Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Colored Pencils
Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Colored Pencils
Bruynzeel is quite a popular name to colored pencil artists, under the banner of Royal Talens, another popular name with a huge product list to their arsenal. I have already reviewed the Bruynzeel Design Colored Pencils, perhaps one of their more professional line of colored pencils and I really enjoyed using them. As a result of my experience with the Bruynzeel Design Colored Pencils, I purchased a few other Bruynzeel sets to review and the next set up is the Rijks Museum Colored Pencils.
If you check out the Royal Talens website, you will be confronted with a huge list of art supplies to view, in the colored pencil range, Bruynzeel are experiencing a rebranding process with some of their products and I must say the rebranding looks incredibly cool, very modern and fit to sit on any artists desk.
The Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Pull.
When talking about the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Colored Pencils, the first thing that we must talk about, is the first thing potential customers see when looking at the pencils or researching them and that is the art work on the tins.
For this particular range of Bruynzeel pencils, there are four tins of pencils in the range altogether, not all are colored pencils, but we will discuss this in a second, what I would like to talk about is the art on each tin. Bruynzeel, which is a Dutch company, collaborated with the famous Rijks Museum in Amsterdam and this particular range of pencils was born. The art work on all four tins is from famous Dutch Masters of yesteryear, “The Milkmaid”; “The Night Watch Of Rembrandt Van Rijn” “Self Portrait of Rembrandt Van Rijn” and finally “Self Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh”
The actual tins look stunning with such beautiful iconic art work, I know people that have purchased the pencils purely on the tin art work. When I first started out with colored pencils and I was looking about for a decent set of pencils, I almost purchased the set on the very same basis. This time round for the purpose of this review, the reasons were totally different.
Sets Available In The Rijks Museum Range
So, as I mentioned above, there are four tins of pencils in the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum range altogether, but only two sets are colored pencils, one is a watercolor pencil set and the other is a set of graphite pencils. In the Colored Pencil range, they only come in a set of 24 and 50; I am sure most of you are thinking exactly the same as I did when I purchased my 50 set, “Why 50?” Why not 48 60 or 72, these numbers are more popular in the colored pencil world. However, you you really think about, the set sizes for colored pencils, are not set in stone, despite the fact we are used to the 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72 and 120, there is nothing to stop companies coming up with their own palette size, and that is exactly what Bruynzeel have done.
The Watercolor pencils only come in a 24 set with a watercolor brush in the set and the 12 set as already mentioned is graphite. I don’t really want to focus on these other two sets, the only reason I mentioned them at all, is because they fall into the range of pencils Bruynzeel collaborated with Rijks Museum in Holland and obviously the art work on all four tins are connected.
Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Characteristics
The actual pencils are really very minimalistic, the barrel is 7mm in diameter and hexagonal in shape, lacquered with a striking black matt finish. On the end of each pencil is a 3/4 inch flash indicating the pigment of each individual 3.8 mm core.
There is no information along the barrel with regards to the pigment name or lightfast, the only information is the brand of the pencil, in this case “Rijks Museum” followed by the company name “Bruynzeel”. I fully understand that a lot of colored pencil artist like to have the pigment name printed along the barrel and especially in the case of colored blind or partially impaired artists.
In the case of the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Colored Pencils, they are not sold in open stock format, which is probably the reason why there is no pigment name or pigment reference number printed along the barrel. Obviously not having any of this information on a pencil that is sold open stock would prove incredibly problematic as the colored pencil artist would have no way of reference which pencil they need to reorder.
The set altogether are a visually striking set, the minimalistic aesthetic of the pencil strangely adds an air of class to them, but I can understand why some artists may not take to this approach and lack of information. It is also worth noting that with pigment names on pencils, they vary so much from company to company. The same red over seven or eight different companies could very well be given seven or eight different names, despite being the exact same pigment.
The pencils feel really nice in the hand, there is a beautiful balance and weight to them overall, I know this may sound like a daft thing to say, it is a pencil at the end of the day, nothing to strenuous for us to lift, and for the most part that is correct. However, since reviewing so many pencils and talking to so many of you wonderful people, my own ignorance has well and truly been eradicated and am fully aware that some people struggle gripping a pencil due to disability in the hand or wrist. These people have every right to create beautiful art, which is why I also try to explain the comfort or lack of, in my reviews. Some pencils feel so lightweight they almost feel fragile, but with the Rijks Museum, they have a robustness and balance to them that is very satisfying.
Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Performance
I created a piece of art with the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum colored pencils, and I hope you can see from the images I have supplied along with the speed drawing I have added to my YouTube channel, just how rich and vibrant the pigments in the pencils are.
I was pleasantly with the performance of these pencils, as I mentioned to you at the beginning of this review, I have in the past tested and reviewed the Bruynzeel Design colored pencils and I really enjoyed those. I knew starting out with the Rijks, that, although a completely different pencil, that they were perhaps a step or two down from the Bruynzeel Design pencils in terms of performance. I guess the best way of describing the pencils would be Bruynzeel Design equals Artist quality and Rijks Museum equals Student. Now this is not how Bruynzeel / Royal Talens brand the pencils, this is simply my own interpretation.
I created a swatch and could see clearly after the first pencil was laid down on the paper, that the pigments were rich and vibrant. If you have followed The Art Gear Guide for a while now, you will know I stay away from pigeon holing pencils as wax or oil based, mainly due to the fact that the vast majority of pencils will in someway shape or form contain both wax and oil. So I try to describe the pencils exactly as I find them, I know it sounds daft, but I complete a test were I close my eyes and rub the pencil on three different paper types and try to find the words to describe the makeup of the core.
For the Rijks Museum, the core delivers mid level softness, there was no bloom or tackiness from the pencil during use and layering was extremely good. I did make a mistake when creating the Kingfisher art work with the Rijks Museum pencils; when choosing the paper, I thought I had selected my Strathmore Bristol Velum 300 Series, but as I started laying down the background colors, I realised I had lifted the wrong sheet of paper and selected the Strathmore 400 Series Bristol Smooth. I could have stopped and started again as I had not got very far before realising, but I actually continued on feeling it would highlight just how good or bad the pencils performed. I was genuinely shocked at the amount of layers I could achieve on such a smooth paper.
I also used “Zest-It” Odourless Mineral Spirits on certain areas of the art work, something I personally don’t do very often at all in my own personal art work, however, I have become aware of how important this practise is to a lot of colored pencil artists and I want to make sure that throughout my testing, I account for OMS. The layers reacted very well indeed to the OMS, I personally think that the result of the OMS would have performed better on the Velum paper, but over all I was still very happy with the results.
I completed my usual testing on the pencils, layering and blending; from the images below you can see that the layering with the Rijks Museum pencils was excellent. Blending also was excellent and as previously mentioned, I completed this test both dry and using odourless mineral spirits.
With the Blue sphere, I used a series of the blues from the set and then blending using an ordinary dry pencils blender, I completed this test on the YouTube video review, if you would rather see the effects in real time. With the Red sphere, I used a series of reds from the set and blended using Zest-It Odourless Mineral Spirits, as I mentioned this is not my own preferred method of blending however I am aware so many of you guys us OMS. Regardless, I think the effects of the OMS turned out really well, but again, I completed this test on my YouTube video review so you can see the effects in live time.
I did experience a fair bit of crumbling from the pencils when pressure was applied, now I know when pressure is applied to a lot of pencils, there will be a bit of core breaking off, however with the Rijks I thought they were a little bit more crumbly than other pencils. For every pencil, they sharpened really well, with no splitting or chipping of the barrel or core, which is normally evidence of good quality wood being used in for the barrel.
The core held their point remarkably well, which given the medium soft silky nature of the core, was actually quite surprising. When I first started using the pencils, I thought I would be forever having to sharpen them, but this was not the case at all. I accidentally dropped two of the pencils from my desk, so normal desk height onto a hard wood floor and both pencils continued sharpening like a dream after the drop. To the best of my knowledge there is no anti breaking fluid between the core and barrel, it certainly is not visually present, regardless, the pencils held up very well to a little bit of dropping.
As always I completed some testing on black paper, this is often the best type of testing to show how opaque or translucent the colors actually are, it is also the best way to demonstrate how opaque the white pencil is.
Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Pricing
UK Pricing Amazon
As I mentioned, there are only two sets in the Rijks Museum range, the 24 set and 50 set, here in the UK, if you wanted to buy the 24 set it would cost you approximately £11.99 or the 50 set would cost approximately £21.99, which is a fantastic price for 50 pencils, less that 50p a pencil.
UK Ebay Pricing
The prices for the same set are a little bit more expensive on Ebay, for the 24 set of Bruynzeel Rijks Museum, they cost £13.99 and for the 50 set you can expect to pay approximately £24.
Ebay US Pricing
Ebay Australian Prices
For the 24 set of Bruynzeel Rijks Museum in Australia you can expect to pay approximately $25 Australian Dollars and for the 50 set, $45.
Ebay EU Prices
Bruynzeel Rijks Museum Conclusion
As I mentioned, I am quite a fan of the Bruynzeel Design range, and I have to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting much from the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum, at least for them to be of a much inferior quality to the Design. This was not the case at all, the Design are higher quality, but not hugely superior and given the pricing of the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum 50 set, they really are a fantastic set of pencils for so many artists.
I must make it clear however, if you sell your work, commissions or enter your work into competitions that are likely to be hung in museum conditions, the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum pencils are not for you, this is simply due to the lack of lightfast testing and information. But for so many other artists, colored pencils artists such as myself, who simply love to draw and put their work in a folder, or the adult coloring book artist or the crafter, these pencils would be a wonderful addition to your collection.
I would even go so far as to say, that for 50 colored pencils at the low cost they are sold at, the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum would be excellent for those just getting started in Colored Pencils. I did think about this statement long and hard given the crumbly nature of the core, I wondered if this would hinder a new artist, however, I feel that the pro far out weigh the cons in this case.
Don’t forget you can check out my YouTube review of the pencils and I have also added a speed drawing on my YouTube channel of a Kingfisher, using the Bruynzeel Rijks Museum. I hope you enjoy the review and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me either via email, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Also to make sure you receive notifications when new reviews are uploaded or a new Live Stream event is scheduled, the best place to keep informed is Facebook, Twitter and by subscribing to The Art Gear Guide YouTube Channel.