Castle Art Supplies Colored Pencils
72 count pack
Nice Color Range
Lays Down Mostly Good Color
Bright Colors Can Struggle
Colored Shell Does Not Match Core
Castle Art Supplies Colored Pencils Review
We recently learned about Castle Art and, after doing some digging, realized that they are a rising player in the art game, primarily on online marketplaces. They sell various products including acrylic paints, drawing pencils, and of course colored pencils. We got to test out the 72-pack Castle Art Colored Pencil set which has already become one of the more popular colored pencil sets online in the past few months. This is a wax-based colored pencil set, has a round barrel, and is available in a 72-pack.
Visual Appeal – 3.5/5
Being only available in 72 count sets (as far as we know) the Castle Art Supplies Colored Pencils provide an adequate range of colors to meet most artists’ needs. We particularly like the range of brows and tans which are perfect for coloring animals, furs, trees, etc. The wax core applies very good color with each pass and you will find that layering is also quite effective. Blending, for the most part, is also responsive although we did find that wax bloom was a bit higher than some of the other wax-based brands we have reviewed.
We do have some minor complaints, however. First, the bright and light colors struggle some to produce the level of color intensity that the darker pencils possess. This is particularly noticeable in the yellows and oranges which seem to require multiple passes to lay down deep color tones. Also, the external shell color of the pencils is a bit off when compared to the actual color that they put out. Several readers have mentioned making a color template on some scratch paper before using these so that you will have a better idea of the true color and we certainly agree with that.
Usability and Durability – 4/5
Castle Art has explicitly came out and said that their cores are strong and reliable and help to minimize breakage. We do see the fruits of their efforts and have found that these cores are above average in terms of toughness and reliability. This is great for those of you who are notorious for pushing down very hard with your pencils to get that extra color out of them. Going along with this, the cores are also acceptably soft. While you won’t experience the creaminess of some of the more exotic oil-based lines, we still feel that what you enjoy here is acceptable. Sharpening is about average and most art-oriented colored pencil sharpeners should be able to handle these with proper care. The round core is up to personal preference and we have found people that enjoy hexagonal cores and others that prefer round so that choice will really be up to you.
Packaging and Presentation – 4/5
There have been quite a few complaints about the tins arriving with dents and scratches. We didn’t notice anything like this in our package but enough people have mentioned it to make it noteworthy. While handling shipping once it leaves the factory may be outside of the responsibility of the manufacturer, it is important to put the pencils in a case that can handle typical bumps and drops. The tin that they come in is a bit on the thin side and the flaps that hold the three levels of pencils in place is very thin and wobbly. But at this price point, we can’t be too picky.
As for the pencils, they come wrapped in a color-coded base with a black mid and upper shell (which we discussed some above). However, they are not stamped with the typical color information of that particular pencil. This may be a big deal for some people and not a big deal for others. What is stamped is the brand name and pencil series in an attractive silver leaf. All in all, it is an attractive pencil and holds up to the best in regards to aesthetics.
Cost – 5/5
Easily the biggest selling point (and likely a huge reason why these colored pencils have become so popular) is their fantastic asking price. They are extremely affordable considering the number and quality of pencil you get and this makes it within just about everybody’s budget. And it is also a big reason why these are so popular online.
Overall Ranking – 4/5
The Castle Art Supplies Colored Pencil Set is another rising star in the online art world and their 72-pack set is certainly making a name for itself. The color application is good (outside of some minor issues with brighter colors) and the “Soft Series” name stands out as this set is quite soft and workable for a budget wax-based line. There is a nice color variety and the pencils are aesthetically pleasing as well. That being said, we do wish that they would go with a bit thicker of a storage case and also tweak the coloring on the outside barrel to more closely match the actual color output. However, at such a competitive price point, it makes it easy to overlook minor issues like this. Overall, this is a very good pencil for a very attractive price.