Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Sennelier Watercolours

The French brand Sennelier, which has been around since 1887, make a huge range of wonderful art materials - inks, pastels, all sorts of paints, dry pigments and so on. I've used their oil pastels for years but I've actually never bought any of their watercolours, so this post is created entirely with the help of others :-)

The watercolour range of 98 colours was reformulated a few years ago with a higher honey content. Quoted from the Sennelier website -

"Honey has many virtues: a symbol of light and sun, an emblem of poetry and science and has been used since Ancient times as a remedy for dry skin and to help heal wounds. This nectar is used in L'Aquarelle Sennelier not only as a preservative but as an additive giving incomparable brilliance and smoothness to the paint. Always striving for excellence, Sennelier has reworked its watercolor formula with increasing the amount of Honey in the paint to reinforce the longevity of the colors, their radiance and luminosity."

Unfortunately, honey also makes watercolours stay more runny, so this has made it far more challenging to get hold of samples as they don't necessarily dry enough to be posted through the mail - lots of inventive solutions including using blister packs from chewing gum, contact lenses and tablets have needed to be devised.

48 half pan set of
Sennelier L'Aquarelle Watercolours
However they are also available in 1/2 and full pan form, and one of my students lent me her 48 colour pan set so I was able to fill a number of gaps. Here are all but 18 of the Sennelier professional or L'Aquarelle range. There is also a student range called La Petite.

The set uses the same palette as Rembrandt, but includes this useful overlay showing what each colour is.

The full colour chart can be seen here.

There is a Sennelier shop in Paris, opposite the Louvre at 3 Quai Voltaire that is apparently a joy to visit - see the comments below.

For those who use watercolours straight from the tube, Sennelier (and M.Graham) tube colours are a possible choice. For those who, like me, use them dried out in palettes, the pan versions are the best options with this range. They rewet beautifully.

Here is the 48 colour set open.



 As always, I have tried to colour-match as well as possible but this is just a guide to the actual colours.

Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Titanium White, Chinese White (not shown), Nickel Yellow (not shown), Lemon Yellow, Aureoline (not shown but not a recommended pigment).
 The Indian Yellow is warmer than it looks here.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours -  Cadmium Lemon Yellow (not shown), Primary Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Light, Sennelier Yellow Light, Indian Yellow.

Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Yellow Lake, Naples Yellow, Yellow Sophie, Naples Yellow Deep, Cadmium Yellow Deep  (not shown).
These colours are all richer and warmer than they appear here. It is always very difficult to show warm yellows and oranges accurately. Sennelier Yellow Deep is a lovely warm yellow option.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Sennelier Yellow Deep, Cadmium Yellow Orange (not shown), Red Orange, Sennelier Orange, Chinese Orange.


 There are some gorgeous bright warm reds in this range!
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - French Vermilion, Scarlet Laquer, Rose Dore Madder Lake, Bright Red, Cadmium Red Light.

 Rose Madder Lake is the colour usually referred to as Quinacridone Rose or Permanent Rose - a great cool red option. Thought Carmine is the same pigment and also very pretty.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Alizarin Crimson (this is a permanent hue), Carmine, Crimson Lake (not shown), Quinacridone Red, Rose Madder Lake.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Sennelier Red, Perylen Brown (not shown), Cadmium Red Purple (not shown), Alizarin Crimson Lake (not recommended due to poor lightfast rating of this pigment), Venetian Red.

Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Opera Rose, Cobalt Violet Light Hue, Permanent Magenta, Cobalt Violet Deep Hue, Red Violet.


Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Helios Purple, Blue Violet, Dioxazine Purple, Prussian Blue, Indigo.
The French Ultramarine Blue is a two pigment mix so go with the Ultramarine Deep if you want a single pigment Ultramarine.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Blue Indanthrone, Cobalt Deep, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Deep, French Ultramarine Blue.

'Blue Sennelier' is often referred to as Phthalo Blue Red Shade.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Ultramarine Light, Blue Sennelier,  Phthalo Blue, Cinereous Blue, Royal Blue (not shown).

 It's unusual to see a Cerulean made with PB28 rather than PB35 or PB36.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Cerulean Blue, Cerulean Blue Red Shade (not shown), Turquoise Green, Cobalt Green, Phthalo Turquoise.

 There isn't a single pigment Phthalo Green PG7, but the mixed pigment Viridian is a rather nice option.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Forest Green, Phthalo Green Deep, Viridian, Emerald Green, Sennelier Green.
 The Olive green is a lovely premixed green. I don't know where the 'Brown Pink' gets it name...
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Olive Green, Phthalo Green LIght, Bright Yellow Green, Brown Green, Brown Pink.
The Sap Green is also a very usable foliage green mix. I love the granulation of the opaque Chromium Oxide Green - a colour I've never used but always rather like...
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Cadmium Green Light (not shown), Hooker's Green, Chromium Oxide Green, Green Earth (not shown), Sap Green.
 The Quinacridone Gold is a nice version, even though a three pigment mix.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - French Ochre, Light Yellow Ochre (not shown), Yellow Ochre, Gold Ochre, Quinacridone Gold.
 I'm always happy to see a PBr7 Burnt Sienna. Caput Mortuum is like a deep Indian Red.
Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Burnt Sienna, Permanent Alizarin Crimson Deep, Caput Mortuum, Payne's Grey, Neutral Tint.


Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Van Cyck Brown, Warm Sepia, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber.

Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Transparent Brown, Warm Grey, Sennelier Grey (not shown), Greenish Umber.

Sennelier L'Aquarelle professional Watercolours - Light Grey (not shown), Lamo Black (not shown), Ivory Black, Raw Sepia (not shown)
 I'll add more if I get them but I hope this will be useful for those looking at Sennelier - especially if you are in or near France :-)

See also -
Art Spectrum watercolours here
Blockx full range of Watercolours here
Daler Rowney Artists' Watercolours here
Daniel Smith new colours 2017 here
Daniel Smith full range here
Da Vinci range here
Dr PH Hydrus Watercolours here
Holbein Watercolours here
Isaro Watercolours here
Lukas watercolours here
M.Graham watercolours here
MaimeriBlu full range here
Mission Blue full range here
Old Holland full range here
QoR watercolours here
Rembrandt Watercolours here
Schmincke new colours 2017 here
Schmincke full range here
Sennelier watercolours here
St Petersburg Watercolours here
Wallace Seymour Artists Watercolours here
White Nights watercolours here
Winsor & Newton Full range here