Arteza Expert Watercolor Pencils

In the seemingly neverending hunt for good quality, low cost art supplies, there are slim pickings….

Then arteza came along, they are a new company in the art supply world, but they seem to be taking it by storm.

They have a kids line, a student line labled premium, and a professional line labeled expert.

I’ve been looking for a good quality watercolor pencil for about a year now. I started with a 24 set of prismacolor watercolor pencils and fell in love with the medium.

I like the control I have with them. However, the prismacolor ones had a few issues:

  • the color before water was quite misleading, and appeared much lighter.
  • The wood of the pencil cracked and split after about 4 or 5 uses.
  • Lightfastness is unknown, I think I have to find a pdf to know.
  • Wax builds up after a couple layers.
  • Not enough colors.

Now that last one was easily fixed by buying the 36 set, but with the other issues… I didn’t want to spend $50, lowest I could find it at the time, especially since that was their largest set.

After seeing The Frugal Crafteruse these watercolor pencils on YouTube I was extremely excited!

Especially since I had already invested a little bit of money into the newer Winsor & Newton watercolor pencil set of 24 and…. well that’s for another post..

Anyway I was bouncing back and forth between Derwent’s 72 pack priced at $79, (Ouch!) and the Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer 164 pack priced at $164 (Boing!!!).
Caran D’Ache museum aquarelles, while considered one of, if not the best goes for $209 on amazon!! (Not going to happen in any way, shape, or form!)

So, again, very excited by the arteza ones, especially when I found out the price point, 28.98 on their website with free standard shipping for 72 watercolor pencils!! Oh yes please!

The pros right off the bat:

  • Good range of colors
  • Nice thickness in the barrel
  • They conform to astm standards
  • The color of the barrels match the actual color wet or dry
  • Very little, to no color shift from wet to dry, you know exactly what you’re getting
  • No wax build up or burnishing, layers like a dream.
  • They are lightfast, this is practically unheard of in a pencil priced this low.

This is the grading system the “+” appears on each pencil individually so you always know what you’re grabbing.

“+ “-Excellent
“++” -Very Good
“+++” -Good
“++++”- Fair

My only complaint is that there is nothing telling you what the + means either on the box or their website. I actually had to email the company to find out, but they were more than friendly.

Keep in mind that this is a first impressions and first time use post. I will be posting a review once I’ve used them over a period time and have a good idea of what they can do.

What did you think? Leave a comment!