Unison Pastels - Soft Artists Pastels
As an artist, it's vitally important to use the best equipment available for your work. I was fortunate enough, recently to attend a pastel painting workshop with he reknowned pastel artist Keith Stott where I was introduced to Unison colour Soft Pastels.
After spending a day working with these superb pigments I was hooked.
Buttercups and Bluebells
About Unison Colour Soft Pastels
Unison pastels are hand-made. The company was begun in the 1980s by the artist, John Hersey who was frustrated by the quality of mass produced pastels. He set about researching and making soft pastels based on traditional pigments and the company is still producing hand-made pastels today, from their base in the Northumberland National Park.
The Unison Colour website uses words such as 'subtle', 'soft', 'robust' and 'intense colour' to describe their pastels, and after using their product for a whole day, I would agree with their description. The pastels have an almost velvety feel on the paper (I was using colourfix pastel paper) and the range and subtelty of the colours is wonderful.
The entire range of colours comprises some 400 hues, and pastels may be bought singly or in kits of 8,18,36 and 72 sticks.
Kits are organised into 'Landscape', 'Portrait' and 'Mixed' colour ranges. You guys in the US organise your kits into different colours.
There are two sizes of pastel, the standard size and large (thumb sized) and the company has just introduced half-size sticks, which are great if you want to keep the cost down.
Cost of Unison Colour Pastels
The pastels are reasonably priced considering the quality and the fact that they are hand-made. I have seen the entire range of colours for sale at something over £600 (ouch!), but kits range from around £20 for 18 pastels to £90 for 72.
This is such a wonderful product that I won't be using any other pastel from now on! The picture at the top of this article was painted with Unison Colour Patels (Landscape) during a workshop with Keith Stott at Harbour House in Kingsbridge.