Cezanne by Creative Mark, previously known as P. Cezanne, is continuing to take on the colored pencil landscape with their newest line of watercolor pencils. I really enjoyed their traditional colored pencil line so it piqued my interest to see that they now have a watercolor pencil line. I’m a big fan of using watercolor pencils as part of creating mixed-media illustrations, as well as their ease of use when traveling or in sketchbooks. Because the Cezanne line is quite economically priced, I thought it would be great to review this product as part of the series I’m doing to recommend alternative products with great price points and performance.
This product was given to me by COLORED PENCIL Magazine to test, but the opinions I express in this review are my own. Many of the product photos were also supplied to me by COLORED PENCIL Magazine. Unfortunately, the product I was sent in the mail was a little bit damaged in transit and I wanted to give you an accurate representation of the product.
Special thanks to Sally Robertson for providing most of the product shot photos.
- Available in 24 colors
- Good to very good lightfast ratings (more on that later)
- 3.3mm lead
- Lead bonded and encased in basswood
- Includes round #4 watercolor brush
For detailed information on Cezanne colored pencils, you can read my blog post HERE
The packaging is the standard weight cardboard you find in non-tin colored pencil packaging. Its bi-folding design has a flap that inserts and secures into the backside of the packaging to keep the two sides together. One side contains half of the colors along with the paintbrush while the other holds the balance of the colors. Each side has a cut out to reveal some of the colors of the half-painted pencil barrels. The packaging also features the color swatches and color respective numbers. The front side of the packaging and flap contains artwork by its namesake along with a list of product features.
Much like the newer version of the traditional Cezanne Colored pencils, this product features half of the barrel painted in the respective pencil’s color. Debossed on the painted end is the Cezanne logo along with the world watercolor and the color number in gold. It also features the Creative Mark logo. Instead of silver, it’s a blue band that separates the color section from the generic blue/grey balance half of the pencil. This is a nice subtle indicator between the different lines in the pencils.
Much like the colored pencil line of Cezanne products, there are no lightfast ratings to be found with this product. There is also no indication on the packaging of what the individual color ratings are, despite their claim of good to very good lightfast ratings.
I can only assume that at some point those ratings will be made public, but in the meantime, my stance on when this happens with products is to assume that they are not until the company or an independent body can prove otherwise. Lack of lightfast ratings doesn’t make a product unusable but you should be cautious about selling any work you create with products you don’t know the proven tested long-term quality of.
SHARPENING & BREAKAGE
I had a lot of breakage with sharpening these pencils but I suspect part of that was in part due to the fact that they were probably dropped or compressed in transit. The basswood, however, is fairly nice otherwise and didn’t splinter much at all on sharpening.
The pigment quality felt pretty good on the dry application and maintained a lot of its saturation with water applied. The product specs on the packaging recommend that you can dip the pencil directly in water and use it that way but that’s not my preferred way to use a water-soluble pencil product. I find that it can degrade the quality of the lead until you sharpen it again and you also have to wait for it to fully dry before you can use it again in its traditional application without inconsistent marking.
DETAILS & BLENDING
One of the things I love about a watercolor pencil is the fact that you essentially have a mixed media pencil product all in one. The colors blended well with a dry application and even more so with water applied. For the most part, I blended warm colors and cool colors separately. They also appeared to have a permanence to them once dry which was ideal of additional layers. Details were best achieved using the pencil sharpened to a fine point and in a dry application.
ADVANCED BLENDING AND DETAILS
While it’s possible to do a looser and more impressionistic rendering with this product, I wanted to see how it would perform in a more realistic style that I would prefer to use it. With that, I used this pencil mostly with dry blending techniques with water applied and then added depth and details using the dry application again.
I really enjoyed using this product as an alternative to some of the pricier brands of watercolor pencils that I also love. If you’re a beginner to using watercolor colored pencils this is a great product to start out with that is economically priced but also performs well. I wasn’t a huge fan of the watercolor brush included but it’s certainly suitable for someone just starting out.
You can purchase Cezanne Watercolour pencils at Jerry’s Artarama here: https://www.jerrysartarama.com/cezanne-watercolor-pencil-sets
You can watch an additional feature video on this product by COLORED PENCIL Magazine below and see my drawing featured on their May 2020 Spotlight post:
Have you tried Cezanne Watercolor Pencils by Creative Mark? Share with me in the comments!