Arteza Expert Colored Pencils
Arteza Expert Colored Pencils
I don't really have a schedule per say of the pencils I am going to review, at least not one that I stick to religiously. So as was the case with the Arteza Expert Colored Pencils, I received a large amount of requests from you guys to review them and when this happens, I do my best to shift that particular product to the top of the review list.
I contacted Arteza who have been absolutely fantastic, incredibly professional and pleasure to work with. Although they supplied the Arteza Expert Colored Pencils and a few other Arteza products to review, as always, my priority is to deliver to you guys an honest and accurate review and if the review should be less than favourable, always remaining respectful toward the company. As I have said before and will mention again, in my experience, most, if not all of the art companies I have dealt with are just as interested in an honest review as you guys are, simply due to the fact their main concern is delivering a product that their customers are going to love.
Arteza is a relatively new company, with respect to some of the more well known colored pencil companies, which makes my findings in this review all the more remarkable. The price point of the Arteza Colored Pencils will also be a major focus in this review as I personally find the quality of the pencils and the price point unbelievable
Arteza Expert Colored Pencil Sets Available
Before getting into the characteristics and performance of the pencils, the sets available are quite typical for colored pencils. It is worth just mentioning at this point that Arteza have an extensive range of art supplies, absolutely well worth taking a look at their website.
Although Arteza have other lines of colored pencils in their arsenal, with the expert line, they only come available in 48 and 72 set tins, which for me personally, I have always recommended that colored pencil artist never get anything lower than a 36 set, especially if it is their first colored pencil set.
Also the Arteza Expert line are not available in open stock format, which I know is an issue for a lot of colored pencil artists, however, do not stop reading the review at this point as the price of these pencils will blow you away, especially once you have watched my YouTube video review and speed drawing, getting a better understanding of the excellent quality.
Arteza Colored Pencil Characteristics
The Arteza Expert colored pencil sports a round 8mm barrel, which feels incredibly well balanced in the hand and a 4.5mm core protected within this robust barrel. Each barrel is lacquered with the color of the actual core pigment, making color identification incredibly quick and easy.
Along one side of the barrel the company name is stamped in silver leaf, "Arteza", followed further along the barrel by the pencil model which in this case is the "Expert". Toward the very end of the pencil is two silver rings, leaving an inch barrel exposed, this is purely decorative, however it does help to enhance the appearance of the pencil, meaning the Arteza would not look out of place next to the Pablo or Polychromos in terms of visual appearance.
On the opposite side of the Arteza barrel is printed the pigment name, this can be really helpful to a lot of colored pencil artist and something I know a lot of people appreciate when companies include this information on the barrels. Further long is an alpha numerical number, this number does correspond to the actual pigment, however, as I have stated, the Arteza is not available open stock.
Finally, further along from the pigment number is the lightfast ratings, only Arteza have opted for Plus signs as opposed to the more traditional stars, which is actually a refreshing concept. The Arteza pencil, despite its price point, actually looks and feels like a pencil from some of the more expensive pencil lines.
Arteza Expert Colored Pencil Lightfast Information
As I have just mentioned, the Arteza Expert line, despite their incredibly low price, have been lightfast tested, I mention their low price, as pencils in this price bracket, normally do not have such testing done to them.
The rating is out of three Plus's, 1+ being the lowest and 3 +++ being the most lightfast. I will however say that in my particular set I had one single pencil with 4 ++++, but I am convinced this was a printing mistake. That being said, out of the 72 pencils that I tested, 12 pencils are rated 1 +, 20 pencils are rated 2 ++ and 40 pencils are rated 3 +++
Arteza Expert Colored Pencils Performance
I have to admit, with a certain level of shame that I was expecting the Arteza Expert line to be bottom to mid of the range student grade, but again this was based on the low price point. Once again I was completely wrong and I am so excited to demonstrate just how wrong I was.
As with every set of pencils I review, I like to try and guess the outcome before testing and research. I do this as this is how so many of us end up purchasing art supplies that we know little about and more often than not I get the outcomes totally wrong.
I have completed a speed drawing of some pomegranates, the original image I found on Pinterest, as well as adding some images from different stages of the drawing. I hope that the speed drawing along with my video review will help to demonstrate just how excellent the Arteza Expert Colored Pencils really are.
When I first started testing the pencils, I did so on some 140lb Hot Pressed Watercolor paper, I was so impressed with their layering abilities and blending qualities, that I began testing on other paper. I know just how important paper is to the performance and results of colored pencils, so I wanted to test which papers didn't work so well with the Arteza.
I tested them on Strathmore Bristol Smooth, Velum and Plate, I tested them on Strathmore Toned Tan and Grey paper, I also tested them on Artezas own drawing paper and watercolor paper, along with some Cold Pressed watercolor and Winsor and Newton Black paper. With every single test these pencils performed outstanding, I was shocked and excited, it is really unusual to test a pencil that performs well on all of these surfaces. Normally one or two of the papers will understandably just not hold the pencil well, but this was not the case.
They are actually a wax based pencil, however, they perform like a oil based pencil in so far as there is very little to no bloom, hardly any crumbling and they hold a point remarkably well also. The layering ability of the pencils is exceptional, ordinarily I will start to get resistance from the wax at approximately the fifth layer, with the Arteza, it felt I could layer forever and never encounter such problems.
In the 72 set that I was allowed to test, there was an excellent range from the various color families, plenty of Greens and Browns, gorgeous Blues and Purples and the white pencil tested excellently on the black and mid toned papers, really excellent.
I do my very best to find a flaw or blemish somewhere within my reviews for pencils, however I don't go out of my way to make one up if this blemish does not exist. This was the case with the Arteza, but if I was really pushed to say one negative thing about the pencils and I would be really nit picking, is that the set I tested could do with three or four much paler pigments. However, as I stated, this is a really nit picking comment and one I am quite reluctant to say given to huge amount of positive traits the pencils actually have.
Arteza Expert colored Pencils Pricing
This is the part of the review, that if you have read all the comments made before this point, will really blow you away and have you asking the same questions I asked, "How on earth can they produce such an excellent quality pencil for such a low price and still make money as a company?" Never the less, Arteza have decided to produce for us this wonderful pencil and at a price I am convinced everyone can afford, making excellent quality colored pencils with an impressive pigment selection, accessible to us all.
Here in the UK, the 48 set of Arteza Expert Colored Pencils will cost you £18 and the 72 set will cost you £26. These are phenomenal prices for the type of pencil you are getting, absolutely phenomenal.
In the US, again you can purchase the 48 set of Arteza Expert Colored Pencils for $15 and the 7 set for $24. Again, please do not do what I did with regards to these pencils and guess their performance based on their price, this is the entire reason I do these reviews to help you guys not make these mistakes and perhaps miss out on a wonderful pencil.
In Europe the 48 Set of Arteza Expert Colored Pencils will cost you €24 and the 72 set will cost you €29.
Conclusion of Arteza Expert Colored Pencils
I think it is clear from my review just how excited I was for these pencils, their performance, accessibility to almost everyone and their quality. I am not saying that the Arteza Expert are the best pencils in the world, you could be forgiven for thinking this based on my review, they are not. However, when you factor in things like the lightfast ratings and ratio, the pencils high performance and then their incredibly low price point, I don't think you will find many pencils in this price point with all these amazing qualities.
I have absolutely loved using the Arteza Expert Colored Pencils, don't forget you can watch my speed drawing here and you can also watch my YouTube video review here. If you have any questions about the pencils please by all means send me an email or leave a comment below, likewise if you have the pencils and you would like to share your thoughts and opinions of them, please do so either below in the comments or privately via email.
I will be reviewing some more wonderful art supplies from Arteza so if you would like to be kept informed as to when these reviews and many others like them will be published, the best way is to follow The Art Gear Guide via our social media platforms which you can find the links to below of all throughout the web site.