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Pencils have been manufactured by the Hardtmuth firm in the Czech Republic since the late 1800s and their various brands of coloured pencils have a reputation for high quality at a reasonable price.
Until recently, suppliers to the UK market have been notable for their absence ( or lack of publicity ), but in the last few weeks I have seen several quotes about this brand and I now see that both Jacksons Art Supplies and Amazon in the UK are listing stocks.
Jacksons have a wide range of the Hardtmuth graphite types and I see they now advertise stock of the three main coloured varieties.
As far as I know ( June 2016) individual pencils are not available in the UK for this brand, but they are available in Europe
and also in the USA.
My original notes from November 2015 are shown immediately below, but in June 2016 I had correspondence with a reader based in the USA who has sent me a review and comparison based on her experience. This review is included at the foot of this article and may prove helpful to other readers considering this brand.
In June 2016, I had advice from a site reader who had contact with the company that the pencils are principally oil based, with some white clay, and only a little wax. This is very much in line with other manufacturers in Europe who try to avoid too much wax ( to prevent wax bloom), but include some wax to keep the soft feel of the oil based pencils.
One of the complaints from USA reviewers was that the colour range was too small.
I would not consider 72 a small range, but the reviews I read were 2 years old, so it may be that the writer was looking at a smaller set and there is now the larger set of 72 available that is listed today..
I have not tested the pencils, but if I can get hold of samples later this year I will add details here.
Mondeluz Aquarelles are also now listed in sets or 24 up to 72, with the 72 set priced around £54 ( a very reasonable price ).
Once again, I haven’t tested them but will report when I do.
Gioconda Pastel Pencils appear to be available in sets up to 48 in number, the 48 priced at around £53.
They were reviewed by a reader of this site living in Germany a couple of years ago and details can be found on the Pastel Pencil brands page.
Links for more information
COMPANY by COMPANY
JUNE 2016 update
This review was received from USA based reader in June and may prove helpful to readers in the States.
Here is a list of the pencils I own and what I'm comparing Koh-
85 Caran'dAche Pablos (I consider these and use them as a wax based pencil,
105 PrismaColor Premiers, 48 Staedtler Norris Club
The color cores are just a tad harder than Polychromos,
though currently, I'm using them mainly with my Polychromos and Raffines, my other oil pencils.
They sell sets on Amazon.com and are available open stock from Michaels and AC Moore in the USA.
I have checked the UK situation today ( June 21st 2016) for stockists and prices….
Pencils4Artists list stock in tins from the KIN range -
Cult Pens ( UK ) also list tins in stock up to the full 72 sets of Polycolor and also list individual colours as open stock -
I would welcome any other readers with experience of this brand to write in with comments -
Latest update June 21st 2016
|Glossary of CP Terms|
|Introducing step by steps|
|sbs basic shapes|
|sbs fruit bowl|
|sbs polperro B|
|sbs rectory garden|
|The Bowerman Stone|
|sbs to come|
|Price and Content|
|Papers for Wax type pencils|
|Papers for Watercolour pencils|
|Papers for Pastel pencils|
|Papers for mixed media with CP|
|Black Paper Fade|
|Non standard papers for wax pencils|
|Application of colour|
|Density of Colour|
|Results on Different Papers|
|Ways of using Aquarelles|
|Why Underpainting ?|
|Backgrounds with Aquarelles 1|
|Backgrounds with Aquarelles 2|
|A Brush with W/C Pencils|
|Foliage in W/C Pencil|
|Step by Step - Coventry Canal|
|Cottage Garden - Step by Step PDF|
| Italian Street step by step 1|
|Italian Street step by step 2|
|Brokken Bridge Step By Step PDF|
|Coventry Canal 2|
|CP & Pastel|
|CP & W/c Pencils|
|CP & Other media|
|Archway - Mixed Media sbs|
|Cottage Entrance Mixed Media sbs|
|Annecy Reflections 1|
|Annecy Reflections 2|
|working on coloured paper|
|Still Life Points|
|BURNISHING, Blenders and Burnishers|
|Landscape Tutorial- Grand Union|
|clouds & skies|
|Brick, Stone & Tile|
|Brick stone and tile 2|
|Colour and complementaries|
|Boats & Water|
|Form & Space|
|Drawing from Life - introduction|
|using a camera|
|transfering an image|
|keeping a record|
|printing 2 - layout|
|Life Drawing 1 - the basics|
|November 2011 Landscape SBS|
|July 2012 - Kitten Step by Step|
|Old Blog Posts as at Dec 2014|
|Aix En Provence series|
|New input ( from Dec 2014)|