Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils
Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils
If you cast you mind back just a bit, I completed my review of the Winsor & Newton Colored Pencils Studio Collection, in fact I uploaded the review just before Christmas 2018 and completed a Christmasy piece of artwork along with the review.
Well, now I have a review of the Winsor & Newton Watercolor Pencils Studio Collection. I have to thank Winsor & Newton for sending this set of pencils to me for review purposes, but as always, the findings in this review are honest and to the point. I have mentioned before that occasionally I am incredibly fortunate enough to have companies send me their wonderful products, however I always make clear that my reviews will always reflect the truth about my findings. But I must also say that every company that has sent me their products to review, Winsor & Newton included, only want honest reviews because honesty helps the company make changes if required or sit back and smile if the reviews are perfect. But the companies don’t just focus on the reviews, they also check out the comments from you guys, together, the reviews and comments help these companies build up a better understanding of what their customers want. I am always amazed at just how much art supply companies actually listen to their customers and do their best to deliver what the customer wants. Winsor & Newton are one such company, their illustrious history is testament of that.
Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils Characteristics
The Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils are actually quite a stylish and sophisticated looking pencils. They are very similar to the Winsor & Newton Colored Pencils only the watercolor pencil barrel is white. Unfortunately this is the only distinction between the two pencil models.
The white barrel of the Watercolour and light grey barrel of the colored pencils, is just enough to make the distinction, if the user lays out both the Winsor & Newton watercolor and colored pencils on the studio desk, they can be identified in the right light, but the differences are very subtle. I have to say I am actually nit picking here because of how much I enjoyed using the pencils, which I will address soon. It was only by accident as I was packing away both sets of pencils that I noticed this minor issue. However, I say minor for me, but someone with week eyesight or other eye related issues may not find the matter so minor.
Ordinarily, water soluble pencils will have a paint brush icon printed somewhere along the barrel, the Winsor & Newton pencils do not have this.
As already mentioned, the watercolor pencil barrel is a brilliant white color and each barrel has an inch long pigment identifier on the very end of the barrel. The beautiful contrast of the white barrels and the inch long flash of color, makes selecting the pigment required very easy indeed.
the barrel is round, with a diameter of 7.2mm Cedar Wood, contained within which is a highly pigmented, generous 3.8mm core. Midway along the barrel is the globally recognised Winsor & Newton logo in silver, giving the overall aesthetics to this pencil its cool sophisticated look. Further along the barrel is the name of the pigment in English. It is this minimalist approach that gives the pencil the cool appearance, however, I would have liked to see perhaps the paint brush icon on the barrel just to help with clarification.
Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils Performance
As you can see from the image below, I have completed two swatches of the watercolor pencils, one dry and the other in wet format. I completed the swatches in my Strathmore Visual Journal 90lb Watercolor paper, its not the best watercolor paper in the world but it is perfect for swatches and watercolor sketches.
However, on both swatches you can clearly see just how bright and vibrant the pigments are, both dry and wet. Watercolor pencils are all very much the same in the sense that the pigments once activated are at their strongest and best, after all the focus is on them being water soluble.
It is very much worth mentioning that the pigments used in the Winsor and Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils are the very same pigments used in the highly popular Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Paints. This is information verified straight from Winsor & Newton, so if you are a user of the Cotman Watercolor paints, you are going to love these pencils, giving you all the vibrancy of the rich pigments as well as the control and detail offered by the pencil format.
The pencils sharpened very well and maintained a good point throughout. I used the pencils in various different ways whilst completing my botanical speed painting with them. I used the traditional method of applying pigment to the paper and activating the pigment with water, you will be able to see in my speed painting video the pigment come to life as soon as water hits the paper.
I also took pigment directly from the core with a wet brush, I done this a few times with the white pencil, which helped to provide me with rich opaque highlights. This is a process that is best not carried out a lot, wetting the core can damage the tip and core wood,
I also used a palette to help mix the pigments, the process is simple, rub the pencil core over the corse surface of the palette and you can add a few pigments to this process. You then use a wet brush and mix the pigments together. Occasionally, to get really dark greens, I would mix the Black, Olive and Midnight Blue pigments, which gave me a gorgeous deep green with gorgeous depth. With this method, I know people will ask, “what is the point of using the pencils like this, wouldn’t it be better use pans” and the answer I give is that pans will obviously give you a similar result, but with watercolor pencils you get the best of both world. With the pencils I can always get accurate detail and mix them as you would with pans, but with a pan set, it is difficult to get the accuracy a sharpened pencil delivers.
For me, Watercolor pencils are such a versatile and a quick medium to use and pack away. With a set of high quality watercolor pencils such as the Winsor and Newton Studio Collection watercolor pencils, there is no setting up required, you can leave the pencils out on your desk and not worry about paint drying or cracking and of course with a small portable mixing palette, you can achieve exactly the same results that you would with a pan set, and more.
Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils Sets Available
My only major issue with the Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor pencils is that the largest set available is 24 pencils. I say this because when you enjoy using a product and this especially applies to colored pencil artists, the bigger the set and more colors available, the better.
Now, it is important to mention that this is a relatively new venture by Winsor & Newton, so I know that the lines currently circulating the internet and stores, are really just them dipping their metaphorical toes into the pencil world. Winsor & Newton are incredibly well established in the world of watercolor paints, one of if not thee leading brand, but this is a new step towards pencils, which means that if the sets do well and the public enjoy using the pencils, there is a possibility larger sets will be produced.
The two sets available on the W&N Watercolor pencils is a 12 set and 24 set. If you take a look at my review of the W & N colored pencils, I show the largest set for that line is 48. Heres hoping that Winsor & Newton actually decided to expand both these pencil lines because in my opinion, they have done an excellent job.
Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils Lightfast Information
As I mentioned above, this is a relatively new market for them and so official lightfast testing has yet to be carried out. This is something that Wtinsor & Newton are going to be investing in for the future and when the ratings are published, as with the Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Colored Pencils, I will also update this review accordingly.
Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils Pricing
Here in the UK, to purchase the set of 12 Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils it will cost you £12.76 and to purchase the 24 set you can expect to pay approximately £25. This works out at approximately £1 per pencil
Unfortunately I was unable to get any prices for the Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils in Europe, however I will keep looking.
There is no open stock availability in this line either, however this is another aspect of the line that will materialise with demand and growth of this new venture.
Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Watercolor Pencils Conclusion
There is no doubting Winsor & Newtons credentials in the Watercolor world of art and it is only natural to see this progression from the company, given the explosive colored pencil movement. In the very short time period that I have been reviewing art supplies, just over two and a half years now, even I have seen the massive increase on demand for good quality pencils.
The quality of the Winsor & Newton Watercolor pencils is first class and if you have used the Cotman line before you will recognise the quality of the pencils immediately. There are however a few minor, and I mean minor issues that I feel would be nice if addressed. Colored pencil artists, once they find a brand they love, they tend to use all of their range, i.e. colored pencils and water soluble pencils. In the case of the Winsor & Newton Colored pencils and Watercolor pencils, I feel a slightly better distinction between the sets beneficial.
Also, depending of what market Winsor & Newton are aiming the pencils at, lightfast information may need to be established, of course if the pencils are aimed more at the hobby colored pencil enthusiast, then lightfast isn’t an issue. However, open stock availability would be nice regardless the demographic.
As with the Winsor & Newton Colored Pencils, I loved using their Watercolor Pencils and I think that comes across in my painting of the Lemons. I think the speed painting and still images illustrate the strength of the pigments and smooth coverage.
Don’t forget you can watch my speed painting video to get a better demonstration of the pencils in action as well as my detailed video review or alternatively if YouTube and videos are not your thing, after reading this review you can simply check out the still images of the art work by following the link.