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View Full Version : The Perfect Complement to my Rembrandts?


MarkMan
09-13-2008, 12:20 PM
Hi folks...

After painting and learning with a full set of Rembrandts for a while, I now see how important having softer pastels really is.

My question is, where do I go from here?

A full set of Senneliers?

A full set of Schminckes?

Unison?

A combo of all three? If so, which colors? I paint primarily landscapes.

What's your opinion?

I have just a few Senneliers (very crumbly, but gorgeous color) and a few Schminckes, (wow, very soft, but creamy) but I have not tried Unison yet.

I realize this is a VERY open-ended question, but any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark

BruceF
09-13-2008, 12:43 PM
Personally, I have mostly Rembrandts and Terry Ludwigs in my box. I think they go well together. And if you are doing landscapes, many people love Terry's set of greens.

But, you really need to try the different softs to see which you like best.

johnmk
09-13-2008, 12:57 PM
I just received a set of Sennelier half sticks yesterday, specifically to pair up wioth my rembrandts and Winsor Newtons. All I can say is WOW. I painted over a lot of Rembrandt sketches (the pastel, not the guy!!!) and was amazed at how well they went over, even when the paper was (I thought) saturated. Much better on Lacarte paper, too. I am looking for more Senneliers now, though I would still like to see what Ludwigs and Mount Visions are like as well.

The Sennelier half sticks didn't crumble on me, BTW. Slightly thicker! And gorgeous colors.

johnk.

Deborah Secor
09-13-2008, 01:10 PM
I'd suggest you look into Great American pastels, and/or Mt. Visions...both are soft, domestic (if you're here in the US) and less expensive than Sennelier or Schmincke.

Deborah

Colorix
09-13-2008, 01:28 PM
And rich luxurious painterly Unisons -- go wonderfully on top of Rembrandts, and are not as creamy as Schm.

bchlvr
09-13-2008, 05:14 PM
Deborah is right about those Great American...very nice! If you check out Dick Blick you can get a whole set of 78 of the Great American Plein Air for $30 off which would make it $145...they don't sell the Mt Visions...have to go elsewhere for those...they do have Unisons for a 30 piece set that has a good price but I decided against those.

SuzySue
09-13-2008, 08:19 PM
I have a mix of Rembrandts and Mt Visions as my base set. I just bought Terry Ludwig's True Lights and the Intense Darks. I wanted softer for my highlights and very darks so I can put then over the Rembrandts and Mt Visions. The TL are wonderful, check them out too.

DAK723
09-13-2008, 09:31 PM
Before you buy a full set of anything, either get a smaller set, or just order some individual sticks of the brands you are most interested in. Otherwise, in all likelihood, you will waste a lot of money. All brands have pluses and minuses and you will like the feel of some and find others don't work for you. Only you will know.

Don

MarkMan
09-13-2008, 09:31 PM
they do have Unisons for a 30 piece set that has a good price but I decided against those.

Why was that?

MarkMan
09-13-2008, 09:34 PM
I'd suggest you look into Great American pastels

Can't see how I managed to overlook those. I visit Dakota's website often, especially now since I'm shopping around, just to get an idea of what's out there. There's Great American right between Schmincke and Sennelier and the price isn't bad, either.

How are Great American's dark colors?

Lisa Fiore
09-13-2008, 09:43 PM
I use rembrandts also, and then great american for the top layers. I LOVE the great american. They're reasonably priced, the colors are gorgeous, and they absolutely "glide" onto the paper and aren't all crumbly.:)

bchlvr
09-13-2008, 10:10 PM
Why was that?

It was such a toss-up and I wasn't really sure...Doug raved so about his Mount Visions and he is just now learning as I am and a few of the others on here like the Mt Visions...Paula uses them all of the time and seems to love them so I decided to try them...I was afraid that maybe the Unisons were too soft but from what people are saying they are almost the same.

Artistammy
09-14-2008, 02:27 PM
I haven't tried GA or Mt. Vision yet. I really like Unison & Terry Ludwig. I like Sennelier just a little less but I've got alot because they've got a large line of colors & are a little cheaper than Unison. You should try some samples though as it is a matter of personal preference too.
Tammy

Shellee
09-14-2008, 04:38 PM
Hi Mark,
I am just getting started and also bought a full set of Rembrandts last spring. I have enjoyed them. My first set of softer pastels was a set of Sennelier half sticks. I have had a love hate relationship with them, most are very soft and creamy but their softness is inconsistent. I had a few that were so hard that they crumbled after great effort to break them.

Recently I added a set of 20 pan pastels, a set of plein air Ludwigs and a set of workshop Great Americans. The Ludwig set contains some wonderful darks and I love how creamy they all are. I haven't used the great americans enough to really comment on their consistency, so far the ones I have used are softer and creamer than the Rembrandts. This set has a nice variety for colors and the colors are rich. I am using the pan pastels to lay in large areas of base colors during the under painting phase and I really like how they glide on with the sponges and tools that are designed for them.

I haven't tried other brands, mainly because I order from Blick and these are brands they carry. I think my next order will be from Dakota so I can get small sets of the other brands. I doubt I will ever buy a whole complete set of any single brand again, there are so many colors in the Rembrandts that I just haven't even touched while others I use so often that I am now replacing them. Ordering smaller sets of other brands as I can afford them is the route I have chosen to take. I already know that I love the Ludwigs enough to order a few colors from the open stock that I feel are close to colors that I often use in the Rembrandts.

Shellee

artist_pw
09-14-2008, 06:01 PM
Hi:

Some of my favorites are Mount Vision, Unisons, Nupastels and Art Spectrum. I really consider them as my workhorse pastels. I sort of consider building my pastel set is a neverending issue. I have a smattering of wonderful Terry Ludwigs - plan to get more because the colors and texture are great.

Deborah Secor
09-14-2008, 06:23 PM
Can't see how I managed to overlook those. I visit Dakota's website often, especially now since I'm shopping around, just to get an idea of what's out there. There's Great American right between Schmincke and Sennelier and the price isn't bad, either.

How are Great American's dark colors?

The 'Very Tres Dunkle Dark' set is wonderful! I've enjoyed using them for years...

You can go to http://www.greatpastels.com/color_chart.html and see the color chart, if you like. The different sets aren't broken out there, but you can find the names and numbers at Dakota. I like the GA pastels a lot. Very unusual colors that I find habit forming. They're every bit as soft as the Schminckes and far, far softer than Sennelier, IMHO.

Deborah

MarkMan
09-14-2008, 07:58 PM
The 'Very Tres Dunkle Dark' set is wonderful! I've enjoyed using them for years...

You can go to http://www.greatpastels.com/color_chart.html and see the color chart, if you like. The different sets aren't broken out there, but you can find the names and numbers at Dakota. I like the GA pastels a lot. Very unusual colors that I find habit forming. They're every bit as soft as the Schminckes and far, far softer than Sennelier, IMHO.

Deborah

You know, Deborah, I think you've sold me into giving Great American a try. I did buy a few loose Schmincke and Sennelier. Given the choice I would have to choose the Sch over the Sennelier, but it is close. The Senneliers just seem ready to fall apart.

Since my original posting, I switched from Canson paper to Art Spectrum sanded paper and the sanded paper seems to make my Rembrandts softer.

I also visited your website, Deborah, and I simply love your style of painting.

Deborah Secor
09-14-2008, 11:02 PM
If that's the way you go, I hope you enjoy them, Mark (if I may call you that!)

I also want to encourage you to try the Wallis sandpaper. It's another good one with both your Rembrants and any softies you use.

And thanks for your compliment on my paintings. :D

Deborah