would end up just having a full set of values for each color? Or ...
-- Do I just start looking at other colors altogether, even though those are the closest to what I need right now?

(Right now I have 40 assorted half sticks of the Senneliers and 2 full value sets of greys in Great American - 6 cool grey (Earl) and 6 warm grey (Dorian) that someone gave me for Christmas. I'm in need of some purples, greens, and turquoises.)


Equus Art
02-22-2015, 07:57 AM
I'm sorry you had a problem with Fine Art Store. My experiences with them have been the total opposite and they more than went out of their way to accommodate me when they were out of stock on some Giraults that I had ordered. They ship FAST and everything has arrived in perfect condition.

You left things a little cryptic in why you think you "may" end up with the pastels that you ordered, stating months or years. Not sure I understand how that would be possible. If you placed an order and they are back ordered and not in stock, get a refund. That's what I had to do when I found the Giraults in open stock elsewhere. They were a little more expensive than Fine Art, but I needed those colors right then for a painting I was in the middle of.

My thoughts would be, if you ordered specific pastels, you ordered them for a reason......you wanted those particular ones.....so why wouldn't you get the same ones you originally wanted?


02-22-2015, 09:22 AM
Sorry you had a problem with Fine Arts store. Perhaps you could tell us exactly what the situation is - otherwise it is hard to give advice. As Cat mentioned, hopefully you can cancel your order to ensure that any order you make elsewhere will not become a duplicate order.

Just on a personal level, I hope you reconsider and will give Fine Art store another chance. They are a small, locally owned business that is competing against some big national franchises. Just a few months ago, another art store that had some stores in Rochester and Buffalo closed down. It is hard for real brick and mortar stores to compete against the big online companies. I realize for most everyone here on the forum, the Fine Art Store is an online company, but for Rochesterians its a small, crowded store that's been a downtown fixture for many years!


02-22-2015, 09:48 AM
All good suggestions so far and very nice input Don, I love small businesses! I would suggest getting what you want and need and sell the others or trade them! Or maybe get the colors in another brand so they aren't exact duplicates.

02-22-2015, 10:11 AM
I had a great experience shopping at Fine Art Store online. I ordered through Amazon, but the set I wanted was out of stock. I contacted FAS by email, which was promptly replied to by someone there named Eric, who was fantastic in helping me. Through about 15 emails, we decided on replacement colors sold individually, and he had those all boxed and ready to mail when the set I originally ordered was restocked. He gave me the option of buying those I had picked out to replace the set, or the original. I chose the individual pieces, and he even put in an extra one! They were sent immediately and arrived in perfect shape. I'm surprised and sorry to hear your experience was so different. As to buying similar colors because you might receive those you ordered from FAS, I think that might be a good solution. You can never have too many greens and purples, that's for sure!

02-22-2015, 01:35 PM
I was cryptic only because the situation is quite unusual and far too complex for a post, and not really the point anyway. (If anyone is really curious you can IM or email me. Suffice is to say I wil not give them another chance, I gave them several and they were, imo, completely unprofessional in the situation. I'm glad you all had good experiences, mine was not.)

Thanks for the input. I'll order the same or similar from Jerry's, since I probably will never get these.


02-23-2015, 04:52 PM
Sounds like FAS needs to know who dealt with your problem. I gather the gist is that your package got sent but never arrived and you might actually get it, so now you're not sure if you want to order the same ones in case the post office or delivery service suddenly finds it and delivers weeks later.

I'd order from Blick or Jerry's Artarama or Dakota Pastels, all of whom have been really good. Dakota has best selection. Jerry's is pretty good and has mostly caught up to Blick, also has some brands they don't. TOP of my list is and has always been Dick Blick, because, I've been using Blick since before they had an Internet. Blick is always, unfailingly insanely good about customer service and if the package gets lost or damaged, they replace it. And then if it shows up late or the damaged is still partly usable, don't want it back or care unless it's a $100 Winsor Newton watercolor set that WN wanted back to see what was wrong with it. That happened ONCE in decades and they sent the pickup guy to my door for the damaged one without expecting me to pack it.

There was a time they gave me $40 worth of beautiful velour boards because they sent the wrong color.

Now, depending on your chances of actually getting what FAS sent, I might buy those colors in a different brand or something similar. Depends how you feel about having duplicates and how fast you wear down those colors. If you paint large and often use the same colors on large areas, having duplicates can be a good thing. I paint small and have a very large collection of pastels, so nothing ever wears out.

Terry Ludwig has beautiful purples, greens and turquoise. Greens are not saturated, I have yet to find any pure tone greens or bright greens. But for olive greens and muted greens the range is wonderful. Depends on what you want in greens. If you already have a bright green or two in the Sennelier box then Ludwigs may suit your needs. Just looked at it, it has a bright yellow green and a blue-green tint and one turquoise, yeah you do need more greens! It's possible Terry Ludwigs could be a good choice. You can't get them open stock except from Terry directly, so that's one possibility.

They are good and they are in the Very Soft category like your Senneliers. I've heard GA is in that category too.

If what you need is purples, greens and turquoises, that's what you need, looking at other colors would only be relevant if you decided to pick up an assortment with lots of them in it to save money on the cost of individual sticks or half sticks. Which might give you more variety in color families you already have and spread out your collection.

I could do something with what you have but the 40 Sennelier Half Sticks is a bit minimal, I'd be doing a bit of mixing. It at least has some purple, a turquoise and a couple of greens. But lots more is a very good idea especially for landscapes. Half sticks sets are a good bargain. I would not skimp on purple, green and turquoise at all, but if you look at your budget and check out larger half sticks sets like the Great Americans one, or the Blick Artist (house brand artist grade) one or something, or even a larger Sennelier like the Paris Collection, you can wind up filling up the gaps and have more convenience colors and more tints in colors you were already okay in.

Don't get the 80 color Sennelier half sticks because then you will later want the 120 color one and beat head on desk the way I did, if you expand in that direction go ahead and get Paris Collection first and treat the 40 color set as a field kit, since it's compact and complete. That's the one way I'd say duplicates are not a problem. Over time those little field kit ones may wear out at the same rate depending on how often you paint outdoors, and if some colors do you can always get a full stick replacement. But not breaking up the big studio set to fill up the field kit is a good thing.

02-24-2015, 02:26 AM
Hi Robert.

Thanks so much for your extensive input.

Re: FAS, I went to the owner. The situation was something like that but a bit more complicated. I'm trying really hard not to go off on a tirade about it, so I'll leave it at that.

You've peaked my curiosity about the Terry Ludwigs. I will look into them in the future. I ordered from Jerrys and I ordered similar colors but only one duplicate, because I really wanted that color. They are Great American. I got the Grey family for Christmas and they are incredibly soft and buttery. I love them.

Right now I have to buy singles, I just don't have the money for the sets I want, so I printed out the sets and tried to order some of what's in those. I like the Seascape set, but it's over $200, which is a little rich for me. I'll add to them as I can and create my own sets. I run a full time business so it's hard to find all the time to paint that I'd like, so I wouldn't go through duplicates very quickly. (And I, too, paint small.)

Thanks so much for taking the time to write your insights. I will refer back to this again, I'm sure.


02-24-2015, 10:34 AM
Oh cool, that makes sense! Main point I was making is that it's not duplicate when you get the same color in another brand, because the texture is different. Whichever one is softer can easily go over the other. Certain go-to colors, I love having them in four or five or more brands. Like "Screaming deep ultramarine" which is happily common in many general assortments and I love using it. Or the bright aqua. Or the common bright pink. They're colors that confused me when I got my first set of Grumbachers but as I learned to use them came to understand why they're that important.

Yeah, if you don't have the money for the sets you want, it can work to just pick out the most important colors in them and put them together slowly. Makes sense. At least then you have the most important ones to use right away. A good long term solution is to sell paintings to afford more pastels.

SAS Designs
02-24-2015, 06:45 PM
I've had wonderful experiences with the FAS. Surprised, and sad you didn't caat it just seems SO UNLIKE all the people I've dealt with at FAS, to leave a customer as dissatisfied as you are. Hope you can resolve it. As you can see, many of the people posting at WC have great respect for FAS, and I do think your situation may be unique.