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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ten Great Gift Ideas for Pastel Artists

'Holiday Cheer'          8x10        pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $145
It's that time of year! Have you made an artist's wish list? Perhaps you are starting to think about setting goals for 2018. I always begin the new year with a good studio cleaning and nothing spurs me on better than having to find ha home for some new supplies! Here are a few suggestions to get you started on your wish list.

1.  Any size Heilman Box. The ultimate gift besides a full set of your favorite pastels is a great pastel box. I use and recommend the Heilman Box. Click here to see my recent review.

2. Any set of Terry Ludwig pastels. The ultimate pastel! This is my favorite pastel brand and any set would be a treat. If you are on a tight budget consider the smallest sets. The 14 Most Requested Violets is fantastic. All sets on sale through December 31. www.terryludwig.com

3. Cretacolor Pencil Lead holder. This fun drawing tool is a great addition to any artist's supply box. Read my recent blog post about this fun tool here. Find it here:https://www.amazon.com/Cretacolor-BC31036-Ergonomic-Lead-Holder/dp/B0049V37C4

4. Analaogous Color Wheel. Everyone who sees me use this color wheel wants one. It is a great tool for helping resolve color problems or choosing a palette for a painting. Read my blog post about the wheel here. http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/2015/11/my-favorite-color-tool-comes-to-rescue.html

5. White Artist Tape and Dispenser.  I can't do without my tape dispenser for my roll of white artists tape. it makes life so mush easier since I use this tape every day! Read all about it here: http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/2012/01/my-most-indispensable-studio-gadget.html
Buy one on Amazon click here.

7. Diane Townsend Pastels. I love all pastels but next to Terry Ludwigs I would have to add some Diane Townsend soft form pastels to my list of favorites. Add a few to your collection! http://www.townsendpastels.com

8. Art Graf Artist Tailor's Chalk. These are not at all like they sound! They are a must have for underpaintings. I love the earth tones and the primary color sets. Read about them on my blog here.

9. Hand Care Basket. Artist hands take a beating! From handing pastels to the frequent hand washing they need a lot of TLC.  I like to first protect my hands with Gloves in a Bottle barrier cream.  I wash my hands with Lava soap and a nail brush. And finally I apply a good quality had cream. My favorite is Weleda Skin Food.

10. Sketchbook by Hand book Journal Co.  Just in time for starting a sketchbook habit. I love these little sketchbooks. They come interesting sizes that fit easily in your bag. Perfect for sketching on the go! http://www.globalartmaterials.com/travelogue.html

Do you have anything you would like to add to this list? Add them in the comments!


robertsloan2art said...

Oh, just make me drool! I should send this blog post to all my friends! Eh, especially if I had any rich friends. Heilman box. My imaginary millionaire friend would get me a giant Heilman box and then think, aw, Rob needs it full, so throw in all the Terry Ludwig Vibrants and greens and grays and all - got the small sets Sunset and Violets and 14 Basic and so on my own, but it's those big sets that wind up setting me drooling. Especially the 60 Maggie Price colors set.

If I knew someone who needed really soft pastels or was just starting out, I would get the 60 Maggie Price colors set, because that one has a balanced palette with a nice range of values laid out in a sensible way that makes it really easy to control color and value. That set is about as complete as it gets. That one and the 120 Unison Half Sticks set (or the 72 color whole sets of Unisons), are all really great for startup or for trying to work just with those pastels.

Hmm... things to add to that, for the pastelist I love when I win the freaking lottery... surfaces! No pastelist would turn down new colors or grits of sanded paper. They expanded Pastel Premier to a dark charcoal color that looked exciting, it's got more colors now. A pack of Uart sampler with all the different grits, so my pastelist friend can find their favorite grit and keep going. For an experienced pastelist, regift any sheet of original Wallis paper or pad. So many pastelist friends loved Wallis and it was too coarse for me most of the time, so if I let go of any of my stash of it they'd be in ecstasy and "Where did you get this?"

Or just putting together a surfaces sampler for someone, a sheet of this and sheet of that to a big flat package of joy. Try all these!

For a reasonable medium amount of money, if my friend likes non sanded paper, a package with one sheet of every color of Canson Mi-Tientes. I treated myself to that about three years ago after years and years of wishing for it, have not regretted it since.

Ah. And now we come to the last gift suggestion, which I actually got as a gift some eight years ago and still love and adore. My daughter bought me a khaki vest with dozens of different size pockets, some velcro closure, some zippered, some open, even a big one across the middle of the back that holds landscape shape sketchbooks. That vest is a joy to me. I wear it all the time. Tools, erasers, pencils, pens, assorted small tools and mediums fit in all the pockets and so do keys, wallet, smokes, all the usual pockets stuff. I go out with a portable studio in my clothes, darn near. I even worked out a pastel box that fit in one of the pockets.


Here's a gift for the "handmade gifts" budgeter. Take and reuse a small or medium size tin. Load it up with small pieces off your own pastels in a nice range of colors for a travel set. Like, thirds of a stick or worn down but still usable half sticks. This can be as tiny as an Altoids box or as large as a candy or cookie tin, but it should be a portable type and size of tin because it's for "away" sketching, a purse or pocket kind of supply. Then chop down a sheet of nice sanded paper to pocket sizes, from 5" x 7" to minis, pick a size you know they'll like, cut foam core covers for the papers and put a couple of bankers clips on it to hold all that together. Put in gift bag. Kit them up for adventure just by sharing some of your own supplies, and you can eat the mints that came in the tin.

I got that idea from you from so many of your adventure kits posts. You go places like Iceland with stuff like that, so anyone gifting on a small budget could set one up for a friend and open the doors to adventure. I can't think of a pastelist who wouldn't be delighted. Especially if you put it all into one of those lunch or makeup sectional bags with the usual adventure trimmings.

Karen said...

Wow!!! Thanks for adding your thoughts and ideas!!! Your comments are always so thoughtful and helpful!! I appreciate you taking time to share with us!!!

Sherry Killingsworth said...

Karen I’m always on the look out for a good pencil sharpener, one that won’t eat the points off pastel pencils. I have a nice electric one from office goods but it often gets clogged with the broken points. Just wondered if you have come across any good ones?

Karen said...

Sherry, I am not sure but in the past I have had good luck with eye pencil sharpeners for makeup. I haven't used pastel pencils in awhile though. Anyone have any suggestions?

robertsloan2art said...

Sherry, I have the MultiPoint hand crank sharpener from Jerry's Artarama beside me. It works well the way electric ones do, but it's been around for seven years now and only clogged once. Very gentle on points. The one clog was a point of a pastel pencil stuck in the grinder, it just took going in with a toothpick to remove it and it was fine. Adapts to different widths of pencil and also to how long I want the point with a couple of levers. It's also been through some harrowing conditions and come through still functioning beautifully.

I originally got it to replace an electric because I wanted something that could come with in my art bag and to reduce the number of cords in my art area. Works better than the electric. I haven't seen it anywhere but Jerry's Artarama but they still carry it.

Anonymous said...

I've asked Santa for Elizabeth Mowry's pastel landscape book and a roll of 400 grit Uart paper.