These are the main Sections of the Site
These are the other Topics within this section
This company produce both ‘normal’ pencils and an interesting woodless variant to the coloured pencil theme.
Cretacolor are made in Austria and are a made in ranges of traditional wooden cased pencils and also a range of wood free pencils which are water soluble.
There are a wide range of different pencils produced, but not all are imported into the UK.
I have sampled two standard coloured pencils, The MARINO aquarelles and the Karmina dry point coloured pencils.
MARINO AQUARELLES are an excellent soluble pencil for a beginner. The colour range is modest -
Firstly, whilst the colour selection is limited with the small set,
the actual colours are all lightfast to either ASTMS D4303 -
( For information on Lightfastness and ASTMS testing, see the appropriate page in this section )
This puts the pencils on a par with Caran d’Ache Luminance for stability at a fraction of the price.
Each pencil is labled with the LF rating and the name of the colour in English, which is nice.
The second benefit for a beginner is the way the colours behave. They are easy to lay down -
When wet, the colour is pretty much identical to the dry version -
There are no surprises. There is nothing to encourage a new user of watercolour pencils to scream and pack the box away in a cupboard. What you put down on the paper is what you get.
I checked with a representative of the manufacturer and they confirmed that the pigments in the Marino selection are identical to those in the woodless Monolith variety ( considered below ).
KARMINA COLOURED PENCILS are a similar set of 36. I don’t know whether they are wax or oil based, but they handle well and for a starter set at around ( or below ) £1 a pencil they are good and should encourage a user to extend their use of the medium. In the UK they only appear in sets, which would make individual replacement a problem. But despite this I would still recommend them for an absolute beginner
The wood free Aquarelle version is Effectively a 7mm diam. crayon with a lacquered film to protect the hand, they are quite firm (not waxy) and will lay down a large amount of colour in a short time.
They dissolve reasonably well -
On the basis that the recipe is the same for these as for the Marino pencils ( above ) I would expect the pigments here to also meet ASTMS -
The noteworthy factor is that there is very little noticeable difference between the colour laid down dry and the same colour after water has been added. The darker colours show up better on watercolour paper because the paper grain has all been filled with pigment after water treatment.
The paler colours can appear slightly lighter where the pigment has been evened out with the brush and water. There is no major colour shift though.
A sample Penciltopics standard chart of the full set of the Aqua Monolith (woodfree) aquarelles has been linked here to the colour comparison pages of this site Cretacolor Aqua Monolith chart
Sets of up to 72 colours in number are sold at around £85 so they are comparable with other quality pencils on price , but the amount of pigment you will get for your money is much greater than the average pencil.
Watch out if you drop them as they tend to break easily ( no wood protection )
But all the pieces can still be used.
I think they may prove to be excellent on grit papers but have yet to test them on this medium.
Availability is scattered and your best option is to buy over the Internet.
The suppliers below sell smaller sets of colours if you should wish to try them out before buying a full set
As far as I know the Pastel Pencils are the only ones available as singles in the UK, but an extended search may find a suuplier
The Cretacolor website is at www.cretacolor.com
Marino Aquarelles are available from Bob Elcock via the Internet and Mail Order
Karmina Coloured Pencils are obtainable from Pencils4Artists
A chart showing the full colour range of the Cretacolor Aqua Monolith pencil is shown in this link
See the Colour comparison section for details of the other pencil colour charts
Bob sells the Pastel Pencils in sets, smaller dedicated selections ( for landscapes etc ) and singles ( which is helpful) .
This is a small chart from my own working set and gives me an instant check on any changes between dry colour and the same colour after water has been added. You will see that there is little alteration in colour here between the two states.
Most colours offer a degree of lightfastness not often found in pencils in this price range
Latest revision January 2014
COMPANY by COMPANY
|Glossary of CP Terms|
|Introducing step by steps|
|sbs basic shapes|
|sbs fruit bowl|
|sbs polperro B|
|sbs rectory garden|
|The Bowerman Stone|
|sbs to come|
|Price and Content|
|Papers for Wax type pencils|
|Papers for Watercolour pencils|
|Papers for Pastel pencils|
|Papers for mixed media with CP|
|Black Paper Fade|
|Non standard papers for wax pencils|
|Application of colour|
|Density of Colour|
|Results on Different Papers|
|Ways of using Aquarelles|
|Why Underpainting ?|
|Backgrounds with Aquarelles 1|
|Backgrounds with Aquarelles 2|
|A Brush with W/C Pencils|
|Foliage in W/C Pencil|
|Step by Step - Coventry Canal|
|Cottage Garden - Step by Step PDF|
| Italian Street step by step 1|
|Italian Street step by step 2|
|Brokken Bridge Step By Step PDF|
|Coventry Canal 2|
|CP & Pastel|
|CP & W/c Pencils|
|CP & Other media|
|Archway - Mixed Media sbs|
|Cottage Entrance Mixed Media sbs|
|Annecy Reflections 1|
|Annecy Reflections 2|
|working on coloured paper|
|Still Life Points|
|BURNISHING, Blenders and Burnishers|
|Landscape Tutorial- Grand Union|
|clouds & skies|
|Brick, Stone & Tile|
|Brick stone and tile 2|
|Colour and complementaries|
|Boats & Water|
|Form & Space|
|Drawing from Life - introduction|
|using a camera|
|transfering an image|
|keeping a record|
|printing 2 - layout|
|Life Drawing 1 - the basics|
|November 2011 Landscape SBS|
|July 2012 - Kitten Step by Step|
|Old Blog Posts as at Dec 2014|
|Aix En Provence series|
|New input ( from Dec 2014)|