Marco Renoir Colored Pencil Review
Marco Renoir Colored Pencil Review
I must begin with a heart felt apology to all of those wonderful people who have been requesting this review for the past few months as I am only now getting round to completing the review. Of all the big name colored pencil brands on the market, I think this particular pencil has been the most requested for the "Coloured Pencil Reviews" scrutiny.
I must inform you right from the get go, trying to research this pencil and get the correct information regarding dimensions, lightfast ratings etc. has been a mission Ethan Hunt would fail. Never the less I have done the best I can.
Marco Renoir Specifications
The Marco Renoir sports a round American Cedar wood barrel, enclosed within which is a 3.7mm soft oil core. Of course you would be forgiven at first use of the Marco Renoir, for classifying the core as a soft creamy wax. As I have previously mentioned, finding legitimate information regarding the Marco Renoir is almost impossible and so, although the source of my information is not my usual 100% guarantee, from the horses mouth so to speak, the make up of the core is as legitimate as one can get it.
Approximately one third of the barrel is painted with the corresponding color to the pigment bound within the core. As with many colored pencil brands however, many of the colors painted on the barrel do not correctly correspond to the pigment when laid down on paper. The best way to avoid disappointment regarding this issue is to simply create a color swatch for every pencil you own and when starting a new project refer to the swatch as opposed to identifying the required color from the visual identification of the pencil.
Along the barrel of the Marco Renoir, very little relevant information is printed. Companies such as Caran D'Ache, have important information to the colored pencil artist emblazoned onto the pencil, information such as lightfast rating, color name, brand name and company name. The Marco Renoir on the other hand has opted to mystify the artist
Along one side of the barrel, printed on the painted end of the barrel is "Marco Renoir Fine Art" then on the opposite side is "Colour", wrote exactly as I have indicated and not the actual name of the color. Then followed is the number "3100" which is printed on all barrels and finally toward the very end of the pencil is a number unique to the corresponding pencil. However, the Marco Renoir pencils does not come in open stock and so therefore, this final number has very little relevance to the artist.
Marco Renoir Sets and Pricing.
Writing about the specific pricing of supplies in my reviews is always just a guide and worth remembering to check the date of publication on the review. Because the pricing can vary so widely, when referencing specific pricing I have always used Amazon as this is quite a global platform. That said, the Marco Renoir price point is incredibly good and pretty much in line with excellent brands such as Lyra and Koh-I-Noor.
The seat available for the Marco Renoir are as follows, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 100. My advice, especially when discussing colored pencils is to buy the largest set you can afford. With watercolor paints for example, a small set will stand you in good stead due to the mixing nature. Colored pencils however do not possess the same qualities and while good colored pencils can blend, this is not to the same extent that paints can.
I prefer not to compare one brand of pencil against another when writing reviews, however it can be helpful to highlight similarities in other brands to help illustrate a better understanding to readers. On this particular occasion, the best and easiest way to describe the performance of the Marco Renoir is to lay it firmly alongside the Prismacolor Premier pencil. The Marco Renoir has an incredibly rich smooth layering ability and the soft pigment takes to good quality paper like soft butter on warm pancakes.
The incredibly soft creamy consistency of the Marco Renoir allows for painterly like blending abilities, however this also limits the layering process as after three or four layers a tacky stickiness materialises, rendering the area incapable of accepting further pigment. Of course if you use solvents on your projects as quite a few colored pencil artists opt for, once applied this will naturally remove the sticky final layer allowing for more layers to be applied.
As with the Prismacolor and their quality control issues, it would appear the same issues are present in the Marco Renoir and I am referring to factory floor level issues. I think as colored pencil artists, we all reluctantly accept that a pencil delivering silky smooth pigment is going to also deliver issues with a crumbling core and perhaps more than the average breakage when sharpening. However, when I opened my set of 72 Marco Renoir, at least half of the pencils displayed chipped and damaged core tips. This in my opinion was not a delivery issue or packaging issue, but perhaps a more underlaying sinister problem with the baking process or perhaps mixing of the ingredients, i.e wax / oil, binding agent, gum Arabic etc.
Marco Renoir Conclusion
As I mentioned in my video review of the Marco Renoir on my YouTube channel, I am really torn regarding the outcome of this pencil. I love using the pencil, the laying down of colour is incredibly delightful; blending is effortless and sharpening the pencil is for the most part painless. so all the important boxes are ticked, metaphorically speaking when looking for good qualities in an artist grade pencil. But I can't help feeling something slightly more sinister laying await of the issue surrounding the core tips within my 72 set. This could be a simple case of me getting a damaged batch, which has been known to happen, but with most colored pencil companies, you can contact them and explain your concerns, resulting in either an explanation of perhaps even a replacement, this is not the case with the Marco Renoir.
I really like the Marco Renoir colored pencil, they perform well and are definitely much less heavy hitting on the wallet compared to many artist quality colored pencils. For the time being and until I can determine the cause of the damaged core tips, either via comments from other users of the pencils who may or may not have experienced the same issue or contact from the company, I wouldn't recommend them for beginners, purely incase the issue should be wide spread and the matter deter potential artists from an otherwise amazing medium.
If say for argument sake the issues I encountered within my set were simply a one off, then I would recommend these pencils based on their performance to beginners and using them as a practice pencil developing your craft. I would not recommend using them on commissioned art pieces for clients simply due to the lack of lightfast information. A lack of this important information has to be seen as they are not in fact lightfast until otherwise stated by the company. For those of you wishing to try a research the pencils yourself, the only site I found belonging to the company was Marco, which the site was written in Chinese. At the time of writing this review, the site I have provided does indicate an English written site, however when you select the link, you are informed that the site is currently under construction. I wish my information was more through, however, as I discover more information on the company and pencil, I will update this review and let you all know about the update via social media, so please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe to Coloured Pencil Reviews if you wish to be notified of changes and updates on this review and many others. Thank you so much for all your support and comments.