Crayola is known for offering artists budget tools in exchange for an okay quality product. They also happen to have a wide range of novice-grade (and even some scholastic-grade) tools for artists or hobbyists on a budget. Let’s check out their watercolor pencils.
Available in one of two sets (a 12 or 24 count), these watercolor pencils come in a simple cardboard packaging with a range of 24 different colors.
Since Crayola products end up in classrooms across the world, they are made with non-toxic materials and may be used with or without water. Encased in a round-barrel wooden casing and designed with the traditional thick Crayola core, these are watercolor pencils designed for durability.
What They’re Good For
These are watercolor pencils, so the finish is intended to look like a watercolor painting. People generally use watercolor pencils instead of the paint for detail purposes.
The Crayola brand of watercolor pencils has a hard, wax-based core, so it works well for something with a lot of detail. That being said, this technique only works if water is not applied afterward as one of this pencil’s critiques is its loss of pigment after the application of water.
Crayola watercolor pencils are designed for classroom use, so they are also safe for children to use as a substitute for the harsher substance of colored markers.
Crayola is known for creating budget products that every artist has used at least once. While their quality is not okay at best, they do not by any means market their products as professional grade. That being said, Crayola does produce some of the best practice quality colored pencils on the market and their watercolors serve their purpose well.
As a watercolor pencil and a novice grade watercolor pencil at that, these water-soluble pencils have a predictably low lightfastness rating. For a basic watercolor pencil meant for practicing technique (actually meant for children), the lightfastness issue is understandable. In addition to its low lightfastness rating, Crayola watercolor pencils are notorious for their faint finish- that, coupled with their tendency to fade makes for a very temporary art piece.
Sturdiness/ Durability 5/5
These water color pencils are made with a thicker-than-average water-soluble core, making them quite shatter proof and pretty durable. Crayola is generally known for making durable products.
Binder/ Quality 3/2
In terms of durability, Crayola has made a watercolor pencil that surpasses its predecessors in its resilience to breakage. Watercolor pencils tend to be quite brittle, but this one contains a little more wax than regular watercolor pencils, making it hold up a lot better. That being said, the pigment ratios are quite low.
Color Intensity 2/5
The hardness of the Crayola watercolor core makes the application a bit scratchier and the color slightly waxier than other water-soluble colored pencils. Additionally, while the color has decent pigmentation when used dry, it fades significantly with the use of water. Since it has a low lightfastness rating, the color intensity tends to fade even faster because of this.
As for value, you get what you pay for- this has always been Crayola’s unspoken motto. The quality is okay- excellent even! But for practice purposes.
Watercolor pencils usually rate on either end of the quality range, with lower-end watercolor pencils being absolutely horrible and the premium ones without comparison. Crayola has that ability to rate right in the middle, being an excellent option for beginners or professionals perfecting certain techniques.