Sennelier is one of those names that you hear a lot when people talk about soft pastels. And I thought it would be good if I got a small box to try them and see where I lay on the firm or soft divide when it came to pastels. So I got a basic selection of 40 half-sticks.
They come in a nice box with foam inserts – not as impressive as the Rembrandt box but adequate. I didn’t feel so bad about decanting them to my pastel trays and getting rid of the box. My Rembrandts will stay in their luxurious home.
On opening the box, I immediately saw that the pastels were more brightly coloured, more densely pigmented and much more dusty than other pastels that I have. There was a strong but perfect shadow of each pastel indented on the foam insert. There is also no wrapper on the pastels – too small I guess – so my fingers got really messy doing my colour swatches.
You can also see how messy my card got too! But you can also see how dense the pigment is. The pastels are very crumbly, super soft and one – the scarlet – practically disintegrated in my hands. I saved all the wee chunks in the hope that they can still be used somehow.
I think I already know that I am a ‘firm’ tribe member, but these may be great for finishing touches here and there – they will really do the job when you need it.