Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils
1-120 count pack
Great Control Capability
Perfect for Large Areas
Can be Pricey
Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils Review
Updated by Brandon F. on July 1, 2020
Faber-Castell’s primary watercolor line, the Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils are an excellent premium offering. With sets ranging from singles all the way up to 120, just about any color desired can be achieved. These colors come off in a lovely thick, somewhat chunky application and with the addition of a little water, fantastic blending can be experienced.
Like other Faber-Castell lines, these come at a premium but for those wanting some of the best, you can’t go wrong with these. The thick oil-based core is wrapped in an attractive hexagonal wood exterior.
Visual Appeal – 4.5/5
There are many great hues with these watercolor pencils, especially in the larger sets. Color comes off as intense, vivid, and great control can be had with a combination of applied pressure and water (or a solvent if you prefer). Blending with these pencils is a breeze if a color is desired that isn’t already in the larger sets. This helps to make the smaller sets quite versatile as it is much easier to fill on color gaps that may exist. You will enjoy very good deep purples and reds, but really every color is well-established in the larger sets.
Of particular note is the impressive ability to spread a relatively small amount of color over a very large area. The color intensity can be easily lightened if desired, or you can layer the color to darken things back up. More complex color features can also be achieved by layering different colors. In addition, these pencils are extremely lightfast thanks to their quality pigments and should stand the test of time quite well.
Usability and Durability – 5/5
The application of Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils can come off thick and textured, but after a bit of moisture is added it becomes very buttery. This allows you to experience “the best of both worlds”. These are professional-level watercolors but even a novice could easily experiment and come up with some lovely color presentations.
The thick, oil-based core can handle repeated use and sharpening isn’t too burdensome. You are able to get a relatively nice tip which can assist in detailed areas or if you prefer, you can sharpen at a slight angle to allow for much larger strokes.
The hexagonal exterior helps with user control and is a feature we always like to see. Blending is more than adequate (particularly for a watercolor pencil) and a sheer joy to try out. There really isn’t a wrong way to use Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils. The water-soluble lead just seems to be more forgiving than most.
Packaging and Presentation – 5/5
The smaller sets come in either a sturdy metal tin or a thick cardboard box. The tin has corrugated grooves for individual pencils while the box has pouches. Both do a fine job of presenting and protecting the pencils. For the 73 and 120 piece sets, there is an optional high-quality wooden case. Overall, all three options provide very good protection and also look quite stunning.
The pencils themselves have color-coordinated exteriors with attractive gold lettering and banding on the base. This is a classic look that really makes these pencils give off the sense of being on a higher tier than most of the competition.
Cost – 3.5/5
To enjoy the high quality you’ll receive, expect to pay. These will generally be premium-priced, with the optional wooden case set potentially running more. This might push these out of many people’s desired budgets, but for those willing to pay you are getting some of the best watercolors out there. And quite frankly, we encourage everybody to try to save up for these. They have a special feel and color flow that you won’t find anywhere else.
Overall ranking – 4.5/5
The Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils are a great professional watercolor pencil set that will check all the boxes for even the most demanding critic. Great color, blending, and stroke control make these a must-have for anybody wanting to get into the premium watercolor market.
The strong, oil-based core makes for a durable drawing medium and the high quality and an attractive case is a nice touch. To really capture all of the wonderful color offerings it is recommended to go for the 72 or 120-count set, but be ready to pay the high asking price for them.