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Thursday, May 30, 2019

What Can you Paint with the Sennelier Plein Air Half Stick Set?

'Peaceful'              9x12           Pastel                         ©Karen Margulis
available. $165
It was a challenge. But it was also fun to use a limited palette of pastels. The end result worked and I learned some things along the way. The challenge was to put the Sennelier Plein Air Landscape half stick set to the test. I wanted to see if I could use this set alone to paint a landscape. I did allow myself to use a few harder Nupastels to supplement the 30 half sticks of Sennelier pastels. I used the hard pastels to blend areas as well as paint the details such as the marsh grasses.
 Below is a photo of the pastels I used for the painting.

What did I discover from this challenge?
  • Sennelier pastels are soft. They are softer than the Terry Ludwig pastels that I use the most. I like them but in the past have used them for final marks and top layers of a painting. It was challenging to use such soft pastels for the early layers. I had to be sure to use a very light touch so I wouldn't fill the tooth of the paper too quickly.
  • The half stick are not crumbly like the Sennelier full sticks which tend to crumble when the wrappers are removed. BUT they are not uniformly round and so it was hard to get a wide consistent mark. I needed to sand down a side of the pastel to make smoother marks. 
  • The set was suprisingly well rounded for having just 30 sticks. There were a few neutrals that helped balance the intense colors. The addition of the white and black gives the ability to layer to alter colors somewhat. I found having a few Nupastels really helped expand my palette (a low cost option)
  • Would I recommend this set for a Plein air outing? The jury is out until I can use the set for an actual plein air outing! I will plan to do that soon and will report back!

If you would like to see more details of this painting as well as paint along with me head over to my Patreon Page. This painting was our Paint Along painting for May. There are four videos that break the painting down into 4 parts allowing you to paint along at your own pace. Join us at the Silver level....cancel at any time!

My Demo Board

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