As the Blue Earth company rightly says:
“With seven tones it is possible to paint anything you see, even with a limited range of colour. As long as the values are correct, the painting will be convincing. It is the tonal structure that carries the image!”
Blue Earth Soft Pastels
The Blue Earth pastels are extra soft, among the softest made. But the really unique thing about the Blue Earth pastels is that they are a system of colours based on the colour wheel.
The 336 colours are organized by Hue, Value and Intensity
Hue = colour
Value (tone) = lightness and darkness
Intensity = pureness to greyness
The Blue Earth range is made up of 12 sets that are each based on a single colour: a warm and cool of each primary colour plus the three secondary colours, and a cool green, a warm and a cool grey. Each of those 12 single colours is then expanded in perceptually uniform steps to 28 values and intensities.
So each box of 28 is a single colour taken to its many possibilities. The pastels are arranged in one row of tonal order from light to dark (1 to 7) and then each of those colours is arranged in columns of intensity from full strength to greyed, using its complementary colour (A to D). Right away you can spot in the box the brightest purest pastel and then see the colour change as you gradually move away in the box.
If you have ever made a value study chart in paint or graphite it is like that! Having these value and intensity gradients in each of the major hues means you have all the variations of colour which will help you to create more lifelike pastel paintings. This sensible colour wheel arrangement makes finding the right colour with the correct value quick and easy.
The Blue Earth Pastels are available in 336 individual colours or in the 12 28-colour sets. There are also four sampler sets of 6, 12 and 21 that are mixtures of colours, so you can try a few colours together. The 21 stick sampler sets come in colours for ‘Portrait and Figure’ or ‘Land and Sea’.
Only lightfast, high density mineral pigments are used in the manufacture of Blue Earth Pastels. The pastels are almost square in cross-section shape and are on the very soft end of the hardness scale. Each stick has a number imprinted for easy identification.
Art Meets Science in Colour
Albert Munsell was an artist and art teacher in the 1890’s who built on earlier methods of organising colours developed by scientists and artists. For artists interested in colour theory these are useful resources.
The Blue Earth Pastels use these colour systems to create a palette that gives you a full spectrum of values and intensities.
Click on the underlined link to go to the current offer on the Blue Earth Soft Pastels on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39 or more.