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Roan
01-30-2001, 10:02 AM
I had the recent fortune to do a quick try-out of Terry's pastels and I'm impressed! It's just a small portrait set, but it was enough to make me drool for more :P

Soft. Nice and soft. Sennelier soft, but without the grit. I did a quick portrait study on Canson and they layered SO nicely!

I only used a few colors, so I didn't get into the full range in the box, but the burnt umbers and yellow ochres are very much like the Winsor & Newton line -- the umbers have a "pinkish" tone rather than orange and I prefer that for top layers and highlights. Terry also makes more tints, something W&N really needs to do. The pastels are also rectangle in shape, so you can get some really nice, broad strokes in and sharp detail lines.

No, I'm not gonna post the study -- it's a horrible portrait http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif I'm going to try these pastels out on suede mat board and if they work like I think they will, I'll post that. I have a feeling that suede and Terry's pastels are a good marriage :P

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As an aside, I tried out those Unison pastels as well. Ah, color me picky, but I don't see what all the fuss is about. I realize that Unison is "known" for its bright colors and texture et al, but I didn't find the colors all that great and I found them to be rather hard. Dakota has them rated as #4 in hardness, but I found them closer to my Winsor & Newton's, #8. My Rowney's are definitely softer than these ones. Dunno, anyone else a little disillusioned with Unison or is it just me?

Anyhow, I'm sure they will work very well on my sanded surfaces, but no way would I use these on suede. Even on Canson they seemed really stiff. Dunno, anyone else?

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<FONT face="Script MT Bold"><FONT COLOR="#AB4835"><FONT size="5">Roan</FONT s></FONT c></FONT f>
<FONT COLOR="#8A1010">Nan danadh mo lmh mar a dh'iarradh mo shil!</FONT c>
-- <FONT size="1">If my hand could do as my eye would desire!</FONT s>
RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com) &lt;-- pastel open stock vendor sources & reviews!

Shari
01-30-2001, 10:37 AM
Roan,

I am certainly no expert, in fact, I am such a neophyte, but I bought some Unison to try and also some Schmincke and there was no comparison. The schmincke were so soft and flowing, and I also found the Unison to be much harder. I tried them on Canson paper, and maybe that was the problem, but I definitely liked the Schmincke pastels much better.

Shari

4vincent
01-30-2001, 11:23 AM
I've never tried the Unison's either. I guess I was waiting until after I won the lottery...they sound disappointing.
I have Terry's to make (still http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif ) which I aim to; his were of nice quality. Another set I like for their softness are Great American, made in Cincinnati.
Can't wait to see your post on the suede support, Roan; I did a couple in the past on velour and liked the quality but heard it wasn't archival and so didn't use it again.
Another support I want to try is raw linen canvas; ever tried it?


[This message has been edited by 4vincent (edited January 30, 2001).]

bk7251
01-31-2001, 01:34 AM
I find Unison good for some purposes. They make very good earth tones. But I'm not wild about many of their other colors. They lack subtlety. As to their relative hardness or softness, that depends on when and how you use them. Sometimes you need something on the hard side, and sometimes you want something softer. I'm not wild about Schminke, though. They're a little too creamy or oily for my taste and they clog the paper much sooner than Senellier. I think the "gritty" quailty is what makes Senellier layer so well. Some of the Diane Townsend pastels are really gritty - which I happen to love.

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Barry Katz

[This message has been edited by bk7251 (edited January 31, 2001).]

jdk
01-31-2001, 03:03 AM
I am not so crazy about Schmincke either. I guess to each his own. I tried a 6-pc set of unison and I find them to have just the right softness. But I agree with Barry, they lack subtlety....sometimes I think the colors are too bright. I haven;t tried the earth tones though, I think I'll get a couple of sticks to try. I must say I have to try Terry's too....

Roan
01-31-2001, 06:25 AM
Wow, thanks for the replies, gang.

This is the type of information I really want to hear -- it saves a lot of time and money. I certainly want to try a set of Unison earth colors, that's for sure! On sanded they may be a God-send. I certainly won't use them on suede, that's for double sure! :P

I think which brand you prefer has a lot to do with the surfaces you like to work on.

Here's my "theory", if you will:

It sounds like most of those who work on Canson-type or laid papers prefer Sennelier and harder pastels -- soft, but not too soft. Which makes sense; you have to be careful of how much pastel you apply since you only have so much tooth to work with. Many like to do top layers and finishing touches with Schmincke and Sennelier types only -- which also makes sense. Daniel Greene uses Girault, as does Rita (if I remember correctly). Rita also uses a lot of Canson (again, if my memory serves me right). Greene, from his video, says he prefers Canson as well, or makes his own boards. So, how soft/gritty/etc., are Girault? Barry? You use those, do you not?

Sanded surfaces can take almost anything -- Now, I wonder if all those Unison advocates you read about the magazines use sanded surfaces? I have noticed that many of them are landscape artists and I can see them wanting brighter colors. Thus, Unison and Townsend -- I hear hers are pretty bright as well.

I've never been to a Dawson workshop, but his book has pictures of his work area and I saw a mix of lots of Rembrandts, Sennelier, Schmincke, just about everything. He seems to do most of his work on prepared and sanded type boards. I find this interesting, now that I think of it, since my pastels are a huge mix like that and I prefer sanded surfaces as well.

Bear with me, I'm trying to find a common denominator here :P

Now, what about those who use softer surfaces, like velours and suedes? What do you use? Anyone? I like the softer pastels for suedes -- Schmincke, most of all, and some Winsor & Newton works well, too -- anything else just scrapes off or makes "indents" in the suede. Sennelier doesn't work as well on suede as the grit tends to leave "indents" in the suede. I have used it on velour, however, and it wasn't too bad.

okay, anyone else? Velour or suede people, too? I can't be the only one using that stuff :P

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<FONT face="Script MT Bold"><FONT COLOR="#AB4835"><FONT size="5">Roan</FONT s></FONT c></FONT f>
<FONT COLOR="#8A1010">Nan danadh mo lmh mar a dh'iarradh mo shil!</FONT c>
-- <FONT size="1">If my hand could do as my eye would desire!</FONT s>
RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com) &lt;-- pastel open stock vendor sources & reviews!

Roan
01-31-2001, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by jdk:
I am not so crazy about Schmincke either. I guess to each his own. I tried a 6-pc set of unison and I find them to have just the right softness. But I agree with Barry, they lack subtlety....sometimes I think the colors are too bright. I haven;t tried the earth tones though, I think I'll get a couple of sticks to try. I must say I have to try Terry's too....

Which type of surface do you use and which genre do you mostly paint?

I wanna try and prove out my theory :P



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<FONT face="Script MT Bold"><FONT COLOR="#AB4835"><FONT size="5">Roan</FONT s></FONT c></FONT f>
<FONT COLOR="#8A1010">Nan danadh mo lmh mar a dh'iarradh mo shil!</FONT c>
-- <FONT size="1">If my hand could do as my eye would desire!</FONT s>
RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com) &lt;-- pastel open stock vendor sources & reviews!

Roan
01-31-2001, 06:29 AM
Originally posted by Shari:
Roan,

I am certainly no expert, in fact, I am such a neophyte, but I bought some Unison to try and also some Schmincke and there was no comparison. The schmincke were so soft and flowing, and I also found the Unison to be much harder. I tried them on Canson paper, and maybe that was the problem, but I definitely liked the Schmincke pastels much better.

Neophyte or not, Shari, you like what you like and that's exactly what everyone else is saying :P

Thanks for your opinion on the Schmincke and Unison, it's mine as well :P


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<FONT face="Script MT Bold"><FONT COLOR="#AB4835"><FONT size="5">Roan</FONT s></FONT c></FONT f>
<FONT COLOR="#8A1010">Nan danadh mo lmh mar a dh'iarradh mo shil!</FONT c>
-- <FONT size="1">If my hand could do as my eye would desire!</FONT s>
RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com) &lt;-- pastel open stock vendor sources & reviews!

Roan
01-31-2001, 06:38 AM
Originally posted by 4vincent:
I've never tried the Unison's either. I guess I was waiting until after I won the lottery...they sound disappointing.

You might want to still try them! Who knows? :P I *was* rather disappointed with them, but I'll still use what I have. It's just doubtful whether I'll buy any more. Have to see how I like them on sanded.

Can't wait to see your post on the suede support, Roan; I did a couple in the past on velour and liked the quality but heard it wasn't archival and so didn't use it again.

Gonna be a bit for the post, unfortunately. I have a lot of web stuff and accounting to catch up on http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif

Hrm, you know that Canson isn't archival either, right? Sometimes I really wonder if it matters -- I mean paper is considered archival if it is 100% cotton or high alpha cellulose, but what about all those people using prepared boards, etc? Who knows!

As for suede, I know it is acid and lignin free. The cores are buffered, but hey, the suede IS animal skin. It doesn't have lignin -- which is a plant product and what produces the acid -- and it's not considered 'archival' in the paper sense of the word. I look at it this way: Indians and other cultures painted on leather using pigments like we do and that stuff has been around for centuries. A little faded, but it's lasted. Suede is just the other side of the leather. My opinion only :P

Another support I want to try is raw linen canvas; ever tried it?

No, I haven't! Tell me more. How did you prepare it? Stretch it? Did you have to fix it? Tell more!

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<FONT face="Script MT Bold"><FONT COLOR="#AB4835"><FONT size="5">Roan</FONT s></FONT c></FONT f>
<FONT COLOR="#8A1010">Nan danadh mo lmh mar a dh'iarradh mo shil!</FONT c>
-- <FONT size="1">If my hand could do as my eye would desire!</FONT s>
RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com) <-- pastel open stock vendor sources & reviews!

[This message has been edited by Roan (edited February 03, 2001).]

Roan
01-31-2001, 06:43 AM
Originally posted by bk7251:
I find Unison good for some purposes. They make very good earth tones. But I'm not wild about many of their other colors. They lack subtlety.

This is exactly what I've noticed about them, too. I think I'll check out their earth colors :P

Thanks, Barry!

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<FONT face="Script MT Bold"><FONT COLOR="#AB4835"><FONT size="5">Roan</FONT s></FONT c></FONT f>
<FONT COLOR="#8A1010">Nan danadh mo lmh mar a dh'iarradh mo shil!</FONT c>
-- <FONT size="1">If my hand could do as my eye would desire!</FONT s>
RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com) &lt;-- pastel open stock vendor sources & reviews!

4vincent
01-31-2001, 08:21 AM
Well....
I haven't tried raw linen myself; I've done a couple on stretched canvas prepped with pumice surface for experimentation; one is on my acanthus site-a still life. It was fun and soft to work on, but being not on a solid support, may have a tendency to "vibrate" off. I can't recall offhand the artists who used raw linen, they said it gave a luminous quality. When I recall the names, I'll let you know.
Great American highly toxic? Have to look into this. I became familiar with them thru Judy Carducci, and have talked with the guy who makes and sells them. I'll look into this too. Ken



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http://kenhardy.artistnation.com

4vincent
01-31-2001, 11:27 AM
I agree with you Roan, it pays to be cautious; after all, we're not far from Soylent Green... I don't blame you for doing so; I should practice more care than I do.

I've always wondered how artists in the past have abused their health to pursue their passions. (their art,I mean http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif )

jdk
01-31-2001, 01:42 PM
Hi Roan,

I like to work on sanded paper. And I think that is why I prefer Rembrandt because when I used Schimncke, one stroke took off a chunk of the stick (a little bit exaggerated of course :-)) and also since I like to do tight strokes, with Schimncke, I find it hard to make such effect. And maybe you're right about Unison being preferred by those who do a lot of landscapes....because that's where my Unisons come in handy. But since Barry said the earth tones are good, then I would probably would like to use it on portraits as well (which what I like to do best). Hope this helps, Roan.

Juvie

Roan
02-01-2001, 07:56 AM
Guys,

I've copied all the posts relating to pastel toxicity to a new thread. Please put your replies there. This information is pretty important and I don't want it to get lost.

This thread will continue to be discussion about various brands of pastels etc and Terry's pastels.

Hope no one minds!

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<FONT face="Script MT Bold"><FONT COLOR="#AB4835"><FONT size="5">Roan</FONT s></FONT c></FONT f>
<FONT COLOR="#8A1010">Nan danadh mo lmh mar a dh'iarradh mo shil!</FONT c>
-- <FONT size="1">If my hand could do as my eye would desire!</FONT s>
RoanStudio.com (http://RoanStudio.com) &lt;-- pastel open stock vendor sources & reviews!

Michele Nemier
07-02-2011, 02:26 AM
As an artist in love with the imidiacy, beauty and tactile qualities of pastels, and owner of just about every brand on the market; Schmincke is the brand I love the most for color, as well as the soft painterly texture, consistent quality, coverage, and good control (given the softness) as well. Not really for details, or pointilism or fine lines, but you can do it with a sensitive touch and some extraordinary measures if needed. You won't find much that covers them full board, but used lightly they will cover themselves. You can also try some of the original Senneliers, Diane Townsend, and Mt. Vision (extraordinary qualities, sanded maybe) to top them. As far as the Unisons are concerned, my biggest issue with them is the toxicity issue, and that not only are a lot of the colors seemingly toxic but also quite dusty, bad combo. Put your own skull and crossbones on the label for reference and as a heads up. But on the good side; amazing colors, great darks and super light lights and neutrals that you probably won't find in most other brands that provide as much control. They do (most of them) hold up to creating a hard edge given their softness. They can be a little ( well maybe more then a little) inconsistent when replacing colors, but that is pretty much a given with handmade pastels, as well as extruded brands. If you tend to use a lot of one color, buy more then you need in the same batch. Have lots of old discontinued pastels ( Sennelier, Grumbacher, Rowney, Rembrant, Girault, ect.) and they become a treasure rarely replaceable with another brand. Since I use a lot of broken color not as much of a problem for me. Worked in an art store for seven years and can tell you that pigments change, run out, are replaced by modern alternatives and new sites for earth colors, minerals, and the like. As an artist have to roll with the changes and create with different and new materials. Such is life! Will be getting a set of Terry Ludwig Darks for my 51 Birththday (ugh!) and will let you know what I think after a color chart and some experimenting. Haven't come across much negative publicity on the product, and they seem to have made their colors consistent and numberable in the last few years, will be playing soon. Anyway, all artist quality pastels have their place from the hardest pastels to the softest pastels, depending on how you work and arrive at your final destination. Getting to know what you need, or to finish what you want to say is the most important factor, as well as not having impediments to your progress. This can be the pastels and other mediums you use as well as the ground and surface you are working with. I haven't found any artist quality materials that I have used, not able to work in some application. The trick is to learn what works best for the method and finished product you envision. If you are looking to layer, and want good pastel mates that work together without a lot of experimenting or pitfalls, I would reccomend a set of Carbothello's pencils, Nupastels, Rembrant pastels, and either Sennelier (tighter) or Schminkce (looser) to give a good range of values, working abilities, and hardness vs. softness . You should be able to get from begining to end with these products. Save the other products for personal taste, color quirks ,extra lights and darks without blending; unusual pallettes such as regional palletes, admired/workshop artist's palletes, and flourescents, metallics and the like, and extended layering with products with a higher pumice or grit factor, as well as products for a super tight technique or a super loose technique. Anyway hope this helps, will update after the new toys arrive . Will probably love the shape of the Ludwigs, since I tend to find my square or rectangle shapes more useful, hoping that I like the working qualities and color as well.

Colorix
07-02-2011, 04:42 AM
Edit: Ooops, missed that this is a very old thread.

Unisons are not all that bright in colour, Schmincke and Sennelier are much brighter. What are really bright in the Unison range are the yellow/orange/red, plus yellow-greens, and some blues. The rest are slightly greyed. No vivid cool pinks or red-violets, at all. The earths and colour-biased greys are beautiful.

Some of the US handmade brands do the same as the Unisons, they mix pigments, like a wet-media painter mixes colour. Instead of just tinting with white, which considerably cools a colour, they add pigment of a warmer hue, which results in either a consistent looking range of tints, or tints that go warmer as they lighten, which is consistent with sunlight effect.

That is what makes the Unisons so wonderful to work with. In Europe, this is the only major brand that does this.

Plus the fact that they're a very consistent brand across the range, packed with pigments (and not fillers), and layer beautifully. But most colours are not vivid, most colours are 'natural'.

DBfarmgirl
07-03-2011, 09:24 AM
I love my Unisons. I was able to add quite a few last year with the rebates. I agree with Colorix about the color- I don't find them as bright as my Rembrants, W/N, or Sennies. They have the most wonderful greys and neutrals. I have the landscape set, starter set, 18 lights, 18 NE, 18 Yellow Green earth (my first and still favorite unisons) along with a few individual sticks. I recently purchased the 18 special color set. (an ebay steal) I was expecting the special color set to be VERY bright and clear colors, aside from 4 (2 oranges, a blue, and a purple) they are rich complicated colors. I don't tend to use a lot of "unmixed" colors so that worked better for me.

I was also fortunate enough to pick up a Ludwig "Plein Air Landscape" set of 60 (again on Ebay -a REALLY good price) and though I like them, I find myself reaching for the Unisons more. I think it's what surface you choose, subject and personal style. I do love the square shape. The ludwig greens I have are complex and VERY usable. Some of the Unison Greens I have are a bit too "emerald" for my taste, but then the husband says I'm still going through my "grey period".

I like to work on Colorfix paper but also work on tan Multi-Media Paper that has been roughed up with sandpaper. I like the unisons more on sanded paper and the ludwigs for top layers on both. I have really bad carpal tunnel syndrome, so I don't have a lot of feeling left in my hands, I need something less delicate. I tend to be a little heavy handed.

JPQ
07-03-2011, 04:21 PM
Good know this. and their problem is their recipe dont work with modern pigments what i understanded.(limits bright purples for example) and prussian blue is also impossible use when i asked. funny thing i have handmade pastel which is prussian blue (and little amount of ivory black which is used with good reason). Some hues are lovely in pictures but i dont know hue accurate their pictures are...
ps. now i continue maybe using only schmincke and maybe few others.. but based what i have form schmincke i dont need much other brands.:(
.