View Full Version : Girault, unison or schmicke for figurative work?

11-23-2017, 11:47 AM
Hi, I was wondering if there were members who work with girault pastels for portraiture. With which other brand would you compare them to.
I'm contemplating of buying a complete set of giraults, unison or schmincke.
If you had to choose, which one would you get? And why? Everything i think i have made up my mind to which set i'm going to get in the nearby future, i keep hesitating, worried if it will fulfill my needs.
My goal is to be able to be painterly without being fluffy, if that makes sense.
I already have nearly the complete set of rembrandt, just under 200 sticks, and i do feel the need for more colours.

11-23-2017, 10:11 PM
I would buy 4 or 5 sticks (or whatever smaller number) before buying a complete set of anything, so that you can compare them. My opinion really won't matter much - in the end only your like or dislike of a particular brand makes any difference. The Schminckes are very soft - as soft as any brand out there which would be a big difference from the Rembrandts that you now have - which are among the harder brands. Giraults are a medium hardness and are thinner than the other brands (this may be a plus for portraiture). I've never used Unison, but they are softer than Girault and not as soft as the Schminckes. How soft you want to go will probably be a big factor in your decision.

If you are mainly interested in portraiture, I would consider a smaller portrait sized set to begin.

These are just my opinions, of course, and can be ignored!


11-24-2017, 05:26 AM
Don- Thank you for your reply. Will go to store soon, and test some schmincke and senneliers, very curious how they behave. The other brands mentioned not available in stores. However i do value a complete set, if for instance i like a certain shade, i can get the same one in a different value increment. Plus a small set won't do for me, i have a too broad of skintones range that i would like to cover. Especially greens and yellows.


11-24-2017, 09:16 AM
The Schmincke is very soft. So if you are hard-handed that would fill up the tooth of the paper quick.

So it also depend on how one works. I like Unison and also Girault. Also depend on what paper one use.

11-24-2017, 06:00 PM
Thank you for your input. I intend to use Mi-teintes paper, also some prepared heavy paper. I don't consider myself heavy handed. I'm leaning towards Unison, but i found a good deal on Schminkce, which is tempting. If Santa truly existed, i wouldn't have to choose, i get both of them.

11-25-2017, 02:40 PM
I went to the store to test the Senneliers and Schmincke and well... I unexpectedly went home with some pastels. So exited! Actually got a good deal on them. Also a couple dark sticks of Sennelier.
I was so sure to buy the Unisons, but ended up with Schmincke, luckily they're better priced here in Europe than outside of the continent.

12-08-2017, 08:11 PM
Oh that's a beautiful set of Schminke!

Girault have their own texture, it's unique. They're firm but go on very smoothly like a softer pastel. Heavy and dense in the hand, they're easily controlled. Schminke are super soft, you can get a layer of those over anything else.

If you want to maximize your results, use your Rembrandts until the paper tooth is full and use Schminke for final marks. Working on non sanded paper, it helps to have a very light hand and to blend the early layers reserving tooth for later ones.

You can also scrape your painting with a razor blade held at 90 degrees to restore tooth if you can't add any more pastel, Arnold Lowrey does this often in his videos.