View Full Version : Sennelier oils

04-26-2001, 05:32 PM
Does anyone have experience with Sennelier oils. I have been reading the WC comments-- some positive, some negative--on Blockx, Old Holland, Holbein and Rembrandt as so-called top of the line but there are only a few comments on Sennelier oils other than the manufacturer's notations. I have used Winsor & Newton for years but am thinking of trying something "better"--less adulterated, more pigment.


04-26-2001, 07:57 PM
Personally, I like Sennilier Oils very much (except for a recent experience I had with their Van Dyke Brown - see archives). BUT...they do not list pigments on the labels! Now I understand that this may no longer be a problem with some new labeling they supposedly have come out with - I haven't seen it yet.

Also, my usual art supply stores seem to have a problem keeping the rack full. At one time I thought this might be because of an abnormally high minimun-billing requirement of the manufacturer, but I spoke with their rep: Savoire Faire, Inc, and was told not so - Manufacturer to retailer minimum billing is only $100.00!! I don't know if the mail order houses have the paints in stock, but since I rarely use these mail-order houses (I live in San Francisco and have many good stores to chose from - at prices comparable to mail-order http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif )

Anyway, I think they are fine!


04-27-2001, 09:19 AM
Rebob: Thanks for comments. I landed in WC unceremoniously one day frantically seeking a way out of the toxicity of solvents and the unexpected negative characteristics for me of water miscibles and their various mediums. I am now thinking of returning to "real" oils but am not ready to begin mulling my own, and am trying to make a good decision as to which brand to purchase for my handling requirements (they are all expensive). I am well aware it is not the paints that make the painting but the artist using the paints but avoiding fillers, driers, preservatives seems sensible. Have acquired much info at WC--a remarkable site--experiences of working artists, not manufacturers. Thx again.


04-27-2001, 01:24 PM
Michael B: Unique "coincidence"--was just sorting yesterday thru pile of papers torn from this or that whenever on techniques, mediums, etc., and found a brochure including color chart I had on Archival Oils-one address Australia, one PA, internet address also www.chroma-inc.com. (http://www.chroma-inc.com.) Will reexamine closely--appreciated the Artists Pocket Guidebook that came with--chart on all their mediums for acrylic and oils and what effect each is intended to produce. The attendant chemistry, characteristics and quality of the soft and hard resins, the solvents, the oils, the pigments, the binders, the driers, the fillers, the everything else have been less than clear in my mind for years so settling on which brand to try not an easy matter. Thanks for info and suggestion.


04-27-2001, 03:04 PM

One more comment about Sennelier pigments. I just noticed on a color chart that I have that they do list the pigments they employ on the chart.


[This message has been edited by rebob (edited April 27, 2001).]

04-28-2001, 12:20 AM
Hello NIOL, in re to Sennelier paints, I was told by an art prof that their "white"
was the whitest of whites-so I tried it
and it was great!

In re to your concern w toxins, I use
Chroma Corp. "Archival" oils. They are a
modified linseed oil-low oder, & they have
their own mediums (no turps) & they claim
the paints are "permenantly flexible".
I have been using them since 1997 and
wouldn't switch to anything else.

E-mail me and will send u their tel no.
I suggest u try two tubes to see how u like them.

Michael B.

04-28-2001, 01:11 PM
Dru: Thanks for comments. In reading their bronchure, find: "No not so: Arhival Oils are sometimes sthought to resemble alkyds. This is probably because they are new. They are oils and therefore can be used with other oils and will behave like other oils. The modification of the oil itself is what improves the performance. As your paintings age they won't become brittle." And re mediums: "Archival Oil Mediums are alkyd-based mediums compatible with all types of artists' oils." Had not wanted to delve into the alkyd experience but that's what Archival offers I guess. On the www.chroma-inc.com (http://www.chroma-inc.com) web site above the color chart is a note as I recall that some of the colors fade when white is added. Now what in the world does that mean. As for where to buy--do not know about Bay area. Have been ordering supplies from Jerry's Artarama on the East coast--their catalogue shows many Archival colors--cannot locate the 800 phone no. at the moment but order can be e-mailed at U ARTIST @ aol.COM--found it--1-800-U-ARTIST - 1-800-827-8478.


04-28-2001, 06:20 PM
I've been bouncing around between Schmincke Mussini resin-oil-colors and Old Holland...usually completing the paintings with Old Holland.

I'm finding myself doing a lot of the underpainting with the paints I don't care about...saving Schmincke and Holland for the good stuff. The way I'm working lately, I'll probably wind up with those two...it's hard to predict though. For me, these two handle differently...which satisfies the way I work. Different moods, energies.
I have to have variety.

You should call and see if they have sample packs...I went to the NAMTA show a couple years back in Chicago and picked up the tiny tube sample packs from the different manufacturers, just to get a feel for what they had. That helped me greatly.
They probably still make them...call the manufacturers and ask. I'd be surprized if you couldn't at least purchase some small abreviated set.

And you are in Madison...that show is happening in Chicago this May at Navy Pier...
You're not all that far!

04-29-2001, 07:17 PM
Taxed: Thanks for suggestions. Have tried the sample resin Mussini but backed off at the lethal-smelling dose of resin. Prefer to add whatever resin I choose for whatever effects I may want. More control. May try a few tubes of Old Holland and Sennelier. Have just recently tried acrylics and discover they may serve underpainting purposes with the more unctuous oil later. Launched into some transitional experimental phase quite unexpectedly recently. Even am trying the old heightening with white and the mixed tempera/oil technique as outlined by Max Doerner. Not familiar with NAMTA though.


04-29-2001, 07:48 PM
Dru: "Archival Oils use patented plasticiser technology"--another statement from the Archival brochure which substantiates all you have posted. Have no idea what the statement "Archival Oils are oils not alkyds" means to them.


04-30-2001, 04:33 PM
In re to Dru's and Niol's comments about Archival's Oils I feel I need to respond since I have been using their paints since 1997, and have done most of the research on them.

They are a "modified" linseed oil.
(chemically altered) That is where the
"patent" part comes in. A similar example
is the water based oils. There has been a
change in the structure so that the vehicle is water and not oil.

One reason the Archival oils are not popular is because 15 yrs of new thinking isn't going to change 500+ years of traditional painting. But, it's only a matter of discovery and time that painters accept that it is possible to paint with a low odor material that lasts longer than most others.

Changing an old concept is hard to do. I remember in 1980 when "voice mail" emerged.
You wouldn't believe how many businesses and
people couldn't fathom changing the way they used their telephone.

Meanwhile, no matter what you use-
keep painting!


04-30-2001, 05:19 PM
Dru and TheStyle: Thx for comments. Have an overload of info at the moment after reconnecting via WC with Max Doerner, Maroger medium, shellac with castor oil added, balsams, resins, binders, mixed technique--exposure to all initially many years ago. And now in addition not only synthetic acrylic resins and alkyd resins as binders but painting with software. Have to do some reading--the difference between acrylic and alkyd not clear to me, altho I think I read it somewhere in the Studio Products forum. Still love most the plastic with an entirely different meaning nature of traditional oils. Was trying more acrylic this a.m. with oil later--not "plastic enough" for me. I do a lot of mixing on the palette and on the canvas and the fast dryers just do not let me do it. So back to some more books for me I guess. Meanwhile I'll try some Sennelier or maybe stay with less expensive Winsor & Newton, triple rectified turpentine, and whatever medium I decide on and get back to some familiar handling properties. Did do one acrylic that amazed me--forced to make rapid fire decisions, felt a little like glassblowing. No chance to overwork like I usually do. Thx again for comments.


05-02-2001, 04:37 PM
Final post re the oils I use:Archival Oils by
Chroma, Inc.
re: patents. Patent doesn't mean "secret".
Chroma's tech info is readily available from the co. Most co's. have patents to protect
their (new, unique) idea(s) in the market.

My research found an independent study of 8
painted panels in 1990 were stressed over a
5 yr. period. All traditional paints failed
within 3 to 12 mos. Archival's panel is fine
to today. That is a good start for my beliefs in their products.

All paints become brittle w age, and many
technical improvements have been made since
1950. It's not hard to believe a superior
lasting oil exists in 2001.

Imagine if the general art buying public &
collectors knew of a more durable "material"
to apply an image with existed. Would they
desire it? They would demand it!

I don't know of any co's challenging Chroma's
claims of the last 11 yrs.

It is our duty as craftsmen to check these
things out and offer the best possible

05-05-2001, 10:42 AM
Yet another statement worthy of consideration:

"A lot of painters think they have to use the most expensive paint to obtain the best results. Nothing is further from the truth: you have to use the paint that suits your purpose best. Expensive paint contains a lot of dye and little filler, such as chalk, beeswax or cork. The paint has a strong color power and is only meant to be applied very thinly. For example, in order to glaze or to neutralize strong colors. Some will work with a palette knife and spread the paint too thickly on the canvas. The expensive paint will crack quickly for lack of fillers, but the cheaper qualities have enough body to keep the applied coat of paint in perfect condition."--Painting by Leon Engelen at teh donjusko mauigateway site.