Caran d’Ache Aquarelle Museum Watercolor Pencils
12-80 count pack
Smooth, Buttery Application
Extremely Vivid Color
Somewhat Limited Color Choices
Caran d’Ache Aquarelle Museum Watercolor Pencils Review
Updated by Brandon F. on February 16, 2023
The Caran d’Ache Aquarelle Museum watercolor pencils are unique in that they combine extra-fine pigments in high concentration with the water-solubility of their standard watercolor lines into this bright and vibrant premium pencil line. The 3.8mm lead is soft and quite versatile, being just at home in detailed areas as in larger areas. The application is smooth and buttery and blending is a breeze. This product is wax-based, wrapped in a hexagonal barrel, and is available in sizes ranging from 12 to 80.
Visual Appeal – 4.5/5
These are some of the most intense watercolor pencils we have come across. The inclusion of additional extra-fine pigment into the lead is noticeable, and the result is an extremely powerful level of color output. Despite the intensity, layering out the color is smooth and there is little evidence of graininess or color manipulation.
They blend well enough by themselves but with the addition of water, some really interesting color hues and patterns can be created and controlled. Color choices might be a bit lacking in the smaller sets but with the 80-piece you shouldn’t have any issues. There are also sets (landscape, for example) that hone in on certain color palettes.
This is great for those people who like to focus primarily on certain settings or locations in their works. Our favorite colors are yellows and greens as they seem to pop off the page (but the darker colors are great in their own right). We enjoyed coloring flowers and bright birds with these pencils.
Usability and Durability – 5/5
The Caran d’Ache Aquarelle Museum watercolor pencils are extremely smooth and the output is buttery. Lightfastness issues aren’t a concern and the color intensity can easily be altered with additional passes or simply adding some water. The pencils are well-made and the lead is quite strong and easy to sharpen to whatever point you need with a sharpener.
You can also put on multiple layers, even varying colors, without worry. You can tell that Caran d’Ache has a good understanding of what needs to go into colored pencil lead. As we mentioned above, another great feature is that you can use this with or without water. While you will have much more dramatic blending with the inclusion of water or another type of solvent, even when dry they perform quite well.
Packaging and Presentation – 4.5/5
The pencils come in either a strong box or a gorgeous wooden case. Both have molded slots for each pencil which means that they are well-protected and look very attractive. The pencil itself is unique in that it is wrapped in a matte black outside varnish with the base being color-matching to the color of the pencil. The necessary pencil information including brand, type, and color is stamped on the outside. In a world that consists of pencils with bright barrels, it is refreshing to find an example where a darker, more professional approach is taken.
Cost – 3/5
Similar to most of Caran d’Ache’s offerings, these are premium pencils and come at a premium price. You get what you pay for and you will certainly have to open your wallet quite a bit to enjoy these. However, for the price, you will enjoy a great set of watercolor pencils that should last for a long time with proper care. Since these pencils are available in singles, you will also be able to replenish your set with individual pencils rather than breaking down and buying an entirely new set.
Overall Ranking – 4.5/5
Arguably the brightest color output of any watercolor pencil on the market, the Caran d’Ache Aquarelle Museum watercolor pencils are a fantastic product. Color depth is impressive as well as the ability to blend both dry and especially wet. There are enough color choices to make most people happy and the entire package looks extremely professional both via the pencils themselves as well as their case. If you want some of the best on the market you just better be ready to pay a high admission price.
However, we feel that experiencing these special colored pencils is more than worth it. These are an absolute necessity for anybody who wants to build their artist toolbox with some of the best watercolor pencils.