Introduction to Sennelier soft pastels for drawing

 Introduction to Sennelier soft pastels for drawing

Introduction to Sennelier soft pastels for drawing. And so you decided to give yourself crayons. Perhaps – indeed, probably – you are not unfamiliar with drawing and painting, and therefore already have some experience in the use of drawing pencils, oil paints, or tempera. As you will soon realize, using soft pastels is an activity that is halfway between drawing and painting. However, before learning the technique to use with soft pastels, it is necessary to choose which of the many products on the market to buy: for this reason, today, we want to talk to you about Sennelier soft pastels.

We will then tell you about this famous French brand, its history, and its innovations to the art world. We will explain the main characteristics of Sennelier soft pastels and how to use them to get the best results. Even before that, however, we will dwell on an exact explanation of the nature of soft pastels. It should emphasize that we often confuse the terms when discussing these particular lotus flower drawing and painting tools. For example, could you tell us what difference exists between soft pastels and dry pastels?

Soft pastels and dry pastels

Before diving into the colorful world of Sennelier soft pastels, undoubtedly among the best pastels you can use, let’s focus on a linguistic question of no minor importance. The mistake, the blunder, when it comes to pastels is always around the corner, and it is, therefore, reasonable to spend a few seconds and a few lines to understand well what are the right words to indicate these nice accessories for art. Well: above, we asked you if you know the difference between soft pastels and dry pastels. It is a question on which one could stay for hours without finding an absolute and shared answer.

It is almost a trap

soft pastels for drawing

Yes, because soft pastels are dry pastels (even if dry pastels are not necessarily soft pastels). Let’s take a step back. Take, for example, our e-commerce of products and accessories for art. Here you can find three broad categories of pastels, namely:

· Crayons

· Oil pastels

· Dry pastels

From here, we understand, at the very least, that wax crayons and oil pastels are not dry crayons. And another thing – fundamental – we tell you now: dry pastels, which are less greasy and have a chalky consistency (without being chalks, however), can be hard or, in fact, soft.

So here is the solution to the above question: soft pastels are specific dry pastels. The fact that soft dry pastels are the most popular, outclassing hard pastels in use has led us, over the years, to use the word ‘soft pastels’ actually to refer to dry pastels in general. And this often throws beginners into absolute confusion because certainly the adjectives “dry” and “soft” do not usually go hand in hand!

When we talk about Sennelier soft pastels, therefore, we refer to Sennelier dry pastels: the producers, obviously French-speaking, indicate these colored clays with the name ‘pastel sec. Now that we have cleared up this interesting lexical question, we can move on. What makes Sennelier soft pastels unique?

Sennelier: a guarantee of quality since 1887

1887 in that year, the first Crispi government was born in Italy, and at the Teatro Della Scala, in Milan, the premiere of Verdi’s Otello perform. And again: in that year, Arthur Conan Doyle publishes the first Sherlock Holmes novel, “A study in red.” Of course, give some context and add some atmosphere. It was in that year that Gustave Sennelier, passionate about chemistry, began trading colors in Paris, soon becoming a point of reference for the artists of the Ville Lumiere: Sennelier’s attention to the origin of the pigments, the mixtures, and the level of color stability, in fact, soon conquers the most attentive.

Gustave’s activity then passes to Charles and Henri. From year to year, the Sennelier Maison becomes more and more central for French artists, in a continuous exchange that will give life to new techniques, new colors, and new accessories. In 1893 the extra-fine colors for watercolor produce, two years after the first egg tempera colors, in 1897 the extra-fine oil colors and, in 1904, it was the turn of dry pastels, which are the same soft Sennelier pastels that we want to present to you today!

Sennelier soft pastels: characteristics of the range

Get ready: the one proposed by Sennelier with his dry pastels is one of the most extended color ranges of pastels. On our e-commerce, you will find the reduced version, with “only” 180 colors or various sets of dry pastels of 12 or 24 pieces, but you should know that it is made up of 525 different shades for the entire range. A true paradise for the artist – or an endless nightmare for the undecided – this fantastic range of soft pastels was born after 3 years of intense research between 1904 and 1907. Towards the end of the twentieth century, the field evolves, but the heart, the basic concept, remains the same today.

But what are the main characteristics of Sennelier dry pastels?

 It would help if you started from the assumption that, by purchasing the soft pastels of this historic brand, you will find in your hands the same pastels used by the great Parisian artists of the late ‘800 and early’ 900, one among all Edgar Degas: in short, there are no limits. About what you can achieve with these crayons! As bright as few other dry pastels can be, Sennelier dry pastels appear as cylinders measuring 11 millimeters by 64 millimeters, easy to handle and light, and composed of mixed, pressed pigment with a marginal amount of binder.

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