Messing around with sanguine Part 2

After a few months of trying the Zecchi sanguine chunks, I am not really impressed with the quality of product I got- not in terms of quality of drawing stone, but more in terms of quality of intensity and shade of red. They’re simply too light for me. I understand that many artists may prefer a lighter line to build layering on, but for me- even on darker paper it lacks the quality I was expecting.


I purchased my lump sanguine at the Senellier art supply shop in Paris back in October of 2017. It really wasn’t easy to find in the shop among all of the other wonderful traditional tools and materials, but there it was, high upon a shelf near the pastels. They had, at the time, two varieties of Zecchi lumps, both packaged differently. After speaking with a salesman, I was convinced that both products were the same. I decided to go with the bagged product because I was travelling and it seemed to contain more viable material. The price for either product was about 13 Euro. After buying rolls of their Ingres pastel paper, I went back to the apartment to try out my stash. I immediately, I could tell these were not of the same quality as the no longer available Cenini lumps I bought years ago. I decided I would give them more of a shot when I got back home and had more time to experiment. They feel the same when drawing, but no matter how hard I press or how many layered lines I put down, the light orange is all they give me. after pulverizing a few and adding some iron oxide pigment, I was able to make drawing sticks that I could work with. The consistency is preferable when used this way and you can also make a variety of shades depending on your mixture ratio. If anyone can tell me where I can buy sanguine lumps of better quality , I would be grateful. I’ve spent loads of time scouring the web, coming up with broken links, or outrageous prices for an unfamiliar product. Also, if anyone has input about a possibility that the product I bought from Senellier is not typical, please let me know! I’m also hunting for a great traditional natural white chalk to use. Any info would be a great help!


The Zecchi brand and the marks it makes in comparison to the Cennini brand on the right.


A few drawings make with a combination of the mixed Zecchi and iron oxide.


Published by Lucas Nickerson

Lucas Nickerson is a world recognized Portland-based fine artist. He specializes in whimsical work featuring animals, puns, and portraiture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: