What are the best watercolour pencils? Many watercolour artists use them and yet they all have varying opinions. In order to give you an idea of what the most popular brands are among artists, from beginners to intermediate and professional, listed below are some of the best brands most talked about, commented on and recommended by them.
Koh-I-Noor Mondeluz Aquarelle watercolour pencils.
Koh-I-Noor offers great quality and exceptional value for money. Sets range from 12 to 72 pencils and pencils can be purchased individually also. However, several users did mention that purchasing sets prove to be a lot cheaper than buying pencils individually.
What do artists think about Koh-I-Noor Mondeluz watercolour pencils?
Artists commented that the pencils provide a really good selection of rich vibrant colours and shades. Additionally, the 3.8mm soft creamy wax lead has smooth laydown, blends well and layers easily. Strongly pigmented leads give great colour under minimal pressure but, on the negative side, they do crumble slightly under pressure. However, as soon as water’s applied the lead dissolves completely providing good overall coverage and colour.
Unfortunately, due to the softness of the lead, when pressure is applied they tend not to hold a point. This means that regular sharpening may be required. With that said, several also commented that due to the price of the sets this was not a problem.
Worth noting also, individual pencils vary in lightfastness ratings, as shown on the list provided below. The list details each pencil number, colour and lightfast rating.
On the positive side, there’s a good selection of high lightfast rated pencil colours available. For further information, Koh-I-Noor also provides a PDF file on their website. On the negative side, several artists did mention the poor quality of the brushes and pencil sharpener provided in the sets. However, most were not concerned about this.
What happens when you add water to Koh-I-Noor watercolour pencils?
When you add water to the pencil colours they dissolve easily, providing a rich vibrant watercolour finish. Some artists did, however, mention that not all colours dissolved completely and that colours lost their vibrancy when the water’s added. Never the less with all things considered, the fault may just be down to excessive use of water. The addition of too much water will cause colours to wash out. Several artists did comment on the fact that only the smallest amount of water is required to activate the colours. Also mentioned was that the pencils left some marks.
What are Koh-I-Noor pencil leads made from?
The leads made from high quality sourced pigments combined with the purest quality white clay, usually bleached kaolin of the highest purity and fineness. Additionally, binders and other additives along with a large content of the highest-quality pigment give the pencils a good strong richly coloured lead that has no breakage issues.
Who uses Koh-I-Noor watercolour pencils?
Koh-I-Noor provides excellent watercolour pencils for students and beginners, giving professional quality and finish at a very affordable price when compared to the more expensive brands such as Faber Castell and Caran D’ache.
Worth noting also, some users even suggested that the Koh-I-Noor appeared to be comparable to Caran D’Ache Supracolor pencils and close to Faber Castells Albrecht Durer. However, others said the opposite, stating that they were not as good. Although this may be true, due to their quality, both intermediate and some professional artists said they use them. A few even mentioned the exceptional quality of the product despite the pencils slight lack of longevity.
All Koh-I-Noor Mondelouz Aquarelle colours and lightfast ratings.
**** Rating Excellent.
2 Light Yellow. 3 Yellow. 4 Dark yellow. 5 Orange. 8 Bordeaux-Red. 18 Light Blue. 19 Dark Blue. 20 Prussian Blue. 21 Blue Green 22. Bice Green. 23 May Green. 25 Grass Green. 26 Dark Green. 28 Gold Ochre. 29 Dark Ochre. 30 Indian Red. 31 Light Brown. 35 Grey. 36 Black. 42 Orange Yellow. 46 Dark Orange. 52 Azure Blue. 57 Mountain Blue. 59 Grass Green. 61 Sap Green. 70 Dark Grey.
*** Rating: Very Good.
1 White, 6 Vermillion, 7 Carmine, 15 Ice Blue, 16 Sky Blue, 24 Pea Green, 27 Dark Olive Green, 33 Dark Brown. 34 Light Grey, 37 Cherry Red, 38 Cold Grey, 47 Scarlet Red, 48 Carmine Red, 53 Phthalo Blue, 58 Light Green, 60 Emerald Green, 62 Apple Green, 63 Olive Green Light, 64 Burnt Ochre, 65 Terracotta, 68 Burnt Umber, 69 Light Grey, 71 Medium Grey, 72 SlateGrey.
** Rating: Good.
9 Beige. 13 Violet. 14 Blue Violet. 41 Cream. 43 Canary Yellow. 44 Naples Yellow. 45 Light Orange. 49 Permanent Violet. 50 Windsor Violet. 51 Delft Blue. 54 Cobalt Dark. 55 Permanent Blue. 56 Indigo Blue. 66 Raw Umber. 67 Cadmium Orange. 73 Light Carmine. 74 Brown Ochre.
* Rating: Satisfactory.
10 Pink. 11 Light Violet. 12 Red Violet. 17 Cobalt Blue.
Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils.
The most commented-on watercolour pencils are the Faber Castell Albrecht Durer. Sets vary from 12 to 120 pencils, allowing you to choose a set that best suits your needs and budget. Individual pencils can also be purchased giving you the option to experiment, get extra pencils or top up your sets.
What has been said about Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils?
Many of the artists commented on the superior blending and pigment loading of Albrecht Durer pencils compared to other brands. Richly pigmented colours easily lay down, layer and blend without blooming allowing for rich colour and unlimited shades. Several artists also commented on the vast selection of shades already available in the bigger sets. Others mentioned that the pencils were easy to control when applying them either wet or dry making the adding of finer details easy. This also made them a favourite for those who enjoy adult colouring books.
What happens when you add water to Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils?
When brushed over with minimal water the leads melt with a butterlike quality and colours flowed beautifully making them more intense and vibrant. Several users also commented about the difficulty they were having trying to tell the medium used, on completion. This was due to the fact of there being no streaks or marks left in their finished pieces. This quality makes the pencils perfect for creating individual works, touching up and adding detail to existing paintings and when dry, colours become permanent.
What are Albrecht Durer pencil leads made from?
Made with “high-quality acid-free pigments” and having “unsurpassed lightfastness,” quoted from the Faber Castell website. Lightfastness ratings can be seen below. Or can be seen in the Faber Castell PDF file here. It is worth noting also that 64 of the 120 colours have a lightfastness rating of three stars. This being the highest rating in the Albrecht Durer range. 3.8mm bonded leads make them stronger meaning they won’t break easily and the pencils sharpen well and hold their point reducing the need to resharpen.
Who uses Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils?
Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils are used by both professionals, intermediates and anyone who is new to watercolour pencils seeking quality. However, it does come at a reasonable price. The pencils also complement and work well with Faber Castell’s Polychromos pencils and colour match all other FC lines.
Due to their quality and portability, several artists commented that they use them for doing Plein air work. Others also said they used them for laying down their initial sketches while others used them over Caran D’ache colours.
The Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils are not the cheapest of watercolour pencils. But with all things considered, most agreed that they are well worth the money due to ease of use, quality, performance and professional finish.
All 120 Albrecht Durer colours and lightfast ratings.
*** Maximum lightfastness = 7 ,8 Blue Wool Scale
Maximum fade resistance (100 + years)
101 White, 103 Ivory, 104 Light Yellow Glaze, 110 Phthalo Blue, 205 Cadmium Yellow Lemon, 105 Light Cadmium Yellow. 108 Dark Cadmium Yellow, 111 Cadmium Orange, 112 leaf green, 117 Light Cadmium Red, 110 Phthalo Blue, 112 Leaf Green. 131 Medium Flesh, 140 Light Ultramarine, 141 Delft Blue, 143 Cobalt Blue, 144 Cobalt Blue-Greenish, 146 Sky Blue. 149 Bluish Turquoise, 151 Helioblue-Reddish, 152 Middle Phthalo Blue, 153 Cobalt Turquoise, 155 Helio Turquoise, 156 Cobalt Green. 157 Dark Indigo, 158 Deep Cobalt Green, 159 Hooker’s Green, 161 Phthalo Green, 163 Emerald Green, 165 Juniper Green. 166 Grass Green, 167 Permanent Green Olive, 169 Caput Mortuum,
171 Light Green, 174 Chromium Green Opaque, 175 Dark Sepia. 177 Walnut Brown 178 Nougat, 181 Payne’s Grey, 188 Sanguine, 199 Black, 230 Cool Grey I, 231 Cool Grey II. Cool Grey III, 233 Cool Grey IV, 234 Cool Grey V, 235 Cool Grey VI, 246 Prussian Blue. 247 Indanthrene Blue, 250 Silver, 251 Gold, 252 Copper 263 Caput Mortuum Violet, 266 Permanent Green, 267 Pine Green. 268 Green Gold, 270 Warm Grey I, 271 Warm Grey II, 272 Warm Grey III, 273 Warm Grey VI. 274 Warm Grey V, 275 Warm Grey VI, 276 Chrome Oxide Green Fiery, 278 Chrome Oxide Green. 280 Burnt Umber, 283 Burnt Sienna.
** High lightfastness = 5, 6 Blue Wool Scale
Very good fade resistance.
102 Cream, 106 Light Chrome Yellow, 107 Cadmium Yellow, 109 Dark Chrome Yellow, 115 Dark Cadmium Orange, 118 Scarlet Red. 120 Ultramarine, 121 Pale Geranium Lake, 123 Fuchsia, 124 Rose Carmine, 125 Middle Purple Pink, 126 Permanent Carmine. 127 Pink Carmine, 128 Light Purple Pink, 129 Pink Madder Lake, 132 Light Flesh, 133 Magenta, 134 Crimson. 136 Purple Violet, 137 Blue Violet, 138 Violet, 142 Madder, 145 Light Phthalo Blue, 162 Light Phthalo Green. 168 Earth Green yellowish, 170 May Green, 172 Earth Green, 173 Olive Green Yellowish, 176 Van-Dyck Brown. 179 Bistre, 180 Raw Umber, 182 Brown Ochre, 183 Light Yellow Ochre, 184 Dark Naples Ochre, 185 Naples Yellow. 186 Terracotta, 187 Burnt Ochre, 189 Cinnamon, 190 Venetian Red, 191 Pompeian Red, 192 Indian Red, 217 Middle Cadmium Red. 219 Deep Scarlet Red. 223 Deep Red, 225 Dark Red, 226 Alizarin Crimson, 249 Mauve, 264 Dark Phthalo Green,
* Lightfast rating. Reasonable lightfastness = 3, 4 BlueWool Scale
Good fade resistance
113 Orange glaze, 119 Light Magenta, 130 Dark Flesh, 135 Light Red-Violet, 154 Light Cobalt Turquoise, 160 Manganese Violet. 193 Burnt Carmine, 194 Red-Violet.
Caran D’ache Supracolor soft Aquarelle .
Another highly favoured watercolour pencil among hobby and professional artists is Caran D’aches Supracolor soft.
Sets range from 12 to 120 pencils, giving the option to choose according to your budget. Individual pencils can also be purchased allowing for comparison and experimentation before buying a set.
What was said about Supracolor soft Aquarelle?
The pencils come in a wide and varied selection of colours and the pencil colour gradients are excellent. Each pencil provides good coverage because the super-rich pigments lay down beautifully wet or dry.
Soft buttery cores blend really well and colours layer easily enabling you to create super intense colour and depth without blooming. Detailing’s easily applied using light strokes. Heavier strokes can be used for laying down strong vibrant background colour because of the 3.8mm pencil leads. Colours can also be erased cleanly when needed, leaving little to no trace behind. Supracolor also mixes well with Caran d’Ache’s watercolour crayons, Pablos and Luminance 6901 coloured pencils.
What happens when you add water to Supracolor soft pencils?
When you add water the colours flow giving rich smooth intense colour. Additionally, they have “exemplary lightfastness” quoted from the Caran D’ache website. However, surprisingly, a few artists commented that when water’s added some colours hold their intensity and others tended to fade.
What are Supracolor soft pencil leads made of?
The lead’s made from high-quality pigments with a high pigment concentration and, according to Caran Dache, are unbreakable. Backed up by comments on how the pencils sharpen cleanly and hold their point well reducing the need for re-sharpening. Artists also commented that the hardness of the leads about a 6B.
Who uses Caran D’ache Supracolor soft pencils?
Commented on as being better watercolour pencils than Albrecht Durer they are a number one preference for many artists, both intermediate and professional.
However, Caran D’ache’s a lot more expensive than other brands but with that said many also said the Supracolor soft was second only Caran D’ache’s Museum Aquarelle and Luminance 6901. Both of which commented on for being their best colour pencil products. Never the less and regardless of the price, many professional artists stated that the pencils warrant the extra money. These opinions were based on exceptional quality, longevity, superior lightfastness, ease of use and colour selection.
All 120 Supracolor Aquarelle colours.
Supra soft Aquarelle colours from 001 – 050
001 white. 002 silver grey. 003 light grey. 004 steel grey. 005 grey. 006 mouse grey. 007 dark grey. 008 greyish black. 009 black. 010 yellow. 011 pale yellow. 015 olive-yellow. 016 khaki green. 018 olive-grey. 019 olive black. 020 golden yellow. 021 Naples yellow. 025 green ochre. 030 orange. 031 orangish-yellow. 032 light ochre. 033 golden ochre. 035 ochre. 037 brown ochre. 039 olive-brown. 040 reddish-orange. 041 apricot. 043 brownish orange. 045 Vandyke brown. 047 bistre, 049 raw umber. 050 flame red.
Supra soft Aquarelle colours from 051 – 100
051 salmon. 053 hazel. 055 cinnamon. 057 Chestnut. 059 brown. 060 Vermilion. 062 Venetian red. 063 English red. 065 russet. 067 mahogany. 069 burnt sienna. 070 scarlet. 071 salmon pink. 075 Indian red. 080 carmine. 081 Pink. 082 rose pink. 090 purple. 100 purple violet.
Supra soft Aquarelle colours from 111 – 200
111 mauve. 120 violet. 130 Royal blue. 131 periwinkle blue. 139 indigo blue. 140 ultramarine. 141 sky blue. 145 bluish-grey. 149 night-blue. 150 sapphire-blue. 151 pastel blue. 155 blue jeans. 159 Prussian blue. 160 cobalt blue. 161 light blue. 169 marine blue. 170 azurite blue. 171 turquoise blue. 180 malachite green. 181 light malachite green. 190 greenish-blue. 191 turquoise green. 195 opaline green. 200 bluish-green.
Supra soft Aquarelle colours from 201 – 300
201 Veronese green. 210 emerald green. 211 jade green. 215 greyish green. 220 grass green. 221 light green. 225 moss green. 229 dark green. 230 yellow-green. 231 lime green. 239 spruce green. 240 lemon yellow. 241 light lemon yellow. 245 light olive. 249 olive. 250 canary yellow. 260 blue. 270 raspberry red. 280 ruby red. 290 empire green. 300 fast orange.
Supra soft Aquarelle colours from 350 – 499
350 purplish red. 370 gentian blue. 371 bluish pale. 401 ash grey. 402 light beige. 403 beige. 404 brownish beige. 405 cocoa. 407 sepia. 409 charcoal grey. 460 peacock green. 470 spring green. 491 cream. 493 granite road. 495 slate grey. 496 ivory black. 497 bronze. 498 silver. 499 gold.
Caran D’ache Museum Aquarelle.
Without a doubt, the most popular watercolour pencil among professional artists has to be the Museum aquarelle. More artists commented on their desire to own a set of Museum aquarelles than any other pencil range. Sets range from 12 to 76 pencils with individual sets of 20 being available for both Marine and landscape. Pencils can also be bought individually allowing you to build your own sets should you prefer. As already mentioned the pencils are not cheap.
What do artists think about Caran D’ache Museum Aquarelle coloured pencils?
Firstly, a point raised was that there are 76 colours to choose from in the Museum Aquarelle range. Unfortunately, it appears the only way to obtain them is as a wooden box set that also contains 4 duplicates. Making the complete set 80 pencils. However, it’s not certain if the full range is available in open stock but some artists have suggested that it could be.
On a more positive note, all the pencils have smooth rich creamy leads with high pigment content giving super-rich clear bright colours. Colours layer easily and blend beautifully with 3.8mm leads that are great for laying down colour. Most also agreed that colours are so intense only a small amounts required to achieve the desired effect.
Being much softer than Faber Castells Albrecht Durer’s some artists said they prefer to use them for underpainting. Choosing then to use a harder pencil such as the Albrecht Durer’s for adding details.
Many also commented that the pencils are very versatile and can be used on not only watercolour paper but other types of paper as well. Pencils can also be used wet or dry giving excellent results either way. Several artists also commented that since acquiring a set of Museum Aquarelles they will never go back to their original choice of coloured pencil.
What happens when you add water to Caran D’ache Museum Aquarelle pencils?
With the addition of water, the leads dissolve instantly leaving no trace of the pencil lines providing “optimal transparency with no veiled effect” (quoted from the Caran D’ache brochure.)
In fact, many said that once diluted the colours act like true watercolours. Also mentioned was the fact that the Museum Aquarelles were basically watercolours in pencil form. Colour saturation is superb and there’s no vibrancy loss when it dries. Also, once dry, it does not reactivate easily making it possible to layer with colour washes and other details. Pencils have a Lightfast rating UV150h which can be seen in the list below. The PDF file is also available to view here.
What are Caran D’ache Museum Aquarelle pencil leads made from?
Like the Supracolor soft, leads are made from the finest quality pigment and have a high break resistance making them long-lasting and easy to sharpen to a fine point. A few artists also commented that the leads weren’t as soft as Caran D’aches Luminance leads but the colour goes on just as smoothly. The Museum aquarelle leads have a hardness of about an 8B as opposed to the Supracolor pencils hardness of about 6B.
Who uses Caran D’ache Museum Aquarelle pencils?
The pencils are mainly used by professional artists for their exceptional lightfastness, outstanding quality, ease of use and comfort in the hand. They are also used by intermediate artists and some beginners who are willing to pay for a top of the range watercolour pencil.
All Museum Aquarelle colours and lightfast ratings. Current as of 2018.
001 white, 004 steel grey, 009 black, 015 olive-yellow, 020 golden yellow, 030 orange, 034 yellow ochre. 036 raw sienna, 037 brown ochre, 039 olive-brown, 041 Apricot, 044 Terracotta, 046 cassel earth, 049 raw umber. 055 cinnamon, 057 chestnut, 059 brown, 065 russet, 070 scarlet, 077 burnt ochre, 112 manganese violet, 149 night-blue. 159 prussian blue, 162 phthalocyanine blue, 171 turquoise blue, 181 light malachite green, 182 cobalt green, 212 chromium oxyde green.
214 beryl green, 220 grass green 225 moss green, 240 lemon yellow, 242 primrose, 245 light olive, 249 olive. 350 purplish red, 470 spring green, 495 Slate grey, 496 ivory black, 530 gold cadmium yellow, 542 light flesh 10%. 548 umber, 560 light cadmium red, 571 Anthraquinoid pink , 575 Carmine Lake 583 Violet Pink, 630 ultramarine violet. 660 middle cobalt blue, 661 light cobalt blue, 662 cerulean blue, 670 permanent blue, 710 Phthalocyanine green, 720 bright green. 736 brown olive 50%, 739 dark sap green, 746 Dark Flesh 50%, 808 French grey, 850 cornelian, 902 sepia 10%. 906 Sepia 50%.
Very Good ****
010 yellow, 052 saffron, 120 violet, 131 periwinkle blue, 161 light blue, 210 emerald green, 508 Payne’s grey. 719 dark phthalocyanine green. 866 burnt sienna 50%,
025 green ochre, 060 vermilion, 599 crimson aubergine, 640 dark ultramarine.
106 dark plum,