Have you ever used Sennelier’s iridescent pastels or indeed, any iridescent soft pastels? I hadn’t and I was curious about them. So I acquired a box of 24 Sennelier’s iridescent pastels.
I just created and published a video showing my unboxing of the set for the first time, recording my initial reactions (YUM!).
I also tried out all of the iridescent pastels on three different types of paper:
- the mid-value La Carte Pastelcard provided with the set,
- a piece of black Canson Mi-Teintes (the smooth side),
- and a piece of UART 280 (the company’s coarsest grade of sanded paper).
I then did a demo with ten of the iridescent pastels, copying a demo piece I’d recently done in a workshop using regular Sennelier pastels.
Here’s the video. It’s fairly long so you may want to know that the demo begins at 11:35.
As you can see, I am pretty delighted with the set and can’t wait to incorporate them into more work!
Here are the final images of each pastel plus two comparison close-ups.
And here are the pastels used in the iridescent demo:
After the video, I took one of the small colour studies I had made a while back (you can see the blog here – all about colour studies) and in parts of the piece, I added some of the iridescent pastels. As I mentioned in the video, Sennelier’s iridescent pastels aren’t all that flashy and it’s not until you see them in a particular light that you notice they are visually different from regular pastels.
There’s a before-iridescent-pastels shot, then an after-application shot looking directly at the piece followed by a photo with the piece slightly tilted to catch the light.
In summary, these pastels feel soft and buttery and are a pleasure to use! They add a bit of subtle glamour to a piece. I think you could use them with any subject where you want a zap of sparkle. This could include still life, landscapes, abstracts, even portraits. Certainly if you do any mixed media, they would be great to have in your stash!
I do wish there were some more darks included (a dark green perhaps?) and also some other colours like orange and purple for instance.
Because the pastels aren’t instantly visible as iridescent especially once they get a bit dirty, you may want to keep them separate from your regular pastels rather than incorporating them into your collection. Otherwise you might suddenly have a sheen on your painting where you hadn’t meant to put it!
Sennelier pastels are pretty much available worldwide. They are distributed in Canada and the US by the distributor Savoir Faire. Prices vary so I’ll leave you to check that.
I think I’ve covered everything but feel free to leave me any questions below. Have you used Sennelier’s iridescent pastels (or any other type of iridescent pastels)? I’d love to know how you use them in your work!
Jusqu’à la prochaine fois (or Until next time),
PS. Here’s the box of Sennelier’s iridescent pastels!
PPS. Here are four metallics from the set: