Friday 24 May 2019

Faber Castell Polychromos pencils full range

I posted the full range of Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer pencils here. The beautiful Polychromos pencils are the same colours with the same colour numbers but I thought I'd add this photo as a quick comparison.

Faber Castell Polychomos pencils full range.

I like to use the Polychromos pencils as a coloured resist, with either watercolour pencils or watercolour over the top. 

In this study you can see the veins on the petals were drawn in the Polychromos. All the washes were created using the Albrecht Dürer pencils as watercolour.

Faber Castell demonstration piece using Polychromos pencils as a resist and Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils to paint. 

Happy painting and drawing!


  1. Hey Jane, my name is Carol and I'm a huge fan of your work (as an artist, as a researcher and as a teacher), so thank you very much for all the information you provide us in this blog. Recently I became more and more interested about the pigments themselves, not necessarily just the history behind them, but specially the characteristics of each one of them and the names used (pr 108, pg... Etc). This has helped me a lot with my color mixing skills, but I've been looking for something a little more practical like a book with this kind of information. Could you recommend something for me? Thank you again, your Brazilian fan, Carol.

    1. There are a number of websites and books on the subject. A very readable one is Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox by Victoria Finlay. More a history of where pigments come from but really beautifully and personally written.
      Look at the Wilcox Guide to Watercolour Paints for detailed information on a range of pigments and samples of watercolour paints. Not necessarily updated though.
      Collins has a nice little book - Artist's Little Book of Colour - that looks and the history and explanation of colours and pigments and shows what is in many colours.
      Then there is the massive website - great information but not updated for many years. You can also find information on Pigments on and more on pigments in watercolour here

  2. Hi Jane... Do you have list of the pencils as either warm or cool. I have a lot of trouble telling the difference.

    1. I don't have a list, but here's the way to think about it.
      Yellows - generally considered a warm colour but within the yellow family, if it leans towards green it is cool. If it leans towards orange it is warm. If neither it is mid or primary.
      Reds - generally considered warm, but within the reds family, if it leans towards orange it is warm. If it leans towards purple it is cool.
      Blues - generally considered cool, but within the blues family, if it leans towards purple it is warm, if it leans towards green it is cool. Cobalt is a mid or primary blue.
      Greens - generally considered neither warm nor cool, so it it is a yellow-green it is warm, a blue-green is cool.
      Purples - also generally considered neither cool nor warm but if it is a red-purple it is warm, a blue-purple is cool.
      Oranges - I think they are always warm, as made from two warm colours. However they may be more neutralised such as burnt sienna or burnt umber - these are still warm but neutralised warms.
      Greys - warm if they lean towards yellow, cool if they lean towards blue.