View Full Version : Rowney soft pastels

Art Leat
10-05-2008, 01:21 AM
Does anyone know of a UK source for the full range of Rowney soft pastels?

Jacksons Art don't list cerulean, cobalt or indigo blues, and GreatArt don't list any Rowneys!

10-05-2008, 09:39 AM

Don't know anything about them, but they had the brand, at least. (And I happened to have the place bookmarked.)

Or, contact the manufacturer and ask them to give you a name of a store that has the full range.

Art Leat
10-05-2008, 11:06 AM
The SAA, like the other suppliers I've checked, list only four tints/shades, and, because, I suppose, of the limitations of presenting screen colours as true hues, it's difficult to tell which colours you'd be getting if you ordered. For instance, Rowney make seven variations of french ultramine. Comparing the seven colours of the Daler Rowney colour chart with the four displayed on the SAA website it's impossible to tell which four of Rowney's seven the SAA is offering.

As you suggest, my best bet is to talk to DR, or to one of the suppliers to find out which of the tints/shades they are offering.

Thank you for your time, Colorix

10-05-2008, 01:09 PM
Why not get in touch with Customer Services at Daler-Rowney Ltd; PO Box 10, Bracknell, Berkshire. England RG12 8ST ortheir website:-

They have quite a range of soft pastels and some that are still being sold in shops are now discontunued, so it is best to know beforehand if you need to stock up with a particular range.

Kind regards,

PS: I have only used their hard pastels (tin of 36....so, I cannot really say much about the soft ones )....and these I believe are no longer available.

Art Leat
10-06-2008, 03:49 AM
Thanks, Eggy, I'd decided to try DR today.

Your point about discontinued stock needs to be kept in mind.

I've run into two main problems in the short time I've been experimenting with soft pastels. The first is finding a local stockist who carrys a decent range from a choice of manufacturers.

The second concerns colour fidelity. Where any hue is involved there are at least three versions: the colour you see with the naked eye; the colour shown in a printed representation; and that on a computer screen. The last two often don't come near to the true (naked eye) colour. For instance, look at the screen colours for Rowney soft pastels on the SAA website. The palest tint of burnt umber is pink!

How do you go about getting an exact colour, say to match an unidentifiable one you already have?



Deborah Secor
10-06-2008, 09:11 AM
How do you go about getting an exact colour, say to match an unidentifiable one you already have?

I use Marie Meyer's book, Multi-Brand Color Chart: Pastels, to find the family of hues and see what colors are available in what brands. She lists the DRs. It's a MARVELOUS resource. (She has her own forum here so you can ask her about details...)


Art Leat
10-06-2008, 10:28 AM
Thank you for your help, Deborah.

I'll look for the book and check out Marie's forum

Art Leat
10-09-2008, 02:51 AM
Since first posting, I've discovered that Rowney have reformulated their soft pastel range, and now no colour is now available in more than than four shades. None of the blues I mentioned are available and, annoyingly, they, along with the other defunct shades, are still shown on Daler Rowneys website colour chart. Ho hum.

10-09-2008, 02:20 PM
Art, I agree with Deborah about the "Multi-Brand Color Chart: Pastels" book available from huechroval.com. For me, it is an indispensable resource.

I checked the Daler Rowney colour chart and many of the numbers of the blues are not listed in the book. There are many blue numbers for Daler Rowney in the book that are not on the colour chart. I think these may be what you are looking for. If not, it's easy to find the equivalents (hue, chroma and value) in other brands with similar coverage.

Hope this helps...


Art Leat
10-10-2008, 12:15 AM
Hi Wendell,

Since my first post, DR have sent me a colour chart of their newly-formulated range. All is now clear, but it would help if they updated their website chart.

While appreciating that, to a professional or otherwise dedicated pastellist, or to someone with deeper pockets than I, Ms. Meyer's book might be a fascinating and useful source of information, as a senior dabbler in pastels from the UK on a low income, I would find it hard to justify the expenditure of more than $50, after shipping, on something which, after all's said and done, I would find of limited practical use.

On the matter of colour choice, I am reminded of the effects of such phenomina as simultaneous and successive contrast, as described in detail in M.E. Chevreul's classic, and the affect that design criteria other than colour have upon the success or failure of an image. I am reminded too of the many great works of the masters done in just charcoal and chalk, and of the master, whose name I forget, who said give him just mud and he would paint a picture.

Keeping these reflections in mind, I will in future not fret too much about precise colour selection; after all, unless you are a photorealist, painting is simply about recording and interpreting an impression.