PDA

View Full Version : newbie asking....sticks or pans?


lisaastrup
01-19-2012, 06:08 PM
hi.

I'm a totally newbie, have only a very small box of Rowney hard pastels, but
consider to buy new ones, so here goes....

What to buy, sticks or pans, what is the best to start with and how many
colors do I need ???

I like to paint flowers, landscabes and animals.

Colorix
01-19-2012, 06:27 PM
hello Lisa,

Oh, it depends on how you want to paint, not what. I think of the Panpastels as "dry watercolour", and you paint with sponges and tools that hold tiny sponges. Their 20 sets are great to start with, I've got the Colour set, and I could paint most things with it. (Ok, it *is* limited, but the selection of colours is great, and they're so easy to blend.)

Seems like most pastellists combine pans and sticks, but some paint only with pans.

Sticks are very versatile, and if you're Ok with getting your hands dirty and dry, then I'd recommend about 50 sticks (even if you can get by with some 20 or 30). Choose a softer brand than what you have, and you'll get more versatility. The pastel sticks seems to be by far the more popular choice among people on this forum.

It is hard to give advice, as it depends so much on what you prefer. The best is to test them and see what you like best. If you can do it in the shop, so much better!

JPQ
01-19-2012, 08:49 PM
I also think 50 is minium and even more when you subject list is so wide becouse you need many things. ps. i think to me good palette size is maybe 100 colours but to start bare minium is 50 when you subject list have all of these subjects.if only two numer can drop little. ps. i test soon i can also pan pastels.

allydoodle
01-19-2012, 11:51 PM
You definitely should try out different options if you're not sure. I guess one consideration would be to look at the results you get with the pans, and what results you get with the sticks. They are quite different in appearance, so maybe first decide on what 'look' you like best. If you buy some pans, and then decide you want to try the sticks they do play nicely together so it will not be a waste. I use the pans very often as an underpainting, and the sticks go over them quite nicely. It really is a matter of personal choice, and I guess you need to decide what is most important to you, the "look" you're after, or the approach you want to use. I have a real love for my sticks, so I would recommend sticks just because I love them, but they may not be right for you, everybody's different. I guess having a bit of both is probably a good idea, you can then just play around with the medium of pastels and discover what you like best.

As far as how many to buy? I would suggest the largest half stick set of pastels you could afford. That way you would get a large assortment of colors at a more affordable price. I'm not sure what brands are available to you, but Rembrandts make a very nice half stick set, and I think they aren't as expensive as some other brands. You could use the sticks with the pan pastel 20 pc set either in landscape or pure color. 20 pan pastels is probably enough, you can mix and layer them pretty easily to get different effects.

Pastels are very addicting, welcome to the madness!

lisaastrup
01-20-2012, 12:15 AM
hi all.

thanks for the info and advice, I can see I need go spending :)

I think I'll start with some sticks at first then, I can't afford both types at the same time.

sketchZ1ol
01-20-2012, 02:17 AM
hello
just a reminder ,
there is a listing in this forum -
Sticky: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies ( 1 2 3 4 5 ... Last Page)

which has lots of information .
> you might want to take notes as you read thru .

- the 60 pc Rembrandt 1/2 stick is a good start ,
even better when they are on sale .
- Canson or Strathmore paper sketch pads are okay to start ,
and Canson also has pads of assorted tinted papers .

Charlie would know best about stores , online ordering
in Europe .

Ed :}

lisaastrup
01-20-2012, 04:08 AM
Hi Ed.

I have been in that thread, but could not see any real advice regarding the buying of pastels, that is why I asked.
Maybe its there somewhere but I could not find it.

Also I have taken some notes, but to me is not easy to find all the
"gold" in the thread even if its there. ;)

hello
just a reminder ,
there is a listing in this forum -
Sticky: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies ( 1 2 3 4 5 ... Last Page)

which has lots of information .
> you might want to take notes as you read thru .

- the 60 pc Rembrandt 1/2 stick is a good start ,
even better when they are on sale .
- Canson or Strathmore paper sketch pads are okay to start ,
and Canson also has pads of assorted tinted papers .

Charlie would know best about stores , online ordering
in Europe .

Ed :}

SherryC
01-20-2012, 11:33 AM
I sent you a private message on this subject.

Studio-1-F
01-20-2012, 12:02 PM
Lisa -- For a smattering of soft sticks, to play with to see if you like them, you might try the Schmincke 75 Half-Stick set (http://www.dakotapastels.com/pages/setlists10/shshal75.htm).

Also, don't forget to chose your paper carefully. Paper choice can be a make-or-break aspect of the experience. Don't let it break you!

Most importantly, have fun! :thumbsup:

Jan

Potoma
01-20-2012, 05:16 PM
For people getting started, I suggest the Sennelier half stick sets, either the 80 general ones or the 120, which is their whole half stick collection. (There is a set of 20 half sticks in the Swap Shop last I looked.)

I start and underpaint with hard pastels and like Cretacolors, but use most any hard ones for that.

I don't have or use pans; they are not on my radar, not sure why. Perhaps it is because I made myself a promise not to take up anything "new" and somehow they fall into that category for me.

Barbara WC
01-20-2012, 11:11 PM
How do you like using your hard pastels? Do you enjoy drawing? If you enjoy using your hard pastels, you will likely enjoy soft pastel sticks even more. If you prefer painting with a brush in other media versus drawing, pans might be more comfortable.

Part of the reason I like pastel sticks is because of the direct nature of using a pastel stick- there is no paintbrush in the way, I don't have to keep going back and forth between a palette and paper.

I also paint, but enjoy the process of holding and using pastel sticks more than painting with a paintbrush. Pan pastels make use of sponges, and the application is more similar to painting with a brush- if you are painting a large area of the same color, you have to keep reloading your sponge with color. I have a few Pan pastels, and while they are fun to use, I much prefer to use pastel sticks.

lisaastrup
01-21-2012, 04:05 AM
Hi Barbara.

Thank you, a very good explanation (spel ?) I can see what you mean, maybe then sticks is more for me too :)

I like the hard pastels and like mixing them on the paper ;)

robertsloan2
01-21-2012, 07:26 PM
I'd say start with the sticks since you're used to the Rowney hard pastels. Rembrandt, Sennelier or Schminke half stick sets are a good way to get lots of colors for less money than full sticks sets.

Schminke and Sennelier are both "super soft" brands. Rembrandt is a medium soft brand. Rembrandt would probably come closer to what you're used to and Senneliers are lovely but will wear down faster.

Later on consider getting the 20 color Painters set or the 10 color Painters set in Pan Pastels along with the tools bag set to find out which sponges are your favorites. They do work well together.

If you want the full benefits of "soft over hard" you could get the 60 Rembrandt but also snap up the 20 Sennelier half sticks set in Swap Shop to have some super-soft finishing pastels. The advantage is that if you fill the paper tooth with Rembrandt, you can add one more layer with Sennelier putting accents light over dark.

Also, email Dick Blick asking for samples of each of their artist grade brands. They will be very happy to send you sample sticks before you invest in a big set and those can go into your box too. Jerry's Artarama also sends out samples. I mention this every time someone's looking to kit up to start because it's best if you can try the different brands yourself first, decide which texture you like best.

If you like mixing hard pastels on the paper, the softer Rembrandts and softest Senneliers are going to be fun for you. Pans can wait.