Faber Castell Color Pencils Polychromos

wooden box with Faber Castell colored pencils

Posted On September 17, 2018

When it comes to drawing it’s always better to use high-quality materials especially if you are a beginner. It can be very frustrating using a coloured pencil which doesn’t give the expected effect when applied to the paper and I don’t want you to get disappointed and give up before you even tried. Yes the artist grade sets are very expensive and sometimes not all can afford those but there are smaller sets which contain more than enough colours and you can always get additional colours you think you will need separately.

One of the best I used, and still am using are Faber Castell color pencils. I used many sets of that particular manufacturer and found that Polychromos is the one whit which feels the best working. It has so many great traits I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, you need to know that Faber Castell is a very old company producing quality materials for ages now.

Their products are very well known to the artists and widely used. All the materials used in production are of high-quality, attention is paid to the smallest details of the product and customer satisfaction is guaranteed.

Opened box of Faber Castell colored pencils


The pencil case is round barrel made of strong durable California Cedar which lays nicely in your hand and is very comfortable to use. Colours on each casing are a perfect match to the colour of the lead in it so basically what you see is what you get. The downside of that part of the design is that there is no name of the colour on the pencil itself which many artists prefer having but really I don’t see that as a disadvantage because as I said colours on the pencil case are what you get when you apply the colour on the paper. 

They come in sets of 6, 12, 24, 36, 60 and 120. Smaller sets come in nice metal cases with individual spacing for each pencil and bigger are placed in beautiful wooden cases. You can also purchase any of the pencils individually.

open box of faber castell artist colored pencils


Oil-based pencil lead gives smooth and fine colour, when used the pencil easily glides on the paper leaving a nice and even trace. Tho its oil-based, the lead of Faber Castell color pencils is very strong and can be sharpened to use for smallest details on your drawings and it doesn’t crack even when you apply a lot of pressure on the pencil. Pigments used for the colour are intense and very permanent. Lead itself is 3.8mm which also adds to the strength of it.

Pencils are water resistant, smudge proof, acid-free with high lightfastness so if you are looking for coloured pencils that will make your drawings last for a long time these are definitely ones you should consider purchasing. Although the pencil lead is oil-based it can be mixed with wax-based pencils. There is a very wide range of different colours in the Polychromos series it comes up to 120 different colours but even if you can’t find the tone you need you can always mix them.

The feature I found most pleasing while working with these pencils is they cover large surfaces with such ease leaving nice even trace on the drawing paper and you can sharpen them to the point where you get so thin tip to work even on the smallest details and the tip never breaks.

Metal box of faber castell colored pencils


Colours contained in 120 pack are:

White, Ivory, Cream, Light Yellow Glaze, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Yellow Light, Chrome Yellow, Dark Cadmium Yellow, Dark Chrome Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Orange Glaze, Dark Cadmium Orange, Light Cadmium Red, Scarlet Red, Pale Geranium Lake,Deep Scarlet Red, Permanent Carmine, Deep Red, Middle Cadmium Red, Dark Red, Madder Alizarin Crimson, PinkCarminee, Rose, Carmine, Light Purple Pink, Fushia, Magenta, Light Magenta, Pink Madder Lake, Middle Purple Pink, Crimson, Manganese Violet, Violet, Purple Violet, Blue-violet, Mauve, Delft blue, Dark Indigo, Indanthrene Blue, Helioblue-reddish, Cobalt blue, Ultramarine, Light Ultramarine, Smalt Blue, Cobalt Blue-greenish, Phtalo Blue, MIddle Phtalo Blue, Light Phtalo Blue, Bluish Turquoise, Prussian Blue, HelioTurquoisee, Cobalt Turquoise, Light Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Green, Deep Cobalt Green, Hooker’s Green, Dark Phtalo Green, Chrome Oxide Green Fiery, Phtalo Green, Emerald Green, Light Phtalo Green, LIght Green, Grass Green, Leaf Green, Permanent Green, Permanent Green OLive, Pine Green,Chrome Oxide Green, Juniper Green, Olive Green Yellowish, Green Gold, May Green, Earth Green Yellowish, Chrome Green Opaque, Earth Green, Caput Mortuum, Caput Mortuum VIolet, Burnt Carmine, Red VIolet, LIght-Red-Violet, Dark Flesh, Medium Flesh, LIght Flesh, Cinnamon, Venetian Red, Pompeian Red, Indian Red, Sanguine, Burnt Ochre, Terracotta, LIght Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow, Dark Naples Ochre, Brown Ochre, Raw Umber, Bistre, Van Dyck Brown, Nougat, Burnt Umber, BUrnt Sienna, Walnut Brown, Sepia, Warm Gray VI,Warm Gray V, Warm Gray IV, Warm Gray III, Warm Gray II, Warm Gray I. Cold Gray I, Cold Gray II, Cold Gray III, Cold Gray IV, Cold Gray V, Cold Gray VI, Payne’s Gray, Black, Silver, Gold, Copper

Colours contained in 60 pack are:

White, Cadmium Yellow, Dark Cadmium Orange, Deep Scarlet Red, Magenta, Light Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue, Emerald Green, Light Green, Burnt Ochre, Walnut Brown, Black, Light Yellow Glaze, Dark Chrome Yellow, Pale Geranium Lake, Dark Red, Helioblue-Reddish, Ultramarine, Dark Phthalo Green, Earth Green Yellowish, Venetian Red, Raw Umber, Warm Grey V, Warm Grey II, Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Light Cadmium Yellow, Dark Cadmium Yellow, Permanent Carmine, Madder, Pink Madder Lake, Purple Violet, Delft Blue, Indianthrene Blue, Prussian Blue, Deep Cobalt Green, Pine Green, Juniper Green, Olive Green Yellowish, Chrome Green Opaque, Red-Violet, Medium Flesh, Sanguine, Naples Yellow, Van Dyck Brown, Burnt Sienna, Cold Grey II, Cold Grey IV, Deep Cobalt Green, Cream, Cadmium Orange, Middle Cadmium Red, Rose Carmine, Middle Purple Pink, Mauve, Dark Indigo, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Green, Leaf Green, Pompeian Red, Dark Naples Ochre

Colours contained in 36 pack are:

White, Cream, Light Yellow Glaze, Cadmium Yellow, Dark Chrome Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Cadmium Orange, Leaf Green, Dark Cadmium Orange, Ultramarine, Pale Geranium Lake, Rose Carmine, Middle Purple Pink, Magenta, Light Ultramarine, Helioblue-Reddish, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Green, Dark Indigo, Emerald Green, Earth Green Yellowish, Light Green, Walnut Brown, Raw Umber, Dark Naples Ochre, Burnt Ochre, Venetian Red, Pompeian Red, Black, Middle Cadmium Red, Deep Scarlet Red, Dark Red, Mauve, Dark Phthalo Green, Warm Grey II, Warm Grey V

Colours contained in 24 pack are:

White, Light Yellow Glaze, Cadmium Yellow, Dark Chrome Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Dark Cadmium Orange, Ultramarine, Pale Geranium Lake, Magenta, Light Ultramarine, Helioblue-Reddish, Emerald Green, Earth Green Yellowish, Light Green, Walnut Brown, Raw Umber, Burnt Ochre, Venetian Red, Black, Deep Scarlet Red, Dark Red, Dark Phthalo Green, Warm Grey II, Warm Grey V,

Colours contained in 12 pack are:

White, Cadmium Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Dark Cadmium Orange, Magenta, Light Ultramarine, Emerald Green, Light Green, Walnut Brown, Burnt Ochre, Black, Deep Scarlet Red



  • oil based
  • 3.8mm leads making them break resistant
  • water resistant
  • intense pigments
  • smudge proof
  • acid-free
  • high lightfastness
  • quality California Cedar casing




Overall conclusion

This is one really good colour pencil, one I would definitely recommend to anyone. Working with such quality materials will make the process of creating very easy and extremely pleasant.

Yes, the price is high but go small, start with a little pack and just try and see if these are the ones that suit your drawing technique (i see no reason why they wouldn’t).  If you still didn’t make up your mind there are more good choices for you here.

Written by Magdalena

Related Posts

Professional Colored Pencils For Artists

Professional Colored Pencils For Artists

When it comes to artist materials and supplies it is always really difficult to decide which are the best for certain technique or which will suit your style of work the best even if you are an experienced artist let alone if you are just a beginner. Especially when...

Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 Review

Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 Review

When it comes to artist grade coloured pencils there are so many offers on the market which makes it so difficult to decide which one to choose for creating your art. Especially if you are a beginner vast majority of choice can be overwhelming. Over time I have used...

Arteza Professional Colored Pencils Review

Arteza Professional Colored Pencils Review

Arteza is a fairly new American company founded in 2015. producing high-quality art materials. In time they became very competitive on the market along bigger well-known companies in the same field, both in quality and in the price of their products. A product that...


  1. Jaime

    Love your post Magdalena! I have tried all sorts of colouring pencils from cheap to expensive and Faber Castell are by far the best. The lead hardly ever breaks, colors are rich and vibrant, the pigment is strong and they blend nicely. I would definitely recommend!

    • Magdalena

      HI Jaime, I definitely agree with you on that one those are by far the best I ever used.

      • laurie d taylor

        hello there
        i will have to try those pencils.i do drawings as well
        Thanks for shAring
        have a Great day,

        • Magdalena

          Hi Laurie, thank you for your comment. Yes if you are drawing these are definitely the colours you should try. You can always go with a smaller set because they blend great so there is a lot that you can achieve even with a smaller set.

  2. Lauren

    The name of the colors are on the pencils in the 120 set in the US. I do not know if this also the case for the smaller sets, but including the color names on the pencils is probably consistent in all of their US sets.

    • Magdalena

      Thank you for the info Lauren. I did ask the company and waiting for their response to that matter.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *