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View Full Version : Terry Ludwig Set Advice, and ? about Sennelier


teatimetomorrow
07-03-2017, 09:50 PM
So my birthday is this month, and I'm thinking of splurging on a good amount of Terry Ludwig pastels. I have been trying out several brands, nupastel - rembrandt - mount vision - great american - sennelier - terry ludwig. With Terrys, I purchased the 'best love basics' set and unfortunately I actually rarely need to use the shades included but when I DO get to use one of those colors it's soo nice. They are definitely my favorite!

The problem is I am so torn on what to purchase. Open stocks? 2 30pc sets? 1 60pc set? The sets are definitely a better deal ($6.00x30 would be $180, where the 30pc sets on Blicks are $128).

I also have a question about sennelier. I purchased the 40pc assorted half-stick set with a discount and was really excited about them, but I have noticed a large inconsistency in texture. Some are really buttery and nice to work with, and also have a certain weight to them. Then, some colors are very AIRY - hard and scratchy and weigh so much less than the nice sticks. There are many sticks in the 40pc set like this, and a few of the full open stock sticks I purchased from Blicks are like this. Is this a sennelier thing? Is there anything I do to make these workable?

And back to Terrys. I currently have the 14 best love basics. I was looking at the "shades of nature" and "30pc landscape"(both would be purchased).. I would get a few duplicates from the landscape set that are included in the basics set. But then theres also the plein air landscape..and many other sets..

Please help me, LOL. I am SO indecisive when something cost this much!! Which sets do you own/use the most? What sort of things do you paint (can I see?) I am 99% interested in painting landscape, nature scenes.

contumacious
07-03-2017, 11:35 PM
My understanding on the Sennelier pastels is that they contain no fillers, so the type of pigment in each gives them the different textures. Did the undesirable texture continue once you removed the harder outer crust?

Sennelier uses only the purest pigments, mixed with minimal amounts of natural binders, in an exclusive formula that yields lightfast, water-soluble pastels. There is just enough binder to hold the pigment together as the pastels are formed by hand, placed in special molds, and allowed to air dry. No fillers or clays are used.

teatimetomorrow
07-03-2017, 11:46 PM
My understanding on the Sennelier pastels is that they contain no fillers, so the type of pigment in each gives them the different textures. Did the undesirable texture continue once you removed the harder outer crust?

Sennelier uses only the purest pigments, mixed with minimal amounts of natural binders, in an exclusive formula that yields lightfast, water-soluble pastels. There is just enough binder to hold the pigment together as the pastels are formed by hand, placed in special molds, and allowed to air dry. No fillers or clays are used.



Unfortunately, yes. The whole structure of the pastel seems different. I mentioned already but these pastels weigh half of the nice textured ones, they feel airy. Using them results in scratchy lines or extreme crumbling, and I scrubbed a few on sandpaper just to see if the bottom layers changed - but it was the same throughout.

water girl
07-03-2017, 11:50 PM
If you are in the need of darks, I'd suggest TL Intense Darks II. Mount Vision is another option, because of price. The sticks are also a bit larger than others. I've had success with the Richeson soft pastels. But who am I to give adice??? :lol: I have zero control when it comes to buying pastels. Happy Birthday!

teatimetomorrow
07-04-2017, 12:01 AM
If you are in the need of darks, I'd suggest TL Intense Darks II. Mount Vision is another option, because of price. The sticks are also a bit larger than others. I've had success with the Richeson soft pastels. But who am I to give adice??? :lol: I have zero control when it comes to buying pastels. Happy Birthday!

:p I am trying to maintain control buttttt it's pretty difficult.

CM Neidhofer
07-04-2017, 03:31 AM
I have both sets of intense darks, a landscape set and a true lights set. I use the landscape, intense darks I, I guess it would be, and the true lights sets the most. I've had a couple sample sets of Senneliers and did not like them. I think the same reasons....scratchy and crumbly.

bluepen61
07-06-2017, 11:30 AM
My understanding on the Sennelier pastels is that they contain no fillers, so the type of pigment in each gives them the different textures. Did the undesirable texture continue once you removed the harder outer crust?

Sennelier uses only the purest pigments, mixed with minimal amounts of natural binders, in an exclusive formula that yields lightfast, water-soluble pastels. There is just enough binder to hold the pigment together as the pastels are formed by hand, placed in special molds, and allowed to air dry. No fillers or clays are used.


Ha! I worked for a paint and coatings manufacturer for some 20 years, mostly as Director of Purchasing. I purchased everything for manufacturing. The terms of pigments, fillers, clays, additives, or whatever becomes a blur in manufacturing. Pigments can act as a filler, or an additive, or both. For example, titanium dioxide which is a white pigment can be a filler or serve some other purpose in a formula. In many of the formulas that used TiO2, titanium dioxide is used as a hiding agent. This feature allowed the end-user to apply only one coat verses two coats. TiO2 is expensive and so the lab boys were always challenged to lower cost by substituting a portion of the TiO2 with another white filler. The use of multiple ingredients allow specific features to be imparted or removed from the end product. The point being, I am skeptical of some marketing statements made by pastel manufacturers.

I just purchased a 24 stick set of Sennelier's dark colors and decided to remove the wrappers with an eXacto knife which created some crumbs. Crumbs I didn't want to go to waste. Wanting to try them out, I began removing the wrappers over some art paper and then smearing the crumbs around. Instant abstracts. I retained the larger, manageable pieces. What an experience. The touch and feel of the tiny pieces. Like previous posters above, some sticks were hard, some were soft and crumbly. Some in between this and that. 2 or 3 sticks crumbled in fingers. What a delight! Really! It was fun! I wanted to break all of them, but I am reserving some for 'purposeful' painting. lol

So my observation is that the manufacturer may have used essentially the same formula (i.e. binder to pigment ratio) regardless of the pigment to create the sticks. Choosing not to use additives or add/alter manufacturing processes to make the harder pigments softer or the stick to feel/apply buttery. Their main quality feature might be unbroken sticks of color.

I am surprised and disappointed at the lack of consistency in texture, smoothness, and application between sticks in this box of dark's. And I have found this common in sets from other manufacturers. Sure would make painting easier though (ha, maybe). On the other hand, they are what they are. Unbroken sticks of color in a box. And I just need to accept the challenge to understand how to use and apply them in a particular situation. With this said, I really love the Sennelier dark's! The color! :)

The Diane Townsend terrages and the Richeson handmade half sticks seem to be fairly consistent between one stick/terrage to another in application. imho Still challenging and fun to apply too.

Shallbe
07-06-2017, 02:14 PM
TeaTime;

Have you considered the Maggie Price TL set? In shopping for myself I decided to save up for this one. The reason being that there is a range of pure colors--it's almost like a rainbow with a good value selection of each color. Now that doesn't give you many muted colors, but then you can blend and overlay to get that.

It's a bit more than the smaller sets, but I think it's a good set to begin, and then I might add landscapes and others as time goes on. Iwasn't very happy with the selections in the smaller sets and thought they would make better add-on choices than initial choices, if that makes sense.

shallbe

robertsloan2
07-07-2017, 03:05 PM
If you love the TL texture, I'd advise saving up for the Maggie Price 60 color basics set. Several reasons. It's complete in terms of hues and gives you staged values in all the hues, best organized set other than the Unisons half sticks sets that are organized the same way. Second, that organization in the box makes it really easy to get used to finding the hue and value you need for anything, also matching values across hues.

Agree on the Sennelier textures. I heard that about the minimal filler/binders creating differences because of the textures of the pigments. I've got half sticks because they have overall a better texture, they're just a bit thicker and less likely to crumble but will still do so over time.

Yet they're otherwise high quality and inexpensive, not bad for what they are. I've known serious artists who got used to those texture differences and wouldn't use anything else.

Sounds like what you like best are the softest pastels.

I would recommend at least trying a sample Unison. Unisons have a similar texture across the range, light and soft and fluffy though not quite as soft as the TLs. They don't crumble as much. They have a "hand rolled" texture that's more like whipped cream vs. solid cream, makes them go on as if softer than they are, it's common to other Hand Rolled brands and lines like Mount Vision.

Shallbe
07-08-2017, 03:42 AM
Rob,

Thanks for confirming my choice of the Maggie Price set of TL. The more I looked at the sets, the more that one made sense.

Regarding Unison's: do you wish they were square shaped so you will have edges and corners to work with? I definitely prefer the square kind.

shallbe