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Old 06-20-2018, 12:46 PM
weidox weidox is offline
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Post Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

(This should belong to materials thread but I'm not allowed to post anything there).
After long analysis and stuffing information into my head about pigments from handprint.com and artiscreation.com, I came to evaluating pastel lightfastnes, as I had few brands already, had Jackson's catalog with some additional information about pigments and was thinking about what else I would like to get into future. Analysis is primarily about lightfastness, though while writing I started to put some information about toxicity too, and some more objective comments. At the end, I'm making additional mostly personal comments.
Ahead about toxicity, it is more common to see cobalt pigments used in otherwise non toxic ranges. Of those, it is usually PB28 an PG50. From my limited research, cobalts are not that toxic and human body actually requires a small amount of cobalt, and cobalt is expected to be not a big problem in pastels. But somewhy PG50 seems to be much more toxic than PB28 based on warnings which I saw.
- - - - -
Tier 1 - completely lightfast or as lightfast as possible for the chosen color range
PanPastel - modern ligtfast pigments. I think they're underrating few of their color in tints which should be higher lightfastness (PR122, PR254, PB15). Guess if other brands would rate their lightfastness so conservatively they'd get trash across half of their color ranges (especially lower tiers). Most of their colors are single pigment, which is especially good. Very small color range though with only 80 colors (plus few metallics and pearlescents), and violet chosen is PV23 which is low chroma compared to mostly chromatic color range (wonder why they did not choose some violet quinacridone). Also interesting, that unlike all other manufacturers (with exception of Sennelier probably), PanPastel colors are mostly single pigment (not counting shades made with black and tints with white) - while others even in huge color ranges almost do not have single pigment colors. Most of pigments are non-toxic with exception of cobalt PG50 which seems to be especially toxic - stranger in a mix. Given that panpastel produces low dust that should be somewhat not so big issue with that color.
Unison - mineral lightfast pigments, huge color range. It was loooooong writing with them as they're answering very slowly to inquiries. They do not rate colors for lightfastness (that was strange answer to me initially but I understand now it just does not need it), they can send only current colour chart (sad answer, I did not need it), then I was clever enough to ask for MSDS sheet, and then for appendix mentioned in MSDS sheet, which finally contained all the pigments and color information. So, they're truly using mineral pigments only (no moderns like pyrroles or quinacridones and almost no phthalos), instead only cadmiums, cobalts, chromes, irons and few other things including earth colors. Some colors are using a mix of phthalo blue and phthalo green mixed with other pigments - that's the only "non mineral" colors. Significant amount of their colors are a mix of many pigments, some of them of 13 (and they have few mixing bases consisting of 5-6 pigments) which is not like any other brand. Based on pigments they should have complete chromatic color range, but I remember some complaints that Unison reds are lacking. That probably could be true as I did not see any color using pure cadmium red. And, many of the pigments are toxic, I did not analyze further but it looks like many colors should be toxic too, especially chromatic reds and oranges based on cadmium.
Rembrandt - modern lightfast pigments. Average color range with a bit more than 200 colors. I have read somewhere that Rembrandt changed their formulas at some time and started to use some toxic pigments, but I do not see the common toxic ones in their pigment stats. So like Mount Vision, seems to be non-toxic.
Terry Ludwig - modern lightfast pigments. I got their MSDS containing only pigments used so I don't know how they're composing their colors. Their color range is HUGE, but pigment range used is small. Actually would not be bad if they really had at least one chromatic green in their pigment list, but sadly, the only green is chromium green which is muted. So they're forced to make greens from yellows and blues and chromium green , and so all their greens are muted (common complaint in wetcanvas). Situation with oranges is to be noted, as they can mix oranges only from PY151 and PR254, but given that those two are high chroma and not far behind on wheel, end result with oranges should be more than good. From toxic pigments, they're using cobalt PB28, and from MSDS I see their chromium green can be contaminated. Overall, almost non-toxic.
- - - - -
Tier 2 - very lightfast mixed with just moderate lightfastness
Mount Vision - modern lightfast pigments with exception of yellows which use moderate lightfastness pigments. Huge color range. Not using any common toxic pigments, so it seems they're overall non toxic.
Schmincke - yellow greens, reds and some yellows are of moderate lightfastness only, those colors pigments are used in few other colors too. probably some other as their pigment range is a mix of common (for good) and uncommon (probably for cheapness) pigments. In effect most purples suffer significantly in lightfastness, and some other colors too. Seems also they're underrating lightfastness of some their colors (though some of those sound like errors in Jackson's catalog). Huge color range.
Art Spectrum - yellow, orange and red colors are of moderate lightfastness (very similar situation to Schmincke). Single color single stick - Poppy Red - is completely fugitive and should be kept away to have the full color range lightfast. In some color or two noticed PG50 being used, no other toxic colors.
- - - - -
Tier 3 - very lightfast mixed with moderate with big gaps and more issues
Sennelier - violets, pinks and purples are fugitive, with exceptions - tints in one violet color strangely have different pigments and are lightfast, one of pinks is of moderate lightfastness, and magentas are lightfast. Some reds and yellows with moderate lightfastness pigments, and more issues (alizarin). Uses cobalt PB28, but overall almost non toxic, like Terry Ludwig. Huge color range (less huge with fugitives removed).
- - - - -
Tier 4 - mix of whatever
Jackson's - all of their violets (even a bit of violet'ish), pinks and magentas are quite fugitive. I doubt on some of their lightfastness in pinks/magentas based on the pigments used. Reds only moderate lightfastness. Random colors across the range use fugitive stuff too (Raw Sienna made from PO13 and PV3 is almost laughable). Some irregular pigments used like in Mungyo's, seemingly to reduce price. 200 color range, similar to Rembrandt. No toxic stuff.
- - - - -
Tier 5 - even worse mix of whatever
Mungyo hand made (and extra fine soft which by color range numbering and naming are matching and expected to use same pigments as hand made, as pigments are listed only for handmades) - I have full set of extra fine softs, and I analyzed their color range in bigger detail. All of their violets and pinks are fugitive (and supposed to be magentas, Mungyo is not using this word in names), and few random colors across the range too (though less of these randoms compared to Koh-I-Noor). Other colors are in general of acceptable or good lightfastness. Several colors have clearly wrong lightfastness, in most cases rated lower than should be (few exceptions mostly with pinks which seem were rated bit too high by pigments). They're using mostly unusual pigments, guess for the price, so I had to spend significant amount of time analyzing their stuff . About 3 colors looked like they did not measure their pigment balances during manufacturing, and ended with some pigment missing and color way off from what it had to be. Their color range is average at 200 colors, would be well balanced if not violets and pinks which are a throw out.
Koh-I-Noor softs - some random fugitive colors across whole range, more in violets, less in other. Their pigment information is a trade secret (unprofessional). They're rating in a scale from 1 to 5 (unlike say Mungyo which scale is only 1-3) so they're better gradated, and Koh-I-Noor is time from time replacing some colors with improved lightfastness versions by keeping color range at exactly 120 colors so it seems they do care about lightfastness and that gives some additional trust in their ratings. Color range is quite small at 120 colors only but it seems to be balanced, even after removing those random fugitive colors (there's 3 lightfast blue violets and 1 red violet remaining). I got their MSDS, as expected, they're non toxic.
Koh-I-Noor extra softs - similar to softs above, except softier, more costly, significantly bigger sticks, only 48 colors in range and no singles.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Separate section about pastel pencils - I have only I have ranges from Koh-I-Noor and Faber Castell Pitt, and I did not dig into anything else.
- - - - -
Tier 5 - even worse mix of whatever
Koh-I-Noor - situation is similar to pastels - they're using the same codes and colors along all of their "pastel" range). I gave it the same tier as regular pastels.
- - - - -
Tier 9 - useless junk
Faber Castell Pitt - all greens are fugitive, absolutely all. Most violets and pinks too but that's no surprise. Plus some other random colors are fugitive, in Koh-I-Noor style. Also, significantly harder that Koh-I-Noor. Like Koh-I-Noor, no available information about pigments.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
And another section about hard pastels, the info I happen to know
- - - - -
Tier 2 - very lightfast mixed with just moderate lightfastness
Caran D'Ache pastel cubes - random moderate lightfastness pigments in colors, with exception of Night Blue which contains fugitive PB1 (though probably not a big problem for this color because PB1 seems to darken instead of bleaching). Some of their own lightfastness ratings are strange at least, say they're rating their Ice Blue with PB16 as fugitive, when this is very lightfast pigment. Non toxic.
- - - - -
Tier 5 - even worse mix of whatever
Koh-I-Noor - without much analysis, the same rating as pastels and pencils, as color ranges are the same.
- - - - -
Tier 9 - useless junk
Conte A Paris Colour Crayons - no pigment information, but based on just lightfastness ratings, just a single lightfast yellow and violet. All other yellows and violets, and all reds and oranges and yellow greens (plus few other colors) are of poor or worse lightfastness.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Personal opinions

Sennelier - I have wooden box set of 120 half sticks which from photos seems to differ in just one stick to the Paris set, and it includes color list (half sticks are without labels), and from this it contains only one fugitive light violet tint which I was happy to remove (be careful not to miss it with magenta tint if you do the same), and replaced with one of those strangely lightfast violet tints (#283). Will still need to review in detail if I don't have any alizarin color or some other junk. I'm really happy with this set, price is great, wooden box is wonderful quality, pastels are wonderful and it costs only a bit more than Paris set in cardboard box - which already was a good deal. Only, color range is badly lacking violets in this box (could not be else with their lightfastness), and the rest of color range does not look to be well balanced.
- - - - -
Koh-I-Noor softs - they're quite nice, and they're absurdly cheap here locally at 35 euro cents per stick, and sticks in sets are coming at similar price. I saw plenty of places on internet with sets being sold for few times higher prices, seems some guys are trying to make good money from them. They seem to be quite and handling quite nicely (except prussian blue which is weird outsider in whole range). For that price looks unbeatable. Local shops don't have international shipping, but I found a shop in Bulgaria which does have them at 40 euro cents with international shipping (plus other goodies), kadifecraft.com. And Koh-I-Noor extra softs, while they're only 48 colors and no singles, there is something special in them, something velvety (and bit too dusty though) - I do really like them. At 24 euro full box of bit fatter than usual sticks (50 euro cents per stick) they're another attractive deal.
- - - - -
Jackson's - Initially I was seriously interested in these pastels after reviews how they're handling similar to Unison, but not anymore after learning their pigments. I think if you're investing in costly pastels, you should look for brands with quality pigments and lightfastness from Tier 1 or probably tier 2 (same suggestion for Mungyo handmades).
- - - - -
Mungyo - their extra fine softs are 2-3 times cheaper and significantly more softer than Rembrandt. I'm quite indifferent in having their full range of 200 (which is significantly more costly per stick than in 90 color box). As I bought full set of extra fine softs, I can say that cheapest place to buy was at kadifecraft.com which I already mentioned. Strangely hand mades at kadifecraft.com are comparably costly, buying from ebay is significantly cheaper. In completely personal opinion, getting extra softs is a good deal to get really nice pastels for cheap if you can live without violets and pinks (Mungyo texture feels better than Koh-I-Noor and is also a good deal for ~60 euro cent per stick when buying 90 color box, or wooden box of 90 sticks ~66 euro cent per stick). But investing into their handmades which are 3 times more costly, like in Jackson's, is not recommended choice. There are much better choices in higher tiers. And full 200 color range box of extra soft Mungyos is not recommended because price per stick grows to 1 euro.
- - - - -
Pastel pencils - I have full ranges from Koh-I-Noor and Faber Castell Pitt. Koh-I-Noor's are really cheap locally, singles 55 euro cent per pencil (buying boxes is significantly more costly, at 83 euro cent per pencil), their range is fully usable and for the price they look unbeatable. And I paid about 60 euros for 60 color box of Faber Castell Pitts (1 euro per pencil, singles are similar price), and they're junk in most regards.

Last edited by weidox : 06-20-2018 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:49 AM
JPQ JPQ is offline
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Re: Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

Pigment chocies i want say: Schmincke try make uniform softness (limits what pigments they can use one bright red uses pigment what is mainly seen in lipsticks what i know not even closely best possible lightfasness but i bet this tells why they use some odd and some hues are made even many pigments and why there is no strong version of pv19 and pg7 what are available in light hues) ,some brands weird pigments are related what they can get (what i think is no Schmincke or Sennelier reason and Terry Ludwig green this is not related this i bet becouse pg7 is so commonily available even consumers or Unison reason but some other comppanies i think thisway) and i understnad why Panpastel uses this violet allows wider mixing (they are tihnked mixing like paints) but of course they should have some brighter violet and some other gaps fixed even their smell dont allow me use them (i try sell locally their basic set (red,yellow,blue,white and black) and violet). and also other things than pigment can change lightfastness.. for example Schmincke watercolor PY3 gets poorer ratingthan Sennelier. and PY65 gets poorer rateing in Schinkce than Winsor & Newton. and i think one non natural green based pics and manufacturer rating maybe in pitt is lightfast if i remember correctly. i really liked their greens saddly pastel pencils are not for me.
ps. makes me think Unison pigment combinations now.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:37 AM
JPQ JPQ is offline
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Re: Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

and i think PB1 is also some other colour i think in Caran D'ache range. i dont why they use this this range but in Pablo/Supracolor II range reason is this PB29 is not soluble waxes what they use they telled when i asked.
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:28 AM
weidox weidox is offline
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Re: Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

PY3 is strange thing, handprint tests rates it as marginal lightfastness, but artiscreation shows it as I-II, and that seems to be right as by another test PY3 was found to be very lightfast in white nights watercolours. While rating I tried to think as average possible lightfastness for particular pigments. That does not take into account that some pigment mixes may be less lightfast than separate pigments - this happens in watercolor and oils, don't know if same could be in pastel. Faber Castell Pitt pencils have one lightfast grey olive, but that one color alone is too far from standard greens to say that they have some lightfast green. And PB1 in caran d'ache pastel cubes is only one color, at least by catalog.
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:00 PM
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Re: Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

One thing to keep in mind when referencing info from Handprint and other sources. Lightfastness can differ between mediums and Handprint is about watercolors. If possible, (and it is not always possible) try and find a color chart specific to pastels for each brand for the most reliable lightfastness info. In my experience, most pastel brands are very lightfast. It is not something I worry about at all. If you are selling work, frame under glass - and I always recommend attaching a note that tells the buyer to avoid placing the painting in direct sunlight.

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Old 06-28-2018, 07:45 AM
JPQ JPQ is offline
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Re: Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK723
One thing to keep in mind when referencing info from Handprint and other sources. Lightfastness can differ between mediums and Handprint is about watercolors. If possible, (and it is not always possible) try and find a color chart specific to pastels for each brand for the most reliable lightfastness info. In my experience, most pastel brands are very lightfast. It is not something I worry about at all. If you are selling work, frame under glass - and I always recommend attaching a note that tells the buyer to avoid placing the painting in direct sunlight.

Don

And even watercolour/pastel etc brand what you use is important. and sometimes there is variations of same pigment with same code there is at least two pv19 versions for eample.(at i seen many hues made but i know there is versions where difference its pigment some others i dont know). and sometimes also pigment manufacturer is important.
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:29 AM
weidox weidox is offline
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Re: Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

Problem is that manufacturer lightfastness ratings sometimes are random rubbish to both sides when I compare them to ASTM and handprint and other tests and other manufacturers - and I don't believe that most of them are doing proper testing. Daniel Smith is loudly claiming about independent tests of own watercolour (and their paint is constantly the best lightfastness on handprint), I have yet to see another manufacturer of watercolor or pastel anywhere claiming for such tests. Pastels do not have the additional protection provided by oils and acrylics, so lightfastness should be very comparable to watercolour in masstone and tints vs pastel pure pigment and tints mixed with white. And that I can confirm from what I saw in my analysis, as I did a lot more than just categorizing pastels into tiers. I was looking also how common pigments are rated between different manufacturers and in shades/tints, what are the deviations in handprint between different manufacturers, how that matches ASTM from artiscreation.
That PV19 I know, different hues but same lightfastness (for good), so that does not skew anything in how I rated. There is a general problem though, as I already mentioned, that pigment mixes sometimes have lower lightfastness as separate pigments, but I don't find enough info (or I do not search for deep enough) to be able to make any useful decisions from that.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:08 PM
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Re: Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK723
One thing to keep in mind when referencing info from Handprint and other sources. Lightfastness can differ between mediums and Handprint is about watercolors. If possible, (and it is not always possible) try and find a color chart specific to pastels for each brand for the most reliable lightfastness info. In my experience, most pastel brands are very lightfast. It is not something I worry about at all. If you are selling work, frame under glass - and I always recommend attaching a note that tells the buyer to avoid placing the painting in direct sunlight.

Don

This.

I dont give a flip what pigments Handprint or anywhere else says are fugitive. What i care about are my actual tests. in my lightfast tests, several of the pastels listed by the OP as fugitive are not.

This thread is misleading.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:36 PM
JPQ JPQ is offline
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Re: Soft pastels - Lightfastness #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinM
This.

I dont give a flip what pigments Handprint or anywhere else says are fugitive. What i care about are my actual tests. in my lightfast tests, several of the pastels listed by the OP as fugitive are not.

This thread is misleading.

Please tell your tests more? what pastels you exactly talk.etc.
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