Buying and over buying pastels

Bartc

Well-known member
Messages
523
In the past in my pastel odyssey I found that online I had bought at least 2 different brands of essentially the same dark earthy colors and had overlap with another set on some of them. So it was an expensive waste. (Nobody carries pastels in nearby stores, unfortunately.)

Having bought online since, I have also found that the screen representation is not the same as the reality, which is usually duller. In fact, sometimes some sets don't even have much difference between hues/values in real life, so it wasn't just an issue of chroma/saturation.

Having some gift certificates I have been hankering to buy some more colors. Since I'm stuck doing it online and pastels are very expensive as a medium, I tried to hold off on this for months. My theory was that, if I wrote down the color I was looking for and didn't find when painting, I might avoid some of the mistakes. Plus, I figured that I could take the online pic and print it out on regular paper, which with my printer has the effect of dulling down the representation enough to better approximate real life.

OK, so I didn't write down the "missing" colors, but I kept them in mind, and seeing this wonderful Unison sale at Jackson's and with the dull print outs in hand, I was certain that I could pick out some colors or sets that would fill out my rainbow properly. But first, of course, I had to finally clean my pastels, which had become dusty and seriously dull coated from the box. Found one of my mistakes in building my DIY box, but that isn't the point here.

Having then a totally clean set arrayed by hue, I took my print out for comparison to find the missing links. To my surprise none of the colors in the 6 sets of half Unison sticks was actually now missing from my box! That doesn't mean I have all the colors I might want nor enough of some after heavy use or breakage. But damn, I saved myself yet another mistake of buying colors I don't need right now.

Ummmmm, denial of treating myself is not such a revelatory experience, however! LOL
 

Donna T

Well-known member
Messages
1,713
Well congratulations on not spending more money on pastels that you could probably do without. I wish I had learned this lesson before I thought that 300 different greens were necessary for plein air work. There will never be the exact right green! You're right about online color representation too ... there must be a better way to see accurate colors.
 

Bartc

Well-known member
Messages
523
Well congratulations on not spending more money on pastels that you could probably do without. I wish I had learned this lesson before I thought that 300 different greens were necessary for plein air work. There will never be the exact right green! You're right about online color representation too ... there must be a better way to see accurate colors.
It's hard enough in real life in different lights on different backgrounds - something rarely ever available unless your friend has some complete sets out in the field with you. But if the stores would only carry them in more than just Rembrandt (ubiquitous), at least that would be a great start. They don't seem to want to, however. Fragile, expensive, slow moving inventory is to blame.

What I have seen not often enough is some other artist posting their pic of a new set online. At least that's less exaggerated than the manufacturers or online store pictures. Then there are the honest reviews from non-blogger advanced artists on occasion. I recall one recent one that warned me off a very expensive set of lights, because the visual differences were very slight indeed.

But without a live pastel to view and/or try, you pays your money and you takes your chances, as they used to say!
 

Artyczar

Moderator
Messages
9,532
Good on ya. I spend far too much money on supplies sometimes. But I figure I'll eventually use everything. 🤷‍♂️
 

Joy

Well-known member
Messages
530
I haven't used pastels in decades, and gave the inexpensive set I had to a local arts center during an attempted purge. A watercolor video I was watching on YouTube mentioned La Maison du Pastel, in Paris, as a suggestion for gifting. Fortunately I was seated when I curiously clicked on the site. Major sticker shock.
But I figure I'll eventually use everything. 🤷‍♂️
My wish for all artists is that we live long enough to use our supplies!
 

Bartc

Well-known member
Messages
523
Yes, sticker shock! Is that the Roche brand? They're known for sticker shock from before that term was invented!
 

snoball

Certifiable
Messages
6,702
My wish for all artists is that we live long enough to use our supplies!
It is a disease that artists get and it is incurable. Any time an artist is on an art supply site or in an art supply store, it escalates and one has to immediately buy. You know, you remember you NEED a certain color but you are not sure which it was so you must buy several to be sure you have the proper one and oh yes, there is that one or two colors that you use so often and you just know you will soon run out so better grab a couple of those too. And so it goes . . . . .as I said, it is incurable. :D ;):giggle:
 

Joy

Well-known member
Messages
530
So many homes in the modern world have incrementally morphed into warehouses! Jerry and I have also accumulated many books that will be read between sometime and eventually. At least we have stayed clear of used book sales for the last several years. I snapped a pic of this sign outside a book seller in Hamilton, Bermuda last month that gave us a chuckle.

6E0CE4C0-8148-40B0-9C4B-FA63E573E4C4.jpeg
 

MurrayG

Contributing Member
Messages
309
Ha. I'm in Lisbon just now and whenever i am away try to find art supplies. Biggest issue is paper and Pastelmat is just rare in EU. Anyways.... No Pastelmat, so I got a cheap Rembrandt pastel pad for some sketching. I eyed the pastel sticks and boxes.... Oooohhh, pretty colours!!!!!.
But slowly i have learnt nature is muted...
I resisted the sennelier box... I have a bigger one. I resisted the Remy box... I have more and the same.
I resisted the cheap Gallery Mungyo pastels... They were nice but I had most of the range.
I finally settled on 9 Remy sticks in hues that slightly added to my travel set for green and blues and a couple lovely purple hues.
Much cheaper.... But.... Look more pretty colours!!!!
So hard to resist. Hope to sketch a little while here, some lovely nature and dramatic cityscapes.
But... Maybe i will go look at those sticks again .....
 

Bartc

Well-known member
Messages
523
Ha. I'm in Lisbon just now and whenever i am away try to find art supplies. Biggest issue is paper and Pastelmat is just rare in EU. Anyways.... No Pastelmat, so I got a cheap Rembrandt pastel pad for some sketching. I eyed the pastel sticks and boxes.... Oooohhh, pretty colours!!!!!.
But slowly i have learnt nature is muted...
I resisted the sennelier box... I have a bigger one. I resisted the Remy box... I have more and the same.
I resisted the cheap Gallery Mungyo pastels... They were nice but I had most of the range.
I finally settled on 9 Remy sticks in hues that slightly added to my travel set for green and blues and a couple lovely purple hues.
Much cheaper.... But.... Look more pretty colours!!!!
So hard to resist. Hope to sketch a little while here, some lovely nature and dramatic cityscapes.
But... Maybe i will go look at those sticks again .....
You can LOOK but you can't TOUCH! LOL
Murray, I'm flabbergasted that you can't get PastelMat in the EU. It's made there in France, I thought, and part of the expense of it here in the US is due to that. Look again.
 

MurrayG

Contributing Member
Messages
309
You can LOOK but you can't TOUCH! LOL
Murray, I'm flabbergasted that you can't get PastelMat in the EU. It's made there in France, I thought, and part of the expense of it here in the US is due to that. Look again.
It's around online. But the ordering, delivery fee and depending where i am in EU i can get hit with customs. So it can be hideously expensive online. I managed to buy all the stock in Zagreb, two pads. Only the small pads were in Rome of all places!!! and Sweden..... ha, good luck, it's only online. Crazy but true. Maybe a plane ticket to France to buy a pad or two???
 

Bartc

Well-known member
Messages
523
It's around online. But the ordering, delivery fee and depending where i am in EU i can get hit with customs. So it can be hideously expensive online. I managed to buy all the stock in Zagreb, two pads. Only the small pads were in Rome of all places!!! and Sweden..... ha, good luck, it's only online. Crazy but true. Maybe a plane ticket to France to buy a pad or two???
Let me tell you, it's not a common item that I see on art store shelves here in the US either! Canson Mi Teintes is and has always been everywhere. And other "pastel" pads abound. But this level of quality paper for pastel specifically seems much harder to find. I suspect it's because it's expensive AND the stores don't seem to like the pastel market: too fragile, too much inventory to carry, too few buyers. So while there exist niches for many media and avocations and interests, the suppliers for niches don't have a big footprint. And look at the obvious: how many art stores are there compared to say shoe stores or cell phone stores or other consumer stuff? We're starting at a low point for retail interest at our best, I'm afraid.
 

MurrayG

Contributing Member
Messages
309
Let me tell you, it's not a common item that I see on art store shelves here in the US either! Canson Mi Teintes is and has always been everywhere. And other "pastel" pads abound. But this level of quality paper for pastel specifically seems much harder to find. I suspect it's because it's expensive AND the stores don't seem to like the pastel market: too fragile, too much inventory to carry, too few buyers. So while there exist niches for many media and avocations and interests, the suppliers for niches don't have a big footprint. And look at the obvious: how many art stores are there compared to say shoe stores or cell phone stores or other consumer stuff? We're starting at a low point for retail interest at our best, I'm afraid.
True. I can get Canson Mt. And scored a Mt touche. But that is saved for when all else is used up. And UART... Ha, good luck!!!
I can get C-mt in an artshop in Split by sheets, and can get by with it but it's not ok for wet or certain paintings. It was easier with my 6 tubes of oils ... But I got nagged when using terps. I'm going for the "persistent bastard" award, not giving up yet 😁
 
Top