I'm interested in experimenting with pastels. Mostly interested in painting portraits/figures, and would like to aim for a good amount of detail.
I've currently got my eye on Prismacolour NuPastels, the 12- or 24-set, as well as a Strathmore assorted colours pad, and would like to know if that's a reasonable choice/pairing for my purpose.
Overall, I'd like to stay in an 'under $25' range to start with, staying as cheap as reasonably possible.
I know getting properly into pastels is hella expensive, but I have no idea if I'll end up liking the medium at all, so I really want to cheap out right now. I'm going into it assuming that I'll either love it and completely replace whatever materials I start with, or I won't love it and either way the starter set will gather dust. Hence, expendably cheap.
At the same time, I don't want to cheap out SO much that I go off in the wrong direction and give myself an incorrect impression of the medium. So I want to stay cheap, but not prohibitively shit.
Any guidance would be really awesome.
Also, pastel general I guess, go for your life!
I really love pastels, the nupastels are good, I think they're more of mid ground in terms of price and quality. They feel buttery, lots of pigment and they layer on top of each other easily. I'd say it's a good choice to begin with because if you ever go to the really high quality ones you will know how to treat them well (I'm talking about the ones that are almost all pigment and no binder). I wouldn't go with cheap ones because you really have to dig into the paper with them, very little pigment so you might not like the product. If nupastels are too expensive and you live in the US you can go to craft stores like Michaels or other art stores and get their brand, they're usually fairly good, not quite nupastel quality but good to start with. I know of a skin tone pack that Michael's sells that actually has a good amount of pigment and they actually feel pretty good. Art stores will sell pastel shanks individually so if you have a chance to go to a store you can actually feel the pastels yourself. I personally like the nuspastels but I switch between those and the rembrandts,
Thanks for the input.
I actually live in Australia. I was doing a bit more digging, and it turns out I pretty much can't get the Strathmore paper shipped here for some reason, so I'll probably go local with Art Spectrum Colourfix paper instead as far as that goes.
I can still get Nu Pastels here easy enough, and while they're no bag of chips, they seem to be among the cheapest you can get before you suddenly drop into the absurd "100-pack for $2" kids' stuff, so it's great to hear Nu Pastels are also good quality.
BUT, while looking at their papers, I also noticed Art Spectrum's pastels are actually supposed to be top notch. They'd completely obliterate my 'cheap out now, replace it later' philosophy, but unlike a lot of other brands available to me, they also come in quite affordably small sets geared towards specific subjects, rather than just general assortments where every stick might not be too useful and there are few in-between colours.
I don't know if you've personally used this brand, but as far as pastels go in general, do you think a more focused range of colours might be a better place to start? I'm kind of leaning towards the 20 half sticks (pic related).
Generally soft pastels are the really expensive ones. If you want detail harder pastels like the Nupastel are a good bet. I'd get Polychromos instead if they're similarly priced, or a set of Contés if you want something harder that won't leave as much dust.
visitor from /pol/sp/tv/ I didnt want to make my own thread so I will just ask in this one:
I want to get my GF colored pencils but I don't want to get her shit ones. What are the brands to go to? I am willing to spend a decent amount of money on them. pls respond
OP here. The eternal struggle continues.
The thing holding me back from nupastels is the lack of range for price, since they're all full sticks. But I just found out Faber Castell sell student-grade sets of half sticks allowing a much greater range for about the same price.
I was thinking of going for a 24 pack of half sticks from Faber Castell, as well as a 6-pack of greys from Art Spectrum (pic related). That way I've got a decent range of colour in the student grade to play with, as well as a range of values in the artist grade. And I'll get some sort of feel for different qualities/brands/hardness, rather than putting everything on a single set.
I was tossing up between the two. My thinking is that since they're only student grade, it makes sense to go a little small just to get a feel for them, then fill in the gaps I find with better brands and personalised colours as I go, sort of leave myself a little room to explore. So I don't expect a 24-set to be everything I'll need, but if it'll genuinely be too small I'll spring for the 48. Looking at the pics again, 24 does look awfully small.
They're only half sticks anyway, there'll probably be plenty of opportunity to check out different brands as I plough through them.
i honestly don't know what brand you're talking about but do know that you want paper with more tooth than usual drawing paper
otherwise the pastel glides around and it's difficult to have vibrant colors
I think going small does make sense in that case, yeah. The 24 set isn't so limiting if you're also trying out other brands open stock.
I started with this tiny tin of Contés and really like them for life drawing.