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  #31   Report Bad Post  
Old 09-22-2009, 01:41 PM
rgb rgb is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

Wendell, that would explain it. I wondered about a Portrait Set, but thought it might have been a temporary special. The Blick square portrait pastel set at $5.79 is definitely a student set, and they list it as such. "For school arts. Surprisingly good quality at low prices. Square sticks are shrink-wrapped in stackable black plastic trays."

Thanks for tracking down the info. I was wondering why I had such a different and positive reaction to their artist-grade, soft pastels.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:06 PM
Blick Art Materials Blick Art Materials is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

Hi All,
It is great to see such a lively discussion about art materials.
For those of you still on the fence about whether to buy them or not, I sat down with some pastels from our most popular brands and tested them all out to see how they compared. I looked for softness, blend ability, coverage, and just an all around nice feel. I have listed them below from what I felt was the softest to the hardest. Keep in mind this is just my personal, artistic option. I usually use Sennelier soft pastels, but I also have Schminke, Rembrandt, Conte, and Townsends in my collection. So here it goes.

Townsend Terrages and Soft Form

Mount Vision

Unison

Sennelier (these last three were all pretty close)

Schmincke

Unison

Blick

Rembrandt (the Blick and Rembrandt were almost the same to me)

Caran d'Ache

Blockx

Keep in mind that these are all the professional grade pastels, most have open stock, and they are the soft variety. Like I said in the beginning, this is just my personal opinion and I am sure other artists will feel differently. But I thought you all would appreciate the input. Have a great day!

Audra
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:58 PM
rgb rgb is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

Audra, you have Unison listed twice. I find Sennelier and Schmincke softer than Unison.

Thanks for your comparisons.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:19 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

It is so much fun reading what other pastel painters think is "softer" or "harder".
In My (never to be confused with) Humble Opinion, I find Schmincke and Great American (not in you survey) to be the softest pastels.
Then Sennelier and Unison and Terry Ludwig (not in your survey)
Then Mt Vision
I have yet to try the Blick pastels, but would like to do so if for no other reason than to be able to recommend them to students looking for a better priced professional product.
When I want a somewhat harder pastel, I use Art Spectrum.

In the final analysis, each pastelist must use and decide for themselves which of pastels work best for them.
Peggy
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:38 PM
rgb rgb is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

Peggy, in reality I could place Senneliers everywhere. Some of mine are too soft, almost gooey, and some are hard as rocks. Some crumble if I think about using them. I'm no longer buying the brand.

For softest I'll go with Schmincke, plus I have a large number of Great American. Love both brands.

Next I'll go with Unison, and I'm currently adding some Ludwig pastels. Love both brands.

Can't stand Art Spectrum only because they don't feel right to my fingers or touch. Purely a personal reaction. I know lots of people love them, but they don't work for me.

Do try the Dick Blick soft pastels. Since they are a tad softer than the Rembrandts, students might enjoy them more.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:48 PM
Blick Art Materials Blick Art Materials is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

You are right Jenny, I am sorry about that. The second Unison is the right one. I also agree with what you said about the Sennelier being dependent on
which color you use. It seems like the yellows and reds scratch my paper and leave sort of a waxy or smooth finish if I apply too much. It was really hard with some of the brands, especially the Schmincke, as to where they should really go. Anyways, like was mentioned, it is good to hear all sorts of opinions. Have a great night everyone.

Audra
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:56 PM
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MJGresko MJGresko is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

I bought a 24 square portrait set. It doesn't say anything about being student grade but I suspect they are. Like I said I haven't used them much but I think I'd still put them somewhere between a Rembrandt and a NuPastel. I'll definitly be checking out the other sets though.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:53 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

Jenny and Audra I agree with you regarding the full sticks of Sennelier, but for some reason I don't understand, the half sticks don't behave in the same way at all! I have the half stick set of Richard McDaniel landscape pastels, and none of them are hard or scratchy, and none of them break any easier than the Schmincke or Great American - maybe even a little less so. I also have half sticks in sets of 20 that are "hardy" - well hardy as any soft pastel. LOL My preferred "workhorse" set is Unison, but then John Hersey, the developer of Unison, give me the full set long before they were ever imported into the U.S., and I've just kept adding the new colors as they've been developed every since. Yup! I'm was pretty lucky on that one, but it's a long story.
Peggy
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:06 PM
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Re: Dick Blick

Peggy, after hearing the 1/2 sticks of Sennelier held up better, I bought a large set. Same problems; many crumbly or rock-hard ones. No more Senneliers for me.

I really like the Unisons too. They are my favorites.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:23 PM
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Re: Dick Blick

For some reason, I have a feeling that the Blick pastels are made by Winsor & Newton. I have never tried W & N, but people sometimes describe them to be similar to Rembrandt for softness, and Audra ranks the Blicks the same as Rembrandt. Might just be worth it to give them a try.

Doug
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:38 PM
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Re: Dick Blick

My bet is on Daler-Rowney. They also have a Lizard Green.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:35 PM
Peiwend Peiwend is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

Peggy and Jenny, I fully agree with you about the Unisons and have been collecting toward a full set (so far - 360). They hold up very well to W&N workable fixative, which is easier to find and less expensive than Lascaux, with little darkening. I use lots of fixative because I've been working larger and most of my paintings get shipped in frames. I also like Mount Visions and Great Americans. I find that Rembrandts darken a lot with fixative and am looking for a replacement that is smoother than Art Spectrums.

Jenny, D-R also has Pansy Violet, Madder Brown and Autumn Brown as do the Blicks. For D-R, the darkest tone is #4 as for the Blicks.

Now, has anyone used Daler-Rowney pastels and how are they?

_________________________________Wendell
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:42 PM
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Re: Dick Blick

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgb
My bet is on Daler-Rowney. They also have a Lizard Green.

I forgot they even existed. I have never tried Daler-Rowney and I can't recall anyone's comments on them. As Wendell says, it will interesting to hear from some people who have used them.

Doug
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:54 AM
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Re: Dick Blick

Doug, Wendell gave us the clue about the color names earlier, so when you brought up the question of the manufacturer, off I went to do a Yahoo search. At least we know they are from a respected manufacturer.

Wendell, I'm only up to 309 Unison pastel colors, though I do have duplicates of some of my favorite colors. I should focus more on learning to use the pastels than collecting them, but it is fun and easy to pick up a few each month. I also like the Great Americans, and I haven't tried the Mount Vision pastels.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:53 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: Dick Blick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougwas
For some reason, I have a feeling that the Blick pastels are made by Winsor & Newton. I have never tried W & N, but people sometimes describe them to be similar to Rembrandt for softness, and Audra ranks the Blicks the same as Rembrandt. Might just be worth it to give them a try.

Doug

Doug I'm going with those who think Daler-Rowney because DB carries Winsor Newton pastels, but not Daler Rowney. It wouldn't make much sense to me to have your own branding on a pastel you already carry. Others have mentioned the color name & numbering similarity between DB and D-R.

It has been years since I used the D-R pastels because as I said, my workhorse set for "eons" has been Unison, but I did like them when I used them. They were softer than my then workhorse set of Rembrandt, but harder than my Schmincke. I wasn't fond of Sennelier at that time given how very easily they crumbled. I believe back in the dark ages the Rembrandt brand was softer & I think more pure of pigment then they are today so I'm hoping the DB are at least more like the old Rembrandts in how the go on to the support surface.

Peggy
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