I follow a lot of art supply manufacturer pages on Facebook so I can keep up with new products they release or any potential sales or competitions. Recently I saw a post from Sennelier about a number of ‘sample packs’ they were releasing of some of their products, each of which contained 5-6 tubes of paint or sticks of pastels. I had sets of their soft pastels and oil pastels already but I though I might as well get the sample tin of their Artists’ oil paints.
Here’s the chart for the sample set.
Unfortunately Alizarin Crimson has been included in the set. This is disappointing since it’s well known now that this colour is very fugitive, so I don’t really understand why they put this in the test pack instead of some other magenta or rose colour, or even a permanent alternative to Alizarin Crimson. Other than that, the colour selection is quite well-balanced and you can mix just about anything from these five colours. This set contains 20ml tubes (the smallest ‘regular’ tubes Sennelier sells are 37ml) so even if you haven’t tried oils before, it’d be a good way to see if you like the medium without spending too much money.
As one would expect from an artist grade brand, the Sennelier oil paints are highly pigmented, like their oil paint sticks. The paints are quite thick and buttery and retain brush strokes or knife marks, so you can get some good textural results if you use them straight out of the tube. Most of the colours were touch dry after a couple of days, but the Alizarin Crimson swatch on the chart took a few days longer (I think that some pigments take longer to try in general in oil paint form, for whatever reason).
If you buy Sennelier oil paints in Australia, you’ll find they’re in the higher price range (just under Winsor & Newton’s Artists’ oils at $13.50), but if you buy from a UK retailer (eg. Jackson’s), they’re in the low-mid price range compared to other oil paints. For most Australian artists, there’s probably no reason to buy these over any of the other paints available for a lower price, but I’d assume they’re more competitively priced in America or Europe.
Here’s the pansy I painted using the Sennelier oil paints.
Sennelier Artists’ oils are a high quality oil paint and readily available in many art supply stores, though Australians shopping locally may be put off by the relatively high price here. Unfortunately the sample set contains a fugitive colour, but the tin is still a reasonably inexpensive way to try these oils if you want to. Whether they are cost effective will depend on where you live, but if they are on sale in your local art supply shop, you won’t go too far wrong if you pick up a tube or two to try.