Welcome to Colored Pencil Info! We are an online Colored Pencil information site. We provide information for artist quality colored pencils.
Notice: we've discontinued sales of the color charts
Interested in Holbein Colored Pencils? Please see the Holbein section for information about ordering open stock from Japan.
New KarlBox Limited Edition Box Set Collection from Faber-Castell Review
I am a very big fan of wooden box sets of colored pencils. And my favorite box hands down is a limited edition set that F-C produced in 2011 that had a full set of drawing pencils and supplies, a full sets of Polychromos, Albrecht-Durers, Pastel Pencils, and Pastels. That set was a design marvel, with wide pull out drawers, arranged by product. So you could pull out the tray of Polychromos or the tray of watercolor pencils. The drawers slide out flat, but once you pull them out, the top layer of pencils folds up like an easel so that every pencil in that set can easily be seen and used. I use watercolor pencils a great deal at least as a base layer, and that set makes it easy to have both sets out and ready to use on a large drafting table, while easily getting the drawing pencils out as well. While this set was expensive, it was still within range for most serious colored pencil artists, and is a handy tool that they can use daily to work with. The cost of the set if I remember correctly was about $1,000.
Faber-Castell has announced a new, and very unusual box set, called the KarlBox. The set was a collaboration between fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and Faber Castell. The box has 350 products, including a full set of Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils, and a half set of Polychromos pencils. The set is unique, in that it is arranged, not by product, ie. watercolor pencils, dry colored pencils, markers, and pastels, but rather by Color. So each pull-out drawer has, for example, Green Watercolor Pencils, Green Polychromos, Green Marker pens, and Green Pastels. The box would indeed be wonderful for the desktop. But is it designed to be used the way most artists work, and is it worth the $2850 price tag? Let's look at the contents. First of all, the price is staggering. I admit I had never heard of the designer, but I have used all of the products that this box includes, down to the handy collapseable water cup, which I literally don't leave home without!
To see if there was anyway I could possibly justify the expense of this set, like I try to justify the huge cost of chemo, would my life be made better or happier with this set? Is it worth more bills for something that is strictly for happiness? I That is the $2850. question for each artist I suppose. So I put the items in a shopping cart, again at Jerry's. Now, I dearly love Jerry's as well as DickBlick. Both are usually very good at providing quality materials at well below full retail price. This set currently is at full retail. So how much do you have to spend for the actual contents? Just under $450! You can fill the box over 6 times, at retail prices, for the price of the boxed set. Is the empty box then worth $2400? When it only holds 1-1/2 sets of Colored Pencils? How much will your children be able to sell it for on ebay used? Hard to put a price on happy, and if money were no object, of course I would be very happy to have this set, and I would use it daily. With all of your materials clearly organized in front of you, the products themselves would inspire you to do more art, and be more organized as well. But clearly, like high fashion, the price tag is strictly based on the fact that they are only producing a limited number of the sets and the designer's name. Ouch. I still have Beanie Babies.
Will this set be handy to use? To use the full range of colors, you will need to pull out all of the drawers and have room to sit them around you. Most colored pencil artists I know use either colored pencils and/or watercolor pencils, and don't generally use markers or pastels in combination with them on the same piece of work. Not to say that perhaps they should consider it. I got a set of the PITT markers for mother's day, and have to say I totally love them for daily sketching, and I use them with watercolors as well as watercolor pencils. The pastels work quite well with colored pencils, and are in the same colors as the pencils. Many artists use pastels for the background of their colored pencil works, and these are a very handy size that do not roll off of your desk. The drawing pencils are extremely good. There is no doubt that the drawing pencils, and all of the materials in the box are top quality artists products.
This 350 piece set includes:
120 Albrecht Dürer Artists’ Watercolour Pencils
60 Polychromos Artists’ Colour Pencils
60 Polychromos Artists’ Pastels
60 PITT Artist Brush Pens
13 PITT Artist Fineliner Pens
3 PITT Artist Metallic Pens
12 Castell 9000 graphite pencils
5 Castell 9000 Jumbo extra-thick 5.3mm graphite leads
5 Graphite Aquarelle Pencils
4 PITT Graphite Crayons
1 Watercolour Brush
1 Dual Sharpening Box Castell 9000 Titanium-plated jumbo knife
1 Dual Metal Sharpener for colored pencils
1 Kneadable Art Eraser
1 Dust-Free Art Eraser
1 Sharpening Knife
1 Sandpaper Block
1 Clic & Go Watercup
Jerry's Artarama has the set, but so far none of their coupons will apply!
I keep telling people that if a woodworker wanted a good business to go into, they should make nice quality wooden pencil boxes, but they should not be something that only Ivanka or her dear Daddy could afford! It will be a shame if these boxes are bought strictly to collect, and not to be used by artists.
New Paper Stonehenge Aqua Review
Stonehenge Paper, which is made by the Legion paper comany, has long been a favorite paper for colored pencil artists. That is, artists who use the dry colored pencils without solvents or water. They now have a new paper, Stonehenge Aqua. It comes in Hotpress, which is a smooth watercolor paper with a fine-grained tooth. This is a great paper for using with watercolor pencils, or with heavy applications of dry pencils or solvents. The heavier your paper, the less buckling you will have. They also make Coldpress paper, which has a rougher texture. Coldpress paper has long been a favorite with watercolor artists. Since my old favorite paper for watercolor pencil is difficult to find now, the Hotpress by Stonehenge is really excellent. The sizes available are a bit strange though. The pads come in 7 X 10 inches, and 9 X 12 inches. I am not sure why they chose 7 X 10 inches instead of a standard 8 X 10, which would fit into a standard size frame. Custom matting and framing is very expensive! They also make full sized sheets, which you can cut down. You can also get a small 'sample' pack of both very inexpensively, in order to try it out before you invest in a lot of it. They really need more interesting covers though! I loved the colored pencils on their new design of their regular paper.
My old favorite paper was Cartiera Magnani Italia Acquerello. It does not say hot or cold press, just Grana Fine. It is a fabulous paper.
New Hand-Held Sharpeners Mobius & Ruppert Brass Review
New hand-held sharpeners are here from Mobius & Ruppert. They are made of brass, and are quite heavy. They are unbreakable. You can sharpen pencils up to 11 mm in size, as well as Lead Holders of 2mm and 3.2 mm thicknesses. The blades have been hardened. I like the 2-hole one for fatter pencils like Luminance. But the round one feels amazing in your hand, and odd to say, to feels really good in your hand! These are heavy, so you might not want to take them on an expedition to the Antarctic.
Faber-Castell has a new size available in their fabulous water-soluble pencils, the Albrecht Durer line. The pencils are called Magnus, because they are much larger in diameter than their regular line. The cores are 5.3 mm, which makes them great to cover a lot of paper fast, for example with a background. They come in 24 colors, open stock or in sets. The brush is too big for the box. Mine came with a bent tip, making it pretty useless. But you can replace it with a good watercolor brush.
The amazing Robert, at Robax Engineering has created a new pencil stand for your pencil trays. If you want to stack more than 4 trays without having them tip over, this will allow you to do it! This one is all made of a lighterweight plastic, so it is much less expensive and lighter weight than the former wooden stand. The side tabs come off for easy transportation and storage.
We are in the process of redoing all of our color charts and updating information. Our color charts are hand made, using our own templates. They are done on Stonehenge paper. For most oil-based pencils, burnishing is done with a Lyra Rembrandt-Spender. For wax-based pencils, burnishing is done with a Prismacolor blender. For Water-Soluble pencils, blending is done with a damp (not wet) brush and water. See color charts for the type of colored pencil you are interested in by located it under the brand name to the left!
You can get sheet protectors in any office supply store. Slip your color charts into those, and organize in a 3-ring binder. This will keep your charts handy, and protected from light and cups of coffee!
Our ChartShop contains pdf downloads of out newest color charts, both blank and pre-colored! These are a few examples. Download links will be sent via email as soon as you order one. Please check your SPAM email if you did not get a link, and email us if there is an issue! We have the blank Chart ready for you to color for Prismacolors- 150 set and Inktense- 72 set. Also Caran d'Ache Pablos. If you buy them, you can post a small sample to write about them, but they are designed for your own personal use. Please do not re-distribute them or reproduct them, they are copyright protected.