Recently, Maggie Price wrote an article about organizing your pastels into value ranges instead of by color. I figured it was time to get my studio trays in order. I had a habit of keeping the paper labels on my pastels thinking that when I needed to purchase another stick of a color, I'd have the information. But really, I've been doing pastels for several years now, and can't say I have ever bought a replacement stick.
So after completing a painting today and before I cleaned up, I decided to rip off the labels, clean the sticks, and try to put them in value order. What a surprise! When you have the full stick visible, the colors seem much different! I noticed when you can only see the tiny end of the pastel with the paper on, it is very hard to judge the value and color.
Here are the organized trays. If you squint your eyes and look at my trays, you might notice I need to move some things around, and I have many duplicates of ultramarine blue and some yellows. Seems like when you buy a set of pastels the vendor always includes these strong colors. Obviously, I don't use these colors much!