View Full Version : Two thumbs up for Schminke pastels

08-25-2005, 08:05 PM
Fellow pastel artists,

I recently purchased a 299 piece set of Schminke pastels.

Now, I'm quite certain that most of you have probably used this brand, but for anyone who has not and is considering purchasing these pastels...well, I have to tell you, they are the best thing since the invention of the wheel. At least, that is how I feel.

These pastels have wonderful hues and work like a dream. I just finished a portrait using them. They are like a drug...seriously. I actually dream about them every night.

I know I probably need to get out more, but I'm a stay-at-home mother to two toddlers boys that are 11 months apart, and these pastels have saved my sanity.

I feel like writing to Wolfgang over at the Schminke factory and telling him that if they ever close up shop I'll probably cry.

I feel like I love these pastels the way Lance Armstrong must love his Trek bicycle.

I had to tell someone; my friends and husband do not quite understand. Thanks for listening.

08-25-2005, 08:21 PM
That is so cool that you have found a brand that you like so much. I dream about painting a lot as well. Some of my ideas for paintings have come to me during the night. I have tried Schminke and would love to buy a set! I plan to buy a new set of pastels when I can do it financially and have been trying to decide between Schminke and Great Americans. I got the pastel sampler from Dakota to help me make my decision....and it helped me narrow it down to the two.

Being a mom of two little ones definitely makes it difficult and I suppose we are lucky that our "passion" is one that doesn't have to involve getting out. Now if we were in Lance's shoes, we'd probably be pulling our hair out!!!!

08-27-2005, 09:28 PM
Oh, I love my Schminkes too! I don't have a set, but I have some individuals. I know this is may get me in trouble around these parts, but I actually prefer them to Unison. :eek: I would be perfectly happy if all I had was my workhorses (Nupastels and Rembrandts) and the Schminkes.

They're Schminkilicious!!


08-27-2005, 09:35 PM
Well.....it takes all kinds, I guess! :p Actually, I love Schminckes too! AND Unisons, and Great Americans, and Polychromos (NuPastels fade too much), and Terry Ludwigs, and even some Art Spectrums and Senneliers! Rembrandts are a good middle of the roader, too. Truth to tell, I would be really happy with them ALLLLLLLL!!!! :eek: :wave:

If I had to choose between GAs and Schminckes, tho, I think I'd go with the former... (ducking)

08-27-2005, 10:07 PM
Schminkilicious, indeed.

Kristie, I hear you about the cost...they are expensive. I happened to use good timing and asked my husband if I could get a big set...when he was in a good mood and having a good day! Maybe you could build a set for yourself a little at a time.

I've heard great things about the GAs as well; however, I have never tried them. Interestingly enough, I think (but could be wrong) that they manufacture them a few miles from where I live. (I live in Cincinnati, and I looked up Great American Artworks, and there they were, in my local phone book).

In the past, I had used Rembrandts and NuPastels - which I like - but wanted a softer pastel. I bought a 100 pc. set of Girault, but struggled with them because they weren't as soft as what I desired. So, I tried the Schminkes, and thought, wow...this is IT!!

Yeah...these days I'm just a Schminke Junkie (or Schminke-Jünke).

- Ann

08-27-2005, 10:08 PM
If I had to choose between GAs and Schminckes, tho, I think I'd go with the former... (ducking)

No need to duck, Sooz. I'd choose the GAs too! I love my schminckes (and unisons and and and) but my GA's are the ones I reach for first now...plus I can get them cheaper than i can get schminckes anymore!

08-27-2005, 11:04 PM
Very true, cori! I like the GAs cause they're buttery soft like the Schminckes but don't seem to wear down quite so quickly and dust just a tad less. Plus...the COLOR selection!

08-27-2005, 11:33 PM
and the fact that when you touch them, it is like running your finger over silk :D

Ann - I think we cross-posted earlier...if you live that close to the GA factory, you should really treat yourself to a field trip and pick out some open stock if you can...and take a camera to shoot some photos of the factory for us to drool over! :D (if they'll let ya)

Same goes for you too, sooz, if you make it up to pick out those Ludwigs :D

08-28-2005, 12:22 AM
I'm sure not going to throw anything at you Sooz, so no need to duck. The Schminke's are terrific. I love the ones I bought open stock and like that I can get them at the art store I go to, but my GAs are my treasures. Having a full set of all those lucious silky colors is pure heaven to me. Now mind you I nearly got beat at open studio when I said "I don't have the right blue here". I'm finding one can never have enough pastels, or enough brands. I'm saving up to go to Albuquerque next summer and hope to get some nice bargains. Terry Ludwig's set of 85 greens come to mind. Unison's darks too. Oh Terry's new deep purple is on the list and a few different blues from any brands. If there is a pastel stick junkie's annonymous, I don't want to know about it. This is a wonderful passion. Enjoy the heck out of those Schmincke's. Post some works too.


08-28-2005, 12:23 AM
did someone not like their giraults?? please?? i reeeeeally like those, i seem to go for those brands that aren't so soft. must be my heavy hand!! i ordered a handful of the giraults and would LOVE to buy a whole set someday. i use my few schm. sticks for 'icing', like snow tops, very tippy-edges of whatever, sort of like an added punch in small but imporant areas. and whatever brand you like, to have the WHOLE set, *sigh*!! that'd be great. (and seriously, if those giraults are lonely, i got a home for them!!)

08-28-2005, 12:37 AM
(great american is working on a hard and medium lines to match their softies - they're looking to compete with girault and the pre-releases should be out any day now)

08-28-2005, 03:06 AM
Chewie - Like I said, I have a 100 pc. Portrait set of Giraults. I bought them recently from Dakota, and they were on sale. I have used them for about one and a half paintings (gave up halfway on the second try). So, they are not BRAND new, but relatively new. (I recall that I may have broken a few of them in two so that I could use the side of them). They list at Dakota for $310 USD, and I believe I bought them on sale for around $265.

If you really like these pastels and are interested in buying them from me, you could always make me an offer. I don't believe that I would ever use them again, now that my heart (and pocketbook) belongs to Schminke.

Cori - I plan to follow up on my suspicion that the GA company exists in my hometown (specifically Northside - a town in Cincinnati). There are a bunch of old warehouses over there and I wouldn't be surprised if a company has bought and re-purposed one of those old buildings for manufacture. I would love to visit the place and maybe pick up a few samples in the process! I'll let you know what I find out. Those GAs sound pretty darned tempting.

I'll post some of my work if I can ever figure out how to do it. I used to work on computers 8 hours a day in Illustrator and Photoshop and can't figure out how one posts his/her artwork - go figure.

Good night, all (it's 2am here)
- Ann

08-28-2005, 03:18 AM
When you are in the reply window, there are a bunch of icons across the top of the reply box. One of them is a yellow box that has a picture of a mountain in it. click on that and you can upload your images. make sure the longest side is no longer than 500px and you will be fine!

08-28-2005, 08:56 AM
For Sennelier, has anyone else noticed that some colors are rich and smooth and others are gritty and chalky? I own a lot of them, but I always test them first to be sure that I don't get a gritty color. For the gritty texture pastels, I prefer Yarka, cause it's a chalky one that's soft, which is kind of weird, but a good kind of weird :D


08-28-2005, 08:58 AM
Sorry to post another one so quickly, but has anyone noticed a problem with Nupastel black in the last year? I've bought it different times at different stores, and it seems to be almost impossibe to use, so hard that it nearly carves into the paper.


08-28-2005, 11:28 AM
I like the Schminke's too. They are on my list for more right after I get the "Full Monte" fom GA. I am hoping they will have a big promo when they intro the new colors this fall.

I have searched thru my Sennies after reading Cori's review and must say that mine seem ok with the exception of one red and a blue, but mine aren't gritty, just not as creamy as the rest. I have a couple of GAs that are the same way. All of my browns work nicely.

My nupastel blacks seem ok too. I have 2 sets, so I wonder if you may just have a funky stick.

I do have some Paul deMarrais (8 of them, out of 85) that don't even work on Wallis but I love the other 77 enough to overlook that. None of my other brands has more than a couple funky ones. Seems that each manufacturer has some better left in the lab for more testing. Except maybe the Ludwigs, not a sticky wicket in the bunch but I do not have his full line (yet, lol).


08-28-2005, 12:49 PM
Maureen, you asked about some colors of Senneliers being hard and gritty, yes...especially the really dark ones. I have quite a few that I can't even use. I have the eighty half stick set and a couple of other full stick sets and I probably use this brand more than any. I also use Rembrandts, Mungyo and Gallery. After hearing all the nice things about GA's--makes me really want a set of those.

08-28-2005, 01:43 PM
I do have some Paul deMarrais (8 of them, out of 85) that don't even work on Wallis but I love the other 77 enough to overlook that.

That's what I found, with the deMarrais pastels too. I had a burgundy colour that scored a piece of Schmincke Sansfix! That paper is so rough i was sure it would take anything!!! On the other hand, his blues and greens are to die for and I need to order some more of his blues again because they are all down to little stubbs now.

08-28-2005, 03:18 PM
No problem like that with NuPastels, but like I said earlier, I try to steer clear of those in anything but the very bottommost layer where they won't be seen when the ptg. is done since they do fade. You might try Polychromos' black and see if that works better for you.

As to Giraults, I do use mine from time to time and suspect they're actually good for a painter like me because I tend to be so heavy handed and wind up with a TON of the softer colors on the paper in nothing flat. The Giraults don't fill up the tooth quite so quickly at least. But the colors I have seem greyed down somehow, far more so than the Unisons which folks mention being greyed, as well--to me, the Unis are much clearer in color.