Faber Castell

Art Supply Review: Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils

These are considered some of the highest quality watercolor pencils available. Do they stand up to that claim?

Stats

Quality Where Does it Stand?
Lightfastness 64 out of 120 have the highest lightfastness rating
Where Is It Made? Germany
Identification (Color Labeling and Accuracy) The pencil are completely covered in a lacquer that is the same color as the lead. the pencils also have their name written in German, English, and a color number code with lightfastness rating.
Shape Hexagonal
Sharpening These pencils are a little bit too big to fit into an average sharpener, but when they are sharpened the wood is smooth and the tip doesn’t break too much.
Dissolubility It might take more than one swipe, but the marks made by the pencil are able to be completely dissolved without too much effort.
Open Stock Yes, it is available open stock.
Packaging The sets come in cute little metal tins that can be used for storage or reused for something else because they seem quite durable.
Price Around $1.60 per pencil

Pros

*The pencils themselves seem really well made. I love that the whole pencil is lacquered with the correct color, so it’s really easy to tell at a glance what color pencil you are reaching for.

  • The marks that these pencils leave behind dissolved fairly easily. Much better than most other watercolor pencils I have tried.

  • The core is soft, but not super soft, so it gives a kind of sturdy feeling.

  • They are available open stock, woo! This way you could build up the exact kind of palette that you would want instead of having to get a whole set. They are also fairly readily available.

  • If you use the other products from Faber Castell, you are able to match the colors using their color index to get the exact same shade as the other products.

Cons

  • Not all of these colors have the highest lightfastness rating, even though about half of the pencils have the highest. So that might be nitpicking a bit.

  • Even though the lines are easy to dissolve, I have to scrub a bit, which I would not want to do with my softer brushes.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

I don’t think that anyone could go wrong with these watercolor pencils. They are high quality, and even though they are not the cheapest pencils they are not overly expensive.

These are not my absolute favorite pencils, but I know that most people will not want to spend the extra money for the Caran d’Ache Museum pencils.

I use these pencils for sketching and planning out some of my watercolor paintings. They are really fun to work with!

Other Reviews

Where to Get It

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Art Supply Review: Faber Castel Pitt Artist Brush Pen

I got this pen specifically because of its lightfastness. I was pretty upset to find out that Copics are not lightfast, and wanted to find an alternative that wouldn't fade on me. So I turned to the Faber Castell Pitt artist pen.

The ink inside is actually India ink, which is pretty cool. That's what gives it its lightfastness. Unlike most markers, which use dyes, this is a pigment-based ink.

It’s not the most popular pen around on instagram, but it's very easy to pick up in Europe for an OK price. So this was one of the first brush pens that I tried to letter with.

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Stats

Quality Where Does it Stand?
Ergonomics/Feel It has a normal pen body, so it handles normally.
Tip Type Felt
Firmness Medium
Ability to Flex Stiff
Tip Size Medium
Sharpness Blunt
Ink flow Medium
Pigmentation Medium
Bleed No bleed
Watersolubility Waterproof
Copic/Alcohol Marker Proof Yes
Smell No smell
Lightfastness Very Lightfast
Acidity Acid Free
Toxicity Non-toxic
Color Availability 60 Colors
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Pros

  • Very highly lightfast. Actually, some of the shades are so lightfast that they should last longer than 100 years!

  • Depending on what kind of paper you use, you can blend with these colors before they dry. It’s kind of difficult though.

  • I love that this comes in a range of grays, which is great for shadows and shading. I also love the fluorescent line, which is more of a novelty than anything else, but it’s fun!

  • Since they are waterproof, you could layer watercolors on top of the Faber Castell Pitt artist pen without worrying about it smudging or bleeding, which is awesome!

Cons

  • The tip of the pen is not conical, like some other brush pens. Instead, it’s kind of long and skinny. I find that I don’t really like this style for brush lettering because it doesn’t give you very thick down strokes.

  • When you first get this pen, it feels very stiff. However, with use it loosens up. The problem is that the very tip also becomes more and more blunt. That is super annoying when I’m looking for a sharp line. [1]

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

This is not one of my favorite brush pens, but it’s not one of my least favorite either. It’s a little too stiff for me and a little too blunt after a while.

However, it’s one of the only brush pens with a felt tip that I know of that is actually lightfast.

I wouldn’t recommend this to beginners because it can be a bit unwieldy, but it’s definitely an awesome pen to complement your collection.

Other Reviews Of This Pen

Price and Where to Find It


  1. Apparently, there’s a way to fix this problem: Sharpen your PITT pen - YouTube  ↩