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Unison Pastels - Soft Artists Pastels

Updated on May 8, 2014

 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

Buttercups and Bluebells - SOLD.   Unison Colour Pastels on Colourfix paper.
Buttercups and Bluebells - SOLD. Unison Colour Pastels on Colourfix paper. | Source

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.

The Best Soft Pastels?

Which soft pastels do you use?

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Comments

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    • profile image

      gepeTooRs 

      2 years ago

      In fact when someone doesnÕt understand after that its up to other viewers that they will help, so here it happens.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thank you HealthyHanna.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 

      8 years ago from Utah

      Thank you for the review. It will help me know what to buy for my creative friends.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thank you almasi - I'm currently putting together a collection of work for a gallery - watch this space.

    • almasi profile image

      almasi 

      8 years ago

      Beautiful picture and info. Rating it beautiful and up.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks 2uesday - I've been using pastels for a while, but it wasn't until I bought these top of the range ones that I was able to produce work that I', happy with. The quality makes all the difference.

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 

      8 years ago

      The picture and colours in it are wonderful. I tried working with pastels for the first time recently, the ones I used were not of the quality you describe in this. Interesting to read and useful.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Maybe there's something of similar quality over there. hope you find what you're looking for! I've put a couple more of my pastel paintings on my blog if you're interested in seeing them www.georginamcrawford.org - Will you post some of your work on hubpages when it's done?

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Georgina,

      I'm in the Philippines, that's why I don't know if we have Unison pastels here. I haven't visited a supplies store yet.

      I do hope I''l find them. I'm especially eager to try them as I saw some artists at work yesterday.

      Thanks!

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      jill of all trades - if you're in the USA, you can definitely buy unison colour pastels there - enjoy.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      It's been a while since I last used pastels. I used to dabble in them but have not touched them for sometime. Your hub makes me want to take up this hobby again. I hope we have Unison pastels here.

      Thanks for this lovely hub!

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Hi oliversmum and Amansa Severn,

      They are truly wonderful to draw with - I'd definitely recommend them as a gift.

      They are very soft and you can work them into the paper well, so there's les waste than using a hard pastel, which tend to be very 'dusty'. They feel velvety to use.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      8 years ago from UK

      Sounds like one to look out for. Do you get much waste with these Georgina?

    • oliversmum profile image

      oliversmum 

      8 years ago from australia

      Georgina_Writes. Hi. I enjoyed reading your hub.

      These Unison Pastels sound absolutely wonderful.

      My Husband loves to draw, so they would make a perfect gift for him at Christmas.

      Thank you for sharing this information and your experience with these Pastels with us. :) :)

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thank you Hello hello nd D.A.L

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi, your picture is fantastic, buttercups and bluebells, just up my street. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for the awful, solid good advice.

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