Last Summer I went on a holiday to France travelling light. I had only brought some Bruynzeel Design watercolor pencils with me. But, as it goes, when I was in an art store, I wanted to buy something new as a souvenir from France. I chose to supplement my travel-set of watercolor pencils with some Art Grip Aquarelle pencils and chose a fairly nice set of colors on their own:

Mandy van Goeije's collection of Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencils

Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencils. Mind the short one(s) – more about those in the video.

Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencils in my visual diary

In all honestly, I didn’t expect much from them, expecting them to be school quality. When I first tried them on my Cangini Filippi Paros notebook I had brought with me, that seemed to be true. But later it turned out the paper had played a massive role in the disappointing quality. Later at home I tried again in my visual diary / art journal. And it turned out these color pencil do an impressive job with layering to the point where you can fully saturate your paper to give it a super satin feel:

"The End of Narcissus" - visual diary / art journal page done with Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencil by Mandy van Goeije

“The End of Narcissus” – visual diary / art journal page done with Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencil by Mandy van Goeije (click on image for high resolution full size image for detail)

I really love the feel and look of this page, material-wise. Image wise is probably only meaningful to myself since it is a story from my life. But if you can picture satin, you can picture the feel of this page.

Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle Video watercolor pencil review

To show you a little more about the pencils, I did a swatching/mixing/demo/review video. This review is not sponsored by Faber Castell!

Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle Color Chart

For further detail in the color chart, click on the image below for the high resolution full size image:

Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencil color and mixing chart by Mandy van Goeije

Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencil color and mixing chart by Mandy van Goeije

Demo image

This is a scan of the little demo image I painted in the video:

Small demo painting with Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencils by Mandy van Goeije, done for YouTube videoreview

Small demo painting with Faber Castell Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencils

It’s painted on cold press Fabriano watercolor postcard paper, 140 lbs. Other supplies used are the Uniball uni pin black waterproof fineliner 0.7mm.

As you can see, the background ended up a bit stained by the way I painted the watercolor pencil and in the face you can see the red pencil marks a bit. Due to the grain of the paper you can still see some color pencil texture after wetting with a brush, especially in the face.

Conclusion

Concluding, here are the pros and cons of the Faber Castel Art Grip Aquarelle watercolor pencils (to my experience):

Pro:
– mid-price and affordable
– hard oil-based core perfect for detail
– great layering capacity
– little dust
– fairly strong coloring capacities
– great for combining with watercolor
– also make great color pencils without using water; absolutely great for coloring books

Con:
– breakage while sharpening, but that may well be the result of a broken core due to transport; I haven’t seen this complaint anywhere online
– takes quite some hard work to lay down thick layer of color

Recommendation:
I highly recommend these watercolor pencils for any kind of work. They are much harder than wax based (water-) color pencils, but in that lies their quality. I like to alternate between hard and soft pencils in one drawing, often.