Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor review

Today, lets throw in a pencil or 72 to the ring and see how Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor hold up to some serious coloring.
All reviews for pencils and books can be found HERE.

Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils are oil-based (thank you, Fredrik, for the information!).
These are somewhat of a dark horse of the pencil world. They’re on the low end with the cost but their performance is really on par with quite a few more expensive brands. Yet they’re not crazy popular for reasons completely beyond me, they’re well worth your time.
Lyra pencils come in sets of 12, 24, 36 and 72 in tins. There’s also a wooden box with more bits and pieces, 100 pencils and some tidbits like eraser and whatnot.
The 72 set also comes with two Splender Blenders which I love, other companies should do the same I think. Splender Blender is a blender pencil as the name suggests.
The pencils are round with a wood colored casing with colored ends. The wood is not of the highest possible quality but for the price, it’s good enough.

  • Comes with two blender pencils, at least the 72 set does. Like, can I get a yay?
  • Very good price for the quality
  • Soft and blendable
  • Layer well
  • They have a great range of yellows, oranges and reds
  • Erase well
  • Don’t break much, I have only one broken pencil as far as I know
  • Surprisingly lightfast, very few are deemed low in the lightfast category
  • 3,7mm lead in a 7,1mm casing
  • Will fit in all standard sharpeners
  • Available open stock in some art stores and Amazon


  • Very small selection of browns
  • Shaky barrel quality (but that to me is you get what you pay for and I’d rather have a shoddy casing then a shoddy lead)
  • 72 colors only, I’d like more, specially more browns and earthy tones in general. Trivia time: the pencil that is the absolute shortest in ALL of my cases, is always Sepia
  • The tin itself is nondescript, it has a cardstock sleeve which holds all the information on lightfastness and stuff and it gets banged up pretty quickly with all the on-off action. Or you lose it. Or your kid steals it from the table, never to be recovered, true story

These are not as soft and smeary as Derwent Coloursoft or Prismacolor Premier but they are softer then Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran D’Ache Pablo. They do blend well, you don’t need to use any of your hard learned cursewords.
The casing quality is only worse with Prismacolor Premiers, however Lyra Rembrandts do not break on mere sight like Prismas tend to do.
Layering and blending is great with these, a smidgeon better even then Derwent Coloursoft I’d say but not as easy as with Polychromos or Pablos.
They erase well, way better then Derwent Coloursoft or Prismacolor Premier but not quite as good as Faber-Castell Polychromos.
If interested, see the review tab on top of the page for reviews on all the mentioned pencils.

Color chart:

Official color chart:
There is no official color chart on their website so use Google to find better charts, including lightfastness information. I’d take a picture of the information on the back of the tin sleeve for you but well, enter the aforementioned toddler with a passion for paper, thus it’s gone for good 🙂
Example coloring piece:

Picture: Colour My Sketchbook 2 by Bennett Klein

Considering their cost and wide availability, I’d say they’re definitely worth a go. I’m not the biggest fan of these simply because of the lack of earthy tones. Since I keep my pencils in tins due to lack of space and have limited workspace as well, it makes it hard to combine more then one brand at a time. So for me, they don’t get out much but they are great and I’d suggest looking at these if you want to check out more wallet-friendly pencils and don’t mind the very limited browns.

Next up, probably Derwent Artists but we’ll see 🙂 Soon I’ll have more book reviews up as well, some with giveaways and everything so stay tuned!

Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience with these pencils

13 thoughts on “Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor review

  1. would you be so kind to tell, if you have got the box of Lyra with pomegranate on box (as on photo) or with pears? If with pomegranate, are the penciils still as soft as they have been before? I’ve heard, that the new series with pomegranate is harder, dusty and even comes with doubled colours or with absent lead.
    Thank you for the answer.


  2. Hello Iris,

    Thank you for all your reviews! I bought the Marco Renoir (72 set) a while ago and although their performance is quite good for the price, I do not like the fact that the color on the end of the pencil does not match the actual color of the pencil. I also do not understand their number order… Anyways, I decided to offer them as a gift and I think of buying the Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor (72 set).

    At home, I love to use my Prismacolors (150 set). The Lyra is for when I travel as I put them in a casing that is easier for traveling and I do not want to break my Prismas.

    Anyways, do you love the Lyras more than the Marco Renoirs? I think for the price, the Lyras seem very good quality and are still very affordable.

    Eventually, I will buy the Faber Castell Polychromos (120 set) but for now, it is not within my budget and I keep buying coloring books… It’s a disease, lol!

    I just adore my Prismas and I do not get the comments on breaking as mine do not break at all! Maybe the reason is that I am using the Prismacolor sharpener and they often lay on my dining table, under the sun. I guess this helps keep them intact.

    Thanks a lot!


    1. Lyras are to me a bit better then Renoirs but I think if you want sturdier pencils for traveling, maybe consider Faber-Castell Polychromos, they don’t break easily. Also Caran D’Ache Pablos are very sturdy. I get that they come with a higher price tag and that is an issue for you. Lyra definitely can bring quality for less to the table but they are soft and prone to breaking as well.
      I’ve heard some nice things about Koh-i-noor artist grade pencils as well but I haven’t had the chance to try them yet, they’re also more affordable then FC and Caran D’Ache.


  3. Thank you so much for your prompt reply Iris. I finally bought the Lyra Rembrandt. I intend to purchase the Faber Castell Poly in a couple of months. I was too wondering about the Koh-I-Noor (I do have their Magic pencils and love them) but the colors are not the same and since they were about the same price than the Lyra, I went with these ones. I hope I will love them but since I will use them less often, it’s OK if they are not the highest quality. Also, I read something about putting them in the microwave for just 5 seconds and it seems to resolve the breaking problem. Thanks a lot for all your advice!


  4. I just received my Lyra pencils and decided to return them… On some pencils, the number of the color is not appearing. That is disappointing for such a good brand. I am thinking about buying the Kooh-I-Noor 72 set. I read some reviews and they seem quite popular. The Derwent coloursoft seem nice too but I realize I prefer to see the color on the full pencil. This may sound funny but it makes the pencil more appealing to me when I can see the full color.


    1. That’s too bad! Good that you could return them. Here you can’t, buy something and you’re stuck with it 😛 So it’s a great option. Do let me know how you like Koh-I-Noor if you do go for those.


  5. Too bad you cannot return any item… I think I’d better save my money for the Faber Castell Polychromos since I intend to buy them eventually. I can always use my Marco Renoirs for traveling as they fit in my cute pencil wrap (72 holes). This way, I will avoid future disappointments! Thanks a lot for your reviews Iris!


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