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View Full Version : what is the best pastels?


doboo
07-16-2010, 05:05 PM
I use Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils and I like them very much for my fine lines. But when I need to use the stick like rambrandt I have trouble putting another color on top its like there is a piece of wax paper on it. Is it me or does Rembrandt just suck. I like the square sticks but can't seem to find any in soft pastel. Any ideas?http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jul-2010/191299-tiger.JPG

Potoma
07-16-2010, 05:35 PM
All I can say is that I dislike Rembrandt for the same reason. They're like a coat of oil.

doboo
07-16-2010, 06:13 PM
what kind do you use?

JPQ
07-16-2010, 06:57 PM
Its nice know this rembrandt problem if you talk talens product. i only have yellow greens and if i cannot use anything what iwant of top of them i dont buy them aby more.

bluefish
07-16-2010, 06:59 PM
Hey Terry

Please tell him who makes the softest, most wonderful pastels and don't be modest - tell it like it is!

'blue....' :thumbsup:

Colorix
07-16-2010, 07:03 PM
What? I make most of my paintings with about 50-75% Rembrandt. Sometimes 90%. I layer heavily, and as long as there is a tooth to the paper, they go on top of each other. (I know, we all have our favourites.)

The softest most wonderful pastels must be... Schmincke! Or Terry Ludwig. (Wanna try Townsend.)

Charlie

JPQ
07-16-2010, 07:13 PM
Schincke works really nicelly here to of Rembrandt but some w&n hues dont go. and oddly Pip Seymours (made for Minoa finish art supplier but also available other places) goes also even hues what i think hard harder than rembrandt oops maybe not harder i think texture is more rough. but now i must know i need more pastels for first layers or last layers.
ps. btw i must think these rembrandts for background these are actually nicer than w&n stuff.

Paula Ford
07-16-2010, 09:12 PM
Square? Terry Ludwigs, Faber-Castel Polychromos, Great Americans. You can order any of these online.

Sorry (Charlie), but I don't like Rembrandts either. They're too greasy for me. THOUGH, a couple of them I use all the time. They make a few gorgeous gray-greens.

The new Dick Blick are just like Rembrandts minus the waxy/oily---ness. Though they aren't square.

Potoma
07-16-2010, 11:46 PM
I use most other brands, but have not gone into Townsends, Richeson, Great American or Mt Vision. So that leaves Ludwigs, W&N, Schmincke, Faber-Castel Polychromos, Cretacolor, Sennelier, Unison, Girault, etc that I enjoy.

I have liked using another Talens product, Van Gogh pastels. They're a good hard and I don't think the student designation matters a bit. Plus their little boxes are great for taking the show on the road.

Looks like you got some good answers here. I'd always wondered why so many like Rembrandts and now I learn that some of us don't.

pastel lover
07-16-2010, 11:56 PM
Hi,

I love my Rembrandts. They are not greasy at all...of course, they are 35 years old & formulas do change! I also love my vintage Grumbachers. For finish work, I prefer Ludwig, MT Vision & Sennelier. For pastel pencils I prefer CarbOthello, no contest.

Tanja

Colorix
07-17-2010, 09:28 AM
Oh, it is the word 'greasy' that doesn't make sense to me. Rembrandt pastels dry out the skin of the fingers and hands very well, just as any other brand, and I can't fit my mind around 'greasy'. Not liking them is perfectly fine with me. It used to be the only brand I could get locally, so by default I've got quite a number of them.

So many use them because they're of decent artist's quality, found everywhere in the world, and not so expensive. They do suit my style, as they're not so opaque.

Doboo, let's get back to your original concern. You use pencils, and as they're usually fairly hard, wich (depending on paper) makes it difficult to apply them over most soft pastel brands. Pencils tend to either skid or plow. You can put Rembrandt over Rembrandt, and anything softer also goes fine on top of them. For pencil work mixed with soft pastels, I recommend the harder brands, or only applying the sticks thinly and lightly. Or, using sanded papers, as, as long as there is tooth to the sanded papers, pencils will go on top of even very soft brands of sticks.

There exists one or two of the softer square sticks, and at least one of them is American. There was a recent discussion in Talk about where to find square softies, do a "search this forum" to find it.

Charlie

Paula Ford
07-17-2010, 10:28 AM
Charlie, Maybe it was just the batch that I bought a long time ago. I remember last year buying one in an art store and it was just fine. I don't ever mean to offend, so please accept my apologies if I seemed harsh. I really didn't mean to be.

I need to go out and get some fresh stock. As a matter of fact, should have done that a long time ago. They really have wonderful, and lots of, colors, for a great price, and they are definately artist quality pastels.

Phil Bates
07-17-2010, 10:47 AM
My main problem with Rembrants is the patina that seems harder than the core. It's a minor complaint, since I like a lot of the colors.

P

doboo
07-17-2010, 01:30 PM
.I would like to Thank everyone for their input...... and Charlie to me its like trying to use your pastels on glass...... that makes since about the pencils as far as the paper I use Bristol board and that has no teeth at all. When I did the tiger I had to use white water color to do the whiskers because I just couldn't use the pencils or rembrants...... Paula i like what you did on your website step by step. Thanks again Donna

Colorix
07-17-2010, 02:04 PM
Paula, none intended, and none taken! They're very finely ground (except for those scrachy bits), and that can feel almost greasy, like very fine flour.

Donna, Bristol board, ah, that explains it. Lovely tiger!

Charlie

allydoodle
07-17-2010, 02:40 PM
My main problem with Rembrants is the patina that seems harder than the core. It's a minor complaint, since I like a lot of the colors.

P

You know, I think that this is the thing I was having problem with when using Rembrants. They seem to have a thin skin on the outside of them. One day, out of frustration and probably desperation (as I have a 60 half sticks that I use often in workshops, because they are easy to transport), I took each stick and lightly sanded it with a very fine sand paper, removing complete outside skin off each one. What a mess I made! What I found underneath was their true color, and for some reason, they are much nicer to use.

I dunno, weird, I know, but for some reason it made them much better. I occassionally wipe them off with a paper towel to keep them clean, and the colors easy to "read" now. I think that "greasy" feel comes from that skin, and once removed, a much nicer product. My advice, do it outside, as you make a real mess!:eek: It was acutally fun to do, though.

ShannonRae
07-17-2010, 04:11 PM
You know, I think that this is the thing I was having problem with when using Rembrants. They seem to have a thin skin on the outside of them.

I was noticing that about them today. I have a small set of 30 half sticks and bought five or six new ones today. I also bought a couple of Senneliers because I've only ever used the Rembrandts and wanted to try something different. I noticed the 'skin' on the outside of the Rembrandts and how much darker it looks than it does once that is worn off. It's a little bit annoying too because until that is gone the color doesn't really go down quite as easily. Once that's gone it's better. Though I do really like the Sennelier I got just from a few scribbles, and at the store today I liked their colors better than the Rembrandts...figures I'd realize this after I'd already started buying. :lol:

Potoma
07-17-2010, 05:21 PM
Rembrandts do not feel chalky to me at all. They have a residue and do not leave the chalky footprint I expect with soft or hard pastels. Even hard pastels like Fabers leave a chalky, dry footprint.

That's the best way I can explain it! I've purchase two sets and they're both the same.

allydoodle
07-17-2010, 06:25 PM
Rembrandts do not feel chalky to me at all. They have a residue and do not leave the chalky footprint I expect with soft or hard pastels. Even hard pastels like Fabers leave a chalky, dry footprint.

That's the best way I can explain it! I've purchase two sets and they're both the same.

I do agree that Rembrants are not as nice to work with as the MANY other brands I have, but since sanding off the "skin", I find that they are okay to work with in a pinch, especially at workshops. I have a real "love affair" with my softies, and don't like bringing them out where they could get dropped :eek: and destroyed.

I know, I know, I need to let go, loosen up, :lol: :lol: :lol: , I'm trying, I really am! I do bring my Art Spectrums out, and I have some Giraults and Rowneys that I bring out too, so I'm getting there...... But NOT MY LUDWIGS, or MOUNT VISIONS, OR UNISONS, OR SCHMINKES, SENELIERS, :eek: Oh no, they're much happier in their foamy boxes at home......

I know, I'm sad and pathetic,.....:( .....

Potoma
07-17-2010, 09:22 PM
You are in good company wanting to protect your pastels! Mind do make it out without incident... or much incident.

Elcoll
07-17-2010, 09:41 PM
Hi everyone,

I use NuPastels and Rembrandts to begin, but then reach for my Great Americans (my faves), Mount Visions and Unisons (they are like painting with creamy butter). Unisons also have really good darks. I also have Schmincke and Sennelier. I think the difficulty in using Rembrandts is that sometimes they tend to get burnished with use and seemingly won't lay on top of themselves. When that happens I swipe them on a piece of sand paper and, voila!, no more problem.
I have a few Townsends Terrages, which are nice. I'd like to get more.

The only problem I have with pastels is that I can't seem to stop buying them!

Paula Ford
07-17-2010, 09:58 PM
The only problem I have with pastels is that I can't seem to stop buying them!

:lol: I think we all have that problem Linda!!

allydoodle
07-18-2010, 02:56 AM
The only problem I have with pastels is that I can't seem to stop buying them!

DITTO! :D

Colorix
07-18-2010, 06:10 AM
LOL, I have the opposite problem. I feel I have too many, and that is only confusing. But up to a point, I got more and more, didn't want to stop buying. Now, no, I just fill in holes in the palette.

Charlie

ArbySD
07-18-2010, 09:52 AM
My experience with the Rembrandt's is that it depends on the color. Some of the darker red sticks have scratched my paper, or failed to layer. There was a dark blue that did the same, and I know one or two other colors that just didn't feel right. These pastels were at least 10 years old. I did buy a box of Rembrandt 30 half sticks on clearance recently, and the quality seems more consistent than the old ones. I still had problems with that deep garnet red, and tossed it as soon as I tested it out, but the rest of the sticks seem to be behaving themselves.

Paula Ford
07-18-2010, 11:10 AM
You know, I think that this is the thing I was having problem with when using Rembrants. They seem to have a thin skin on the outside of them. One day, out of frustration and probably desperation (as I have a 60 half sticks that I use often in workshops, because they are easy to transport), I took each stick and lightly sanded it with a very fine sand paper, removing complete outside skin off each one. What a mess I made! What I found underneath was their true color, and for some reason, they are much nicer to use.

I dunno, weird, I know, but for some reason it made them much better. I occassionally wipe them off with a paper towel to keep them clean, and the colors easy to "read" now. I think that "greasy" feel comes from that skin, and once removed, a much nicer product. My advice, do it outside, as you make a real mess!:eek: It was acutally fun to do, though.

That's such a great idea Chris! It never crossed my mind to do such a thing, but it makes perfect sense.

Rudy555
07-29-2010, 07:23 AM
UNISON full stop. The best of the lot.

RiJoRi
07-29-2010, 01:41 PM
... I know, I know, I need to let go, loosen up, :lol: :lol: :lol: , I'm trying, I really am! I do bring my Art Spectrums out, and I have some Giraults and Rowneys that I bring out too, so I'm getting there...... But NOT MY LUDWIGS, or MOUNT VISIONS, OR UNISONS, OR SCHMINKES, SENELIERS, :eek: Oh no, they're much happier in their foamy boxes at home......

I know, I'm sad and pathetic,.....:( .....
... The only problem I have with pastels is that I can't seem to stop buying them!
Sometimes two impossible problems will solve each other! Whenever you buy pastels, get two sets or pieces! :eek: This way, you will have a nice, pretty set to show your friends, and admire, and sigh over, and you'll have a working set with all its scars, missing pieces, cracks, and character to make pictures with! :clap:

--Rich

Anne-Marie
08-13-2010, 12:14 AM
Sometimes two impossible problems will solve each other! Whenever you buy pastels, get two sets or pieces! :eek: This way, you will have a nice, pretty set to show your friends, and admire, and sigh over, and you'll have a working set with all its scars, missing pieces, cracks, and character to make pictures with! :clap:

--Rich

OMG--the perfect solution!

Never mind that I have few pastels as it is (am just starting out) and am having a hard enough time financing the first batch, :lol:

My experience with Rembrandt is this: I bought four back in the 90's in Italy. I didn't know what to do with them, I was just entranced by the colors. I did draw a few drawing with them, and have gone back to see what they are like after all these years (I still have them! Of course!) But they do seem "greasy" to me--or perhaps "burnished" as Elcoll wrote. They scratched the paper. Not fun to work with. I should probably just throw them out.

I did get a Rembrandt with my "sampler" from Dakota, and the Rembrandt was actually very soft and nice. So I don't know if my old ones are just old or if there has been a reformulation in the past 20 years or so . . .

The Ludwigs are very, very soft and very, very nice. I am also going to play with the Great American I got in my sampler set, as I like the colors GA offers . . .

Tom Perry
08-13-2010, 12:31 AM
My main problem with Rembrants is the patina that seems harder than the core. It's a minor complaint, since I like a lot of the colors.

P

Phil,

I've noticed that on just about all of the extruded pastels. Easily fixed by a few strikes over a rough surfaced paper or a wipe with one of those 3-M green pads used for light scouring.

GhettoDaveyHavok
08-13-2010, 01:16 AM
I love Rembrandts actually. I got no problems with the use of them (Then again, maybe it's because I am used to using harder pastels). I never used those kind of pastel pencils, but I haven't had trouble putting colors over it, including my charcoal pencils.

I got a couple of capput mortum Grumbachers (they are so awesome), and grays, black, and white Sennelier... Wow, I really LOVE the softness of Sennelier, but I love all my pastels.

Greenbrier33
08-16-2010, 05:19 PM
Let's not forget Paula's ranking of pastels from soft-to-hard, since understanding this would help an artist using pencils to predict results:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8971241

chuas2
08-17-2010, 03:45 PM
And just because no one has mentioned them, I gotta throw in my all time favs, Giraults! Hooray!
Chuas
supplemented with Sennelier, Schmincke, Mt. Vision, Great American, NuPastel, Polychromos, Unison, Terry Ludwig, etc. :o