View Full Version : Darkest darks?

08-10-2017, 03:14 PM
I live in the UK and have access to Mount Vision, Unison, Sennelier, and Schmincke through Jackson's Art but despite my research into pictures of the pastels and colour charts, my most recent order didn't result in the dark pastels I was hoping for. They are still dark-ish and I will make good use of them but I would love to find some truly dark, almost black pastels in blue-black, brown-black, and purple-black. Something akin to the Terry Ludwig aubergine pastel everyone talks about but attainable in the UK.

There are no serious art shops near me so I cannot see pastels in person to get a sense of how dark they really are. Does anyone have any particular favourites? Thanks in advance

Donna T
08-10-2017, 08:23 PM
Hi Laura, of the brands you mentioned I have all but Schmincke. I dragged out my notebooks where I keep color swatches and I'll look for the darkest darks. I know how hard it is to buy colors online. I take the labels off my pastels so I can't really find a specific color for you in my box.

Mount Vision:

680 is a dark warm red-violet
670 is a dark purple
230 is a dark ... neutral?
640 is a dark, cool blue

Of all of those, I'd say that 230 would be the most versatile because you could make it lean warm or cool by layering on other darks.


NE 7 is a warm dark, like a dark brown
RED 13 is a dark red
A43 is a very dark green
A30 is a dark purple/violet

I have other Unison darks but like you say, they are not close to black.


057 is close to black, maybe a very dark brown
155 is a true black, or close to it, my swatches are tiny, sorry!

Sorry, this is probably not all that helpful. I don't have all the color families so I can't tell if a dark is a dark green or dark brown sometimes! Hopefully others will be able to provide better info.

water girl
08-10-2017, 09:31 PM
Sennelier has a wonderful dark green. It may be #178 or #179.

08-11-2017, 04:08 AM
Thank you very much, Donna and Karen, I will look into those! Really appreciate your help

Moises Menendez
08-11-2017, 07:54 PM
Terry Ludwig very intense darks set II are the darkest darks in my personal experience. The the American Art works as well.

08-15-2017, 04:38 PM
Thank you Moises. We do have Terry Ludwig here but quite expensive. However, might have to treat myself. I have a set I got second-hand for a good price and they are very good pastels indeed.