I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for new colors of pastels that will round out my palette. I try to have one of every color I need whatever the subject I am painting plein aire. When I am in my studio I have my sets of Prismacolor and Gallery hard pastels for under painting. I also have quite a number of Rembrandt and Winsor Newton soft pastels that get me started on my layers of color. Once I begin building color, I add in the Schminke and Sennelier pastels in some of the light and dark ranges I have purchased to add different hues, and value.
Selling one of my paintings helps to give me justification to purchasing more supplies. That was the reason I decided to splurge and buy the wonderful soft and lush Richard McKinley selection of Great American pastels at a demonstration last year. In speaking with other pastel artists, one is always attracted to new colors, or wanting to try different brands that are offered at tantalizing prices. They are like eye candy to me. I haven’t tried any of Dakota Art’s new Blue Earth pastels, but Richard McKinley said he bought a whole set and really likes them. They are organized by hue, value and intensity of color on a seven value scale and each one is numbered. The sets are arranged like candy and seem to beckon to me, saying, “Buy me!” I really want to have a reason to buy them and try them.
I have heard a number of people rave about the American made Mount Vision pastels, but to date I have not purchased any. I did decide to try some of the beautiful soft and Rich Terry Ludwig pastels and definitely will have to get some more. This month, Dakota Art offered a half stick set of Unison pastels, Jan’s Dark Side 30 piece set and I could not resist making that purchase. I was delighted when they came yesterday and I began checking them out on a piece of pastel paper to determine how dark they really were compared to my existing darks. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that they were darker than anything I had purchased to date.
That purchase made me carefully reorganize my Dakota travel case and include 27 of the 30 pastels in the diverse palette that I carry. I have been able to wedge in 357 different half stick pastels in this case, and fill every available space. I don’t plan on buying a bigger travel case, but I when the bug hits me, I may still have to buy new varieties to flush out my studio selection.