View Full Version : semi-hard Mungyo or Richeson.

09-01-2019, 01:12 PM
I just started getting into pastels. I bought the 60 stabillo pencils, a 30 half stick of rembrandts, 30 handmade mungyo and a 16 half stick of unisons.

I read a lot of people use the harder thin sticks to do the initial layers, which is really the only type of pastel I still need. I have been thinking about getting the Mungyo semi hard square sticks.they seem to be a good deal, though Iíve read very mixed reviews from having low pigment and not blending well, to excellent smooth better than nupastels.

Now what Iím most confused about is I also read that the softer rounds are actually harder, but have more pigment. They also have the soft squares, would they be more useful then the semi-hards, or do I need a true semi-hard to round out the pastels I already bought.

Also what about the Jack Richeson hard pastels compared with the Mungyo.

Iím trying to get a brand hat is affordable but still high quality, and have pretty much settled between these two brands. I will not be buying nupastels, with the lightfast issues and the price tag, not for me. So if anybody could chime in and give me any advice I would be thankful.


My Beloved Muse
09-02-2019, 10:34 AM
Hi Priscella,

I haven't tried the Richeson hard sticks so I cannot offer you a comparison, but I do have a set of the Mungyo semi-hard pastels. I would say they're pretty good and work fine for an initial layer. I couldn't find any information on what pigments are used to make these sticks though. For the price, I'd say they're a good deal.

Given the number of pastels you've already acquired, I'd suggest putting them to work to see what you can do with them. Depending on the sufaces you choose to work on and the techniques you employ, the semi-hard sticks could fill a niche in your workflow, or not. You won't know until you begin playing around and learning to use your tools. Unless you're quite practiced in drawing and painting, find some instruction and let the playing and learning begin.

Hope this helps!


Richard Barrere
09-03-2019, 03:11 PM
Hello! I have some of the Jack Richeson semi hard sticks, and I find them a lot like Conte sticks, if you know what those are like. Colors are great, and they would work well for initial stages and I also use them for finishing up too, for adding texture or very fine lines. I got mine in one of those Richeson sets, with the hard and soft pastels. You really can use almost anything for your underpainting though, so if you are actually going to put color down and then wash with alcohol or water, you can use your softer sticks for that too, just use a lighter touch and it seems to work fine for me.

I also have some of the Mungyo semi hard sticks too, those square ones, and while the colors are nice it seems like they don't really work well with other pastels. I think they are lacking a certain amount of pigment and so they will disappear while blending with other pastels. I have used them for underpainting though, and they work well for that. I know the branding is very confusing, I only have the soft hand rolled Mungyos and the semi hard square sticks. They call the semi-hard sticks "Gallery by Mungyo semi-hard pastels" and the round ones "Artist's Soft pastels". I haven't tried the round ones. Then there are the super cheap square half sticks which I would avoid. The soft hand rolled sticks are great, and they stand up well next to Mount Visions and the like.

One other thing to consider when shopping for these is that you can find most pastels, cheap and expensive brands second hand. You can shop your local Craigslist or go to Ebay and find them. Rembrandts and Nupastels are on there all the time, in small and large sets and from pretty beat up to almost new. They are the world's most popular pastel brands, so you can find a nice set for not a whole lot of money, depending on how picky you are about the quality. Used pastels work fine, but I understand the pleasure of buying and opening a new set. There's nothing quite like that!

Hope this is helpful! Happy shopping...

09-05-2019, 01:10 PM
Thanks for the advice. I would love to start painting, but of course there was a small snag in delivery, so Iím still waiting on mostly everything, should be here today though, fingers crossed.

Truth be told my brain is pretty fried, after the last two weeks trying to figure this all out and purchase supplies.

The little sampler set from Richeson I think is a good idea.

Or bit the bullet and purchase Nupastels, as it seems mostly everybody recommends these. Throw away the ones that arenít lightfast and get another brands open stock.

My Beloved Muse
09-05-2019, 03:12 PM

I use Nupastels and find they are excellent. There are about 4 colors that fade badly. The following link is the most comprehensive lightfast test of Nupastels I've found online. The author has a photo clearly showing which colors are fugitive.


You could also look at Cretacolor for a hard pastel. Amongst all of the brands that offer harder pastels, theirs has the best reputation for lightfastness. I happily use them as well.

Once your art supplies arrive, have fun and play with them. And pose questions to this forum. Post some artwork. There are plenty of kind folks here who can offer helpful suggestions on a number of topics and encourage you on in your art journey.


09-07-2019, 12:03 PM
John, thank you for the link. I looked through them and to my eyes there where 21 colors that faded to some degree with some not changing so much value but with hue. I know this has probably been asked before, but since I would be using these for more underpainting, with softer pastels on top, would these lightfast issues be as much of an issue, since they are mostly being covered up with more lightfast pastels anyway? I know some of the color would be shining though to a more or lesser effect depending of course, so perhaps that plays a role in how much it would fade. Or does the light penetrate all the colors regardless, thus changing the whole color scheme.

My Beloved Muse
09-07-2019, 01:06 PM
I won't use the worst of the Nupastels, but the others I will use lightly to work out my color scheme. And, as you said, I always go over them with more lightfast colors. In this way I haven't had any issues.

What I like and use most are the many earth and skin tones in the Nupastels. They're small enough for detail work and I like how they handle.