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Old 12-19-2019, 12:27 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

"I'd buy a great big house with rooms by the dozen, all filled with colorful pastels"


I totally get it! I only got into pastels a couple years ago and was instantly obsessed, and it continues to this day. I don't think it ever goes away, this desire to amass different brands and colors. I realized once a few months ago that I have more than I will ever use. So what did I do? I sold the ones that weren't my favorites and began upgrading my stock of workhorse pastels. I've been having so much fun doing that. There will always be that elusive set of the only ones you don't have, right? Or I will be working and I'll need just that perfect light grey-green color and I can't find the right one, so I'll go on a hunt for a set that has that color and obsess over it until I can buy it. It goes on and on. As long as you can keep it under control, it can be really fun. Controlling it is the hard part! God bless my ever-patient and understanding wife.
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Old 12-20-2019, 09:10 AM
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franglais franglais is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

Exactly, Richard! Someone posted on another group today, "I have finally realized that creating art and buying art supplies are two different hobbies!" LOL I attended a pastel workshop in May of this year, and got started collecting and creating in June. And, as you described, it has become addictive! I always need just one more special color! May God bless us all!
Mike
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:48 AM
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Tracy2000 Tracy2000 is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

Quote:
Originally Posted by franglais
Exactly, Richard! Someone posted on another group today, "I have finally realized that creating art and buying art supplies are two different hobbies!"

Boy, isn't THAT the truth?! I have a spare bedroom that is really mostly an office (I work from home), but is also where my art/craft supplies end up (well, except the FIBER stuff which is a whole other hoard). And "hoard" is what it is feeling like since one of my projects for my holiday vacation was to declutter/organize the office/art room. Only...no way will it be done when I go back to work on the 2nd!

I'm trying to corral the things I have into a more workable arrangements and to also winnow through things. I can really identify with Richard going through and keeping the "good stuff" and selling or donating other stuff. I do have some student quality things that I will give to an elementary teacher I know - like an obscene number of gel pens lol.

My pastel acquisition process seems to be mirroring what happened in watercolor where I just had to try as many brands/colors as I could and then gradually settled into what worked for me. Now I need to take that next step with the watercolor of selling the stuff I know I'm not going to really use...and I am TRYING to control the pastel lust so that I am only buying what I will work with (mostly. You know, don't want to get TOO crazy). But all the stuff in that room!

Fiber artists (knitters, spinners) talk about SABLE - Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. Does that resonate with anyone on the pastel front? (eh? anybody? I refuse to look in the mirror).

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Old 01-17-2020, 02:47 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

Hello again, I wanted to add some words about another pastel brand, the Jackson's house brand pastels. Someone mentioned these pastels in another post, and I was curious so I got three sets of 14 pastels, the basic starter set, the landscape green set, and the woodlands brown set. I chose these because the colors just seemed to fit my landscaping needs the best. I don't have anywhere near the amount of colors to do a complete painting with them, but it's a really good start.


A little back story, I ordered these around Christmas time, and knew they would take a long time to get to me. I patiently waited about two weeks for them, taking advantage of the low shipping rates Jackson's offers on international packages, which have a basic tracking system. When the finally arrived, I opened them up and was aghast that all three boxes were filled with damaged pastels. Really, they were all just useless crumbs. There wasn't a single whole stick, and about 6 or 8 of them were in three or four pieces, but the rest were just a crumbly mess. I photographed everything and put all the pieces in a box when I was done removing the labels. I sent a polite but firm email to them along with the pictures, asking what their policy was regarding damaged products. I got an email back the next day from Marta in customer service, apologizing and offering to replace them all. She sent out three new boxes via DHL international shipping express, which actually arrived in three days. I opened them and removed the labels and not one stick was damaged. Hooray for Jackson's and their customer service! I'm attaching a photo of the boxes, with labels removed so you can see the beautiful colors.


Now for the performance: they are really great pastels! They come in a nice black cardboard box with the standard foam padding. While not as big as the Mount Vision brand (nobody is, really) but they are maybe 2/3 the length and not quite as large diameter, so they look like a junior version of the MV brand. Roughly a Unison size, but the MV shape. The Jackson's pastels actually perform like MV's too. I would say they are a little bit softer, but they aren't quite as highly pigmented as the MV's. You can make nice bold marks with the Jackson's, thin or thick on the side. The thin lines are nice, but since they are just a little bit softer the thin line becomes thicker quickly. If you roll them in your finger as you make a light mark it seems to work just fine though. You can take a MV pastel and make grasses with just a flick of the wrist, but these don't work quite that well. For about everything else though, they perform like a champ. Some colors tend to be a little harder, it seems to me, like the darker greens I have seem a little hard. The lighter colors seem to be very soft though. Nice for highlights. They blend really well and also work with other brands when blending too, without any problems. The colors are strong, and they really are nice combinations. I would say the soft greens and ochres and tans are just lovely. They tend to hold their strength when put on top of darker layers well, but I wouldn't call them super soft, like a Schmincke or a Blue Earth or Great American. Those are all still the best for putting that final highlight sparkle on your painting, but the Jackson's light colors are strong for those scumbling or faded color layers. You can lay them down on the side and make broad marks, and they don't seem to disappear in your hand either. I still don't think I can say for certain all the colors work this way, since I only have 42 of them to work with, but they are a really great beginning experience for sure, and especially considering the price of less than $25 per box. That's roughly $1.80 per stick. Great bargain, and I highly recommend them to try out.



Last edited by Richard Barrere : 01-17-2020 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:27 AM
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franglais franglais is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

Thanks for sharing, Richard. I, too, ordered some Jackson brand to try them out.... and to me they seemed close to the Rembrandts.... but a bit softer. If I were choosing between these and the Richeson brand, I would go with Richesons for sure. But it's always good to actually try things out.... and I will certainly use the Jacksons I ordered. Nothing ever goes to waste!
Mike
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:11 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

Here is a photo of three little studies I did with my limited supply of Jackson's pastels.



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Old 02-05-2020, 06:06 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

I Just read on WC that the Jackson's band are made by Daler-Rowney, who also makes Dick Blick brand. That makes perfect sense, the three are very similar. I got a few Rowney pastels in a sampler kit from Dakota, and they seem like a match. I compared some pastels from Jackson's with some Blick pastels I have, and the colors, shape, size and feel are almost exact. Hmmm. Blick's brand and Jackson's brand are priced very similarly too.


Oh and BTW, more on Giraults. They are absolutely the best for making grasses, and I've used them for tree branches and things as well. For detail work they are the best. For applying layers on large paintings, I think I would choose some other brand, only because those small sticks would disappear before you know it!


Thanks all!
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:33 AM
Trond Trond is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

Having used my new pastels a bit more: the Girault pastels are very interesting. First off, they are more "chalky" in consistency (not color) than some other soft pastels, although they are still softer than, say Rembrandt. The colors are quite intense (that black, holy smokes, but I could still put white on top of it).

So, not really "buttery", for those who like that, but I suspect that Girault is closer to the 18th century pastel sticks that artists used back then (they often used thinner sticks than today). I found them to be great for going back and forth between line drawing and laying in fields of colors.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:47 AM
Moises Menendez Moises Menendez is online now
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

What about ROCHE pastels? Has anyone use them?
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:36 AM
Sarah Rose Sarah Rose is offline
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Re: pastel brands - descriptions

I break my Giraults into thirds so I can use them on their sides. I keep them separate in a little tray since the thirds are pretty small, and I always reach for them. I can count on their consistency, too, at least with the 30 or so I have.
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