Polychromos Pencil Crayons from Faber Castell

Wow, so these pencils are proving very popular and easy to use with crafters, and I have decided to dedicate a page to this colouring medium and a source of reference for everyone.

To start with, here is some basic information about the pencils (in my own experience of course so this is my opinion only and you can do your own research too) together with information on what sansodor and blending stumps are.

First, there are different pencil crayon brands on the market and over the years I have used a few, but my favourite is the faber castell polychromos range.
The blending technique using odourless mineral spirits is not to be confused with watercolour pencils - those are water-based, and pencil crayons are waxed based like oil pastels.

here is a list of all of the colours:


There are a whopping 120 colours in the range, available in sets of 12 24 36 60 and 120.
BUT, you can buy them in single pencil as well. Marion in the Crafty Bride Wedding Studio in Kilkenny stocks the colour list below, or you can get them from Cork Art Supplies (Cards n Scrapz) and most artist shops.

So, I do admit to having all 120 colours (bought a tin of 60, loved them so much and then bought the rest as singles on a trip to Cork a couple of years ago!)  In using the pencils, I came up with a list of the colours I would use the most, to shade my stamped images. 
UPDATED LIST OF BASIC + EXTRA COLOURS NOW ADDED 06/07/2014



Next, if you want to blend your pencils you need to invest in a couple of things - Sansodor (odourless mineral spirit otherwise know as Gamsol in the USA) and paper blending stumps. Sansodor is available in most art supply shops as well.


 Paper blending stumps come in various sizes, and you only need 2 or 3. I sharpen and remove the colour from mine with cheap sandpaper or big emery boards.  Buy a good quality blending stump, not those which are very hard and plastic looking -  they need to look off white or the colour of grey newsprint.
Cork Art Supplies have blending stumps available HERE or again in all art supply stores (you might have to ask for them).


Here are a couple of video tutorials where you can see this technique in action - it includes blending single and multiple colours







And lastly, an idea of what the pencils look like plain without blending, and with blending on a couple of my card samples:


 soft blending on the bears above... and plain pencil colouring on the boy card below.


Any questions, just leave me a comment or email me at creationsbyjess@eircom.net

1 comment:

  1. Hi, just wanted to correct one thing above. Faber-Castell use an oil binder. The other big brand Prismacolor by Sanford use a wax binder. Most brands seem to use an oil binder. This makes a difference for colour pencil artists.

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