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Old 04-13-2010, 10:12 AM
figureativepainter figureativepainter is offline
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What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

I couldn't find much in the way of reviews, but I was looking for a vibrant, non-chalky square pastel that's in between soft, Unison-like texture and hard Polychromos texture.
Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:57 AM
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

Isn't there a Richeson pastel like that? Sorry, but I'm not familiar with either brand.

I do have some new square ones made by Derwent. I like them so far - hard, but not ridiculous about it. Colors are good, but mostly mid-tones, as most sets are.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:13 PM
figureativepainter figureativepainter is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

Richeson semi-hards are close in texture and feel to the Polychromos, I'm looking for a softer pastel, but not too soft, like Ludwig or Unison.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:21 PM
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westcoast_Mike westcoast_Mike is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

I hear a lot of good thing about and have sampled them from othe Artists sets. They are definately softer than my Polychromos and harder than Unison. I can't comment on Holbein as I haven't tried them yet.

Update - my bad, they are round and you are looking for square.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:54 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

I'd suggest Giraults except they're not square either. They have a similar hand to Unisons, a bit gritty but not grabby, except they fall in the medium category for 'hardness' by comparison. They build up to a soft consistency. The colors are vibrant, not at all chalky.

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Old 04-13-2010, 07:14 PM
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

Dakota lists the Holbein just in front of Nupastel in their soft to hard scale, so my guess is that they are harder than you are looking for.

#1 SCHMINCKE
#2 GREAT AMERICAN
#3 SENNELIER
#4 UNISON
#5 TERRY LUDWIG
#6 DIANE TOWNSEND SOFT
#7 DIANE TOWNSEND TERRAGES
#8 DALER-ROWNEY
#9 GIRAULT
#10 MOUNT VISION
#11 REMBRANDT
#12 ART SPECTRUM
#13 WINSOR & NEWTON
#14 HOLBEIN
#15 NUPASTEL
#16 FABER-CASTELL POLYCHROMOS
#17 CRETACOLOR

The only soft square pastels that I know of are Ludwigs. If you used to use the old square Grumbachers, a middle-soft square pastel is something you might often wish for! I do!

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Last edited by DAK723 : 04-13-2010 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:09 AM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

In order of soft to hardness and square in shape:
Great American - very soft - high pigment content
Terry Ludwig - similar to Unison - high pigment content
I don't use any of the following, but have "experienced" them.
Holbein - medium- hard
Nupastels - hard
Polychromos - in my opinion, about the same as Nupastel

Hope this answers your question satisfactorily.

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Old 04-15-2010, 11:26 AM
figureativepainter figureativepainter is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

Thanks, everyone! Indeed, I was looking for a replacement for a set of Grumbacher Golden Palette pastels, which were rich in pigment, medium soft square ones. Giraults sound great as far as their quality, but the shape I prefer is square.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:32 AM
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Kathryn Wilson Kathryn Wilson is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

Every so often a set of Grumbachers sell on Ebay - and they are quite sought after for the reasons you state here.

As for Holbeins, I love their oil pastels, but dislike their soft pastels and gave most of mine away.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:11 AM
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

I would put the Derwent set I have in the #11-13 range. They are square and had a recent reformulation. For that reason, I wouldn't get them off of ebay unless they're stated as the new version.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:06 AM
figureativepainter figureativepainter is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

Kathryn,
Whould you mind explaining what you didn't like about soft Holbeins? It's hard to find any feedback from people that actually used them and they don't sell them in open stock, so I would like to know more details. Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:14 AM
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Kathryn Wilson Kathryn Wilson is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

Sorry, I should have been more specific. I find them to be extremely hard, even on sanded surfaces they are difficult to work with - if you even start them as the first layer, the color doesn't come off the stick consistently. (skip, start, skip, start) If you try to use them over another pastel, they just pick up the color instead of glazing over the top of the other pastel.

I can't even imagine using them on Canson. Let me check my pastels and see if I have a stray stick or two to send along to you.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:24 PM
patsbeads patsbeads is offline
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

I picked up a few Holbein to try them and I was not overly impressed. They were really small for the price. They were pretty hard so I use them some for underpainting. They wouldn't be my first choice
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:52 PM
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

I've collected quite a few of the square Holbeins. They're medium hard (softer than NuPastels) and great for a first layer and underpainting as well as a complete drawing or painting. The square shape is great and really useful for landscapes. The size makes them very portable for plein air work. Haven't had any problems with mine.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:01 AM
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Re: What do you think of Holbein Pastels?

I was looking for a replacement for my well used Grumbacher Golden Palette pastels and bought the large set of NuPastels. Very disappointed with them. Some of them are too hard to be usable like the crimson for instance. I finally settled for the Gallery semi hard 120 set.

I also like the old Grumbacher square pastels. I have one 48 piece set left in almost new condition and about that many loose pretty much used up. I've given up trying to buy any on ebay as they usually command a high price.

Here's a picture of my Grumbachers:



I was going to ask Dick Blick for a sample of the Richardson semi hard pastels to try but I went out to my local Jerry's Artorama and tried these:



Nice feel to them and 120 colors. They are a bit softer than the Golden Palettes but very nice to work with an added advantage is they are also sold open stock. These are the Myungo Gallery semi hard pastels they are advertised to be highly lightfast The lightfastness of Nupastel is suspect. Though I doubt If I will see fading in either in the time I have left.

Here's a link to the Gallery semi hard on Jerry's site:

http://www.jerrysartarama.com/discou...s-and-Sets.htm

Here are the color charts for the Gallery semi hard:



The color charts are on Mi-Teintes Pearl colored paper. Sorry for the bad lighting I did this at night using ambient light.
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