Between 2006 and yesterday, I've had an opinion poll running on my information site Pastels - Resources for Artists which asks the question POLL: Which is your favourite make of soft pastel?
453 people have now voted on this poll. You can see the results of the poll by right-clicking on the image and opening it in a new tab.
So what do they think?
The overall positions have been pretty consistent for some time.
In order of preference, the top five soft pastels are
- Unison 19.6%
- Sennelier 15.9%
- Terry Ludwig 13.5%
- Schminke 11.7%
- Talens Rembrandt 8.2%
In honour of this achievement I've set up a new information site Unison Pastels - Resources for Artists. In this you can see the full range of pastels and also find out a lot more about them and how to get hold of them. If you've ever reviewed Unison Soft Pastels please let me know and I'll add your review to the site.Sennelier, Schminke and Rembrandt are pretty universally available and I'm sure that has had a positive impact on their rating.
What's possibly more surprising is the very good rating achieved by Terry Ludwig Pastels. They're very good - especially the darks - but like Unison this is very much a niche one product firm. That's quite an achievement for both firms!
After that a lot of smaller niche brands all get very similar levels of support
- Winsor and Newton 6%
- Mount Vision 4.4%
- Great American Art Works 4.2%
- Henri Roche 3.5%
- Diane Townsend 3.3%
- Girault 3.1%
- Art Spectrum 2.4%
- Daler Rowney 2.4%
- Prismacolor Soft Pastels 1.8%
By way of comparison you can find a very old poll with 562 responses in the Soft Pastels Forum of Wet Canvas. Which Pastel Brand Do You Favor? gives a very different results - which I think only goes to show the value of having a regular update to reflect how the market has changed. People who may have voted one way back in 2001 may think quite differently now!
As with my coloured pencils site I'm intending to introduce an annual poll so we can see how preferences have changed as makes, ranges and the distribution of soft pastels have changed. I'll flag the new poll up on this blog when it's ready.