View Full Version : Choosing brands - sharing my experience

08-26-2004, 06:27 PM
I thought I would share this with you, hoping my experience will be useful to newbies like me.
As a newcomer to pastels, I started with a set of Rembrandt and Carbothello. I am ready to expand, but choosing brands and colors is a dounting task. So is choosing which paper to use. I have read as much as I can on this forum, and gotten a lot of good info, but there is no substitute for actually having the stuff in your hands!
I ordered from Dakota Pastels:
1 sampler of soft pastels
1 sampler of hard pastels
1 sampler of pastel pencils
1 sampler of papers

This set me back about $70, which sounds like a lot, BUT, in my opinion, some of my best spent money!!!

I spent the whole afternoon trying every pastel and pencil on every paper. This was so exciting, and such a pleasure, it was probably worth the expense right there! But the practical result is that now I know what papers I like the most, and which pastel feel right for me. This will actually save me money in the long run, as I will not waste lots of it buying stuff I don't like, and abandoning it at the bottom of a drawer, never to be used again.

The next step is going to be ordering the color charts for the pastels I have chosen. Again, they cost some, but I will know exactly what to order, and there will be a lot less waste.

This process probably sounds very obvious, But I thought I would share it anyway.


P.S. Wallis paper rules!!! (just my opinion here!)

K Taylor-Green
08-26-2004, 06:48 PM
You go girl!! :D When I started my collection, I had just bought Leslie Harrison's "Painting Animals That touch the Heart" Animals are my main subject matter, and I wanted to learn pastels. I admired her work very much, and hadn't found Wet Canvas, yet. I followed some of her advice on supplies, and have added my own ideas in the last two years. All of it fun.
And you are right about Wallis. It's the best!!

08-26-2004, 06:56 PM
I just love vicarious shopping!

Congratulations- have fun now- but understand, you're no where NEAR done buying stuff yet- trust me on this....

08-26-2004, 07:10 PM
Hi Sweetbaby,
I know, I know, I am a compulsive shopper of art materials anyway... lol! I am trying to avoid past mistakes! When I started oils, I bought every brand and color in sight - those were the good ol' days, when I had a job and MONEY :) - a lot of them I bought just because I had stars in my eyes, never really found a use for them. They sit patiently, waiting for their chance to make it on a canvas...

Hi Katherine,
I do animals also, and I have just ordered Leslie Harrison's book, I can't wait to get it! I am going to search for your work. I love to look at other wildlife artist, it gives me something to strive for!

08-26-2004, 07:15 PM
...*psssst!* there's a guy on EBay- username "smallworldpaints", sells Schminckes, Unison, Senneliers- all the good stuff- for SERIOUSLY CHEAP! OPEN STOCK, even. Seriously cheap- less than $2.00 a stick for Schminckes, and less than $3.00 for Unisons... seriously cheap....

ohhh- and *pssst!* Kitty will sell you roll ends- 5 yards (and close to 48" width) for SERIOUSLY CHEAP! Get in touch with her when she gets back from NM. Tell her I sent you- I'm trying to get a bigger discount- hahaha!!

Kathryn Wilson
08-26-2004, 09:14 PM
Excellent advice, Pierak! Now if only I'd had somebody tell me that when I first started in pastels, I wouldn't have all this junk pastels hanging around. hmmm . . . maybe I'll donate them somewhere.

Julie, have you bought those roll ends? Do they seriously curl?

08-26-2004, 09:54 PM
Yep- and no- they curl, but I just cut what I want, and roll it up the opposite way and tuck it in a vase for 20 minutes or so, and it's fine.

Seriously cheap, too, compared to the cost in stores....

*psssst* Plus, I'm going to the workshop next month and plan on raiding her warehouse while there. I'll leave quiche crumbs so she knows who was there....

08-26-2004, 10:29 PM
Thanks for the pointers. I'm going on ebay next, looking for the guy you mentioned.
Great suggestion on buying the Wallis paper too, i'll contact her when she comes back... do you know when?
Also, can she ship a large roll end to Georgia? Would she be willing to cut it if needed, you think? I wonder because I think 48" may be too big to ship (I hope I'm wrong, though). Well, I should really ask her, right?

08-26-2004, 11:00 PM
nah- ships fine- it comes in a huge, long mailing tube- which is good for rolling paintings around to reship later. She's at the Expo, should be back next week, I s'pose.

08-26-2004, 11:21 PM
Kitty has her own forum here in the Pastel Forum....you can post a new thread and ask her about the paper. She will be gone until after the Santa Fe Expo where she has a booth.

I just learned that she will be in Atlanta the first of the year at Binders Art Supply for a workshop. If you live close enough, you might like to check that out :)

p.s. Binders has a great supply of pastels too!

08-27-2004, 03:46 AM
Excellent advice, Pierak! Now if only I'd had somebody tell me that when I first started in pastels, I wouldn't have all this junk pastels hanging around. hmmm . . . maybe I'll donate them....

Hang on to them...One great use for them would be a sidewalk painting at a festival or something similar in nature,,,,,a real crowd pleaser and good PR for you!