Using Caran D’ache pencils – permanent and water soluble

by Apr 15, 2020Art Supplies, Shop News

Jane explores the differences between some of the superb Caran D’ache ranges of pencils. Here she provides a short guide for someone who hasn’t used them before.  For a slightly more detailed summary of the Pencil range please read – Caran D’ache Pencils

Firstly, Jane has shown some examples using water soluble pencils and then she moved on to permanent and even a drawing with Pastel Pencils.

Water Soluble Pencil Drawings


Swisscolour from Caran D’ache is a student quality water soluble colour pencil.

These pencils are a great starting point if you have never used a water soluble pencil before and want to try them.

They are affordable and nice and soft to get used to blending colours together. They come in a range of sized tins of assorted colours.

Woodland scene

In this example Jane used water over the pencil coloured background to blend it together, then once dry she drew over the top to create this woodland scene.

Butterflies using Supracolor

With my picture of the butterflies I used Supracolour soft pencils and I haven’t used water. That is because the Supracolour soft pencils are fantastically soft and very easy to blend, that’s why I use them. Again you can get these in assorted sets.


Prismalo Cat

Prismalo are also water soluble but these pencils have a much harder lead so for me these are great for details and fur.

For example, I’ve used a combination of Supracolour soft for the background and the Prismalo’s for the fur.

Museum pencils for more vibrant colours

The Museum pencils are a bit different, they are a watercolour in a pencil rather than a water soluble lead. This means that the colours are much more vibrant as they have a greater pigment.

Top quality when it comes to water soluble pencils.

For an example, I have used the Museum pencils as a watercolour paint to paint the background in first and again on once this is dry I can then work in to it with the Museum pencils.

Using the water soluble pencils

With the water soluble pencils my suggestion to wet the pencils is to use a pot of water and a paint brush. I always load the brush with water and take brush to the area I want to wet. If you dip the end of the pencil in to the water it tends to, in my opinion, ruin the lead.


Permanent Pencil Drawings

Pablo – fantastically soft pencil

Pablo are the permanent version of the supracolour soft pencils so if you are looking for a fantastically soft pencil but don’t want a water soluble pencil then the Pablo pencil would suit you.

Luminance permanent pencils

These are wonderful and creamy and a joy to work with. These pencils are of a high quality and the pigments are amazing.

This picture is a work in progress as I still have the foreground to complete. I thought I’d treat myself to some permanent pencils and once I’d tried Luminance pencils I was amazed at the quality, softness, blend ability and the pigment.



Pastel Pencils

Pastel pencils for the first time

Caran D’ache have these beautiful pastel pencils, now I’m not ‘in to’ pastels but sometimes you have to come out of your comfort zone and try something new.

These pencils are a soft pastel but in the form of a pencil they give you the ability to get detail.

This tiger is an example of my attempt at using pastel pencils.


There are many more wonderful products from Caran D’ache. I have only touched on some that I have used myself. – Jane

Jane is a member of the Gadsby’s team. She has a wide knowledge of the products and materials sold by Gadsby’s both from the perspective of an advisor in the shop and, for many of the products, from personal use too.

Please note that this is not a service that Gadsbys offer to clients – just an example of the private work done by one of the highly skilled and knowledgable Gadsby’s team shown for your interest.


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