Faber-Castell Art Grip Aquarelle Pencils
1-60 count pack
A lot of color for the size
Good Intensity Control
Great for Intricate Areas
Unique Grip Helps with Control
Can Take a Bit of Work to Get on the Paper
Faber-Castell Art Grip Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils Review
The Faber-Castell Art Grip Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils are the complimentary watercolor line to Faber-Castell’s primary Albrecht Dürer’s. These are considered more aligned for hobbyists and students rather than professional and their harder, thinner core, less varied color choices, and price tag agrees with this. The color production is still good with these, although getting it on the paper can be somewhat laborious. Once water is applied it will feel very similar to using watercolors. These unique triangular-shaped pencils with an oil core can be purchased in singles up to 60 packs.
Visual Appeal – 4/5
For being a thin core (3.3mm), these have a high level of pigment so the color can really come out with proper application. Water turns these alive and lovely blending and interesting color experiences can be had under the right hands. The color options aren’t as plentiful as some of FC’s other offerings (which can go up to 120) but the 60 pack still has a decent variety of options so most color approaches should be viable. We particularly like the lovely colors of blue and purple in the larger sets. Colors such as light halo blue, light cobalt turquoise, and cobalt green really stand out.
Being a thinner pencil, you will have to slowly build up color with multiple passes. Similar to the image below, doing a crosshatch pattern and then applying water will blend the colors. From there, you can either continue to darken the color with more of the same pencil or switch to a different color and let them blend into each other, creating a totally new color. No matter what way you approach it, the results always look great. Just keep in mind that if you are trying to cover a large area, it might be more efficient to use a different watercolor pencil with a larger core.
Usability and durability – 4/5
Being a thin pencil, these shine in precision scenarios and are going to be much easier to get the desired results than a conventional watercolor. In addition, the colors and intensities can be easily controlled with the addition of water and overall they are pretty forgiving. Additional layers can be made without too much effort and should have no problem stacking. However, getting actual color on paper can be a bit of work and quite a bit of rubbing and pressure might be necessary.
These come in a unique triangular shape and have a soft-GRIP-zone, which is basically a series of dots along the shaft of the pencil. Both of these qualities are to assist in the control and they work quite well. This is very important since these are really designed for more intricate areas where having a steady hand is extremely important. A strong SV bonding process is used on these so they will be able to handle even the most demanding abuse without breaking or chipping.
Packaging and presentation – 3.5/5
There isn’t a lot of variety in sizes, and most offerings will come in an attractive blue tin sleeve that has individual compartments for each pencil. The pencil themselves have a blue outer with rows of grip dots, white lettering, and representative color bands at the base. This is a very solid look that helps the Faber-Castell Art Grip Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils to stand out from the crowd. It would have been nice to see the attractive gold labeling and wooden case some of the other FC lines have, but being a “budget” pencil these aren’t big issues.
Cost – 4/5
Prices for these will be in the mid-range. There won’t be a lot of variance due to cases since there is only one type but still shop around for deals. This price point is definitely a reminder that these are meant to be a more mainstream offering, as their premium Albrecht Dürer line will demand a 50% or so premium. This is a great way to get into what is still a quality offering without having to open the pocketbook as wide.
Overall ranking – 4/5
All in all, the Faber-Castell Art Grip Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils are a great watercolor line for an aspiring student or someone wanting to build upon their hobby. Colors are on point and the unique shape and grips on these pencils will greatly assist in user control. The smaller core allows for these to be right at home in highly technical areas of your drawing where having control is essential. The 60 piece set gives enough variety in color to fulfill most needs and the great water solubility of these will assist in finding those colors that aren’t initially present. The price is reasonable with minimal shortcuts being taken to get there.