Tools: Sennelier Watercolor Pan Kit and Pentalic Aqua Journal

It seems that when I get my watercolors in order and say “I need nothing,” I end up buying something new.  Blick’s is having an amazing sale which I came across looking for a replacement tube; I had put my travel metal pan on a back burner and then I saw this sale on Sennelier French Artists’ Watercolor Set, while they last, $60 for 18 pro colors.

How could I not?

Thing is, I’ve not used pan watercolors since I was a kid — always tubes.
I’ll share the first couple days of playing around with them and then later will tell you how I liked them after getting used to them — and they will take getting used to!  The case is well-made, and it is the case I’ve been waiting to buy — a good metal travel case.


W16 4 7 MIXING PANS 02W14 11 14 LS COLOR 27I’ve enjoyed my metal home-made cases,
but the thing is, they no longer work for me.
This is one part of the learning curve;
I came from acrylic world where
I mixed paints in baby jars.
For the longest time I bought the water colors I liked and didn’t mix much except on the paper
(which is what many artist’s do.)
Then I began perfecting my washes…
and needed to mix it up…
and lo and behold, began to need a mixing space.  (See that messy thang above?)
My home-made tin didn’t have
but one mixing space (under the color palette.
Not good enough!
So now I have a grown-up travel container!

W16 4 SENNELIER 1First impressions, the watercolors fall out of their containers.  The blue one above is an example.  (The small pans are Sennelier, the large pans are my Daniel Smith tubes in containers, which I’ve already added, because I CANNOT live without quin gold and piemonite and sap green and green gold.)

I like full pans even though it means fewer pigments.

I  like filling my own pans, heaping the paint up on one side and letting there
be a place for a bit of water to muddle about in and make a baby wash space.
I doubt I keep this together in this form for more than a month or two;
then I will lift the metal insert out and put my own pans in that place.

(Nope, I am already having an internal argument to remove the tray and put my own pans in. My muse is saying,”Why push to try it? You can keep the tray to the side and play with the paints if you like….”  So much for my willingness to try this!
We’ll talk tomorrow.)

I like the mixing areas, and I like that it has a thumb-holder underneath.
But the paints falling out is a problem!

W16 4 SENNELIER 3This shows the colors with my added pigments, unmarked.

The colors are not my favorites, as they are Crayola crayon colors, not nuanced.
They are not as transparent as Daniel Smith’s colors, and they are matte, quite flat.
The paint, however, is excellent quality — they are Sennelier, after all — and so it is fun to play with more new colors, things I might not buy, in small quantities.
They also layer well, below, and do not move easily once dried, even the non-staining pigments.  Perhaps for the time I am in this book I will use them.

A note about where I am headed now, creativity-wise.

I’ve learned enough about watercolors to make them my own now,
even though I am still in a couple of groups where I can still continue to learn, always.  This means I want to go back to my own crazy-arse journaling and silly sketches, and may not publish those as much.  Maybe I’ll do a day where I post what I am comfortable with in my sketchbook, I’ll have to see where this new direction is taking me.  And I am paint/writing a book, and not willing to share all those images with the internet.

Then there is the journal….

I tried a book as a very-good-deal, and have, in past, enjoyed Pentalic Nature series sketchbooks, ring-bound.  This journal is meant to compete with Moleskin and Fabriano.  So how to I get excited when I open it and it falls apart?
Yup.  Back opened up when I laid the book flat —
and they are designed to be laid flat so you can paint on them.
I am unimpressed so far.  Pentalic should skip the penholder and the envelope at the back and create a better binding.  I am going to make it work for this round…
And will contact them and see what they are willing to do.
Moleskin stand behind their bindings IF you can tell them where you got the journal.

Cannot Recommend!

W16 4 PENTALIC BRAND NEW 1 W16 4 PENTALIC BRAND NEW 2Pentalic Aqua Journal, Platinum Carbon pen, Lamy Al-Star with
De Atramentis Document Black and Sennelier Watercolors.


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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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7 Responses to Tools: Sennelier Watercolor Pan Kit and Pentalic Aqua Journal

  1. sandidureice says:

    Speaking purely as a novice here – I can see what you mean about them being like crayon colours. I think the Pthalo Green and the Vermillion are the culprits. But I do like the muted effect when they are watered down.


  2. Neesie23 says:

    Lots of interesting detail here in this post. Thank you for sharing.
    Happy PPF to you


  3. Pingback: Travel Palettes and Color Mixing Charts | D.Katie Powell Art

  4. zuzala says:

    for the falling out pans, either squeeze the metal brackets tighter, or.. use double faced tape, or zots, and attach a piece of magnet ( sheets available in michaels) and they will stay put, but still be removable. sorry you are having a tough time.


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