Sennelier's Extra-Soft Pastels were created over a period of three years at the turn of the 20th century and the result was the creation of one of the largest chromatic range of pastels. These pastels are comfortable to hold and allow for large areas to be covered with a lush, luxurious color. Each pastel is composed of high quality pure pigment and a natural transparent binder. For gradient shades, increasing amounts of mineral fines are added, ultimately tending towards white. The exceptional brightness is the result of the pigment and the natural mineral fines discovered by Sennelier in 1905 and that have been used ever since. The manufacturing process of the Sennelier cylindrical pastel does not compress the paste, and the pastel dries naturally in open air. Each half stick measures 1-1/4" long x 1/2" in diameter.