View Full Version : Pastels from EBAY

02-16-2003, 03:19 PM
Couldn't resist this auction at EBAY

Vintage pastels in the wooden box

anyone ever heard or used these?


They are VERY thin....but there are 60...they are labelled "semi-soft"


I thought it would be fun to have them for nostalgia even if they aren't that great

Going to play with them


02-16-2003, 04:52 PM
Pam....just be careful as the older pastels tend to contain more toxic substances than our contemporary materials.

02-16-2003, 06:12 PM
Talens is a good name. I have a pastelling chum who used to swear by their Fixative, always said it was the best on the market. I imagine the pastels will be good too.

Perhaps you should wear a mask, just in case of the toxicity issue.


Mikki Petersen
02-17-2003, 02:55 AM
I've heard of the bran but never used them. I have a fifty year old set of NuPastels that were my Dad's. Testimony to NuPastels - I use a new set that I purchased a few months back but ran out of a color and substituted from the old set. Guess what? No color change! And peopple worry about the permanence of pastel, LOL. I have some thrity year old tubes of oil color that are good for nothing because the colors have turned. I cannot advise about toxicity, it's not something I worry much about.

02-18-2003, 08:43 AM
Saw this thread and it must have stuck in my brain because yesterday when I was rummaging through my pastels I noticed "Talons" is on the Rembrandt label. So that must have been the original Rembrandt brand name or something! Just had to tell you!:)

02-18-2003, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by 1mpete
[ And peopple worry about the permanence of pastel, LOL. I have some thrity year old tubes of oil color that are good for nothing because the colors have turned. [/B]

In fact, pastels are the MOST permanent of all the mediums. They are almost pure pigment, held together with the minimum of binder, whereas oils darken because of the oil content, and watercolours fade because the pigments are suspended in water and diluted by it.

Don't let ANYONE tell you that pastels have a question mark about their permanency.


02-18-2003, 12:25 PM
Hey Mikki,
There is a web site called www.fineartstore.com that sells individual sticks of NuPastels so that you can replace those well used ones. This is the only place I have found that sells individual sticks for that brand. I think they are only .89 cents each.

Mikki Petersen
02-18-2003, 01:35 PM
BK, thanks for the tip.

Jackie, you don't have to tell me twice. I have seen the proof with my own eyes!

02-19-2003, 12:07 AM
thanks, all

never thought of the toxic thing:rolleyes:

knew that Rembrant was currently a Talens company....

07-14-2003, 03:21 AM
Originally posted by jackiesimmonds

In fact, pastels are the MOST permanent of all the mediums. They are almost pure pigment, held together with the minimum of binder, whereas oils darken because of the oil content, and watercolours fade because the pigments are suspended in water and diluted by it.

Don't let ANYONE tell you that pastels have a question mark about their permanency.


Hello Mrs. Simmonds

I have been researching certain resources lately on the sutablity of useing suede matt board for pastel painting, along the way i came across a very disturbing article from the website "A stroke of Genius" Portrait artist forum.

Virgil Elliott has started a study about the permanence of pastels when used as a painting medium. Here is what he states on this site: please click here http://forum.portraitartist.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2159

and this is the debate him and i are having now on his forum Cowdisely: i think you can view the posts without having to subscribe.

The actual articles are #6653 ,#6654, #6658 #6659 and 6652, the rest are just me stating that im not good with long posts and my editing abilities are not so good.

What are you opinions about this? and anyone else that would like to contribute for that matter.


07-14-2003, 11:14 AM
hmmm .........interesting. Well, I cannot argue with someone's obviously superior knowledge (and I haven't read the Cowdisley posts because I do not have time today to become a member) with regard to the fugitive nature of some pastel colours.

My comments are based on the fact that pastel paintings, in general, from way, way back, are still with us, without having deteriorated at all and without any need for retouching by conservation departments of museums, whereas oil paintings are notorious for their darkening, and watercolours often are shown in darkened rooms for fear of fading.

And I too have had the experience of having my pastels hang around for 20+ years without deterioration, whereas my wretched tubes of oils dried up ages back, as did the watercolour tubes.

Of course, over the years, manufacturers will have altered their recipes, used modern ingredients and dyes, etc etc, and therefore I doubt that we are using the same kind of materials used by artists of the past. So..........I guess, for longevity's sake, if you are producing masterpiece works, and fear for their future, you had best await this guy's results, and then ensure that you purchase only those pastel brands and colours recommended by him.

As for me, I am going to ignore him, and carry on using whatever comes to hand to produce pieces of work which please people - and sell what I can, despite the downturn in picture sales generally. My customers will not have paid millions of dollars and therefore if the picture's colours change slightly in a hundred years or so, I doubt they will complain. Assuming they haven't binned the picture years earlier, because tastes and fashions change.


07-14-2003, 11:59 AM

Fascinating articles and comments - thanks so very much for the links. Personally I've found a medium that works well for me and although I'm tempted now to buy more Unison's, I'm not sure when they will be in my budget to do so.

thanks again!!!!


07-14-2003, 01:43 PM
Thank you very much Mrs. Simmonds!:)


Deborah Secor
07-14-2003, 04:08 PM
You'll find Rembrandt~Talens to be the old name. Students have gbrought in the old ones like that to use in my classes. Often they need a bit of wetting to work since they've become over-dry (but then I live in NM, land of 5% humidity). If they're dry you can lay a tea towel over them and spray it down, leave it overnight and see if that helps.

I have to throw in a bit about the permanence of pastels too. First of all, what is permanent? How long does something have to last to be archival? Handell once remarked that archival was his lifetime--after that it became the conservtors' problem.

If you compare pastels done in the 1500s to unfixed pastels done today the colors look fresh and lively, unlike oils paintings that are cracked and brittle, or watercolors that have faded.

Personally, I think 'permanence' is an evil plot thought up by pastel and paper manufacturers to foist on unsuspecting artists, to get them to spend more money on materials, and on the public at large who worry about spending money on something someone had fun making--which always makes them suspect they're spending too much! LOL

Just my opinion...


07-14-2003, 04:41 PM
Elliotts response to the permanence of pastel paintings in the museums is that the conservators have to keep these paintings in very low light, or they would fade into nothingness.

but what i want to know is what did the pastel painting go through BEFORE they came into the hands of the museums and still keep their brilliance?

For proper decorum reasons , i made a public appology to Mr. Elliott for any "rudeness" i might have implied. Most of my questions were still unanswered and he basicly just kept repeating himself. Even thou he did attack me and my intelligence im not backing down, just taking a break for a bit til more on this subject by other resources are available.

My concern: That all his talk about "manufacturers already changing formulations of pastels" might cause these manufacturers to RAISE prices, and change consistancies of even MORE pastels, ones that pastel painters have come to trust. Manufacturers need to let pastellist know that they MIGHT be making changes and pastellists need to have some say in if those changes are even wanted. Its difficult as it is to choose materials from the long list of manufacturers.

How this all turned from research to a personal pursuit: I had been advised to hold off on making pastels because of my certain health issues and studio space. So i had decided to buy very large amounts of pastels and supports. When i was looking into suede matt board for my own use as well as the use in my pastel group, i came across elliots article, and started DOUBTING EVERYTHING i was ever told, taught , experienced and have advised others about pastels.
I realized that i almost let someone influence me and dictate to me how i should create art!
Mr. Elliot should keep his "studies" to himself til he and his colleges are sure that they are not stateing inconclusive data that might cause damage.

Besides who HONESTLY hangs Pastel Paintings in a window to be subjected to heat, and uv rays. If i ever found out that my paintings are being stuck to a window i believe i would start asking my customers if they tend to do this so i can inform them that it is not a good idea. :rolleyes:

Stephanie Williams

P.S my husband is now calling me the Pastel Avenger lol hes a goofball but i love 'im

Deborah Secor
07-14-2003, 06:25 PM
You know, I've been painting in pastels for almost 20 years now and every once in a while I hear of somebody who ended up quitting the medium because it's so fugitive. Wonder what medium they took up? Nothing lasts forever...

Stephanie, I think you make a good point about manufactureres being forced to raise prices when more and more regulations are imposed on them.

I know the Great American pastels, which I use most frequently, have a lightfastness rating for each color--and I think other brands do, too. That seems sufficient to me! I'd rather have more pastels to choose from than worry whether this pigment is going to fade a degree in ten years.

Maybe we need a Pastel Avenger! :D
(Just don't get too personally tied in knots over the things you can't change... )

Like Jackie, I'm going to ignore him. I have too much to do to worry about what he says!

07-14-2003, 07:00 PM
Pigments are pigments, and those that are fugitive are fugitive in all mediums. Sometimes the vehicle makes it slightly more or less so, but alizarin crimson, for example, will never be lightfast. You can do pigment checks at this website. Although it is a watercolor site, the pigment information is what it is!


Sad, but true.