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In 1949, Parisian painter Henri Goetz approached Henri Sennelier, the famous artist materials manufacturer, about creating a wax color stick for his friend Pablo Picasso. Picasso, a long-time Sennelier customer and a frequent visitor to their store across the street from the Louvre museum, was looking for a medium that could be used freely on a variety of surfaces without fading or cracking.
Their collaboration produced the incomparable Sennelier oil pastels. Originally available in a palette of classic hues, the color selection was expanded with the additional of metallic and iridescent hues.
Beyond these classic hues, a selection of unique shades is available and, in particular, a gradation of grays, required for a balanced palette. This evolution is the fruit of a long-standing collaboration with European and North American painters who have worked with Sennelier to develop an exceptional palette of shades.
The Sennelier Oil Pastel is a product that makes use of the components used in all Sennelier colors — top-quality pigments, an extremely pure synthetic binding medium, and mineral wax. The pigments are ground with an inert, non-siccative binding medium that does not oxidize and that has no effect upon either the film stability or the surface. This base is then mixed with wax (neutral pH). The balance of this mix provides Sennelier oil pastels with a unique unctuousness and a creamy texture that allows for a great deal of freedom in pictorial expression.
Sennelier Oil Pastels possess an extraordinarily high pigment content, thus providing them with a high coloring and covering potential, excellent brightness, and a high degree of light stability (with the exception of metallic and fluorescent shades).
The remarkable properties of these components, along with their precise dosage, provide Sennelier Oil Pastels with unique properties, making the brand a world-recognized reference.
Individual sticks are paper wrapped, and measure 2-5/8" × 3/8" (67 mm × 10 mm).
Note — To protect an oil pastel surface from dirt and dust, apply a fixative 8 to 10 days after the work is completed. The fixative will not dry the work. If desired, a final varnish spray can be applied to seal the surface permanently, but this may adversely affect future restoration possibilities.
Color Chart Note — Use this color chart as an approximation of the real color. If exact color matching is necessary, use actual samples of the materials.
Minimum Order — Please order individual pastels (open stock) in a minimum of 6, so that we can efficiently package and ship your order. Your selection may be assorted to meet this requirement.
Oil pastels can be used alone to create a painting. Apply them thickly or thinly, blurred or clearly defined. They can be combined with oil painting mediums such as turpentine, paint thinner, or any of the painting oils to produce glazing, scumbling, or wash effects.
Oil paints should never be used over oil pastels, because oil pastels never dry out, and oil paints will not adhere to the underlying surface. Oil paints can be used over an oil pastel wash, provided that the underlying surface is primed. Interesting effects can be achieved by scraping, scratching, smearing, or scrubbing the pastel surface.
Oil pastels can be used as a resist with water-based mediums such as watercolor or acrylic. Waterbased paint will not mix with the pastel. Oil pastels can also be used with colored pencils and oil sticks. They can be used in conjunction with printmaking inks to create monotypes.
Oil pastels can be applied with a palette knife to achieve impasto effects. For ease in application, the pastel can be heated or melted to obtain a smoother, more creamy or fluid medium.
Recommendations for Supports — Sennelier Oil Pastels were created to free artists from technical restraints and the limitations of traditional supports such as canvas. They are extremely versatile and can be used on a wide variety of surfaces.
Use them on acid-free drawing paper, at least 100–110 lb. weight, or on watercolor paper, at least 140 lb. A surface that is lightly textured, but not rough, is customary for oil pastels.
Use them on museum board, illustration board, or any acid-free paperboard stock, or apply them to rigid supports such as wood, Masonite, glass, ceramics, or metal.
Soft supports such as canvas, made of cotton, linen, or polyester, can also be used, as well as other natural and synthetic fabrics.
Note — Although it is not absolutely required, Sennelier recommends applying a coat of gesso prior to painting on non-paper surfaces, to preserve the intensity and vibrancy of colors.
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® Sennelier is a registered trademark.
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(based on 152 reviews)
of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Reviewed by 152 customers
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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
from Tucson, AZ
Comments about Sennelier Oil Pastel Sets:
Love this product, the colors are vibrant, the texture is creamy, the sticks remain suppel over time, they mix well with other media, they retain their own presence (even if mixed) as they are very pigment rich, the dry beautifully, I love this product...I would sell this product.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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I have been using these with my cold wax and oil paintings and am so in love with them. They are so versatile and help me get color or depth where I am not as able with a brush for some reason. I love them so much. They are creamy and economical. So excited to have discovered them.
Sennellier oil pastels
from Bessemer PA
Use on practically any surface. Just finished tree art on small vintage stool. Difficult but not impossible to polyurethane the finished piece but with patience it is doable. Love the rich color and gliding application. You can use these pastels fiercely or softly and your brush strokes are your fingertips. Awesome stuff
Use the best quality art supplies you can afford
from Plymouth, NH
Lovely creamy texture - a delight to use
Sennelier Oil pastels
I bought the set of 50 Sennelier oil pastels. Some reviewers said they found them too soft, but I don't agree. The texture is lovely. What surprised me is how boring the color range is. I think the chemists need to sit down with some pastel artists. That said, it is a good second set with Holbein being my number one choice.
from Plano, Tx
Best oil pastel I've used. Just the right texture and spreadsvsmoothly.
Excellent oil pastels
By Artist Mom
from Naples, FL
I've been looking for these oil pastels in the grand size for a long time! I'm so glad Blick sells them. They came so fast. I will buy again!
from Duluth MN
These are just beautiful, amazing, and the finest spectrum of colors. Well worth the price.
Sennelier Oil Pastels
By A Recycled Life Folkart
from Knoxville, TN
My new favorite medium!
(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
Pit Bull Approved!!
I have been using a number of different brands of oil pastels, Cray-Pas, Mungyo, Sennilier. When ever I carelessly leave they laying around, Sasha the Pt Bull always chooses the more expensive Sennilier to chew, so they must be good.
Picasso, a long-time Sennelier customer, was looking for a medium that could be used freely on a variety of surfaces without fading or cracking.The collaboration between Henri Sennelier and Pablo Picasso produced the incomparable Sennelier oil pastels.
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