A Coloring Adventure: Faber Castell Polychromos review

The last podcast from The Art Supply Posse got me to get some Fabercastell Polychromos at open stock to try out. #colorpencil #coloringpencils #artsupplyposse #fabercastell #polychromos #aquatones #bluehue #gradient #coloring #artsupplies

In episode 8 of Art Supply Posse podcast Color Me Pencil the subject of, you guessed it, coloring pencils were discussed. As always it was a fun, chatty episode. I know the goal of their podcasts is to be inspired to use your own stash more, but through a comment in the episode - Ana of The Well Appointed Desk said in the podcast that these polychromos were on "time-out" for her at the moment- I got curious to know as to why that is and wanted to try them out. So I got a few of them myself when I was at Flockstra in Groningen (Pricing was 1,80€ open stock which was not bad at all!) and I picked out a series of blue hues to experiment with. 

Testpage of FaberCastell Polychromos in buehues. Got them after the last @artsupplyposse podcast in which they discuss the various colored pencils with wax and oil based leds. #artsupplyposse #colorpencil

At first glance and test they behaved a lot like my Derwent Artists Pencils, which are waxed based. The polychromos are oil based pencils though and do not have the "wax-bloom" problem most wax pencils have. My vintage Derwents do not have this problem either, but it's how you use your pencils that can create that effect. 
I love the fact they have a solid color barrel, like my vintage derwents have. Also, I know this is for the scanning purposes of the product in retail, but I really dislike the fact there are bar-code stickers on them. if you place bar-code stickers on them, do it on the back so you don't have the sticky substance on your fingers while you are coloring when you remove them from the front. Ok, rant over. And yes, at the end the bar-code stickers were removed as was sticky residue. Time to give them a proper testing.

You can do some nice layering with these. Quite liking them! Paper used 250gms mix media cardstock from @clairefontaine_officiel Paint On Block. #colorpencil #coloringpencils #artsupplyposse #fabercastell #polychromos #aquatones #bluehue #gradient #colori
At Flockstra I also picked up a Paint-On mixed media A5 pad from Clairefontaine which I wanted to try out. It's a sturdy 250 gms white card stock and I'm excited to try this paper with different media's to see how it holds up. For pencils it's also great, not too toothy, just the right amount of texture to build some color on. I drew a fantasy Zentangle Rose with my Pentel Tradio Pulaman pen and proceeded to color it in. You can really do some wonderful shading and blending with these polychromos for sure! I've created some in between blue hues by overlaying lighter shades on a darker surface and the lighter overlay does pop out. Also there is minimal smear and the pencil tips have not broken once (I applied smooth and even pressure while coloring).

After thoroughly testing them I definitely understand the appeal. Thanks for enabling @artsupplyposse 😉 Paper used  from @clairefontaine_officiel Paint on Mixed media 250grams cardstock. Line work done with a pentel tradio. #colorpencil #coloringpenc
And the end result was this. The colors really blend nicely and you can see how the colors pop! I think I am smitten! Also you can see how much of the color pencil I exactly used for this piece, I added several layers and did not sharpen them once. I'm sure they will last me a long time!

Now I already have a full set of Derwent Artist pencils which I am very happy with (you can see my Coloring adventure with them here) so I won't be getting a full set of these polychromos, but I could not resist getting a few more colors on my way back home via Groningen.
Am slowely recovering, not much energy for something other creative than coloring. #polychromos #fabercastell #taramcpherson #overtherainbow #greenhues #kleurpotloden #kleurenvoorvolwassenen #coloringbook #colorpencil #coloring #pencil
I picked up some green hues and colored this page from Tara McPherson's Somewhere under the Rainbow coloring book. I made copies of images of this book because I love the images so much I would like to have a chance of coloring them more than once. This was printed on HP 100gms laser printer paper. Though I preferred the 250 Paint On paper, the pencils held up good here too. Looks like my turquoise hues finally need to get sharpened :) 

Hope this review was useful for you and be of help for you in your own coloring adventures :) 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!



  1. I love my Polychromos but I love my Caran d'Ache Pablo's more ! They are softer and more pliable ! Great colouring by the way !
    Corrie x

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Corrie! I will try to get some Pablo's to try them and compare :)

  2. Hey there,

    "At first glance and test they behaved a lot like my Derwent Artists Pencils, which are also waxed based"... I don´t know about the Derwents, but the Polychromos are not wax based. They are oil based.

    1. Hi Desiree, thanks for your comment and you are totally right! I was misinformed by the guy at the art store as I asked him about the differences between Derwent artists and Polychromos and he said the core was the same. So I assumed he was right and seeing they behaved almost the same, I thought they were both wax cored. Anyhow, I changed it accordingly and thanks again for your input!


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