Caran d’Ache Fancolor Colored Pencils
12-40 count pack
Limited Color Options
Still Somewhat Pricey for a Beginner Pencil
Caran d’Ache Fancolor Colored Pencils Review
Updated by Brandon F. on June 19, 2020
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 produce quite a good color. To get the depths of other higher-end colored pencil 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 (a common benefit of wax cores) which also assists in fine-detailed areas. However, you won’t get quite the overall performance that you see in the other, more expensive, Caran d’Ache lines. That being said, with a bit of extra application pressure and multiple passes you can get relatively close. Some interesting effects can also be achieved with the addition of a little solvent.
Usability and Durability – 3.5/5
The design and color output makes the Caran d’Ache Fancolor Colored Pencils a lot less challenging than other, more high-end sets. The color that is produced is quite linear and somewhat buttery, even though it isn’t as thick as we would like. Having a buttery feel is a pleasant surprise for a wax core as this is not a common trait.
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. You can tell that these pencils were designed more for the “mass market”.
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. You won’t get the overwhelmingly beautiful packaging of the more expensive Caran d’Ache sets but it is by no means ugly.
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 a substantially cheaper asking price. Expect to pay in the mid-price range for these. This is a bit higher than we would have hoped since they perform similar to other beginner-level pencils but come with a price up-charge because of the name associated with them.
Overall Ranking – 3/5
Being targeted for a more beginner-friendly group, the Caran d’Ache Fancolor Colored Pencils don’t have quite the immense color output, buttery texture, or advanced blending capabilities of some of their older siblings. However, they are also quite a bit more affordable. That being said, they are still of high quality and exceed budget pencils lines in both performance and price.
Considering that they are a wax core, they do better than most. A good stepping stone for those wanting to “move up” to something a little nicer without breaking the bank.