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Inkling
11-20-2009, 05:05 PM
Hello all. I usually paint pet portraits and landscapes, but lately I have been wanting to try people portraits. I have been looking at the different portrait sets at Dick Blick's but really have no idea which is the best choice. Those of you that paint people, is there a set that you really like and would recommend?

Colorix
11-20-2009, 06:41 PM
Donna, I would think that you already have the sticks you need, if you're going for tonalist portraits. As you paint portraits, you'll discover which one's you're missing, and get get just those sticks.

But I'm usually a bit contrary, and I'm sure others will recommend great sets.

Charlie

Deborah Secor
11-20-2009, 08:06 PM
I agree with Charlie. I'd suggest using what you have and augmenting as you find the need. However, I started doing some portraits with the Girault skintone set (http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discount-art-supplies/Pastels/Soft-Pastels/Pastels-Girault-and-Sets/Pastels-Girault-Sets.htm). You might look at it and compare what you already have...

Deborah

JamieWG
11-20-2009, 08:43 PM
I think the Unison portrait sets look pretty good. That being said, I have used the sticks I set aside for plein air work in a portrait setting, and it's worked out fine.

Jamie

DAK723
11-20-2009, 09:51 PM
If you have the ability to choose open stock and see the pastels for yourself, I think you can choose a portrait set that is better than any that is chosen for you. I checked my personal hand picked Girault "portrait" set against the actual Girault set and half of my colors weren't even in their set!

Don

WC Lee
11-21-2009, 09:20 PM
I agree that you are better off choosing what you need from open stock after examining what colors you already have in your collection. Since you paint landscapes and animal portraits, most of what you need are probably already there.

Ikneadaneraser
11-21-2009, 10:30 PM
I'm another voice against buying a 'set'. I would make only one suggestion of colors you probably don't have if you mainly do pets and landscapes.
Caput Mortuum has been invalueable to me for lips, certain hair colors and other deep darks. Otherwise, survey whatever open stocks you can and you should be fine.

Inkling
11-24-2009, 12:07 PM
Thank you all for your advice. I decided to go with the Unison portrait set. I have tried in the past using what I already have but the subjects always seem to come out looking like they had been in some kind of epic battle, all bruised and red looking. Perhaps having the pastels pre-selected for me will help. Thanks again for your help.

Donna

Colorix
11-24-2009, 12:41 PM
Yummie, the Unisons are wonderful! Have fun with them, and do tell if you like the result!

wiiawiwb
11-24-2009, 01:07 PM
I am interested in buying a portrait set as a gift for my girlfriend. I am not into art so I know nothing other than that which I've read here on this forum. I know she lost almost all of her pastels when moving so she has little or none at this point.

I would appreciate any thoughts or recommendations about selecting one of the following portrait sets . I am looking at:

1) Great American Carducci set of 78
2) Rembrandt set of 90, Portrait
3) Sennelier set of 100, Portrait
4) Unison set of 72, Portrait

Thanks in advance for any kind thoughts about the above.

DAK723
11-24-2009, 01:47 PM
I am interested in buying a portrait set as a gift for my girlfriend. I am not into art so I know nothing other than that which I've read here on this forum. I know she lost almost all of her pastels when moving so she has little or none at this point.

I would appreciate any thoughts or recommendations about selecting one of the following portrait sets . I am looking at:

1) Great American Carducci set of 78
2) Rembrandt set of 90, Portrait
3) Sennelier set of 100, Portrait
4) Unison set of 72, Portrait

Thanks in advance for any kind thoughts about the above.

My immediate thought is "is there any way you can bring up the subject of pastels to find out if she might have some favorite brands?" Because artists can be quite picky in what they like and don't like, especially if she has some experience with pastels.

One reason I say that is because if she likes really soft pastels, then she wouldn't like the Rembrandts, which are harder than most brands. On the other hand, the other 3 brands you mention are among the softest, she may or may not like those, either. She may like something more middle-of-the-road, such as Girault or Mt. Vision. I am not just saying that because those are my 2 personal favorites! :lol:

Now, these are all top of the line brands, so she may love any choice you make, but these are all going to cost a pretty penny, so I would want to make sure it was a good choice! And on the subject of cost, I notice that all these sets have a lot of pastels - especially for a portrait set. Personally, I think a 36 or 48 pastel portrait set would be more than enough. With smaller sets, you could get 2 sets - a set of Rembrants (if a smaller set exists, of course) or one of medium hardness (like Girault or Mt. Vision), and a set of softies (like Unison, GA, or Sennelier)!

There, I am sure I just complicated things for you!!! But hopefully a little detective work might reveal if she has any preferences. If not, then they are all good choices!

Don

wiiawiwb
11-24-2009, 02:19 PM
Excellent ideas Don. I'll try to do some gumshoeing and see if I can find out more. Would introducing a portrait set of 20 Pan Pastels to a smaller set (36 or 48) of one of the stick pastels be another option?

Deborah Secor
11-27-2009, 04:17 PM
I suggest this: Go out and find THE most beautiful color pastel stick you can find. Think of her favorite color and get that one stick. Box it up beautifully and add a gift certificate to Dakota Pastels www.dakotapastels.com (or any other retailer with a good selection of pastels.) Let her know that you did some research and found out how selective pastelists are about the brand, so you thought she should choose her own.

As another thought, you might contact Terry Ludwig www.terryludwig.com and see if he would sell you a giant heart shaped pastel! He's given them to a few of us around here as gifts. Mine is magenta pink. :heart:

Just ideas for you.

Deborah

palettetalk
11-27-2009, 11:53 PM
I have a Terry Ludwig portrait set...absolutely gorgeous colours that aren't in any other set. Love all my TL sets...awesome quality and colours.
Susan

wiiawiwb
11-28-2009, 07:24 AM
Deborah and Palettetalk - thanks for sharing great ideas.

Wiia

Phil Coleman
11-28-2009, 08:51 AM
A good method of isolating the colours captured within any image to select a portrait set is by using the colour selector or eyedropper tool which is included with most image manipulating software. it will allow you to identify the colours within any image exactly and from any photograph or painting. You will see first hand just which colours would be beneficial to your style of painting.

One such free program for using in this manner is Xnview (google xnview it is easy to find the download location), should you download it and open an image with it then in the by selecting ''filter'' in the header bar you will see a drop down menu, select paint(1.06), it will open your image up in a new window. Again in the header bar select colour information ( a tool which looks like an eye dropper), then using this tool click on any part of the image and it will display the exact colour at that point in the photograph.

Using the above will give you a good indication as to the colours you may require for any type of painting.

CarolaH
11-29-2009, 02:24 PM
I suggest this: Go out and find THE most beautiful color pastel stick you can find. Think of her favorite color and get that one stick. Box it up beautifully and add a gift certificate to Dakota Pastels www.dakotapastels.com (http://www.dakotapastels.com) (or any other retailer with a good selection of pastels.) Let her know that you did some research and found out how selective pastelists are about the brand, so you thought she should choose her own.

As another thought, you might contact Terry Ludwig www.terryludwig.com (http://www.terryludwig.com) and see if he would sell you a giant heart shaped pastel! He's given them to a few of us around here as gifts. Mine is magenta pink. :heart:

Just ideas for you.

Deborah

I think Deborah's idea is wonderful. I would much rather pick out the colors I want/use for my portrait work. I have several portrait sets, including GA, Girualt and Unison and there are many colors i never use. I was disappointed in the Unison for African Americans. No rich deep colors. Love TL pastels but as a finishing touch mostly. I think your friend would be delighted with Deb's idea...I would!