View Full Version : Diane Townsend Pastels

12-18-2005, 03:05 AM
I am thinking of buying some DT pastels -- I noticed the terrages are on sale at Dakota. Can anyone tell me which are better, the terrages or the soft that she makes and why. I am interested to hear from anyone who uses her pastels. I know Wolf Khan swears by them. I thought they might be good for me since I am so heavy handed and tend to fill up the tooth of the paper rather rapidly. Thanks for the help.

12-18-2005, 10:41 AM
I have had a set of the darks for a year and still have a couple left
and just bought another set of her darks
I tried the terrages at the shop but I like to stick to the soft
those darks are really dark

12-18-2005, 11:03 AM
I am thinking of buying some DT pastels -- I noticed the terrages are on sale at Dakota.

ROFLOL! Shari, you're worse than me! We haven't even gotten the 400 MVs in the mail yet. :D


12-18-2005, 01:14 PM
I know, believe me I feel a little guilty about this. What happens is, I start another painting and even though I have hundreds of pastels, I don't have the color or hardness/softness that I need for that pic, so I sit at the computer and drool over all the colors in other lines and pretty soon I want them!!! It's a disease, I tell you, a pastel disease, and I don't know the cure. Color and texture are just the best pleasure in life, right up there with chocolate and you know what.

12-18-2005, 05:29 PM
I took a short workshop with Diane at Pearl's Great American Art Event a month or so ago. We got to work with the Terrages and Soft form as well as some thin line soft forms she brought.

The Terrages have a lot of pumice that will help open up the fibers of regular paper. I liked it on some watercolor paper that we had to use. And I liked the size of the Terrages for doing blocking in of large areas since they have a wide flat side.

If you are using a sanded paper, like Wallis, you probably won't like the Terrages. At least I didn't. They just shed pigment as you go across the paper. You have abrasive on the paper and the pastel and they seem to fight each other and create more dust than pastel on the paper. And if you are heavy handed, as you say, it may be worse.

The soft forms are luscious. Very smooth and loaded with pigment. And I found out that they have pumice in them as well. Although I don't remember if it's a finer grade or just a lot less than the Terrages or both. I really liked using these on the watercolor, Wallis, and the other papers we tried. Some of them were smoother and softer than the Terry Ludwigs that I also have.

Here are a couple of samples from that workshop:

12-18-2005, 06:26 PM
I have only tried the soft ones- to be perfectly honest, I like the looks of some of her bright colors, but a large number of the pastels, as soon as I picked them up, crumbled. They are extremely small too- so a broken one is very hard to use- this is the one set, that if I could do things over again, I would never have bought. Wolf Kahn does wonderful work- I have read some of the older pastel books out there that also swear by Townsends- but keep in mind she was making pastels by hand before the big 'boom'- now there are GA's, Unisons, Ludwigs, and Mount Visions.... with wonderful colors, large sizes, and not a lot of crumbling....just my opinion, I am no Wolf Kahn... but I expect he could make masterpieces with crayolas.

12-18-2005, 08:44 PM
Thanks for the good advice. I am sure you are right about Wolf Khan. I love his work. I think I may try a few of them just to see what they are like, but I could definitely go for more Ludwigs. I love the square shape of those Ludwigs. I wish more pastels came in a square or even triangular shape, for those edges.

12-18-2005, 09:03 PM
Shari- I was reading Richard McDaniel's plein air book, and ordered his GA set- a lot of them were rectangular- not short and fat like terry's, but the new GA shape is a rectangle.... Richard's work is so very lovely- I love his colors... here is his url if you are interested:

Paula Ford
12-18-2005, 09:20 PM
Linda, Is there a picture somewhere of the new GA's?????

12-18-2005, 09:57 PM
His work is amazing. I have both his books and I look at them over and over. He is teaching a workshop this summer in Washington State at the La Conner Art workshop and I would love to take the class. It's funny but I feel so shy about taking a class, because it takes me a week to do a painting, and most people can do one in a few hours. I am painfully slow at it. His site is wonderful, there are some pics there I haven't seen before. Thanks for the link. I would love to see those GA's up close and personal too.

Deborah Secor
12-20-2005, 01:22 AM
I LOVE the DT softs! I also have the dark set and cannot function without her dark green 55D any more. The terrages are a bit too gritty for my taste, but I work on Wallis most of the time and as Bruce mentioned, they seem to fight. Bruce, you answered a question I've always wondered about. I thought maybe the softs had some pumice, but I didn't know it for a fact. I really enjoy the way they seem to be creamy when I need them to be, yet have this wonderful texture, too. I used them on some Sansfix paper and it was a dream--but I like that pebbly, plasticky texture when others don't. They were very complimentary to one another, I thought.

The new GAs are square. It's what they all will be, I believe, now that they have the hard ones in production. I prefer the square shape, too--don't quite know why. They just fit in my hand.


12-20-2005, 04:22 PM
Paula- no, don't have a picture LOL- you are as bad as me- it was a birthday present from my mom in law- so husband has wrapped it to put it under the tree from HIM - he just hates to shop, and knows darn well since the UPS guy knows who I am whenever we run into him in nearby towns (no the kids don't look like the UPS guy) that I do enough of my own shopping....