Caran D’Ache Luminance

Caran D’Ache Luminance

I have to be honest here, I have not played with my Luminance pencils enough to give a proper opinion. I bought them solely for a specific project I have in mind that I want to last for forever and a day if I ever get good enough to complete it. The lightfast qualities of these pencils is exceptional and the colours are perfect for the project I have in mind.

  • Wax Based, Round, 3.8mm
  • Known as the best of the best quality
  • Very high lightfast ratings on almost all pencils
  • Lots of natural browns and greys
  • http://www.carandache.com/en/colour

I have only used them to create my colour cards and found that some of them were very scratchy. I must admit I wasn’t overly taken with them, BUT I have not used them properly yet and I have noted that others swear by them, they just feel very chalky to me, and that could be a really good thing. I have recently purchase a few spare whites because they are highly recommended for covering darker colours. I will see how those go.

In the meantime, this is what the Caran D’Ache website has to say:

Highly sought after by drawing masters from every creative sector, the subtle velvety effect of the new permanent pencil stems from two years of technical research conducted in complete secrecy at the heart of the Maison’s workshops. Its delicate texture, along with the vibrancy of the many recently developed shades, open up exciting new vistas in the realms of overlaying, mixed techniques and gradation. Its extreme lightfastness is confirmed by the most rigorous tests, earning Luminance 6901 top results and international ASTM D-6901 certification. With Luminance 6901, Caran d’Ache has achieved the feat of creating quite simply the most lightfast colour pencil ever designed.

So we will see whether they live up to their hype in the future 🙂

Caran D'Ache Luminance

Caran D’Ache Luminance

 

The Luminance pencils are the top of the top. They come in 72 really pretty shades and include lots of natural browns, ochres and greys. If you are looking for the normal bright colours that come with Prismacolor, Polychromos and Pablos, then these might not be for you. They seem to be more muted in their shades, but that doesn’t make them any less appealing. They are beautiful colours.

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Caran D’Ache Luminance pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them.

 

Caran D’Ache Pablo

Caran D’Ache Pablo

Moving up the scale a little more from the Prismacolor and Polychromos, we come to the Caran D’Ache Pablo pencils, Wow what beautiful pencils. I have had the Polychromos, Luminance and Prismacolor pencils for quite a while, and I recently purchased the Pablos to see what they were like, and I have fallen in love.

These pencils come in 120 beautiful highly pigmented colours and they lay down nearly as buttery as the Prismacolors but with the firmness of the Polychromos. The pencils themselves are much thinner than any of the other lines and they are of hexagonal shape so they don’t roll off your table.

Caran D'ache Pablos

Caran D’ache Pablos

Their big sister, the Luminance, in comparison feel very scratchy to me (or at least some of them do). I can see these Pablos becoming my absolute favourite go to pencils very quickly. The next positive to these pencils is no wax bloom. I believe they are a mix of oil and wax, and because of this, they don’t seem to have the same issues as wax based pencils.

On the downside (or upside considering the low number), they do have 6 pencils out of the 120 that are not considered high lightfastness, however, you can get around that by using similar colours from other brands mixed in. I am really looking forward to completing my first piece with these pencils to see how they really lay down and blend.

The Caran D’ache website has this to say about the Pablo Pencils:

The covering power of Pablo colour pencils enables easy usage on a large number of backgrounds, ranging from variously textured paper and cardboard to wooden panels. Shaded, mixed and layered colours express themselves through the thick, velvety matter of permanent pencils.

 

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Caran D’Ache Pablo pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them also.

Faber Castell Polychromos

Faber Castell Polychromos

The Faber Castell statement on their website pretty much says it all…

The name POLYCHROMOS®, meaning “many colors” was born in 1908 and became known across several continents. Today, the name still stands for best of class quality including: unsurpassed lightfast pigments, 120 vibrant colors, break resistant tips, waterproof, non-smudge, and color matched to all other Faber-Castell color lines.

 

The Polychromos pencils are a pleasure to use. They hold a sharp point for quite a while which means you are not constantly having to sharpen them. The sharp point also means that you can get fine details very easily. The Polychromos pencils also match the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil line. This means that you have the best of both worlds in the same color range. Both the Polychromos Pencils and the Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils are known as very high quality pencils.

Albrecht Durer 120

Albrecht Durer 120

Polychromos 120

Polychromos 120

Besides the price which is a little more expensive than the Prismacolors, I don’t believe I have heard anyone say anything bad about these pencils so far. The Polychromos pencils are oil based rather than wax based so they do not succumb to “wax bloom” however they can still get a shiny look to them and you can see the pencil marks in the shiny spots when burnishing.

Overall they blend beautifully by layering, they lay down wonderfully filling in all the little paper grooves due to their sharp points, and they are a full rich pigment pencil.

Using the Prismacolors and the Polychromos pencils together gives you the best of both worlds. If you can afford both sets, I highly recommend getting them both.

PS Both the Polychromos and the Albrecht Durer can be purchased in that gorgeous box at the top of the screen 🙂

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Faber Castell Polychromos pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them also.

Prismacolor Premier

Prismacolor Premier

One of the hardest things to decide is which brand of pencil is right for you. There are so many different brands and types of pencils within those brands for you to choose from. I suggest you purchase a few single pencils to try from each branch to test before you make your choice if you can only afford one type of pencil. Below is a short description of the Prismacolor Premier Pencils, the ones I would recommend if you are just starting out because most tutorials are completed using this brand.

These are the most popular pencils in America and they come in a range of 150 beautiful colours. Apparently they used to be very high quality, but nowadays they are made in Mexico which means that you are better off buying them in person pencil by pencil rather than online. There seems to be no quality control at all. Some of the pencils do not have their leads centred so when you sharpen them you end up with mostly wood exposed and pencil only showing on one side. The other issue that people have had is with breakage, but I have to say I have not had that issue at all. I believe if you use a good quality sharpener that has rotary blades rather than just a single blade, then you will have no issues.

The two sharpeners I own and have had no issues with any pencils with are the following:

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Ledah 11333 Electric Sharpener

 

IMG_2006

Swordfish Ikon Manual Sharpener

 

Prismacolor Premier Pencils are beautiful to use. They are soft and buttery and blend easily. The core is wax based and if you burnish (press really hard to get full coverage) you can sometimes end up with what is called wax bloom – a white filmy sheen over your colours. To fix this issue you can wipe over your image with a soft cloth and then spray a fixative (either workable or final) over the top to stop the bloom from coming back again.

Prismacolor also have a blender pencil which works great with all coloured pencils. Unfortunately there are quality issues with this pencil also, so when you are buying one, make sure it is white not grey. The grey ones don’t work the way they are supposed to, the white ones work great!

Prismacolor Blender Comparison

Prismacolor Blender Comparison

Even given their issues, these pencils are definitely worth the purchase price, especially since most tutorials are completed in Prismacolor pencils. They are really lovely to use and most issues aren’t an issue if you are aware of them first 🙂

 

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Prismacolor Premier pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them also.

 

 

 

Brother Scan N Cut 2

Brother Scan N Cut 2

After researching many cutting machines I finally settled on the Brother Scan N Cut 2. It does everything I want very easily (or so I hope). I have not yet had a chance to use it! I purchased this specifically to help in card designs I want to make later on. I also want to try glass etching and many other techniques available with this machine. To see what its all about, visit the links below:

 

 

 

Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Brother Scan and Cut 2 below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them also.