The Art Gear Guide  

The Art Gear Guide is your one stop shop for the most recent, up to date, honest reviews on all your favourite art supply products. 

 

Caran D'Ache Luminance Review

Caran D'Ache Luminance Review

Caran D'Ache Luminance Review

As with everything in life, there has to be a best and a worst, although I am very young in terms of my time as a colored pencil artist, even I can tell what the finest quality coloured pencil is, and Caran D'ache Luminance takes the crown. 

Before I get started with the review, I'm just going to come straight out with it and mentioned the white elephant in the studio with regards to the Caran D'ache Luminance, and that is the price. Here in the UK, for the 76 set of Luminance pencils, the very cheapest that I could find, cost £189. Other stores were charging up to £260 and for the 80 Wooden gift box set prices can reach £350, so yes they are expensive and yes it is very worth your while shopping about before you purchase your pencils. But are they worth the price? well, you will just have to keep reading. 

So apart from my wife collapsing on our living room floor when she seen my Caran D'ache Luminance invoice, actually receiving them was a wonderful experience of the senses. When you ope the box the first thing to hit you is the wonderful smell, it is like walking through a beautiful woodland on a damp summers morning, after which the luscious display of colours simply ignite your creative juices. 

Caran D'ache Range

When you are about to spend a significant amount of money on any range of colored pencils, it really is important to find out whether or not that brand of pencils are sold in open stock. this means that you can replace individual pencils when required as opposed to going through another huge expensive outlay buying a renewed full set. As crazy as this may sound, certain pencils are not sold open stock, although it would appear that the vast majority of companies are adopting this method. In the Luminance line, the sets available are 20, 40, 76 and 80, however the 80 set as mentioned above is the gift box set and some of the colours are duplicate. So if you have never used a Caran D'ache Luminance coloured pencil and are really considering purchasing them, my advice would be to purchase a few individual pencils, costing about £2.50 each. When you get them use them and see if they are the type of pencils you would enjoy working with. If they are what you are looking for, my advice would be to purchase the largest set you can afford. This would apply to all coloured pencil sets, even if that means with regards to the Caran Dache Luminance pencils, getting the 40 set and building up your collection over time buying a few individual pencils every week. You would be amazed at how quick you end up with a full set doing this. 

Luminance Specification 

The pencil itself sports a lusciously thick and creamy 3.8mm core, the Luminance range is a wax based pencil and although when laying down the colour it is thick and creamy, the core is not ridiculously soft and holds a fine point quite well. With other wax based pencils, the beauty of them is the soft core, but with the luminance you get that soft application without having to resharpen the core after every few strokes. The core is encased in the finest Cedar Wood which in itself is a display of Master Craftsmanship. The pencils individual have their colour name printed on the wood casing in two languages, English and Swiss, along with a numerical code correlating to the corresponding colour for ordering purposes. On the barrel of the pencil is the Caran Dache Swiss made print along with the brand which is Luminance. Finally and perhaps most importantly is the Lightfast rating.  

What is Lightfastness

Just incase you are unfamiliar with the term Lightfast, this simply refers to how long the pigment in the coloured pencil, when applied to surface, stays bright a vibrant as opposed to fading and tarnishing. In most cases, when people hang a beautiful work of art, it is because they want to admire it and so will place it in a well lit place during the day and perhaps a picture light for the evening. Over time, colour fades and tarnishes to a yellow colour, however, if the pigment you are using has been treated for lightfastness, this is not going to happen for many years, which is one of the reasons the Caran Dache Luminance pencils are that little bit more expensive. As an artist, so much of your work is commissioned based on reputation and word of mouth. If you sell a beautiful piece to someone and after six months or so that beautiful work of art that you spent long hours on starts to fade and tarnish, it will not be long before word has spread. 

I have also completed a review of these beautiful Caran D'ache Luminance pencils on my YouTube channel where I have conducted a few test's which are better witnessed, so if you are interested follow the link and watch the video. 

All in all, there is very little, if anything wrong with these pencils, I love my Caran Dache Luminance Color Pencils. In fact when I first purchased mine, I was so worried about using them, that it took almost a week to actually use them on a piece of art and even then I was handling them as if they had explosives attached to them. But after I got over my fear, I actually started to enjoy using these wonderful pencils, works of art in their own right. 

If you have any questions on these beautiful pencils please by all means either leave your question in the comments section or send me an email via the contact page. Also, as you can see below I have sourced the cheapest Caran Dache Luminance sets on Amazon and even managed to find a 76 set cheaper than the one I found. I do want you to know that if you do purchase one of the sets from the links below, you will be doing so through my Amazon Associate account, if you would rather not do it this way by all means just search for the items you own way. Via the Amazon associate program I get a percentage of purchases made at no extra cost to you at all. I'd rather be honest and up front with my readers. 

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