12-36 count pack
Well-varied Color Selection
Minor Difficulty Blending
Not the Best Bang for the Buck
Fantasia Watercolor Pencils Review
While Fantasia’s colored pencils really are on-point, their watercolors, while decent, aren’t quite as impressive. They are available in tins of 12 to 36 which means the color options are not really plentiful. This wouldn’t be as big of a deal if they blended as well like their non-water counterparts but, unfortunately, they don’t. In addition, the colors are not overly bright meaning that you will likely have to make multiple passes to get the depths you like. They are still decent quality and for the price, they are acceptable for beginners and even some intermediate users, but there are definitely better choices out there. They have a hexagonal exterior with medium-hard wax.
Visual Appeal – 3/5
The Fantasia Watercolor Pencils have decent color vividness but are lacking in the available options. However, what is available is well-varied. The blending could definitely use improvements as well, meaning you might struggle some finding those perfect colors that you are looking for that aren’t already in pencil-form. However, they are good at areas requiring intricate details which are a bit of a rarity for fine-tip colored pencils. As you might expect, adding some water does assist with blending but it is much more laborious to manipulate and have control over the color on the paper compared to other watercolor sets we have tested.
Usability and durability – 3/5
These have a medium-hard type wax core so they actually will stand up to a lot of use while still retaining some of the soft-core benefits such as feel and texture. Applying water to them can open up some complications with leaving spots and not blending properly, but overall with a little practice, they are serviceable (and as we mentioned above, may be a requirement to get the performance you are after). Layering the colors on top of each other can result in a bit of caking as well.
Ultimately many of these things can be overcome with a bit of practice and understanding of the set, but for something that is also targeted to beginners, this might be a bit too much to ask. However, Fantasia is close with these. They just need to make a few little tweaks to the recipe of their core and we are confident that they will get them performing at a level similar to their impressive colored pencils.
Packaging and presentation – 4.5/5
These come in an attractive tin case, no matter what size is purchased. While a bit flimsy, it does a pretty good job of protecting and storing the pencils along with looking very impressive. The pencils themselves are color-coordinated with a light blue lower tip. They have gold lettering identifying the type of pencil and color. Overall, it is a very attractive look and portrays a set that costs a lot more than it really does.
As an update, Fantasia has also rolled out some new pencils that have a similar dark gray body with a color-matching base like their colored pencil lines. While we think it is an attractive look, we do wish that they would stick to the original approach as it makes it easy to discern between the two sets.
Cost – 2.5/5
These pencils are mid-priced, which is a bit higher than most low-end, beginner watercolors. Honestly, for the price, these are a hard sell since there are other options out there that are as good if not better for comparable prices or less. That being said, these aren’t bad and with proper preparation and practice they can produce some impressive results, but this might be asking a bit too much for a beginner pencil. Once Fantasia can improve the core, these will likely become a relative bargain like the colored pencil set.
Overall Review – 3/5
The Fantasia Watercolor Pencils are simply “good”, but not much more. The color choices are somewhat lacking and when you compound this with some blending issues, complaints of less-than-vivid colors and difficulty stacking layers then you have a hard sell. There are some strong points such as a nice flowing wax core and attractive packaging, but for the price which is on the high-end for beginner to intermediate users, there are better options out there. We hope that Fantasia finds some ways to improve this set as we really enjoy their traditional colored pencils.