Staedtler Professional Watercolor Colored Pencils
12-60 count pack
Fantastic Color Depth
Great Mixing Capabilities
Good Color Selection
Sturdy, Attractive Packaging
A Bit Pricey
Staedtler Professional Watercolor Pencils Review
The Staedtler Professional Watercolor Pencils are Staedtler’s high-end offering for those interested in exploring water-soluble pencils. Everything about this set is upgraded from their lower lines: better blending, more vivid colors, smoother strokes, and more color options.
Obviously, this comes at a higher price but for the package you get with these, it is definitely justifiable if you are interested in a long-term, top-shelf offering. Sets range from a 12 piece all the way up to their largest example, a 60 piece. These are wax-based and hexagonal-shaped and sure to fill just about everybody’s needs.
Visual Appeal – 5/5
Fantastic blending and excellent shading exist throughout the entire set. They have a softer wax than many of Staedtler’s other lines so thick application is a breeze and comes with little effort. A good understanding of these pencils can result in a very dynamic range of results, both directly in regards to color and depth but even in texture.
They take very well to water and only need a small amount to really make a difference. Even in heavy water applications, the color stays true and you can cover a lot of work area while still maintaining your desired color depth. The increase up to 60 colors really opens up the color palette and essentially any color you desire is either already in pencil form or can easily be achieved through some simple blending.
Specifically, the brighter colors really jump out. If you want maximum “pop”, lay it on thick and don’t bother with applying water. But even after mixing with water, the color stays quite bright and can spread over quite a large area before it starts to lose some of this brightness.
Usability and Durability – 4.5/5
The Staedtler Professional Watercolor Pencils come with the standard break-resistant lead that is common throughout the Staedtler line. This is a proven lead that is very consistent and designed to last a while, even with above average application pressure. But the fact that color comes off rather easy also means that you shouldn’t have to be as forceful with these pencils which should also prolong their life and help minimize the potential for lead breakage.
The application process is smooth and almost buttery and the color comes off quite consistent. You can actually work with these both dry and wet. In addition, they take well to solvents and even layering with other brands of colored pencils.
Packaging and Presentation – 4.5/5
These only come in a sturdy tin box, so they will be well-protected during transportation and use. For added protection, the tin case comes with thin grooved sleeves that allow you to lay the pencils directly into. The pencils themselves have a silver outer lining with a color-coordinated base and the brand and type are stamped in black on the side. It is a very attractive look that we feel matches the premium-level performance.
Cost – 3.5/5
As these are a premium pencil they carry a premium price. They are not cheap but you are getting a high quality, artist-grade pencil that will meet every application that you can think of. Not everyone will need or be able to take advantage of the small things that these do so well so it really depends on a person’s ability and their pocketbook in determining if these are a viable purchase. But we do encourage everybody to save up on splurge on a higher-end set of watercolor pencils sometime in their life just to notice the difference.
Overall ranking – 4.5/5
The Staedtler Professional Watercolor Pencils are a top-of-the-line watercolor that does just about everything right. They have great colors, easily blend and mix, have varied color options, come in beautiful packaging and presentation, etc. There are really no flaws with this pencil other than the rather hefty price-tag. It really boils down to the fact that if you want the best, you are going to have to pay and these colored pencils definitely make a case for being some of the best.