Sennelier Extra Soft pastels and Canson paper – first impressions.

Unboxing …

Due to the nature of the extra soft Sennelier pastels, they were very finicky and tempermental, not robust like Rembrandt or the Art Spectrum brands that I use most of the time.  HOWEVER, the colour is completely unrivalled – it is pure pigment and applied to underpaintings using other soft pastels, or on top of a wash, the colours are luminous in colour strength, the pigment also adheres to the grooves or tooth of the paper and doesn’t dust off as readily as other soft pastels.


I had to do a lot more work with colour contrasts and layers to get the Rembrandt up to the same sparkling colour of the Sennelier apple subject above.  Sennelier only required a few dashes and swipes and there you had a perfect juicy apple.

I was rather underwhelmed by the Canson paper- I’d heard so much about it and was expecting a totally new experience.  However, I found it difficult to get the effects I wanted, so reverted back to my Daler Rowney Ingres paper – this sketch was to see how much working up I could do with the Sennelier soft pastels … I used a lot of other pastels to get to the greens I needed and realised fairly early on that I should have done a complimentary underwash of red or orange to get the greens to lift up and ‘sing’.


Eventually I managed to salvage a half decent study of the ancient oak tree in the field next to our house :


“The Ancient Oak at harvest”

Sennelier extra soft pastels, Rembrandt and Art Spectrum soft pastels on Daler Rowney acid free caramel coloured Ingres paper.

Painting size is approx.:  35cm x 25xm


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