Unison’s new Midnight Dark Set colours were announced only last August but I’ve seen a lot of artists get them and a love them. I could not resist of course so I bought a set. This is my review.

Unison is a fantastic brand of soft pastels. They are handmade in Northumberland and provide a medium soft pastel stick. One of their strongest characteristics, I think, are their colours. The pastels have a very rich deep colour. You really notice the quality of the pigments. I love my subtle earth colours and greys and Unison is very good at those. 

So when they brought out some new dark colours and combined them with some of their existing darks in a new Midnight Set I decided to buy it. I didn't really have any real good deep darks. Something suitable for deep and darks backgrounds, dark velvets and deep shadows would add usefulness  to my pastel collection, for sure!

The set was created in association with artist Robert Dutton who is an established pastel artist in Yorkshire, UK. 

Sophie Ploeg Blue Velvet Pastel painting

Blue Velvet, pastel on paper, 56x40cm

I used the set in my pastel painting Blue Velvet, an exploration of a draped piece of very stiff velvet. I thought the dark blues were absolutely gorgeous and extremely deep and rich in colour. I don't have any other pastels that are this dark, jewel-like and deep. The blues and purples felt richer and darker than the black. 

Blues, greens, browns and black - these midnight pastels will provide deep-space blues, jet-blacks and earthy darks. They feel buttery and soft, and layer well. They are a bit too soft for really fine detail but mix and layer fantastically.

I used them on a full sheet of Art Spectrum Colourfix paper and despite many thick layers I did not fill the tooth. I don't know much, but I know of nothing that beats these darks so all I can do is highly recommend them. 

The set contains: Dark 19, Dark 20, Dark 21, Dark 22, Dark 23, Dark 24,  CB1, CB2. (4 blues, 2 purples, 2 blacks)

If you have the set, what do you think of them? Let me know in the comments.

You can purchase them via the link below:

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase through these carefully chosen links. I only recommend products that I use and love myself and It will cost you nothing  extra and you would support this blog for which I would be most grateful. 

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About the author

Sophie is an artist, art historian, tutor, author and blogger. She writes on oil and pastel painting, art history and the life of an artist. She paints portraits and still life and specialises in painting drapery and lace.

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  1. Thank you Sophie – I will when I find your email address – still navigating round your site ( sorry bit if a dinosaur)
    Thank you for the information about sending pastel paintings – so useful and how I found you and your beautiful work ,. I’m in agreement about Unison pastels and have visited their factory as I don’t live too far away in Northumberland. I was disappointed to learn that the pastels were not rolled on the thighs of Northumbrian maidens though as was once thought ! but still made by hand and a mixer ! a lovely place ,lovely people ,and story .
    I’m interested in your on line pastel course which I hope to join soon

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