Sennelier Dry Pigments


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Sennelier Dry Pigments - Four Jars of different color Pigments shown

At the end of the nineteenth century, when Gustave Sennelier started developing oil colors for his artist customers who would eventually include Cézanne, Gauguin, and Picasso, he recognized the need for producing paints that only contained the highest-quality pigments. In order to craft su...

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pdf documentView PDF pigment color chart.

About Colormaking

Mixing Water-Based Colors

Watercolor, gouache, and tempera require the addition of a hydroscopic product such as glycerin, which slows their drying time and makes them more flexible. The natural binder, either an animal or vegetable base, requires a preservative agent in order to preserve the integrity of the paints.

Mixing Oil Colors

For all shades of oil colors, the preferred binder is refined safflower oil or linseed oil, except for whites and very pale blues, for which poppyseed oil is sometimes recommended. For grinding colors, use a glass muller on a sheet of glass or polished marble.

Be careful not to add too much oil when grinding, because the longer you grind the paint, the more fluid it becomes. Each pure pigment has a particular chemical nature and requires specific treatment.


Suggested Mixing Measurements (per 100 g of pigment)

Oil Colors

  • 30 g to 100 g oil
  • 2 g to 3 g Courtrai drier (Ivory Black requires 5 g to 8 g)
  • Add 1 g to 3 g purified beeswax to create extra body



  • 50 g to 100 g gum arabic in 35% solution
  • 10 g to 15 g glycerin
  • 1 g anti-fermenting preservative



  • 25 g to 50 g gum arabic in 35% solution, or yellow dextrin
  • 8 g to 10  glycerin
  • 1 g anti-fermenting preservative


Egg Tempera

  • 25 g to 40 g gum arabic in 35% solution
  • 5 g to 10 g glycerin
  • 1 g egg yolk
  • 1 g anti-fermenting preservative



  • 50 g to 80 g acrylic binding medium
  • 1 g anti-fermenting preservative
  • 5 g to 20 g water if needed


Vinyl Colors

  • 40 g to 50 g Caparol binder
  • 5 g to 15 g water if needed
  • 1 g anti-fermenting preservative


Oil Pastels

  • 30 g to 40 g beeswax or mineral oil
  • 15 g to 25 g oil, Vaseline, or non-drying petroleum oil


Soft Pastels

  • 80 g to 90 g pure pigment
  • 2 g to 3 g gum tragacanth, glucose, gum arabic, or dextrin + water
  • 1 g anti-fermenting preservative


Frequently Asked Questions