Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sennelier New Range of Watercolour Paints

 Sennelier's new l'Aquarelle Honey-Based Watercolours

In December 2010 I participated in some blind tests of watercolours for the famous French artist's colour manufacturer, Sennelier.  At the time I had no idea what an interesting and rewarding project it was going to be.

First of all a box of 51 little zinc paint tubes arrived - no names, just numbers.

In the tubes were different formulations of twelve colours.  For a colour addict, this was surely a feast.  My task, along with other artists around the world, was to test and rate the contents of each tube by their luminosity, pigment intensity, consistency, ease of application and appearance after drying. I was going to need a system.




Starting work on the Ultramarine Blues.

Well that's all a long time ago now.  I sent off my tests and voiced my opinion on the various colours.  Back came an amazing box of gifts from Sennelier; beautiful paper, pastels, watercolours and brushes.  But the story wasn't over.

Last month I was packing for a short holiday in Paris when a courier arrived with the beautiful box of Sennelier's new watercolours you see at the head of this post.  Since it was called Color Palette of the Impressionists I had to add it to my Paris sketching kit.  

I used the colours for the first time to paint a postcard of one of my favourite places in Paris.  The painting has been posted to my friend Pat Reese in California as my July contribution to our art mail exchange A Postcard from My Walk.  Once Pat has received her card I'll be able to show it here.

Meantime I've been playing with my new Sennelier palette.  The first thing I noticed and loved about the new formula is the way the paint re-wets on the palette.  I'm inclined to squeeze tube paint into a light plastic palette to take sketching.  Being able to bring it back to a soft, rich tube consistency with a quick spray of water is very important.



Look at that stunning combination of three reds at the top left.  I want to wear it!  I also loved the way the Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Deep mix and granulate.  I'm very excited about  two greens - beautiful deep, rich Forest Green and Phthalo Green Light.  This introductory palette also has two very useful colours for sketchers, Warm Sepia and Paynes Grey.

Of course I'm only looking at 12 of the 98 shades now available in half pans, full pans and 10 and 21 ml tubes.



I have a great deal more to say about Sennelier but this is probably enough to whet your appetite for some delicious new colours. 


10 comments:

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Aha - so that's what was in the package!

Great post - I'm going to share on facebook and on my blog.

dinahmowh said...

Mmmm....they look edible!
You must have done a great job , Robyn. I look forward to reading more.

Elizabeth Braun said...

Oh, how envious am I of such a task!?

quirkyartist said...

I hadn't realised how knowledgeable youa re about watercolour paints. I will have to talk to you about watercolour more next time we meet.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Thanks, Katherine.
Dinah, I always want to eat them. When my father gave me my first tin of paints my mother said, 'That's ridiculous at her age, she'll eat them.' How right she was!

Wendy - LOL, that's like saying to Imelda Marcos, I didn't know you knew so much about shoes!'

dinahmow said...

I love your reply to Wendy!

Anonymous said...

Can you possibly direct me to information on the properties of Sennelier watercolors (transparency, granulation, lightfastness, staining)?
email: tompagne@gmail.com
Thanks.
I purchased:
warm grey, olive green, French ultramarine

Cranky said...

Same question regarding Holbein watercolors: Opera, compose blue, compose green #3
Thanks!!

Robyn Sinclair said...

I don't have an easy answer for you Anonymous/Cranky. My advice would be to test the Sennelier you already have yourself. Simply by applying a wash to a piece of rough paper you'll soon see what the transparency, granulation is like. When it is dry lightly rewet a spot and dab with tissue or paper towel. If the colour doesn't life you are dealing with a staining pigment. Lightfastness takes a little longer as you need to expose the test to light for a period of weeks.
You will see a lightfastness code on the Sennelier tubes or you can go to their website http://www.sennelier.fr/en/Welcome_1.html and ask for assistance.

I'm afraid I don't know anything about Holbein watercolours. Good luck!

Robyn Sinclair said...

Sorry, there were a few typos in my first reply. This should make more sense:

I don't have an easy answer for you Anonymous/Cranky. My advice would be to test the Sennelier colours you already have yourself. Simply by applying a wash to a piece of rough watercolour paper you'll soon see what the transparency and granulation is like. When it is dry, lightly re-wet a spot and dab with tissue or paper towel. If the colour doesn't lift off the paper you are dealing with a staining pigment. Lightfastness takes a little longer as you need to expose the test to light for a period of weeks.
You will see a lightfastness code on the Sennelier tubes or you can go to their website http://www.sennelier.fr/en/Welcome_1.html and ask for assistance.

I'm afraid I don't know anything about Holbein watercolours. Good luck!

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