View Full Version : How can you tell what colors are in Great American sets?

06-04-2010, 03:39 AM
Hi everyone!

I am considering buying a Great American set, but I would like to know what colors are in them (by name/number) so I can then ascertain that a second set I am interested in doesn't have too many doubles.

I have been all over the internet trying to find this information. I have been to Dick Blick (which is actualy usually pretty good about posting names/numbers--unlike a lot of other stores) FineArts, Dakota, Jerry's, Madison's, and Great American's own site, but I can't find an actual LIST of numbers/ names in a particular set anywhere.

Does anyone know where this information can be found?

Thanks so much for reading this plea for help!

CM Neidhofer
06-04-2010, 04:15 AM
Here's a link to a page with color charts for Great American


06-04-2010, 04:31 AM
Hi Christine!

Thank you for the link. I did see that on the Great American site--but it doesn't tell me which colors are in which sets--unless I'm missing something?

I love the way the big box of greys look, for instance. I also like the Claude Texier set. So one of my questions is: which pastels are in the greys (by name and/or number) and which pastels are in the Texier set? If I can see the names that are in both, I can compare and ensure I don't buy two sets I like, but that have many duplicates of eachother.

06-04-2010, 09:03 AM
I searched a bit and couldn't find the info either. I would just email them directly and ask. There's a contact email on their web site.


06-04-2010, 09:35 AM
Ann Marie,

I have purchased pastels from Dakota Art recently http://www.dakotapastels.com/pages/index.aspx (three separate occasions), and had similar questions regarding other brands of pastels. I have found that they are extremely helpful at Dakota Art. I've called them to request what colors are in what sets in Mount Vision and Terry Ludwig sets, and both times they sent me as much information as I needed to make an informed decision. They have a customer service department (I think it's actually one person) that responds quickly through email, and I was able to make my choice rather easily. I would give them a call, and see if they can email you what you need. I guess because they are not too big (like Dick Blick and the others), they can be more personal and respond very quickly. I highly recommend them, especially if you are unsure of what you want to purchase. Their prices aren't always the cheapest, but I gave them my business when they were able to answer my questions and help me out. Their prices aren't out of sight, just sometimes a little higher.

Hope this helps!

06-04-2010, 11:44 AM
Dick Blick has some good photos of GA sets. You can enlarge the photo and if you change your zoom level on you computer to 200% you can easily read the name on the sticks. Here is a link http://www.dickblick.com/products/great-american-art-works-pastel-sets/

Hope this helps you.


06-04-2010, 12:27 PM
Hi again!

Thank you all for your responses!

Chris, I think you are right--that may very well be the best way to go. I just ordered a pastel sampler, a pastel pencil sampler, and a pastel paper sampler from Dakota, and they were GREAT. I ordered the "blue" pastel sampler, for instance, but asked if they could give me a mix of greys, blues, and reds and that wasn't a problem! I actually also find their prices to be almost always cheaper--cheaper in general and also cheaper because I live in Illinois and don't have to pay sales tax with them (sadly,I have to pay over ELEVEN PERCENT with Dick Blick--not fault of Blick, of course) I have found only a couple instances where Dakota's prices are higher,i.e. the huge Daniel Green wooden box of Unisons (which, as it turns out, is so loaded with reds and red-earths that it's not suitable for me).

Doug Thanks for the tip. I did see that I could read the names on the pastels, but not the dilution/intensity/tint/whatever the word is in pastels! So I can easily see the name, "Tosca", for instance, which is on three pastels in the photo I'm looking at. But which "Toscas"--as there are six of them available, right?

It does seem to be very, very, very odd that Great American doesn't put this on their website--it would be so easy for them to do! Or that other retailers don't do the same. I will make the extra effort to find out, but I imagine that others will go with another manufacturer rather than bother.

06-05-2010, 10:04 AM
One thing you should know is the colors are not fixed for Great American. So there is no guarantee that you can replace any specific color later on. I bought the Full Monty and they could not send me a chart that matched. Anyway, they are good pastels and I am not disappointed I purchased them.

06-05-2010, 02:01 PM
It does seem to be very, very, very odd that Great American doesn't put this on their website--it would be so easy for them to do! Or that other retailers don't do the same. I will make the extra effort to find out, but I imagine that others will go with another manufacturer rather than bother.
I have had a similar question about GA sets and other manufacturer's sets sold by Dakota and I simply emailed Dakota (http://www.dakotapastels.com/pages/customerservice.aspx) with this question. They responded promptly with the exact color list in the sets. Very efficient!

I enjoy using GA pastels (some of their colors are unique, to my eye). I won't turn away from using them merely because they don't list their set colors on their website. Just my opinion, of course! :heart:


06-05-2010, 02:51 PM
Great American emailed me these JPGs of their big box of greys and Texier sets:




06-05-2010, 07:50 PM
Hi all! Thanks for your responses!

Ed--WOW, that's good to know (that the formulas aren't fixed for the color). Not a deal-breaker but just good to know.

Jan--What I meant was that, yeah, I guess I just find it surprising that they wouldn't include that kind of information on their website--it's so easy for them to do, and that kind of product information is important to consumers. In these economic times, I'd imagine all the fine arts manufacturers and retailers are taking a hit as art supplies and other goodies (for the non-professional) are often the first to be sidelined, and so it was surprising to me that a manufacturer would make it even harder for consumers to assess and buy their product. . .


06-05-2010, 07:56 PM
It appears there are 7 duplicates between the two . . . so that's good to know. It appeared from other pix that maybe there wasn't any dups.

7 isn't a huge amount, but it's probably enough to make offset the advantage of buying the greys as a set -- I'll have to do the math and see. If I do end up going with the CT set, then I'll probably pick-and-choose my greys--

Thanks again for the help!

06-05-2010, 09:17 PM
I must give kudos to Great American. I emailed them this morning (on a Saturday, no less) and got their reply 21 minutes later. That's service!

I would never hesitate to email questions to any of the pastel (or any art supply) company. Many are small operations and will give you great service. Even the biggies (like Winsor & Newton) have always replied to my questions (those were oil paint questions). Even Isabelle Roche replied to an email question I had about her pastels! Usually the company's website will have contact information.


06-05-2010, 10:37 PM
Thanks, Don. Yes, that is the consensus (sp?) here: just go ahead and call/email. I guess I worry about being a bother, esp. because I'm uncertain right now as to which line I'm going to go with. (I think I just need to try the different pastels to see which ones I like, because of the few I've tried--Sennelier, Unisons, Rembrant, NuPastels--they are so very different. I'm looking forward to getting my sampler from Dakota this week) In the meantime, I've been kind of winnowing down a list of potential purchases, based on what brands I end up liking.

Thanks for the push to call in the future. I'll work on being braver.:o