Drawing Tips: Pencil Facts | Part 2 – Faber-Castell Polychromos

If you’ve been following my blog you would have read my first blog entry on drawing tips dealing with pencils in general.  If you’ve missed it – have a look here.

In this post I will start dealing with specific pencils I use or have tried out.  Please note that I am in no way affiliated to any of these brands, neither do I get compensated for a positive review – this is merely my own experience and opinion as a coloured pencil artist.  I am also not claiming to be an expert – just enjoying the medium and sharing the love!

First up then – Faber-Castell Polychromos.  Faber-Castell is a renowned German brand established in 1761 and the quality of the pencil speaks to the craftsmanship and experience they are known for.

The barrel sits comfortably in your hand and supports the 3.8mm lead in a strong, durable casing.  I personally love the range of 120 colours – they are vibrant and beautiful and lay down so smooth and evenly.  If you like fine detail these are the pencils for you – the oil-based lead is a bit harder and therefor keeps a sharp point really well, enabling those minute lines you need.  For someone like me who loves getting stuck in the fur and details of animals, they are amazing!  What makes them even better is that they are really lightfast and this means your work will last and last.  Each pencil is rated according to their lightfastness star-rating for easy reference.

Polychromos blends well with solvent and also with burnishing and recently I had the opportunity to test them with Derwent’s Blender Pencil and that worked great too.  I love doing lots of layers to get the right depth and texture to fur and these pencils layer effortlessly – just bear in mind not to start too dark or press too hard – the lighter colours are not very opaque and therefor lights do not go well over darks at all.  I prefer using either the Derwent Drawing Chinese White or Caran D’Ache Luminance White if necessary.  They do erase rather well depending on how hard you’ve pressed.

All-in-all – one of my favourite pencils and probably the one I use most at this stage, though I have been investing in Caran D’Ache’s range and I am also in love!

The Faber-Castell Polychromos is definitely artist-quality and comes with a slightly higher price tag, but in my experience they are worth every cent.  They are also available open stock which means if you run out of your favourite colour, you can simply buy the single pencil instead of having to buy a whole set.  I buy mine online from Art Savings Club – not only are their prices excellent, but their service is great and they always seem to add something a little extra in there!

I really hope this helped you – if it did, let me know!

Colourful blessings…

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