View Full Version : Starting my collection

06-14-2008, 07:12 PM
:confused: Iím tired of not having enough different colors, so I am selling a bunch of stuff to raise about $300 - $400 to buy some pastels around July 1st. I can not decide which ones and after having read all the threads on pastels and paper, Iím still unsure.

Like most Iíve learned on and have been using on Canson Mi-Teintes with Rembrandts and Sennelier. So taking everyone advise Iíve started getting some other brands, Unison, Art Spectrum, Winsor & Newton, Schmincke, Mount Vision and Girault. I just received the paper sampler pack from Dakota and am trying them out on the different types of paper. So far I donít like the velour because it is hard to erase mistakes. I do really like the Mount Vision. Art Spectrum and Winsor & Newton are too hard and the Schmincke is way too soft. The Girault are too small and hard. Iím still not sure of Unison, but they are expensive.

Iím going to be doing a ton of practicing and will be using Canson, unless someone can suggest a better cheap paper. Iím struggling with buying the full set of Rembrandts or buying part of better set (Mount Vision?). Just want to make sure I get a set that will grow with me. So what do you suggest to start my collection?

water girl
06-14-2008, 07:47 PM
Rembrandt has 1/2 stick sets that would allow you all the colors, for less and takes up less room. Besides, I have found that when you peel the paper wrapper on the full sticks, they tend to crumble. The half sticks come without the paper.

06-14-2008, 07:49 PM
:) Well, hello---what a neat topic to discuss. I love pastels! And I recently bought the Mt. Visions thunderstorm greys and they are wonderful. So it's my dream to have just as meany of these that I could possibly have. I think another good suggestion is to get some of the Terry Ludwig sets--The Maggie Price values set is great for the colors and the values! Another type that I love is the old Gumbachers----they are just the right softness-hardness- and they have great color too. I am saddened to think I can't purchase anymore of these and am thankful I have a bunch of them!! I like the shape of them, too And of course you need some pencils---Derwents are my favorites or conte---Good luck and get many.

Deborah Secor
06-14-2008, 09:06 PM
Take a look at the workshop set of Mt. Visions that Greg Biolchini has chosen... Looks quite useful to me!



Kathryn Wilson
06-14-2008, 11:57 PM
I bought a full set of Mount Visions and won't be without again - I supplement with Terry Ludwig for his darks and green sets, giralts for plein air, and art spectrum to fill in. I prefer Mt. Vision over Unison.

06-15-2008, 08:40 AM
Hi Karen - I agree with Deborah and Kathryn on Mount Visions. You definitely get more for your dollar with those pastels as they are very similar in feel to Unisons but much larger. I do think that you would need to supplement some colors from some other brands for a full set. The Terry Ludwig basic values set (Maggie Price) is a really good collection that can work for anything, I think. You could supplement either the Terry Ludwigs or Mount Visions with a set of Sennelier half sticks for your finishing pastels (they were on sale somewhere recently). Just my two cents - Good luck!

nana b
06-15-2008, 12:44 PM
Sue, They are giving you great advice and I certainly agree with one exception. If you thought the schminke was too soft, then you may think the ludwigs are too soft. And the senneliers are soft too and will crumble easy.That is just my opinion because I am one that loves schminke and ludwigs and sennelier.
On the paper, I know you are looking for something cheaper but you would be surprised how much your art improves with Wallis or Colourfix. And you could always just buy them when they are on sale somewhere. I couldn't go back to canson unless it was the only thing available. Canson also will fade.


Paula Ford
06-15-2008, 12:58 PM
I couldn't be without my Mount Visions!

06-15-2008, 03:41 PM
Thank you everyone!!:clap: This really takes the uncertainty out of my purchase.

Deborah -- Thank you for the link to the Greg Biolchini set of Mt Vision. I've already sold $180 of stuff, so why wait? I might just order it tonight.

Nana - You were so right - I just tried the Colourfix sample I have and I can not believe the different from Canson. It is like a whole different medium. I think my Canson just got demoted to charcoal drawing.

06-15-2008, 04:58 PM
I too love Colourfix. Here is a cheap solution. Buy hot press watercolor paper (on sale if possible) and coat it with Colourfix gesso, which is available in lots of colors. You can cut the paper to the size you want. Another thing to use with the Colourfix is the inside of cut mats (if you cut them yourself). The gesso makes the surface exactly the same as the Colourfix papers, but a lot cheaper. Also, look for sets of pastels on e-Bay. You can often find Rembrandts at good prices. There is even a huge set of Senneliers listed now (slightly used in a wooden case) where the highest bid is about $75. A bargain!!

I love being a bargain shopper!


06-15-2008, 08:04 PM
Dick Blick and probably Jerry's and others sell Sennelier half sticks in boxes. They have a new set of 80 new colors for plein aire, but their 80 landscape set of half sticks is fine.

Schminke's are very nice when you've just about lost all tooth and need to put the frosting on the cake, as in highlights. A set of 30 or so are wonderful to have. I wouldn't bother with Rembrandt, if you have Senns. A set of half sticks is good for many colors. I like to block in my painting with NuPastels or Faber Castels, then go to maybe Rembrandt and end with Senns and a dab or two of Schminke, if needed. You can get Giaconda (48 set) pastel pencils for about $19 on ebay. I am fine with Canson when I use the pastels in order of softness. If you have a great deal of Canson or other paper, simply buy a clear jar of Colorfix and cover the surface of your paper with it. You will be making your own colorfix paper for pastels. It dries in about 15 mins. and you're good to go.

The Unisons look like a good deal. Comes to $2.46 a stick and the free shipping is worth about $15-20 elsewhere.

nana b
06-15-2008, 09:44 PM
Sue, isn't Wet Canvas wonderful? All this help at your fingertips!

Also, I don't know if you have any Hobby Lobbies around but you can get the Sennelier half sticks in two size boxes and use a 40% off coupon (on one of those weeks that they have them) if you want to use them.


06-27-2008, 06:36 PM
:D I got them!!!! The Greg Biolchini collection of Mt Vision. Got the workshop set and all three add-on sets. They are just beautiful!

Thank you so much - Deborah:clap:

Deborah Secor
06-27-2008, 06:51 PM
Shoot a photo of it for us, will you Sue? I'd love to see how it all looks... and we have a giant thread here showing all kinds of sets, too. Glad you're happy. :thumbsup:


06-28-2008, 05:49 PM
Here are the photos.

Deborah Secor
06-28-2008, 06:30 PM
Kewl! Thanks.


06-28-2008, 09:04 PM
Thanks for sharing Suzy. When ever I look at a set of pastels it brings a smile to my face.:) I don't know if I am weird or not (ok, I DO KNOW) but when I walk int my studio and look at my pastels I start smiling. Wow, just think what I wil be like when I learn how to use them.:lol:

Enjoy those little babies and have fun.