Saturday, August 12, 2017

Marco Renoir Fine Art 72 set of Watercoloured Pencils Indepth Video review

Im beyond excited to share with you guys this beautiful 72 set of Renoir Watercolour pencils.

Ive heard alot about Marco Renoir range as its the bigger brother to the Marco Raffine pencils I reviewed last year and I have been inundated with queries about the whole range so today is an indepth review and video of the Marco Renoir Watercolour pencils.

This review comes with a warning ITS A LONG ONE...sorry but I wanted to offer you guys everything I could on these as Ive had so many questions already.
 Ive also added a video too so you can see these pencils in action......
Click after the break.

I want to stress right from the start of this review; Im not an artist or expert in art, Im a complete beginner to watercolour paints, but have been using pencils for approx a year and a bit now in my colouring books etc.
I also own Fabercastel Albrecht Durers and a few cheaper brands of watercolour pencils; so I feel I can give you guys a fair detailed opinion on watercolour pencils.

I was kindly sent a package from Marco Official to review with several items inside; but today we are concerntrating on their Watercolour pencils.

Inside were the 72 set of Marco Renoir Fine Art pencils and 72 set of Fine Art Watercolours pencils and the Renoir art roll/wrap see below.

You may have seen the gorgeous super soft linen Renoir art wrap I reviewed recently.
This is just beautiful to use; so highly recomended.

 I have added an indepth video review as you really need to see the pencils in action to make a decision if they are the ones for you. My video is approx 25mins...I know its a I added some live swatches so you can see just how they activate and the depth of colour they go grab a coffee and a bikky and press play.

They arrived quickly and well packaged and each tin was individually wrapped in bubble wrap too. This is for those of you worried about getting pencils delivered as breakages are so common in the art world.

Well wrapped in bubble and then wrapped in a poly bag to prevent scratches.

 Inside the tin you have 72 pencils 2 sharpeners and a paintbrush...just add water!

So lets explain the basics, this is a 72 set of watercolour fine art pencils so you get double for your money.
These are oil based pencils. 

The tin is well presented with a beautiful watercolour image on the front making this set look really elegant and expensive. This image is also doubled on the inside lid. I love the fact I have a tin to keep my pencils in as sometimes they are much easier to store.

The large tin opens up to reveal 2 trays of pencils, the paintbrush and not just 1 but 2 sharpeners.

The barrels are made of fragrant American cedar wood, which is 100% eco-friendly from non-rainforest wood. I feel we all need to be aware of these things in this day and age and its great to hear a company like Marco using alot of wood considers this important.

The leads are EXTRA THICK at 3.7mm and are super break resistant...their words lol!

So let me show you round the pencil itself...
Marco Renoir Fine Art logo is printed on every pencil. The pencils are cylindrical not hexagonal which I prefer as they are more comfortable to hold even if they can roll off the table which as happened a few times to me. However its always on carpet and I would still choose cylindrical as my favorite shape to use.
The pencils are half painted in the colour of the core and the rest is left in natural cedar wood, I absolutely love this look its so elegant. The end of the barrels are also capped which offers a bit more protection to the core.

Aquarelle is the actual name of the pencils although its not mentioned anywhere on the tin. You then have a small paintbrush symbol so if you have the other Renoir fine art pencils like me and accidently mix them up; you will quickly see which is a watercolour pencil. This symbol is now standard in the pencil industry as my FaberCastel Albrecht Durers also have them on.
Next is the product number 1320 etched onto every pencil this Im guessing is the unit they were made and finally on the end of the barrel is the pencils actual colour number (which seems very random considering I have the full its not numbered 1-72, I talk about this in the video). These numbers do not seem to have any relevence to the artist as you cannot buy them in open stock yet.
Saying that if Im colouring and stop, I will jot down the number I was using so I pickup the same colour next time.
Roll the pencil over and you also have a bar code along the natural wood of the barrel; this is confusing to me as these pencils are yet as far as I know NOT open-stock; you will have to buy another set if your pencils are used up.
For me it ruins the ethetics of the beautiful natural wood...especially as its the same number on every pencil, to the point I roll all my pencils over in the tin so I dont have to look at it. If its for Marco's own use wouldnt they know this already.
Im hoping they will start to sell these open-stock at some point.

My set arrived pre-sharpened but slightly blunted, not to a fine point like many new pencil sets.

The paintbrush supplied is similar to those found in cheap shops; however I have to stress not 1 hair has come off and it paints larger areas brilliantly. Im so surprised too that it even has an almost perfect chisel tip as you can see here.
Its a little big for my colouring books so I prefer to use my waterbrushes with a finer tip, but its ideal for larger areas.

As Pencils
Okay let me divide my review up into pencil and watercolour; firstly as a pencil.

The colours are buttery and pigmented, they lay down well...see my video to see them in action to see for yourself. As pencils I was actually surprised at the high quality as I already have Fabercastel Polychromos and Prismacolours so I was so surprised at the gorgeous softer laydown and vividness of the colours.
There are a few colours that seem to leave more white spaces on the paper than others but not many and they can become a little tacky on the paper depending on how firmly you have pressed down, but in their defense they are oil based watercolours afterall.
When using these for the first time they feel very waxy and do give a slight wax sheen when used firmly or adding many layers, so its easy to mistaken these for wax based pencils, but as far as I know they are oil based.

Pencil to paint on every colour

In my video you will see Ive added these close-up charts so you can see in detail the full set of 72 pencil colours before and after activation with water. I was amazed at the rich depth of colour you get once you add water to them.

Here they are the same (charts above) in super close up. 
Click on the image to see in fullscreen.

 So here is a side by side look from pencil to paint.

Using the Watercolours
These Marco Renoirs activate quickly with water and spread smoothly across the paper, you can control how much density you have by using different techniques;
1. When I use my colouring books I generally like to add my colour as a pencil first, even blending the colours before activating; then using a paintbrush or waterbrush you activate to a watercolour wash.
2. Painting directly from the pencil tip itself you get a richer highly pigmented colour, thats why my pencil nibs always look messy. This is my favorite technique as its more precise when painting more detailed smaller areas.
3. You can dip the pencil tip directly into water and draw, but this was a little uncontrolled for me, great for strong lines and marks though. Also this technique uses alot of the colour at once.

There are probably more techniques so please let me know if you have any other methods?

 The buttery colours cover alot of the paper with only using a small amount which is brilliant when doing skies and grass etc; but also when you need a thin wash of colour for backgrounds or skin etc; as the pigment is still strong enough to spread evenly across a page. This in turn makes your pencils last alot longer.

What I noticed since Ive been using them are that some colours have completely blown me away; like the dark blues, turquoises, pinks and oranges, but just a few of the colours seem a little less pigmented like 1-2 of the browns and few of the greys, which came out a bit washy and streaky, please see my charts for yourself; however you have to remember I only had a mix media paper and Im sure they would appear smoother if I had used watercolour paper or a paint brush rather than a waterbrush.
I will update this HERE once Ive played with them a bit more for you.

The gold and silver pencils have a gorgeous metallic sheen as a pencil compared to the other pencils, but once activated to watercolour you lose a bit of the metallic...see my live close-up in the video, but you can still clearly see them as gold and silver. They really are gorgeous.

Here are a few of my randomly picked live colour swatches from the video and you can see just from these images the intensity and brightness of the pigments.

 Some of the barrels do not match the lead but thats the same with most pencil sets; so always make your own swatches with a new set of pencils. If your a pencil company do you match the pencil or the after colour, its a balance here. So always make your own swatches with any set of pencils or paints.
A couple of my favorites here; this pink is just gorgeous both pencil to watercolour, love them both.

 This green is stunning too, you can see here just how much depth of colour you gain once activated on the before and after.

 This gorgeous set is perfect for my colouring books because of the control you have. 
See now you have proof Im no artist lol...but what I wanted to show you the bright colours and my attempt at shading... lol!
An artist will create some stunning pieces with these pencils is all I can say.

I just want to point out too you have a fantastic wide variety of colours particularly the naturals; blues, greens, browns and "12 greys" which is amazing to create landscapes or animal nature pieces.
Super excited about this set its beautiful.
(Click to see fullscreen) 

Colouring Book Tips
I have a large variety of colouring books and found with nearly all of them you have to be aware how much water you use as a few are not really designed for watercolour. The perfect thing with this set is if you paint directly from the tip its more of a buttery consistancy using less water and didnt have any problems with buckling etc of the paper. But had to be careful when doing background washes and check both sides of the page incase there is an image you prefer on the other side.
But not all paper buckles and aways do a small test at the back of the books before going in with your favorite image.

In my video you can see me sharpen 1 pencil live and these sets come with not just 1 sharpener but 2 as I feel Renoir know you have to sharpen watercolour pencils more regularly as they go down faster than normal pencils. They have thought of everything.

 The sharpeners supplied I feel are not anything to write home about; yet they sharpen these pencils perfectly.
High 5 Marco Renoir............

 Used slowly and carefully, Ive not had one broken lead and I can get a perfect point without breaking straight away. I do this live in my video to show you.

Im so impressed with these pencils and their overall painterly performance, for such an affordable set they really have gorgeous highly pigmented colours which cover well and are super buttery to use. They certainly are up there with the best of this ever growing market of pencils.
They layer well once dry too allowing so many techniques and effects to be used wet and dry. You can also mix colours to the desired tone and consistancy by using a spare palette like normal watercolours.
If you have never used watercolour pencils before and are sitting on the fence...get off of it and buy now as they are just gorgeous.
If your going away on holiday and dont want to take your precious expensive sets away with you, get these; you wont regret it as you have both normal pencil and watercolours save with the packing and storage too.
 But dont take my word for it checkout my live swatches video and see if  they are for you.
What surprised me more than anything was how brilliantly the pencils performed both dry and wet, smooth laydown, beautiful colours and the cedar smells gorgeous.

The cylindrical barrels are ergonomic being slightly wider than average pencils the 3.7mm making them super comfy in the hand, however they can roll off the table; but the sealed core allows more protection and I havent had 1 broken lead...YAY!
Then you apply the water and activate the colour and BAM... rich deep colours like you can get from the expensive pencils; they are an amazing set. They activate quickly with no need to scrub the paper to move the watercolour. They also dry quickly ready for another layer if you wish.
As I explained earlier you do get a few colours that simply dont have the pigment of the other colours like a few of the browns and greys but the rest are beautiful and perfect for my colouring books.
The trays are a bit flimsy too so care must be taken when moving them in and out of the tin, thats my only niggle but this is so with many pencil sets I own even the more expensive makes.

These I would say are in the mid range of pricing but I think they deserve this price bracket with the quality and performance. I was not able to find out their light fast rating, Ill add that when I find that out for you.

So let me know what you think, have you used these did you like them?

Amazon UK Marco Renoir 72 set watercolour pencils

*But dont go away; coming very soon on Gadget Girl the Marco Renoir Supreme fine art 72 pencil set Review.

All my thanks goes to Marco Renoir for kindly sending these watercoloured pencils for this review. All my views and opinions are my own. 
All images are mine unless otherwise stated.

If you enjoyed this review you may like;

The super soft linen Renoir art wrap I reviewed recently.
This is just beautiful to use; highly recomended.


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