Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels Review

Crayons have accumulated a rather (undeserved) bad rap. It’s not that often we hear of any sort of serious artist using them for anything other than nonsensical doodling as a Sunday something-to-do. After using the Neocolor II set; however, it’s hard to continue hating crayons. In what could only be described as being the aforementioned crayons mixed with elements of colored pencils, this set does a great job of setting itself apart from the competition.

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The Neocolor II diversifies itself primarily through its “lead” (which is the furthest thing from what one would imagine when thinking of lead). An extremely soft, crayon-like texture brings something to the table unheard of in other colored pencils of its type. Because said lead has such a soft feel about it, the colored pencils in question can be the best or worst tools for any given art job, depending on the job in question. I’ll say from the start that these pencils are definitely not for everyone. Though, given the right circumstance, they can leave one holding them in high regard and keeping them as a staple in their arsenal of art tools. Allow me to further explain what this product is all about while we take a closer look at its features.


Extremely soft leads make these pencils great for applying thick, soft strokes to pictures. This characteristic typically lends itself to being great for those looking to mix different colors within one, pre-defined space of a piece of paper or other media. This also makes it great for any sort of vibrant shading (think of vibrant, in this context, as being the day sky as opposed to the night sky).

Because of the set’s advertised covering power (which lives up to its name), the choice of materials on which you can draw is near limitless. Glass, fabric, dry wall, wood, paper – it’s all free game with these pencils. Also, forty different colors and shades means you can tackle any project, no matter how many different colors it requires.


  1. Great for shading, mixing and combining with a water brush.
  2. You’ll be able to use your new pencils on nearly anything you can think of.
  3. A very of colors allows you to create all sorts of different projects.


  1. Colors aren’t water resistant and can easily be washed off of surfaces accidentally.
  2. Projects that require sharp and precise strokes are out of bounds for the Neocolor II.
  3. The pencils can’t be used well in conjunction with paint.

User Feedback

The user feedback directed toward the Neocolor II is extremely and consistently positive. Users praise it for doing exactly what the manufacturers claim it will. The very few negative reviews condemn it for resembling a crayon (which is, of coarse, the point of the whole product), though these reviews are few and far between.

The Verdict

This set of colored pencils is geared toward particular projects while remaining absolutely unsuitable to others. While it might not always be useful, it can come in handy in many projects. Those looking to diversify their artwork should strongly consider adding these to their collection.

Caran d'Ache Classic Review
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