The Art Gear Guide  

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Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Brown Set

Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Brown Set

Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Brown Line

About a year or so ago, in fact one of my first reviews on YouTube, I completed a review of the Koh-I-Noor Polycolor 36 set. I'd love to go back and update the review, especially on YouTube as a few things have changed, but I am not sure if this would be beneficial to the channel or the original review, so I will include the changes here. I have also included links to my previous Koh-I-Noor Polycolor reviews so that you can take a look at those if you are interested. YouTube Review and Written Review 

I think Koh-I-Noor are quite an over looked pencil and in my opinion, I think they are an excellent pencil. For young artists just starting out in colored pencils and perhaps on a budget but still wanting to get professional results, Koh-I-Noor are one of my first recommendations to people. As a company, Koh-I-Noor have an extensive range of products from graphite, water soluble pencils, pastels, colored pencils and so much more. A formidable company in my opinion. 

But this review is about the Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Brown Line, as they are referred to. The actual Polycolor range offers the largest set of 72 pencils, however this is not strictly true as we will discover in this review. I'm not suggesting for a second that Koh-I-Nor are trying to pull a fast one, just that they have provided extra pencils in the form of sets such as this brown set. 

Wax Or Oil

Koh-I-Noor have provided for their customers the Polycolor range, which actually sparks a lot of debate as to whether or not they are wax based pencils or oil. I spoke to a member of the Koh-I-Noor team and they explained to me that the core has three main ingredients, white clay, wax and oil. They have been developed to deliver a soft coverage as you would get with a wax pencil, but oil has been added to all for a slightly better point over a longer duration than you would otherwise get with a really soft wax pencil. If you look through the reviews online you will see quite a bit of confusion on this matter which is why I always contact the companies direct to get my information. I want to be as accurate as possible to my readers and obviously to the company as well. 

Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Sets

The Sets available in the Polycolor range are as follows, There are three sets of 12, one complete with basic colors, the Brown Line set of 12 which we are reviewing here and finally a Grey set of 12 which I will be reviewing next. 

Next is three 24 sets, again there is a basic color set of 24, a set of 24 Polycolor pencils dedicated to Portraiture and finally a 24 set dedicated to landscape. After this we then have a 36 set, 48 set and 72 set. 

With regards to the individual pencils inside the different sets, this is were things get a little bit complicated. On the ends of the pencils, they sport a number and the numbers range from 1 - 72, which you would expect given the 72 set is the largest. However, I mentioned a while ago that this was not strictly the case. 

In this Brown Line we are reviewing, there are three pencils ranging way outside the 72 and they are 207, 212 and 214. The remaining nine pencils in the Brown Line are numbered in correspondence to the 72 set and so this would suggest that you may run the risk of purchasing duplicates. For example, if you have the 72 set of Koh-I-Noor Polycolor and you fancied purchasing the Brown Line, (and why wouldn't you because they are a gorgeous set,) in all likelihood you already have nine of the colors and so purchasing the remaining three open stock may be more beneficial. This of course is not a major issue as you can never have too many colored pencils in my opinion, however, it is something worth mentioning. 

Pencil Characteristics

I have mentioned a lot of this information in my original Koh-I-Noor Polycolor, however I will included it in this review as I feel they are two individual reviews. The barrel is 7mm of high quality Cedar Wood and the core is 3.8mm of luscious pigment, 3.8mm being the average dimensions for so many colored pencils. 

Along the barrel, there is very little information, there is only the company name printed, followed by the brand of pencil which in this case is Polycolor. Toward the end of the pencil is the number 3800 which is really just the model number of the pencil and corresponds to the pencil being a Polycolor and finally a number ranging from 1 - 72, or in the case of the Brown Line a few extra digits. 

The color name is not on the pencil nor is the lightfast ratings, however, all of this information can be easily found on the Koh-I-Noor web site, something that was not available when I first completed the Polycolor review a year or so back. Never the less, this information is easy to find. 

I always recommend when people purchase a new set of pencils, they create a color swatch, preferably on the same paper you predominately use for colored pencil art. This then allows you to add the information that is important to you on the swatch and more importantly, allows you to see the color as it exactly is on the paper. 

In a lot of cases, the color indicator, which for colored pencils can either be the barrel color or a flash on the tip of the pencil, very rarely relate exactly to the color in the pigment. For example, in this Koh-I-Noor Brown Line, four pencils, 64, 30, 31 and 65 have identical barrel colors, but the pigments of the actual cores are incredibly different.

Notice the 4 pencils after the first yellow pencil, numbers 64,30,31,65


I have included a small drawing of hair using the Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Brown Line, I couldn't think of anything else to draw using just browns. the laying down of the pigment is beautiful, soft and butter but as I have already mentioned, the point does not diminish quickly given its way feel and structure. 

The Pencils blend incredibly well using mineral spirits and with a pencil blender. There is not black or white in the Brown Line, however, the pigment melts when burnished with a white Polycolor pencil. 

I personally love the Koh-I-Noor Polycolor range and whilst perhaps a bit confusing regarding duplications within sets, I love they way Koh-I-Noor have provided small sets dedicated to a particular style or niche or colored pencil art. I have also included a swatch of four colors from the set on black paper. This is not the best image but it is difficult to get the pigment to show up on black paper, the video review might show you the true colors on black paper better.


For this Koh-I-Noor Polycolor 12 set of Brown Pencils, in the UK you can expect to pay £10, in the US I could only find one set at the time of writing this review and they were priced at $30. In Europe you can expect to pay the same as the UK approximately €10. All in all I think the Koh-I-Noor Polycolor range is incredibly well priced and well worth the money. 


I love the Koh-I-Noor Polycolor colored pencils, I think they are amazing value for money and even though they would be considered a budget priced pencil, you can definately get beautifully professional art from them. There are quite a few amazing colored pencil artists who use the Koh-I-Noor Polycolor pencils and their work is simply breath taking. 

Don't forget I have a video review of this set over on The Art Gear Guide Youtube channel, just click the link and you will be taken directly to the video. I always do both a written and video review because I know some people much prefer one over the other and I try my very best to cater to everyone.      

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