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View Full Version : The Dakota softness scale: Accurate?


O'Aieghlans
08-24-2005, 10:57 AM
Do you think the softness scale listed at Dakota Pastels is accurate?

I have to say I disagree with it. I'm not an owner/user/expert on all the pastels listed. However, I am certain that Grumbacher pastels (now Nupastel soft) are the softest. They crumble in my hands when I take them out of the box.

And I think Polychromos are harder on average than Nupastel hard pastels, which in some instances are not that hard in comparison. What do you think? I suppose it is of little consequence, but it might be an interesting dog days of summer conversation!

Here's the Dakota softness scale:

#1 SCHMINCKE
#2 GREAT AMERICAN
#3 SENNELIER
#4 UNISON
#5 DIANE TOWNSEND SOFT
#6 MOUNT VISION
#7 TERRY LUDWIG
#8 GIRAULT
#9 ROWNEY
#10 BLOCKX
#11 GRUMBACHER
#12 ART SPECTRUM
#13 REMBRANDT
#14 HOLBEIN
#15 WINSOR & NEWTON
#16 CARAN D'ACHE
#17 DIANE TOWNSEND
TERRAGES
#18 DERWENT
#19 CRETACOLOR
#20 FABER-CASTEL
POLYCHROMOS
#21 NUPASTEL

Paula Ford
08-24-2005, 01:27 PM
Hi Dan,

I have tried all of these and the list is very accurate. Your box of NuPastels must be bad or something because they are the hardest.

Paula

Kathryn Wilson
08-24-2005, 04:26 PM
In my observation of several of the brands, I think I would place them in a different order. Both Mount Vision and Terry Ludwigs are softer than Unison and Sennelier. Holbeins are very hard (not liking them at all). There are several brands that I have not used, so can't comment on those (Townsend & Blockx).

Khadres
08-24-2005, 08:48 PM
I agree about the Ludwigs and Mt. Visions...they rank up there just behind Schminckes and GAs. I'd also put Polychromos softer than Cretacolor.

Khadres
08-24-2005, 08:50 PM
I agree about the Ludwigs and Mt. Visions...they rank up there just behind Schminckes and GAs. I'd also put Polychromos softer than Cretacolor. I don't find the Townsends to be all that soft. Would push them down further on the list.

Deborah Secor
08-25-2005, 01:38 AM
Here's my version...

1-2 GREAT AMERICAN (tied)
#1-2 SCHMINCKE (tied)
#3 TERRY LUDWIG
#4 UNISON
#5 SENNELIER
#6 DIANE TOWNSEND SOFT
#7 GIRAULT
#8 MOUNT VISION
From this point on I can't say much, since I work mainly with soft pastels! However, the Nupastels are the hardest I've ever found...except for those that were ages old and very dried out.

IN-ter-es-ting topic for the depths of summer--sure to be some discussion here! :)

Deborah

O'Aieghlans
08-25-2005, 10:25 AM
Well I'm not sure what's up, because the Polychromos I have used are harder than the Nupastels. I was excited to get some Polychromos because NUpastels were a bit too hard for me :o .

I'm sure though that we all may be working in different color schemes, and these hard pastels are not uniformly hard across the colors, it seems.

The softies are harder to rate, I think.

I wanted to add that I think that Winsor & Newton pastels are softer than Rembrandts.

And why is it that Schmincke is rated softer than Sennelier, but the Sennelier often crumble to dust in my fingers, whereas I've rarely had that issue with Schmincke.

aberration
08-25-2005, 10:52 AM
The Holbeins I have are harder than the Cretacolors.

meowmeow
08-25-2005, 01:34 PM
I think crumbling and softness are not the same issue. Senneliers can be soft but they also can crumble, and from my experience, the ones that crumble tend to be actually harder....but they crumble. :D
So...I can see how we all might come up with a different list.
But really...soft to me is how it goes on the paper...and the really nice, soft ones, like Ludwig and Schmincke, just go on like butter. Senneliers can be nice and go on smoothly, but they are not the same.
I think crumbly sometimes is because there are hard bits not mixed in properly into the soft ones.
Oi! I know my head is out to lunch these days...I can really see it here! :D


Sandy

learning to paint
08-25-2005, 11:36 PM
There's another issue, of course: among Sennelier pastels, some colors are harder than others. The older Sennelier formulation is more crumbly than the new one, too. My scale would be:

#1 & #2 tied SCHMINCKE & GREAT AMERICAN
#3 TERRY LUDWIG
#4 SENNELIER
#5 GRUMBACHER
#6 MOUNT VISION
#7 UNISON
#8 ROWNEY
#9 GIRAULT
#10 DIANE TOWNSEND SOFT