Review: Cretacolor Marino Watercolor Pencils

Marino watercolor or aquarelle pencils are made in Austria by Cretacolor.

These pencils are available individually as well as in sets of 12, 24 and 36. The total range of colours is 36 so it's kinda limited compared to other brands.

The colour pencils are said to have good lightfast ratings. They are rated against a scale of five where LF1 and LF2 are the most lightfast.

Here's a sketch I drew with these pencils together with a graphite pencil. Unfortunately, I only have three colours to test.

The shading is quite smooth on this hotpress paper I used.

Layering doesn't seem to be any problem even on such smooth paper.

When used for drawing lines, the colours are rather vibrant.

The pencils dissolve fine but for harder lines, it will take more time to dissolve.

Just for comparison, this is how a red from Derwent Inktense looks when it's dissolved. The colours from Marino are not as vibrant compared to the Inktense.

Marino watercolor pencils are probably better used for light washes rather than to create intense vibrant washes.

Here's how the three primary colours look when dissolved. How well the colours will mix will of course depend on the colour selection.

Here I tried to create orange with yellow and red and the result wasn't as vibrant as hoped.

After the wash is dry, you can go over with pencils to draw lines but they won't show as clearly compared to drawing on blank paper. If you draw on a wet surface, the paper fiber may come off. The pencil doesn't dissolve that easily when drawing on a wet surface.

I would consider the hardness of these pencils to be around 2B. These pencils work best when dry where the colours are more vibrant. They are great for drawing lines and colouring like normal coloured pencils. The water-solubility isn't that good. I haven't tried many brands of watercolour pencils so I can't really compare these with other brands but compared to the Derwent Inktense, the latter dissolves more easily.


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