Koh-i-noor Mondeluz Watercolor Pencils
12-36 count pack
Great Ability to Control
Hard to Find
Could use Better Color Options
Koh-i-noor Mondeluz Watercolor Pencils Review
The Koh-i-noor Mondeluz Watercolor Pencils are advertised as having highly concentrated pigments in combination with the use of high-quality kaolin white clay for the core. This results in good, deep color and great application abilities. The thick 3.8mm diameter core allows for very dominant strokes that can cover great areas while still being able to retain the ability to do intricate areas. Overall these do quite well in all of these areas. The sets come in 12 to 36 pieces and have a hexagonal wood shell.
Visual Appeal – 4/5
The soft wax core helps to be able to lay down powerful, intense color when desired. With the addition of water, lovely color manipulation can occur and very interesting color patterns can be formed. Overall the color still stays relatively vivid even after being diluted and spread around quite a bit by water. The color options are a bit lacking, especially in the 12 piece sets, but thanks to good blending many more color options are possible. That being said, you will likely have to have some additional watercolor sets laying out to cover the gaps.
The amount of pigment in these pencils is quite high, so even light strokes can result in quite a bit of color. If you are looking to have areas that are not very color intensive, extra care needs to be taken in applying pressure or plan on distributing the color to an additional area with the help of water. This might seem like a good thing but there are times when you may wish to apply only small amounts of subtle color.
Usability and durability – 3.5/5
The very soft wax core can be a double-edged sword in that it can be very versatile while working on a project but it can also wear down rather quickly since so much core material can come off on a single stroke. As such, you could see yourself having to sharpen these quite often depending on how liberal you are with the application. And this could mean that you find yourself having to purchase a new set sooner than you might have wanted to.
That being said, strokes are buttery smooth and truly a joy to experience. The pencil itself is quite strong, with the outside being encased in California Cedar and the average sized 3.8mm core should handle most things you throw at it (bit it large areas or intricate details). If you do decide to mix these with water, they are pretty easy to control but you may find that the color spreads a bit too liberally. So be careful and take your time.
Packaging and Presentation – 3.5/5
All three set sizes come in a metal tin which assists in storage and protection. The pencils themselves have color-coordinated outsides with gold lettering that represents the brand and type. Overall, it is a nice quality presentation but by no means blows us away. It is worth mentioning that recently we have seen Koh-i-noor switch over to a lower-quality cardboard box. This is unfortunate and definitely takes away some of the premium “feel” from the pencils. We assume it was done to cut costs but sure wish that they would go back to the tin case, even if it means spending a little extra.
Cost – 3/5
As these pencils are somewhat hard to find, costs can vary quite a bit. However, they typically can be had in the mid-priced range but can creep up depending on supplier quantity and the size of the set you are looking for. Due to the huge price range, it is hard to make a demonstrative conclusion how good of a value they are. That being said, even on the higher end of the range, the quality is good enough to still make an argument that they are worth it. And on the lower end, they are a fantastic deal for the quality.
Overall ranking – 3.5/5
The Koh-i-noor Mondeluz Watercolor Pencils have a great, soft core that puts out color as well as many of the more mainstream premium brands. Color selection is a bit sparse but the excellent blending ability assists with this to an extent. It is a serviceable performer when exposed to water, although things can get out of controll if yuo don’t take your time. Overall a very nice product that is worth the added effort you may go through in obtaining a set. We do wish they came in some larger sizes, however.