Art Supply Comparison: Water-Soluble Crayons and Pastels

My comparison post for watersoluble crayons and pastels has been moved to my dedicated art blog at You can find an updated version of the comparison here.


About Rebecca J Fleming

Some random geek on the Internet who likes playing with coloured things. Also, I like to put Easter eggs in the microwave.
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9 Responses to Art Supply Comparison: Water-Soluble Crayons and Pastels

  1. Chris R. says:

    Thanks a lot! Very useful, as is the great color pencils comparison. Your lightfastness tests confirm my suspicions (…) that manufacturers’ ratings are not to be trusted, except maybe for the beautiful Caran d’Ache Luminance line.

    I’m planning to do my own multimedia test of deep, dark reds and all things PR101 this summer. Looking forward to your watercolor LF test results (no posts since Jan. 2013?) I hope you’re using the same methodology, which would provide quite a nice way to compare between crayons/pencils/watercolor lightfastness.

    • Hey, thanks for your comment 🙂

      Unfortunately between work and illness I’ve neglected this blog a bit over the last few months. After I did my original charts and posted them on the WetCanvas forum, the member running the test mentioned that the swatches should be bigger (mine are only about 1.5cm by 3cm, whereas the ideal size would be 1in by 3in). Since doing those charts I have also acquired a few more colours, so as soon as I get time, I will be redoing my swatches and starting the test again within the next few weeks. I am thinking I will also group colours by colour rather than by manufacturer. I had forgotten to update my watercolour blog post to reflect this (will do so now!)

      My watercolour testing methodology is different to that used for the pencils and crayons as it was defined by a group on the art forum based on official lightfast testing methods, while the other two were just my own design. It is my hope the watercolour testing methodology will be more effective.

      I have also acquired a few more small sets of coloured pencils, so I need to find a way to add those to my original coloured pencil testing post. I’d be interested in the results for your dark reds.

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  3. sdiamod says:

    Thanks so much for this very comprehensive review! Very helpful

  4. Louise says:

    Great review! Would you say that the water-soluble oil based cretacolor aquastics work best as an underpainting for oil based colored pencils, and the water-soluble wax based neocolor 2’s under wax based colored pencils or do you think it would matter at all?

    • I think as long as the crayon was completely dissolved (so no oily or waxy residue remained), it probably wouldn’t matter what sort of pencils you used over it. If you’re going to use thick layers of the crayon (either oil or wax) I suspect both types of pencil might have trouble adhering well, but I tend to not really mix mediums so I haven’t tried it 🙂

  5. Brilliant review and I totally agree with you about the Artbars and Neocolor IIs. I’m looking to buy the Cretacolor aquasticks to extend my collection and your review helped me a lot!

  6. greengirlgreen says:

    Thank you so much for your comprehensive testing and review. I’ve been trying to decide between the Cretacolor and Caran d’Ache, and your review has helped narrow it down to the Cretacolor.

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