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A German based group based in Nuremburg and operating worldwide, they have a pencil making history going back to the mid 1600s. The Group is unusual in that it is owned by an Educational Foundation, the main purpose of which is the promotion of scientific research at German polytechnics and universities, in particular at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.

The group makes a vast array of pencil products mainly for educational and craft use but only one brand falls within our specialist orbit.

The KARAT AQUARELLE pencils are a high quality student brand, and as such, are attractive to artists as a lower priced alternative watercolour pencil.

The pencils are sold only in sets which go up to a  full set of 60.

The pencils are quite hard and therefore sharpen to a fine durable point, which makes them useful for fine work.  

The colour core dissolves readily to enable good watercolour washes and the pigment behaves well on paper when wet, though care is needed ( as with many aquarelles ) when trying to wash out a drawn line.

Some of the darker colours change when wet, so it is wise ( as with all Aquarelles ) to do a test sheet of the whole colour range in your set to see them on paper both dry and after wetting.

I use these pencils for beginner courses as they are reliable and inexpensive. They sharpen easily and keep a good point.

Many of the colours are permanent once wet

Available mainly through Internet sale, the full set of 60 retails around £50 from Amazon.co.uk, who seem to have a special deal going with Staedtler !  The RRP for 60 is around £85 but you can get them from a number of retailers at around £60.

They make an excellent introductory set providing a wide selection of useful colours.  

They are not perfect as an aquarelle coloured pencil as noted above - some of the darker colours can have quite a large colour shift when wet, but they are very usable, and dissolve well with water  They offer superb value.  

I use them a lot for underpainting as the pigment is very finely ground and makes smooth washes.

Have a look at www.greatart.co.uk

The UK Company Website is at       www.staedtler.co.uk

The colour range of the Staedtler karat Aquarelles is shown in the Penciltopics standard chart, together with the colours after addition of water  Staedtler Karat  set

Latest revision October2012