About the company
Caran d'Ache is a Swiss company, that was officially established in 1924. When they were formed, a leading Russian artist was very popular, and in his native tongue “Karandash” means a pencil. In Turkish, “kara tash” means “black stone”, which is a great discription for graphite.
Caran d'Ache are one of the most expensive colored pencils on the US market, but they have a reputation for very high quality that makes the extra cost worth it to most artists. Caran d'Ache is known for bright, juicy, vivid color. Their watersoluble products are nothing short of magic when water is added. They came out with the first water-soluble colored pencil in 1931.
Caran d'Ache keeps their core product lines stable for decades, so artists can depend on being able to find their favorite colors when they need them. The Pablo (dry) colored pencils and Supracolor II (aquarelle) colored pencils come in the same 120 colors.
Caran d'Ache has long been known as a leader in artist quality water-soluble products. We first discovered their water-soluble pencils in 1986, and it was love at the first stroke of the pencil, not to mention pure rapture when water was added.
The Neocolor II crayons are fine-art quality, but can make you feel the joy of color and discovery that you felt as a kid. They are beautiful when used dry, but simply explode with color when wet.
Caran d'Ache is now a leader in producing pencils with the highest lightfast rating on the market. Luminance (dry) pencils have unique colors and are extremely lightfast. The Museum Aquarell line of water-soluble pencils are also at the top of the lightfast rating scale (the Blue Wool Scale), and certain colors will remain unaltered for up to 100 years when exposed to light.
Caran d'Ache colored pencils lay down color really well, and blend beautifully. The Supracolor II leave perhaps a bit more color on the page once water is added than Faber-Castell's do, but we like this, since it leaves a bit more texture behind. The Museum Aquarelle pencils easily dissolve 100%, since they are really watercolor in pencil form.
Both the dry and wet lines have the same look on the exterior. You have to read the label to see if you have a dry pencil, or a wet one. The water-soluble ones have a little paintbrush on them, but still it is easy to grab the wrong sort when you are using both kinds on a painting.