PDA

View Full Version : Harder pastels?


teatimetomorrow
04-27-2018, 07:31 AM
Hi everyone!

I pulled my pastels out tonight after a long break and I realized that as much as I enjoy Terry Ludwigs I don't think I like how soft they are, and I don't have many other brands. I seem to have a firm hand, and I just can't control them well at all. I love them for the sky and blending out, so they certainly remain a favorite, but I think I need some harder pastels. I do have Rembrants and Nupastel, but those are too hard! I'm looking for an in-between brand :)

kcwhitney
04-27-2018, 07:57 AM
Try Mount Vision. Firm, without being hard. Good color distribution and consistent texture across the spectrum. And good value.

It's funny. I have been hearing such great comments about the Terry Ludwigs, (and they colors are very good), I have been thinking about trying more of them again. But I don't like the softness either. I am not able to control them well at the stage I am at right now.

Spike the Creator
04-27-2018, 08:22 AM
Im a big fan of the blick artist soft pastels. I use those along with rembrandts and find that the blicks are a step up in softness while having a similar size pastel

Richard Barrere
04-27-2018, 01:58 PM
Hello all,

If you are looking for something a little harder than the TL pastels but not as hard as Rembrandts, don't forget the Unison/Jack Richeson Hand Rolled pastels too. I lump them together here because I think they are similar enough in size and shape and performance. I love them because they are firm and yet lay down nice and soft and opaque. If you want more control or detail, I find that if you sharpen them a little that can be achieved, but I hate to actually "sharpen" them (like on sandpaper) because of the waste. But if you use the colors for wide areas like sky and ground, and use them on the end instead of laying them down on the side for that, you will quickly have a point on the end you can use for more detail. Just a thought.

KJSCL
04-27-2018, 07:32 PM
If you have a heavy hand, I'd recommend trying Holbein pastels. The sticks are rectangular and firm but are still quite soft. Their shape makes them easy to use for more precise work.

teatimetomorrow
04-27-2018, 07:53 PM
If you have a heavy hand, I'd recommend trying Holbein pastels. The sticks are rectangular and firm but are still quite soft. Their shape makes them easy to use for more precise work.

Thank you got the suggestion, I was looking at these on Blick but this stuck out - "A pastel fixative is recommended to prevent colors from fading"

I don't see this warning on other pastels, is there something different about Holbeins?

teatimetomorrow
04-27-2018, 07:58 PM
Try Mount Vision. Firm, without being hard. Good color distribution and consistent texture across the spectrum. And good value.

It's funny. I have been hearing such great comments about the Terry Ludwigs, (and they colors are very good), I have been thinking about trying more of them again. But I don't like the softness either. I am not able to control them well at the stage I am at right now.


Thank you for the suggestion! I think I do have a few mount vision. But I tore the paper off, so now to see if I can identify them :clear:

It was actually hard for me to admit TL might not be for me, lol. All of the artist I look up to use and love them, for whole painting. But gosh I just can't seem to control them!

chuas2
04-27-2018, 08:22 PM
Hi there:

Don't abandon your Ludwigs! Although I prefer the harder pastels, I use my Ludwig True Lights and Basic Landscape all the time. Love 'em!

I would also recommend Mount Visions. They are one of the firmer of the softies, and have a slightly gritty feel (but with a nice smooth lay-down).

You get a lot of pastel for a relatively low cost. Also, you can break off very small pieces for details and they hold together well.

If you go with these, the dark blues and greens are outstanding! Happy hunting!
Kris

leithoff
04-27-2018, 08:29 PM
Not sure where to post this question but Iím new to pastels. Usually work with color pencils. How do you get the dust off your artwork without smearing the color all over the page and how do you get a clean line?

KJSCL
04-27-2018, 09:21 PM
Thank you got the suggestion, I was looking at these on Blick but this stuck out - "A pastel fixative is recommended to prevent colors from fading"

I don't see this warning on other pastels, is there something different about Holbeins?

I have no idea why it would say that. They are like any other pastel and I've never used fixative.

LuckyLaura
04-28-2018, 08:46 AM
If money is no object, Unison are superb with great colours and are harder than the TLs. People really like Girault too as a harder soft pastel but I have personally never tried those so cannot vouch for them.

If you are wanting to save a bit but paint a lot and want to make an investment in a pastel that is around the same price as the other brands but twice the size, Mount Vision again have great colours and are a bit harder than the Unisons and certainly harder than the TLs.

If you want to save a lot of money, look at the Mungyo Extra Fine Round Soft Pastels or the Mungyo Hand-rolled pastels. The Extra Fine Rounds are a bit softer than Rembrandt but quite close otherwise. The hand rolled are a similar texture to Unison but a bit harder and the colours are not as good. Mungyo are also non toxic which is always a plus if you have uncontrollable little variables running around!

PeggyB
04-28-2018, 03:25 PM
I agree with "LuckyLaura" regarding the Unison pastels; they are a superb brand of pastels with a huge variety of clear, uniform colors. I also like Girault, but compared to Unison they are very expensive. I've compared the Unison brand to Richeson's Unison knock-off hand rolled, and find the colors of the Unison to be superior; you get what you pay for in these two brands.

I also agree about the Mungyo brand. They are very affordable from Jerry's Artarama. Well actually in the U.S. Jerry's is the only direct source for Mungyo. You can order them from Amazon, but they are shipped to you from Jerry's and they are higher priced. Through Jerry's you can buy them by the individual stick or in sets; Amazon offers only a limited number of sets. I've compared the Mungyo "extra soft" to the Dick Blick brand, and although similar in hardness I found for the most part the Mungyo colors to be more pure. The Mungyo hand rolled line is similar in size to Unison and Richeson, and is their top of the brand line.

Personally I'd avoid any brand that a company recommends using fixatives to secure. The use of fixatives should be strictly a personal choice based upon true need. The paper you use, the heaviness of application, and what you want the final painting to look like will dictate "need".

chuas2
04-29-2018, 02:50 PM
Not sure where to post this question but Iím new to pastels. Usually work with color pencils. How do you get the dust off your artwork without smearing the color all over the page and how do you get a clean line?

You should start a new thread with a different title so people can see your question. Maybe one of the moderators can assist?

Dust is the pastel artists nemesis. I use a very sophisticated method. prop the painting face down over a bin and bang the heck out of it. However, if you're using velour or really soft paper, your picture could disappear using this technique. I also use artist tape rolled around my finger, or a kneaded rubber eraser.

I think most of us would agree that if you're doing sharp, clean lines in pastel, you usually have to draw them back in or clean them up during the process. Pastel is absolutely wonderful, but clean....it is not.

Kris

teatimetomorrow
04-29-2018, 08:37 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone!

I went back in my Blicks orders and figured out what colors I had ordered from Unison, Mt. Vision, Richeson. They were colors I don't reach for often so I had forgotten how they felt. They all seem to have that rough feel on the paper, which I like - TL is, well, like butter, in comparison. Even the few Townsends I have, have that nice grit feel. I think that feeling is like, feedback for me? I don't know how to explain it.


I ordered some of the Blicks artist pastels to try, after looking them up, they seem to have rave reviews, so excited to try those out. I went ahead and ordered the 120 half stick set, with the 10% off code, it's only $91! :clap:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Apr-2018/1991081-21948-1219-1-2ww-m.jpg

I also couldn't resist this Townsend set..."Misty Mauves"..

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Apr-2018/1991081-20074-1039-2ww-m.jpg

I probably didn't need that but I am so drawn to the colors... :cat:

I was going to order some Mt. Visions too, but I was a bit confused by Blicks pricing for them. They charge $3.09 per stick...so a set of 50, should be around $154, or LESS, since sets are usually a bargain! But they are actually charging $180 per 50 set, and it's not like they come in a wonderful wooden box or anything special. Even the smaller sets - all cost $20-30 more buying as as a set vs just hand-picking those pastels that come in the set (the sets don't include colors you can't buy as singles). Most of the other brands, Townsend etc, it cost a few bucks less to purchase a set vs singles. Since I already have a few of their sticks, I decided I'd look elsewhere at their sets. If you can't tell, I prefer buying sets :rolleyes:

stapeliad
04-30-2018, 10:37 AM
congrats on the new acquisitions! You will love the Blick pastels, and Diane Townsends are sublime! Beautiful color selection!

LuckyLaura
05-01-2018, 03:27 PM
Even over here in the UK (I have lived and purchased art supplies in both the UK and the US) the Mount Visions have that weird pricing. Go figure :rolleyes:

chuas2
05-06-2018, 12:56 PM
...
I also couldn't resist this Townsend set..."Misty Mauves"..

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Apr-2018/1991081-20074-1039-2ww-m.jpg



Oh NO! Why did you have to post this set? I think I HAVE to go and buy them! ARGH! :lol:

Ok, I'm heading over to Dakota..just to "look" right?

Kris
Have fun with these! :thumbsup: