Neocolor 2 – what’s the fuss about? (with videos)

Recently some colorists have taken a liking to Neocolor 2 by Caran D’ache.

If you’ve seen my three videos about the blending abilities of these compared to Inktense and Supracolor (my three favorite brands of watercolor pencils), you probably already know what to expect from these beasties.

Caran D’ache – a review from Coloring4Adults on Vimeo.

Frankly, I bought these a whole year ago, re-awekening the childhood feeling of visiting my grandad who was a very creative soul. He let me use his sample of 10 colors. I still remember the wonder of painting with these and then add water. I hadn’t seen anything like that anywhere! My grandad was awesome in general. He told stories he made up himself about a teeny tiny man with a hat, going on adventures in the big city – one time even visiting the queeen! He changed the voice to accomodate elder ladies’ scratchy voices and so on. Yeah, he was awesome my grandad. So sad that he died of cancer in the stomach 🙁

Sorry – I just got sidetracked by history 😉
But for those of you genuinely interested in finding out a little more about these beauties, you have my five cents here…

As noted above I bought a set of the 30 pcs. Neocolor 2 about a year ago. At that time I was scouring the market for new coloring supplies I hadn’t tried out, and the Neocolors were a perfect tool for that purpose. And so it went.

I used them on several pictures, among them the two sea horses in Johanna Basford’s “Lost Ocean” book:

Painting done with Caran D’ache Neocolor 2 and Supracolor

Neocolor 2: The Pro’s…

These crayons are so versatile. They are perfect for backgrounds and blends almost seamlessly into the picture without any pencil strokes. The color lay down applies lots of color and the crayons are both versatile and economic in use, as a little goes a long way.

Neocolor 2 are versatile crayons because they can be used several ways. One way to use them is to put the brush on the crayon and extract color from it (the way I did with the bodies of the sea horses) – or you can add some color to a piece of paper and pick up the color on the brush from there. Last but not least you can add a dash of color to the paper and blend it with a brush to add color to your page.

Neocolor 2 has 126 colors in the full set, compared to Supracolor’s 120 watercolor pencils, but as the blending capacity is a bit bigger and better. Heck, even if the 84 set was on my wish list, I don’t know if I’d use the browns for example. Thus I’m fine with my 30 pcs. – at least until they’re used up!

Also, if you have the full set of Supracolor, especially when it comes to backgrounds, Neocolor 2’s will make it easier if you need to cover larger areas with a small effort. Then you won’t have to use your pencils for that. Always good know!

With Neocolor you don’t have to work that hard to blend and mix the colors. Just add some color and add water. If you want to use two or more colors, put color approx. where you like the colors to be in the picture and just add water. The details can always be added with your favorite pencils when the paper is dry. And yes, they work (overall) well with dry pencils such as Polychromos.

Neocolor 2: The Con’s

The price for these pencils does not come cheap. Caran D’ache is one of the premier artist suppliers on the market today so these colors does is not for the low budgets. But, as always, start by sampling in open stock. I’ve added some additional colors to my existing stack and if I spot a chance to buy more of them, I will def. do so! Then you can always go big and buy the whole set.

Oh, also note that Neocolor 2 have several unique colorways which are not included in the Supracolor range. For example “Bismuth green” which is a blue-green-turquoise color, perfect for oceans and the like. I haven’t been able to find a full list of which colors differ from the Supracolor, but maybe you’re luckier than me in this regard.

If you’re like me, you’d probably wish for the full set. But also consider your needs. Is it really nessecary to have all 126 crayons, if what you use is mostly blues, greens, pinks, reds, lillacs and yellows? Then you probably won’t need the brown ones, per se. And you can always stock up on the “specials” if you’d like, for a much lower price.

I’m not going into the content of these crayons, as you can see, these are wax based. The more was, the better the blending, and this is some of the best wax pencils on the market you might add. Blends beautifully if you ask me. And since there seem to be a lot of fuss about these crayons at the moment, I have dusted off mine and got to work. Look at that background!

Kerby Rosanes: Mythomorphia

If you’re thinking of buying some of these pencils, then be prepared to work to get to know them. What they can do is absolutely fabolous, so check out these videos for more tips: