I am very excited to try my new Sennelier watercolors.
I just bought myself watercolor travel boxes from Sennelier. I don’t have personal experience of Sennelier but I seem to remember hearing only good things about their colors.
I find it fascinating that Sennelier uses honey as the binder, and top quality Kordofan Gum Arabic as the binder, that must be a plus?
Until now, I have always used watercolors from Old Holland so I will be comparing Sennelier to old Holland.
Old Holland Watercolors.
The Dutch company Old Holland has been producing artist-quality paints since 1664, so Old Holland is one of the oldest manufacturers. They use more pigment than many other professional grade products and they use a pure binder. I like them for the range of colors because I find colors that are so unique for my flower painting that I can’t make myself by mixing other colors. A fantastic plus for me is that you find about 30 variations on red!. (Sennelier have about 18.) I know that some people find that some of the colors are too vibrant. Here is Old Holland color chart.
Sennelier is a French company founded by Gustave Sennelier in 1887. You find Sennelier watercolors in 98 colors, available in 10 and 21 ml tubes, or in half pans and full pans. Sennelier watercolors are ground in the traditional way using grindstones rotating slowly so as not to heat up the paste.
Artists like Paul Cézanne and William Turner used Sennelier Watercolors for some of their some of their masterpieces. Here are some watercolors Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte Victoire William Turner in France
You can get more info about the lightfast and opacity rating in the color chart in PDF from their website here: Sennelier watercolors.
I know that Winston and Newton is a favorite for lots of people, but I really never got to test the vibrant colors that I usually pick for my paintings. I recently got to try Daniel Smith watercolors and find these intense! They must be full of pigments, so I want to buy more to try them out, but unfortunately, I can’t find them in shops in this area so I’m going to order them online from the USA.
Back to the Sennelier.
The first thing I noticed is that they float easily on the paper. The colors are kind of sticky. They are not VERY sticky but still, it makes it quicker to get the colors wet and ready for the painting, a bit like colors from the tube.
The Sennelier watercolors are vibrant with a nice translucency, very well suited to glazing and layering techniques.
Some of the colors are opaque and easily cover the paper without killing the work, it is kind of like gouache.
I love the tomato red: 619 Bright Red. (For some reason it is not listed on the color chart.)
I have two boxes, I bought the big metal box first because it had more colors and it cost the same as the little box. But I found the metal box is a bit too heavy to put in a smaller bag to have on hand all the time. However, it will be very good to bring on a trip when think I will be painting indoors.
The larger box has room for additional colors and I already put some in. It is also very handy to use the plastic color chart for protection. The Color chart matches the color lying under and giving information about the color, the number, and name.
The smaller travel box.
This box didn’t come whit a color chart so I made one myself. But a big bonus is that It comes with a little brush which is so good that I also use it a lot when working in my studio.
One thing I like a lot is that the pans can easily be changed and be replaced with new half pans. A minus is that the pans can fall out to easily. I could fix that by using stickers of some sort.
It must be the honey that makes the amazingly smooth consistency. I like my colors to be vibrant, bright and have depth and I want the watercolors to be intense and “electric”. Some of the colors have the extraordinary luminosity that I look for in Watercolors. They are lovely juicy colors.
The travel box from Sennelier is great value for money and I will not hesitate at all to but more from Senillier.
(UPDATE: since I wrote this blog, I have bought another 100+ from Senillier)
On top of the flower painting, I have been using Uni POSCA Markers for details
Here are the colors in the metal box from Sennelier
- 501 Lemon Yellow, transparent
- 675 French Vermilion, opaque
- 689 Alizarin Crimson, transparent
- 635 Carmine, transparent
- 917 Dioxazine Purple, opaque
- 315 Ultramarine Deep, transparent
- 326 Phthalocyanine Blue, transparent
- 899 Forest Green, opaque
- 805 Phthalo Green Light, transparent
- 211 Burnt Sienna, transparent
- 703 Payne’s Grey, opaque
- 440 Warm Sepia, opaque
- 566 Naples Yellow Deep opaque
- 619 Bright Red opaque, not listed
- 623 Venetian Red opaque
- 344 Cinereous Blue opaque
- 205 Raw Umber transparent
- 755 Ivory Black not listed
I am having fun testing the Winsor & Newton watercolor marker, W&N marker and Sennelier work very well together.
I am very happy if you leave a comment about your experience with watercolors and your favorite brand.
This sketchbook from Hahnemuhle is my favorite watercolor sketchbook 400gsm /270 lbs.
I like my colors to be vibrant, bright and have depth. I want my watercolors to be intense and “electric”. I will not hesitate at all, to getting more watercolor from Sennelier.
In this Smal travel box, you find Lemon Yellow, Sennelier Orange, French Vermilion, Alizarin Crimson, Carmine, Quinacridone Red, Dioxazine Purple, Ultramarine Deep, Phthalocyanine Blue, Forest Green, Phthalo Green Light, Burnt Sienna, Payne’s Grey and Warm Sepia. The dimension of the box measures 6.5 x 4 inches
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