'MarshLight' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis available on Etsy $255
It is always exciting to get a new set of pastels. Even when you have a good collection it is is fun to try new pastels. In 2021 I will be reviewing three different half stick sets that are moderately priced. Last year I reviewed budget sets under $50 on my Patreon Page. This year I want to have a look at comprehensive sets that would be good for an artist on a moderate budget who is looking to quickly expand their pastel collection. Half stick sets are a great way to do this. (Of course Terry Ludwig pastels are my pastel of choice and I recommend them for every collection!)
In February I will be reviewing the Unison 120 Pastel half stick assorted set. I will be painting with it exclusively so I can really put the set to a test! I will also be using the set for some Plein air painting when I take them on a camping trip! I will report on my thoughts both here and on my Patreon Page!
I used the set exclusively for the painting in today's post. I was very pleased with the variety of colors, values and intensity of the sticks in the set. I didn't feel the need at all for a pastel outside of the set. The pastels packed a punch. I was able to layer them easily and they were the perfect blend of dry and smooth.
Here is a photo of the set. The sticks are on the small side since they are half sticks so I will only be using them for 9x12 and smaller paintings and of course small Plein air studies. I know I can always order full size sticks of the colors I use the most.
You can find this set online at Dakota Pastels. Here is a link: https://www.dakotapastels.com/product/unison-120-half-assorted?cat=268&idsku=10631
I actually painted on top of this much older painting. I sprayed it with workable fixative and painted right on top of the pastel which became a dry underpainting. I used the reference photo to make adjustments to the painting and to make it more interesting. It was a fun exercise and the pastels made it easy!