Sennelier developed its world famous oil pastels in collaboration with Pablo Picasso (Sennelier website). Their aim was to create an art medium that could go on any surface, was easy to apply, and that shared the qualities of oil paint and soft pastels. The result of their work has become one of my favorite art products.
The color of many oil pastel brands looks rich until applied, but Sennelier’s vibrant colors remain consistent regardless of what surface you paint on. They have a high content of the best pigments. The binder is non-siccative (doesn’t contain drying agents), inert, and doesn’t oxidize. This is mixed with a neutral pH mineral wax, resulting in a uniquely smooth and soft oil pastel that won’t crack or fade and has incomparable coverage and color richness.
Sennelier offers 120 standard colors in their oil pastel lineup, as well as some metallic and iridescent hues. That’s a lot to choose from. Their standard size oil pastel sticks are 20% larger than most other brands and they also have some colors in La Grande; oil pastel sticks that roughly equal 8 standard size sticks. This kind of versatility allows almost unlimited options for style, mixing, and blending.
Museum and Gallery Quality
Except for the metallic and iridescent colors, Sennelier oil pastels are 100% lightfast. They won’t fade or color shift even after years of being displayed under lights. And because they are acid free and chemically inert these oil pastels won’t affect paper surfaces. You can feel good about using these on expensive papers, art boards, and canvas knowing your artwork won’t degrade. That eases my mind since I spend several hours on each painting and don’t want all that effort going to waste.
Sennelier oil pastels contain non-toxic pigments and binders. They are safe and won’t cause adverse health issues, even with children.
Soft, but Not Just Soft
There are some good quality oil pastel brands that are soft enough to easily use. But Sennelier takes this important feature to a higher level. Their oil pastels are not only soft, but also buttery smooth. So drawing lines, blocking in large areas of color, and blending is always consistent. There’s no crumbling or gumming, just easy application. You don’t have to worry about bits of extra color to deal with. Other techniques like scraping (using a palette knife to literally scrape lines and shapes into layers of oil pastels) and stippling (using small dots to simulate shapes and shading) are also easy with Sennelier oil pastels.
Use the Best, You Won’t Regret It
It’s true with anything; use the best that you can afford. Sennelier oil pastels are expensive, but they’re a great value because of how well they perform. They’re easy to use, high quality in both color and consistency, and professional grade. In short you can paint with Sennelier oil pastels and concentrate on your art without having to figure out how to deal with difficulties.
Sennelier’s website; http://www.sennelier-colors.com/en/Colors/Oil-pastels_4.html