Video: Caran D’ache Supracolor vs. Neocolor 2 vs. Derwent Inktense

My very first video(s)! A three-step review and demonstration of the water-soluble colored pencils

  • Caran D’ache, Supracolor
  • Caran D’ache Neocolor 2
  • Derwent Inktense

These three are the main mediums I use when heading for the water colors. I have the full stack of the Supracolor and Inktense set, and approx 25 Neocolors. The three mediums offer a different approach each which I will show in the videos. So, let’s give it a go! Here’s the first:

Video demonstration of Caran D’ache “Supracolor”

The Caran D’ache Supracolor is a super soft artist pencil with excellent skills in the water-soluble department. The cores are 3,8 mm. and they lay down on paper with a soft finish. You can use them as both wet and dry, though I’d recommend using them for watercoloring as they certainly aren’t a cheap buy! Thus, their lightfastness come off as very good. Designed for artists, they are very high in pigmenting, although they do not fully absolve as the “Albrecht Durér” version by Faber Castell.

Caran D’ache Supracolor watercolor pencils from Coloring4Adults on Vimeo.

As you can see in the video the colors dissolve very easily, and they’re great for large areas of color where you need more “Ooohmph” – but they work just as good in small areas if you want to blend them with other colors which I’m showing as well. As stated the Supracolor will not dissolve 100% on any paper. Even as I used a fairly standard Aquarell paper I couldn’t get the color to completely dissolve from the paper, which in my book is not a crime, but if you’re an artist you need to take this into account, depending on which work you’ll be doing, as it affects the expression of e.g. backgrounds on paper.

Video demonstration of Caran D’ache Neocolor 2

Not a lot of coloring artists are familiar with these colors which I find is a pity, as they lay down a LOT of color with very light pressure. They also come in a non water-soluble form (called “Neocolor 1”) and as “Supracolor” has a “II” (= 2) in their brand name, so does Caran Dache’s water soluble edition of a waxy crayona for water paintings. Tehcnically the Neocolor 2 is not a colored pencil, but is widely accepted as such in the artist community, as they have a lot in common with their Supracolor sisters.

Neocolor 2 are creamy, intense and dissolve easily. They are wax-based and very soft and thus they break easily – a good thing to keep in mind if you store them out of their box or buy open stock. A small, flat box is ideal for these beauties which comes in no less than 126 varieties. The color names are not 100% matched with the Suparcolors, therefore you can find “new” color variations here. These crayons aren’t encased by wood, and thus must be sharpened manually. They are shorter than a pencil, but can be used both as a traditional “water color” by satiate the brush with color before laying down on paper – or you can simply draw where you need it and add a water dipped brush to dissolve the medium. In this video I did the latter:

Caran D’ache Neocolor || from Coloring4Adults on Vimeo.

The colors are some of the most intense, and great if you want that “wauw” effect. They are very versatile and can cover a lot of space in very short time. As with the Supracolors the pigments are not 100% dissovled though, so you might want to take that into consideration if this should be an issue when coloring.

Video demonstration of Derwent Inktense

Derwent Inktense is another brand of pencils with very high pigmentation. Actually these pencils are so vibrant in their overall expression that you will notice a clear difference when used together with other pencils – water soluble or not. There are not as many colors as in the Caran D’ache and Faber Castell pencil sets, as Inktense only comes in 72 shades, but nevertheless I find them much to my liking.

These pencils are not like other traditional water soluble pencils. First of all because of the pigment – it’s a pastel crayon core with wood around it. Derwent Inktense has thick leads, but is very economical in use. You don’t need a lot of color to obtain the desired effect and when you add water the ink comes alive and make the colors simply POP in their intensity – thus the name “Ink-tense”. One of the main differences between Inktense and other brands is the permanence of color. Usually adding water to a finished work will dissolve the other colors, but not with Derwent Inktense. You can add layer on layer, not messing up the other layers. Also, you can use these pencils on cloth as well as paper or stone – they just stay were they are, making them extremely versatile for a lot of purposes. But – judge for yourself:

Derwent Inktense review from Coloring4Adults on Vimeo.

These water-soluble pencils also comes in blocks, so if you need to cover large areas, the blocks might be your choice-to-go. Still, they are extremely lightfast and you can use them for blending with other mediums as well – though I’d recommend using them for their own powerful abilities in their own righ.

About the videos…

This post took forever to prep – a lot of obstacles stood in my way. First of all, since this is the first time I’m publishing a video, I had to so many different things all at once, so that when I finally got to the actual post most of the day had already been spent, making content and videos.

One of the things I discovered was that the easiest thing (for me, at least initially) was to edit the video in Windows Movie Maker (flip/rotate/add intro’s and such) – and then convert the whole file into another format for Vimeo to be able to upload. Sigh. The format war is a bitch, but even with all these dumbschmucks in the process it still was tremendously fun to do! I’ll be sure to post some of my own videos along the way for sure!

The coloring community is always abuzz when different techniques and medias are being used. This was my 10 cents on blending and using water soluble colored pencils. I love trying out new things, so stay tuned! 🙂

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