So, the pencils themselves. They come in several sized sets from 12 to the full 120, and can be bought open stock. They share colour names & numbers with FC Polychromos pencils, which is really useful for keeping consistency in colour whilst having the versatility of using different media.
The barrel is hexagonal and measures at a thickness of 8mm with a 4mm core. The core is break resistant due to FC's trademark bonding process (indicated by the SV symbol on the pencil), and they certainly feel very sturdy and durable to hold & use. The length of the barrel depicts the colour in a glossy paint finish, with a silver band circling the top of the pencil. It is stamped with the Albrecht Durer name and the artist's AD monogram, the paintbrush symbol to indicate its water-soluble properties, the pigment name in both English and German, and the corresponding number.
The pencils feel very soft to lay down, on a par with if not softer than their rival the Caran D'Ache Supracolor. Whilst the pigment feels a little dense when dry, applying water instantly turns it to a buttery paint. The oil-based formulation means you won't experience any wax bloom or stickiness, and helps layer colour more smoothly.
Quite simply, Albrecht Durer pencils are a dream to use. Whether you're a seasoned watercolour pencil artist or fairly inexperienced with the media (like me), these pencils feel incredibly easy to use and are quite forgiving. Simply load the paintbrush with water, wipe it off on a piece of kitchen towel, and apply. You need only the smallest amount of water, surprisingly little in fact, to move the pigment around and it is very easily controlled. If you want to rework colour after it has dried, it instantly dissolves again with a little water.
The finished result is beautifully saturated colour that appears super smooth and highly vibrant. Take a look below at a postcard I coloured with the pencils, both before and after water was applied. Note that all of the flowers were painted without me having to re-wet the paintbrush at all- just wiping any residue onto a piece of towel between colours.
Book: I Bring You Flowers by Maria Trolle
As you can imagine a premium product warrants a premium price tag, and these pencils are no exception. Prices vary, but you can typically expect to pay around £130-£150 for the full set. In my opinion it is worth it to have such a versatile medium that pairs so well with the Polychromos, a pencil that many of us own and love. In the end it's personal opinion as to whether you consider them value for money, but I can certainly attest to the fact that they are very high quality pencils that I am excited to further explore in my artwork.
Here are some links to buy the Albrecht Durer pencils from Cass Art, where I got mine. They ship internationally from the UK, and sell many other types of watercolour products if this is a media you wish to use more of.
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