View Full Version : New Book - Multi Brand Color Chart for Pastels

07-07-2008, 07:57 AM
This was mentioned before in this thread but I want to bring it up again. Marie Meyer has published a wonderful book covering all open stock brands of pastel sold in the U.S. This book makes it so much easier to organize your pastel box and to know what is missing from your color families. I am including a link to Katherine Tyrrell's blog reviewing it as I feel her review is very complete and says everything I would want to say about this book. Her review can be found at: http://makingamark.blogspot.com/2008/06/book-review-multi-brand-color-chart-for.html

I took the time to catalog all my pastel sticks as I had already done hand-made charts for each stick in each set I have and then laminated them. After cataloging all my pastels, I can now flip through the color charts and know exactly where I am missing colors or need to fill in.

Adriana Meiss
07-07-2008, 11:51 AM
Hi Shari,
Thank you for posting this and the link.
I'm playing with the idea of getting it, but first, want to hear more from people.
When it comes to pastels I'm like an airhead: sometimes I buy a color because it looks so good. Will this book help me maker better choices?

Marie @ Huechroval
07-07-2008, 12:43 PM
sometimes I buy a color because it looks so good. Will this book help me maker better choices?

Nothing wrong with that: "it is pretty, I must have it" is a perfectly fine way to shop.

But in addition to the pretty ones, you need a good assortment of the less spectacular ones - socks and underpants as opposed to a new blouse, if you will.

The book will help you make sense of those, and help you buy them cheaply from open stock without any accidental duplications.

It will also help you with the "spectaculars" - you can identify the really exceptional items, like darks with high chromas.

Marie Meyer

07-07-2008, 10:59 PM

Where this book really helps me is in seeing what I need to fill my palette with. Now I can look within each color family and see what I am missing. I tend to need more grays and lights because I have always gone for the higher saturated colors. In class, I find I am missing many grays or neutrals and I am using them more and more. I love that I can now look at each page, or each color family and have a visual showing me what I am missing or what I have. It is all charted in the book and Marie has done so much work and research. Each pastel is measured for hue, chroma and value and assigned a number. I think this book is ingenious and certainly a labor of love on Marie's part. She has done all pastelists a great service!!

07-08-2008, 04:17 PM
I just got this book the other day and I have been testing it out. I am using my pastels and putting them on the Wallis as this is what they used for the examples for the book. I am seeing some problems. Some of the colors are right on, but I'm finding that some are not. For example: Unison Y3 is marked in the book as Flight 9, Step 60, but the color that perfectly matches it is actually Flight 10, Step 60 and I didn't really find a match at all for Unison Y10. I'm just now starting to mark up my book so I know which ones I have, and I am already seeing things like this. Am I missing something? Marie, do you any advice for me? Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Also there are many numbers under the steps. I assume these are the different brands that are the same color. Thanks for any help.

Marie @ Huechroval
07-08-2008, 05:04 PM
Hi Sherri,

I'm sure everyone will find pastels that don't agree exactly with where I've placed them in the book. Possible reasons include:
(1) the inherent imprecision of the CMYK printing process,
(2) batch-to-batch nonuniformity from the pastel manufacturer, and/or
(3) I made a mistake!

For the two instances you cite, I think we have a (1) and a (2) - but, of course, I would never rule out (3), although I am very careful and my work is thoroughly double-checked.

MY Unison Y3 is a good match for 9/60 - so this might be a case of (2). If you will PM me with your snail mail address, I'll send you a swatch of my Y3 and you can compare it to yours and let me know if they match or not.

As for Y10 - This is a definite (1). Y10 is a lovely yellow, and the page in the book just doesn't show it.

We are working on a bit of an "upgrade" to deal with this issue, but there are some colors that we will never be able to do justice to.

As an aside, it may interest you to know that there is a high-end solution: X-Rite sells what is known as the "official" Munsell book of color. It consists of two volumes of hand-assembled silk-screened swatches. And it costs $750.00.

Trying to produce something in same neighborhood for about 7.5% of the cost is a real challenge!

Back to your situation: remember that you don't have to rely on the color squares alone - you've also got the hue, chroma and value numbers. As you surmised, the sticks that are grouped together are all very similar in appearance. So, if you really love Y10 and want more like it, but yet not exactly the same, you can look to the neighboring steps to find those colors, either in Unisons or in other brands that you like. Or you could go down in chroma in oder to get a neutral that would set it off nicely.

Conversely, if you don't want or need anything more like Y10, you now know what to avoid.

And, finally - possibility (3): as I said in the introduction to the book, I hope EVERYONE who finds a variance will bring it to my attention. I'll track each one down, and there will be a space on the website where we catalog each one so that everyone else can benefit from knowing about it.

Marie Meyer

07-11-2008, 11:22 AM
Hi all, I recieved Marie's book several days ago and am working on learning how to use it. The obstacle to my making progress at the moment, is that I'm painting day and night for a major show in September. Practically speaking, that means most of my pastels are in complete disarray during the painting process, and can't be organized or catalogued until I'm finished. (probably late August) Secondly, I'm working so many hours a day on these pieces that I have no energy left to read anything much. In spite of these temporary drawbacks, I'm very happy to own the book as it's assisted me already. I found the neutral grays I've needed for so long, and am working on finding cool gray greens for my landscapes now. Lets keep in touch by sharing our questions and successes as we all enrich our painting experiences with this valuable tool. Thanks Marie!