I recently got some new art materials, and I wanted to give them a detailed review of what I think. The Caran d’Ache Neocolor II pastels are water-soluble and excellent for sketching and mixed media art.
I actually hadn’t heard of these until recently when I was browsing the internet for some new art materials to try. Many call these “crayons” as they basically are, but are for both the serious or learning artist.
When looking up more info about the Caran d’Ache Neocolors initially, I saw many referred to using them as painting with crayons. I was intrigued so I had to purchase to write a review!
These pastels have several different sets that range in price. I decided to try out the set of 15 to start with as I didn’t know if I was going to like them or not.
Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Review
The set of 15 I purchased is definitely a bit “primary” looking with the colors, but there is a nice range of colors for trying them out.
The colors are SUPER vibrant. I couldn’t believe how pigmented they were when I did some quick swatches in my sketchbook.
Below is the exact set I purchased.
The Caran d’Ache crayons come in a nice tin that’s easy to travel with and overall the presentation of the product was excellent. I’m a tough critic and was impressed.
There are many ways to use these water-soluble crayons. You can use them dry or wet.
What I plan on using these for:
- To paint with
- On watercolor paintings to add a bit of texture
- Mixed media work
- Art Journaling
Below is a quick sketch I did of a water landscape in my sketchbook. It’s amazing that you can create some pretty beautiful art just by scribbling some crayons.
You can simply draw on paper and then wet the lines to paint with them like watercolors which is one of the most popular ways to use these.
You can also use them to build up color and texture in paintings without wetting them. They draw beautifully as a crayon too if you don’t want to dilute them.
For my beach water landscape painting, I used them mostly as a watercolor but towards the end, I used them dry to build up some texture and color in certain areas.
In a lot of my watercolor paintings, I use colored pencils to build color in an area or add texture, and these pastels would be excellent for doing that.
I also found you can use each individual crayon as basically a paint tube. Grab a wet brush and rub it against the end of the crayon to transfer some paint to your brush. You can use them as paint without even letting them touch the paper!
I think these pastels are an investment as they range from $25-$250+, but I 100% think they are worth the price. This is because of how versatile and pigmented they are. You can use them in so many different ways.
Here are some sets with more color options:
I recommend trying these out if you are an artist who loves experimenting with new materials or looking to up your watercolor game. These are seriously my favorite new medium!
Taking these supplies and the Caran d’Ache Crayons on the road is a simple way to create watercolor sketches anywhere!
The bigger set with more colors is already on my wishlist. When I get them eventually I will do another post with a detailed overview and painting I’ve made with them. I’m excited!
Have you tried the Caran d’Ache Neocolor Pastels? How do you like them? Let me know in the comments below!