In Conversation with Nina Squire about Unison Colour Pastel


Unison Colour began creating pastels in the early 1980s and today they hand produce over a quarter of a million sticks a year. They are made in Northumberland and contain only pure pigments in a cycle of related hues, meaning the results are intense and bright, rather than being muddied by the blending of colours. We spoke to artist Nina Squire to find out more.

In this film, Nina goes into detail about the qualities of Unison Colour soft pastels that make them unique. She shares technical tips about how to get the best results when using soft pastels, and also the tools and materials you may need to get started with or develop your practice with them.





Part One – Unison Colour Soft Pastels

0:14 Why Nina Loves Working with Pastel?

1:48 What Makes Unison Colour Soft Pastels High Quality

3:34 Suggested Unison Colour Soft Pastel Colours to Use When Starting Out

5:36 Building and Referencing your pastel colour Palette

6:43 The Versatility of Soft Pastels

Part Two – An Introduction to Pastel Techniques

9:51 Practising and Experimentation with Pastel on Scrap Paper

11:09 Mark Making with Soft Pastels – Fine Lines

12:51 Sharpening a Pastel Pencil

14:41 Making Mistakes with pastel – Lifting Colour Using a Putty Rubber

16:08 Using Alcohol and Gum Arabic to Create a Painterly Quality With Your Soft Pastels

18:38 Creating a Paste Medium with Soft Pastels

Part Three – Pastel Paper and Studio

20:37 The Differences Between Pastel Papers

26:58 Ways to Store Soft Pastels

28:17 Top Tips to Safely Use Soft Pastel, and How to Plan Before Pastel Painting

30:23 How to Clean and Restore Soft Pastels to Their Original Colour

31:16 Safety Whilst Using High Quality Soft Pastels

33:26 Credits


Visit Nina’s website

Follow Nina on Instagram

Annie Le Santo

As the Editor of Jackson’s Art Blog, Annie commissions and plans features, while also occasionally writing them herself. Her background is in publishing and she has written for a number of creative magazines. She is also a practicing artist with an interest in natural history.


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