View Full Version : sennelier pastels

03-18-2001, 01:57 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Does anyone here use Sennelier pastels? I am interested in trying some. I have some Schmnincke which I love and some Unison, which are also wonderful on the La Carte paper. I would like to hear how folks like the Sennelier.


03-18-2001, 06:05 PM
First, let me point out that I am fairly new to pastels so take my advice with a grain of salt http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

I use Nu Pastels, Rembrandts and Senneliers with a few Unison's thrown in. It's simply easier for me not to experiment all over the place. By buying a pretty decent amount of Senneliers up front, I ended up with a good cross section of pastels and quickly learned the colors I use the most.

Senneliers aren't perfect. Some colors feel gritty and others simply fall apart whenever the paper is unravelled. This happens to a minority but, naturally, I like the colors with the problems!

The colors that don't feel gritty or flake apart are excellent. Lights are smooth and crisp and darks are pretty good - some excellent. There are a couple of colors that simply can't be replaced (dark purple, for example). Fortunately, the grittiness doesn't really affect the use of the pastel - you just keep going. For the colors that can't be unwrapped, I simply don't unwrap them. This isn't the optimum way of using them, (if I want to glaze across an object, for example) but you can work around it.

As a comparison to Unison, they feel "heavy" to me - not in weight http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif but in density.

I'd say that the brand you use is based on what you are accustomed to working with - whatever feels and looks good to you will please you the most.


03-18-2001, 08:31 PM
Mike's comments are similar to my own experience. Although Sennelier's are my favorites in color range, some are harder and some are as buttery as can be. Certain colors cannot be achieved in any other color palette which is good. The downside is that some are very hard, nearly unusable, but those I do not use much anyway and can find in other mfgs.

It also depends on your surface. If you are using Canson paper Sennelier is better used last, after NuPastel and Rembrant layers as a final soft application.

If however, you are using a very "toothy" paper or board, they are wonderful. It used to be that Sennelier was the only soft, buttery pastel available. Now there are many. But whatever soft pastel you use, as Mike said, you have to try/test to see what works best for you, your subject and your style.

If you have an art store nearby or can order a few open stock or small set of Sennelier, I encourage you to at least try them. Then, if you use a full palette of colors/values for your painting, purchase a full set, replacing only the ones you use most often after that.


L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

03-18-2001, 09:36 PM
I wanted to clarify something I said - when I said, "they feel heavy" in comparing Sennelier to Unison's, I meant the Unison's felt heavier.

Sorry if that was unclear.


03-18-2001, 11:16 PM
We tend to forgive a few flaws in our loved ones. I feel the same about Senellier pastels. The purity of the colors and the way they can be layered so beautifully make them one of my very favorites. My other favorites are Diane Townsend. One of the good things about the Townsends is that they make the Senellier's seem economical by comparison. But, seriously, I think they're well worth it.

Barry Katz

[This message has been edited by bk7251 (edited March 18, 2001).]

03-19-2001, 12:14 AM
Thank you all for your replys. I didn't like the Unisons when I first got them and tried them on Canson. After using them on La Carte, I love them. I have a pretty good selection of schmincke and unison, so they are my main pastels for now, but I tried some senneliers and the colors were so vibrant, I didn't see that vibrancy in any other line so far. A friend sent me a few Diane Townsends to try and they are great, but very expensive. Thanks for all the help.