Caran d’Ache Fancolor Colored Pencils

12-40 count pack

wax core

hexagonal barrel




Decent Blending

Very User-Friendly

Relatively Tough


Limited Color Options

Still Somewhat Pricey for a Beginner Pencil

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Caran d’Ache Fancolor Colored Pencils Review

The Caran d’Ache Fancolor pencil set is intended for aspiring artists who are still learning pencil techniques.  They are designed to allow for easier operation and stability while still adhering to the high standards of other Caran d’Ache products.  These wax-based pencils blend well enough by themselves but are also water-soluble which opens up many more possibilities.  Color selection is a bit lacking, with sizes from 12 to 40, and the pencils come in a hexagonal barrel.

Visual Appeal – 3/5

Despite being a student-oriented pencil, these actually produce quite good color.  To get the depths of other lines you might have to make multiple passes, however.  Blending is decent and the fact that it is open to both dry and wet blending is a nice bonus.  Stacking colors is, for the most part, seamless.  The points can be made into a sharp point which also assists for fine-detailed areas.  However, you won’t get quite the overall performance that you see in the other, more expensive, Caran d’Ache lines.

Usability and Durability – 3.5/5

The design and color output makes these a lot less challenging than other, more high-end sets.  The color output is quite linear and somewhat buttery, even though it isn’t as thick as we would like.  This might have been intentional as it makes it easier to spread color without over-saturating an area.  The pencils are relatively strong and should hold up to a decent amount of abuse and similar to other Caran d’Ache sets they take to the pencil sharpener quite easily.

Packaging and Presentation – 3/5

These are available in a metal tin that does a reasonable job of protecting the pencils.  There are neither corrugated grooves nor fancy wooden case but that is fine given the lower price.  The pencils themselves are color-coordinated on the outside and are stamped to display pertinent information.

Cost – 2.5/5

Being student or beginner-level pencils, these don’t have quite the performance or features of the more exotic lines but come in at substantially cheaper.  Expect to pay in the mid-price range for these.

Overall Ranking – 3/5

Being targeted for a more beginner-friendly group, these don’t have quite the immense color output, buttery texture, or advanced blending capabilities of some of their older siblings.  However, they are also substantially cheaper.  That being said, they are still of high quality and exceed budget pencils lines in both performance and price.  A good stepping stone for those wanting to “move up” to something a little nicer without breaking the bank.

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