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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. 


Faber Castell Goldfaber

Faber Castell Goldfaber

Faber Castell Goldfaber

First of all I just would like to say that I am sorry for the lack of content over the past few days on social media, as most of you know who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc, my beloved Siberian Husky, Yakona suddenly and unexpectedly died. I would just like to thank you all for the lovely comments left for my family and I on social media. 

Now on to the review, as you can see I have a review of the brand new Faber Castell Goldfaber pencils. there didn't really appear to be much fanfare from Faber Castell when these pencils were released, which is odd given how excellent they are. I know Faber Castell is a big name and perhaps can be a bit more cool about new products when they are released, never the less, I hope my review helps you make a decision as to whether or not they are for you. 

Faber Castell Goldfaber Sets

We all know what amazing products Faber Castell produce and the Goldfaber coloured pencils are absolutely no exception. So I will show my hand right from the get go and tell you that I have loved using the Goldfaber pencils, my only criticism is the set sizes and to be honest, it is more of a compliment rather than a criticism. 

The excellent news is that the Faber Castell Goldfaber range are available open stock. they are also available is sets of 12, 24, 36 and 48 and there in lays the problem, the largest set is only 48. I personally would love to have seen this set available in a 60 set at least but would be wonderful to see a 120 set in this range. 

Faber Castell have three lines of products, the red line is aimed toward young artists, the blue line is more aimed toward students and the green line is their coveted artist grade, the Polychromos and Albrecht Dürer. The Goldfaber range fall into the Student grade, which is why I really think that a largest set of 60 would be nice but ideally a full 120 set, a student equivalent of the Polychromos. 

Goldfaber Characteristics

The Goldfaber pencil is a really handsome looking product, almost formal if that makes sense. The round barrel is finished with a matt Payne's Grey -  Gun Metal Grey lacquer. The core is an average 3.3mm housed in that beautiful round matt 7.5mm barrel. this is not an overly chunky pencils or too slim, it fits snuggly in between. 

There is not a lot of information on the barrel, working from the core to the end. On one side of the barrel is printed in very clear white lettering the pencil brand, "Goldfaber", closely followed by the stylish Faber Castell logo and name. 

On the opposite side of the barrel is printed the company origins which is of course "Germany", followed by a barcode for open stock ordering. Toward the very end of the pencil is a number which again is another indication to help select the correct pigment during open stock ordering. Every pencil is then capped with an inch flash helping to make pigment identification easy. 

there is no pigment name printed on the barrels, however, I have included a fantastic chart, a PDF that Faber Castell have on their site showing the range of pigments for the Goldfaber range. I listened or read a debate regarding pigment names being printed on the barrels of pencils and I actually agree with the outcome. We have become obsessed with the pigment names being identified on the barrels, which I can see the importance of in some cases, however, the vast majority of us use more than one brand of pencil and each brand uses a different name for the same pigment. This can become confusing and overwhelming in some instances. The best way to deal with this is to always make your own colour swatches and eyeball the colours that you need via the swatches you make. 

Faber Castell Goldfaber Performance

I think this is the first pencil that Faber Castell has released that is of a soft wax ingredient, certainly this is the case for the Student and Artist grade ranges. The second the core touches the paper, it is evident just how soft the core is, I would liken the Goldfaber to Prismacolor regarding the texture of the wax once laid on the paper, with a few differences. 

the Goldfaber core has been treated with Faber Castell's secural bonding process, this gives the core a high break resistance which in a student grade pencil is an excellent idea. However, I do think and this is only my own personal opinion, that this process, whilst incredibly beneficial, does compromise the true softness of this core. Ordinarily with wax based pencils, after a few layers there is either a wax bloom build up, or a tacky resistance between the core and layers being applied, this is not the case with the Goldfaber. Rather than either the wax bloom or tacky resistance, there is more of a slick film that appears. 

Whilst layering with the Goldfaber, I was able to comfortably apply four layers of light application and although a fifth was applied with relative ease, it was clear a sixth would not lay down. Once odourless mineral spirits was applied, the pigment on the paper moved about with ease and blended well whilst also allowing more layers once dry. All in all the Goldfaber pencils provided a beautiful coverage with the soft waxy pigments, leaving behind bright bold colours. 

Ordinarily when I use colored pencils, I stay away from the metallic range that has now become quite popular, for me personally, in the smaller 24, 36 or 48 sets, I would prefer for the companies to leave out the Gold and silver pigments and include two extra greys. My reason for feeling this way is that until now, the metallic pigments have not really demonstrated what they are supposed to. The Gold and Silver pigments in the Goldfaber sets however are absolutely gorgeous and actually look metallic. Of all the pencil sets I have tested and I include the Faber Castell Polychromos in that list, the Faber Castell Goldfaber range have by far the nicest metallic pigments. 

Faber Castell Goldfaber Lightfast Ratings

According to Faber Castell, the Goldfaber range have good lightfast ratings, however, to the best of my ability, I have been unable to locate individual pigment lightfast ratings from Faber Castell. This is not a massive issue as the Goldfaber range are considered Student grade and not artist, but when a company say there pencils have good lightfast ratings, I think it would be nice if they could expand a little on this statement and define what they mean by good lightfast ratings. 

Faber Castell Goldfaber Pricing 

When I have looked about on, I was unable to find any Faber Castell Goldfaber products, I also checked on Dick Blick and Jerrys and couldn't find anything there. As I mentioned on my YouTube video, I have tried my best to get information from Faber Castell in the UK but it is impossible, I would have asked them about sales in the US. For now I am unable to supply information about these pencils in the US, however, if Faber Castell decide to ever reach out and answer my questions, I will absolutely update on US sales, I am so sorry to my US followers that I am unable to provide this information. 

Here in the UK the prices you can expect to pay for this excellent range of pencils is as follows. For the 12 set £10, for the 24 set £18, for the 36 set £27 and for the largest set, the 48 set £37. finally to purchase the Goldfaber pencils individually they will cost you £1 in the UK. 

For artists in Europe wishing to purchase a set of Faber Castell's new Goldfaber pencils, you can expect to pay the following. €10 for the smallest 12 set, for the 24 set of Goldfaber €17, for the 36 set it will cost you €27 and for the largest set of 48 it will cost you €43. For an individual Goldfaber pencils you will pay approximately €2.


I think for the quality of the Goldfaber, the price is tremendous, but despite the problems I have experienced getting Faber Castell UK to answer a few simple questions, Faber Castell is a remarkable company and produce some of the finest art supplies in the world, so it is hardly a surprise that the Goldfaber range are another excellent edition to an already outstanding set of art supplies. 

Although I have not completed a speed drawing or art for this particular set of pencils, I will at a later date, never the less I have done extensive testing and I have really enjoyed using them and they have superseded all my expectations. Whilst expecting good things from a Faber Castell product, I never expected a student product to be so good. 

Don't forget, you can see my video review of these Faber Castell Goldfaber pencils over on my YouTube channel The Art Gear Guide

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