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Product Review - Holbein Artists Colored Pencils

Hello everyone, and welcome to my first product review at Allegro Japan! I’m Ayaka Desjardins, with somewhat of a nomadic past life, but now I live and work in Tokyo, helping out with this wonderful new site Allegro Japan. Starting today, I’d like to introduce various products and places that are special to me and to other people I know in Tokyo and Japan.

Today, I will introduce Holbein colored pencils. Despite the German-sounding name, Holbein is actually a Japanese art supplies company that is widely known in Japan, and seems to be gaining in popularity overseas. They produce a full line-up of products, but one of their most popular sets are their Artists Colored Pencils.

First, a list of colors is here. All 150 colors, from bright to pale to astringent.

There are even a good range of metallic and fluorescent colors included, so I feel that this set will be a nice playground of pencils for any professional or amateur pencil artist. A particular strength is the pastel color range, which is rich, and perfect for when you have to draw cute illustrations or colorful things.

There is also a specialized set of pastel colored pencils available from Holbein, so if you already have colored pencils from other manufacturers and only want the pastel colors, that would definitely be a great option.

Holbein colored pencil sample

In this full 150 color set, one special color is the Soft White, which is a lot more comfortable to draw with than ordinary white, and hides underlying colors well. It’s wonderful for using for highlights and thin outlines.

Holbein color pencil cores are soft, and drawing feels smooth. All colors are stable, beautiful and dark. I wonder if only the fluorescent colors feel a bit dry? You can apply multiple layers, but if you apply the same color multiple times to small areas, it might not apply well.

Holbein Pencil sample drawing

This is from a small bookmark illustration from Mizutama’s Coloring Sheet. Since the paper in this book is easy to color solidly, I’m thinking about using this book for all the sample paintings that I might showcase in the future for colored pencils. The background on the right is solid, and the background on the left uses pastel colors and dark green, with 4 colors stacked. Since the pencil cores are soft, you have to sharpen them carefully to paint small areas, but overall I think these are excellent colored pencils that can be used to draw thickly or thinly as in this example.

Holbein pencil sample drawing 2

This is an alpaca illustration also done with Holbein Colored Pencils. Because it was done completely with Holbein, it brought to mind a couple of interesting things. At first with Holbein, you notice the many bright colors, but actually as you can see with the alpaca illustration, there is quite a large variety of all kinds of shades that come out beautifully, and colors that I ended up loving.

So while Holbein is first and foremost well-known for their watercolors, their colored pencil line is also excellent, and worth a try for any pencil artist out there!

If you are interested in these Holbein Artists 150 Colored Pencils, please take a look at our product page. We have the best price online and we ship to almost every country in the world, so I think you won't be disappointed.

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