Pastels

We carry the full range of Unison Pastels as open stock so that artists can build their own collection.

We also stock a wide range of Sennelier Soft Pastels. We carry specialised Pastel Brushes and cases. We carry student lines of soft pastels and oil pastels. We are currently importing Mount Vision Handmade Pastels. We carry selections of Schminke and Art Spectrum. All other pastels available to order.

Unison Pastels - Out of a frustration with the pastels available, British artist John Hersey began making handmade pastels. Developed to be superior in colour, texture and response, Unison Soft Pastels are unlike anything on the market today.

John Hersey worked out his unique colour formulations over a decade of experimentation, creating intense, vibrant colours, blended almost exclusively from pure pigment and water.  In his handmade process, the pigment hardly gets pressed at all. The sticks are rolled lightly making them very fluent when you use them. 

"Many of our colours are pure and single pigments," Hersey says. "On the whole they are blended, three or four or five different pigments together. But we blend in very little white or chalk. Artists are generally looking for intense and dark pastels. You can get sick of the endless arrays of pale pastel shades. You want some really strong colours. And those are just pigment and nothing else."

Hersey brings a poet's sensibility to his work with colour. He has developed his range of 288 pastels as a series of 20 sets with 18 colours each. The nine central sets follow Hersey's theory of colour-integration. This theory is based on his observations of nature, in which he observes that a single colour, from a single light source, can take on almost endless variations. He bases his colour ranges on these variations.

Sennelier uses only the purest pigments for their soft pastels, mixed with minimal amounts of natural binders, in an exclusive formula that yields lightfast, water-soluble pastels. There is just enough binder to hold the pigment together as the pastels are formed by hand, placed in special moulds, and allowed to air dry. No fillers or clays are used.

Sennelier soft pastels are highly concentrated and so soft that a gentle stroke will deliver a solid, powerful line of brilliant colour. An absolute must in any pastel artists studio, Sennelier Soft Pastels have a world-wide reputation for exceptionally pigmented colours . . . and they have the largest and richest collection of dark colours. Made from the purest pigments chosen for their intensity and high lightfast rating, they are handmade and air dried for four weeks to maintain  a uniform softness. Available in a staggering range of 525 open stock colours.