Caran d’Ache NEOCOLOR II Review


Or as I would describe them “Non-Intimidating Watercolors

Has it ever happened that you walk into a store “just to take a look” and end up buying something…

Well that’s what happened to us when we saw this little art supplies store, Aquaperle 3D. This was during one of our summer trips at Redon. We’d gone in for a quick glimpse but were so kindly helped by the owner, (who was an art enthusiast himself), and who showed us how to use some art materials!

I first saw, and tried the Caran d’Ache Neocolor II pastels, here. It was really nice to be able to test them before buying because I didn’t know what watercolor pastels were, or that they even existed. So in the end we up leaving with a new set of Watersoluble Pastels (I couldn’t resist) and with a couple of other free samples, yay. 🙂


Product Presentation

To be honest I was unfamiliar with the brand before that day and it was only after quickly testing them that I was convinced. I went for the little set of 15 colors. They are water-soluble wax oil pastels and with excellent light resistance, (as described on the back of the tin).

It’s a basic starter set and I was a little sad there was no pink, my favorite color, but I figured it’s always possible to mix and make my own colors. There are of course other bigger sets which contain more colors.

I paid a little less that 25€ for them in the boutique, but you can find them also online on Amazon.


How I Use Them

I have found three ways of using the pastels.

1.  Simply applying the color directly onto the paper and area you want to color, then with a wet brush to “release” and blend the color. I love watching the colors “come alive” so to say, it’s maybe one of the main reasons I bought them, watching that transition, it’s just really nice. It’s also quite easy to do and not complicated at all. (Before I wasn’t really using any paints, but I found these really easy to use.)


2.  You can rub the brush directly onto the pastel and take off some color. This method is good if you want to just take a little bit of color.


3.  If you want to mix colors you can take the lid, of the tin and use it as a mixing palette (which I find works best) or a piece of paper, but this may absorb your color. For example, if you want to make pink you can take the red and white pastels, rub the colors off onto your surface, and then with a wet brush mix the colors together. Now it’s ready for use!


I actually find mixing the colors really fun. At first I wasn’t doing much mixing, just getting used to the feel of them, but now it’s interesting to see and experiment getting new colors.

I really love the Neocolor II pastels so I would highly recommend them to anyone who’s perhaps new to watercolor or uncomfortable with classic watercolor palettes, like I was. These are much more approachable and less intimidating in my opinion. I find they have this relaxing and satisfying side to using them. Watching the water mix into the colors to soften and transform them, creating a smooth effect.

Another little note I’d like to add is that the set of 15 that I have is really easy to transport and compact so they don’t take up much room. If you are looking though for something more traditional then perhaps a classic watercolor set is more for you.

I hope this was helpful to explain! If you have any questions or would like to know more I’d be happy to share.

Have you ever tested any Caran d’Ache products? 🙂

* Disclosure: Keep in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase we will earn a small commission. However, this doesn’t impact our reviews and comparisons 🙂

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