So, as I haven’t done a pencil review in a while, lets look at something fun today, namely Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer pencils. These are artist grade watercolor pencils by the company that also produces Polychromos pencils (review HERE) that are one of the stars of the pencil world. You can see all of the reviews I’ve done for pencils HERE.
Faber-Castell is a German company, founded in 1761 and by today, they are massive, the company is one of the largest writing/drawing instrument manufacturers of them all with an impressive history. By the way, if you have small children, their crayons are really nice quality and washable, which is a definite bonus. But back to Albrecht Dürer pencils.
Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer pencils come in a metal tin, just like Polychromos. These come in sets of 12, 24, 36, 60 and 120.
There are three layers of pencils in the tin of 120. The pencils have a hexagonal cedar barrel, whereas Polychromos pencils are round. The colors are the same for both ranges so they match very well.
The side of the pencil holds the name of the color in both German and English, color code and lightfastness rating. The latter is a huge plus in my eyes, it’s a lot easier to see it on the pencil then try to find it on a chart.
- Beautiful vibrant colors
- Melt completely when wet, no pencil streaks left showing
- Blend very well
- Lightfastness printed on the pencil itself
- Sturdy tin, will protect them well
- Don’t break easily
- Great naming convention, use a lot of pigment names, making it easy to match different sets and paints
- Great systematic choices for greys, both cool and warm ranges are represented
- Excellent quality casing, no splintering
- Available open stock in some art stores and Amazon
- Will fit standard sharpeners
- 3,8mm core gives you a fair amount of product
- Huge selection of warm and earthy tones, yellows, reds, oranges, browns
- Hexagonal barrel won’t slide off angled tables, a plus for me since I’m working on an angled drafting table
- Can be used in multiple ways, dry and then wetted with a brush, dry on wet paper, wet on paper etc. Can also be used as regular colored pencils though I strongly advise to make sure it won’t get damp then, these colors sigh happily at the slightest sight of water
- Doesn’t lift as completely as some watercolors do (but still a whole lot less permanent then Derwent Inktense)
- Depressingly few cons for these pencils, made me stop and think for a long time. A LONG time.
Since I’ve only barely scraped the surface of water solubles with Derwent Inktense so far, I can’t really compare the two since Inktense is a different type of product, being ink instead of watercolor when wetted. So lets chat about these in general.
I’m a creature of habit (while being a collector at heart) so I love that they share colors with Polychromos. I’ve used those so much that I know where all the pencils are and what they look like. Transitioning to Albrecht Dürer is a breeze, everything is the same, only it’s watercolor. Awesome, right? Well I think it is.
These are strong in the warm colors but while the blues and greens are a bit outnumbered, the selection of them is very good and I personally don’t feel they’re lacking in any way.
Pricing of these is pretty medium, they’re not the cheapest out there but also not the most expensive.
Of all the watercolor pencils I’ve tried (and yes, will tell you about them all in due course), these are the ones I would recommend the most. The quality is impeccable and the price is fair. I can’t fault these pencils anything.
Official color chart:
Example coloring piece I’ve done with these:
Picture: Johanna’s Christmas by Johanna Basford
Overall: as stated earlier, these are the watercolor pencils I would recommend for sure, the price and quality match and there’s nothing to fault here, they are lovely pencils and will definitely provide tons of fun and creative hours to your life. They’re so nice it’s almost boring. Guess I’ve gotten used to my passionate love-hate relationship with Prismas 😀 Anyway for these, a definite thumbs up!
Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience with these pencils