Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Review
Caran D'Ache Neocolor II
I've had these beautiful crayons or Pastels, if you will, for quite a while now and to be honest, I have been busting a gut to review them. As I stated in the video to accompany this review, I always try my level best to remain completely impartial with regards these reviews. Honesty and transparency are incredibly important to me, however, I would be telling lies if I said I didn't really enjoy reviewing Caran D'Ache products. There is a serious level of craftsmanship attached to each and every product I have reviewed thus far from Caran D'Ache and I hope that the Neocolor is true to type and delivers the same high standards the others have.
The first thing I noticed about the Neocolor, well, actually noticed is not quite the right word, the feeling I got when I first opened my 30 set of Caran D'Ache Neocolor, was that of childhood memories. All those years ago as a child in primary school, with little pots filled with those chisel tipped crayons. We would always rip the paper off them not really understanding the papers true purpose and would scrub as hard as we could to try and create bright vibrant colours on massive sheets of paper. but enough of the childhood reminiscing.
Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Stats
There is not very much information to give with regards to dimensions, information on the barrel etc, however there is some, which I will go over before getting into the testing of this beautiful art medium.
The diameter of each pastel is 8.65mm with an overall length of 104.5mm, that is 8.65mm of pure 100% beautiful Caran D'Ache pigment, nothing is left to waste, there is no core or no barrel, just pure pigment. The actual pastel is a mixture of pigment, natural mineral, fillers, additives and wax. I think it is actually worth mentioning, something that never crossed my mind until I spoke to the Caran D'Ache rep about these Pastels, they contain Non-allergenic, no gluten, wheat or peanut based materials used within the pastels. This is something I simply never considered for those with serious allergies, but it is good to know that the Caran D'Ache Neocolor II are free of such ingredients and so safe for all to use.
Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Sets
Caran D'Ache I think have done a wonderful job in making these fantastic water-soluble pastels available and within reach of everyone. The sets available are as follows, starting with the smallest to the largest. A set of 10, 15, 30, 40, 84 and the largest of the sets weighing in with a whopping 126 luscious pastels. With the 84 set, there is also a beautiful box set available.
Lightfast ratings are a very important factor when it comes to art mediums and artists deciding on whether or not to use them in their projects. The Caran D'Ache Neocolor II pastels may look like a child's art supply, but they can absolutely stand side by side with any high end art medium based on it's lightfast ratings.
Taking into consideration the largest set, the 126 set, with the Caran D'Ache lightfast rating system of 1-3 stars, with 1 star the least lightfast and 3 stars the most. Only 10 pastels are rated 1 star, 37 pastels are rated 2 stars and a massive 69 are rated 3 stars. This is an excellent ratio with only 10 out of 126 pastels not really sufficiently lightfast enough to be used on a major project or commission.
Caran D'Ache Neocolor Performance
Because the Neocolor II are a water-soluble, rather than take images of the results, I have included the link to the YouTube video review of these pastels. Images are fine for pencils, wax crayons, markers etc, a one dimensional medium so to speak, but with the Neocolor II, it is best to see the laying down of the color and the activation of the pigment with water.
There are other fantastic techniques that can be achieved using the Neocolor Pastels, but again, these techniques are best seen in real time as opposed to still images. By following the link you will be directed to the YouTube video review and see these most amazing water-soluble pastels in action. With a brush and some water, these otherwise ordinary wax pastels unlock a magical world of creative possibilities, possibilities where only your imagination is the limit.
Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Pricing
There is no doubt about it, Caran D'Ache products are expensive, however, never has the phrase "You get what you pay for" been more suited and appropriate for any product. As usual, I have checked the various Amazon sites to give a general idea of pricing, however I am sure if you shop about you may find a cheaper alternative.
Firs of all the UK Amazon prices. The Set of 10 pastels will cost approximately £11, don't forget these prices are rounded of. The 15 set £15, the 30 set £30, the 40 set £50, the 84 set £104, the 84 box set £172 and finally the 126 set will cost £349
In America the prices are very similar, the set of 10 pastels will cost $14, the 15 set $20, the 30 set $48, the 40 set $70, the 84 set $149, the 84 box set will cost you $219. Unfortunately at the time of writing this review I was unable to locate a 126 tin of Neocolor, which of course only means that there was non available on Amazon that day.
Final Conclusion Of The Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Pastels.
I think you can probably tell that I absolutely loved these Caran D'Ache Neocolor II Pastels, their laying down of pigment was a rich smooth and creamy experience and when activated with water and a brush, the real magic began dancing on the paper. I really tried hard to find some flaw in these pastels and couldn't find anything, at least not anything with the actual Pastels.
There is one small issue, which I was unable ti test on account of the particular colors not present in my set. However, I have known and spoke to friends who have purchased the larger sets which come with three metallic colors, Bronze, Silver and Gold. When these three particular colors are laid down, the pigment is quite resistant to the paper and when water is added to the mix, the same intensity of color burst is not experienced.
I personally think that this is more to do with metallic colors in general, especially in colored pencils, crayons, pastels or water soluble pastels. For whatever reason the pigment in these colors just don't seem to play well with the other colors and so on this occasion I do not think it fair to attribute this to this particular product and rather a more wide spread phenomena.
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