Review: Cretacolor Aqua Brique (watersoluble colour blocks)

Cretacolor Aqua Brique are water-soluble colour blocks. You can also think of them as water-soluble crayons.

This box set I have was actually given to me by one of my Youtube viewers. Thank you very much. This is probably something I won't buy on my own as I don't need to use colours in block form.

I did a search online and it seems like the Cretacolor Aqua Brique is sold in either a set of 10 or 20.

The colours in this set are

  • Permanent White
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Orange
  • Carmine Extra-Fine
  • Delft Blue
  • Prussian Blue
  • Light Green
  • Emerald Green
  • Sienna Natural
  • Ivory Black

There isn't any pigment information given. Lightfast is rated at 1 to 3 out of 5 where 1 is the best. There's no mention which are the colours with the best lightfast quality other than marketing text that says that these are of "museum quality".

The colours aren't sold separately so when you run out of the colour, you're out. I guess you can reuse the metal box and plastic holder though.

The box comes with a sponge which when brand look looks thin, long and compressed. When water is added, the sponge will expand very quickly to look like a piece of bread and it fits inside the metal cover quite nicely. However, to squeeze the sponge back into its holder is difficult. There's no way to compress the sponge back to its small size even when dry. It will still fit in the holder but it's going to pop out. The metal cover can still be closed though.

The blocks are neither easy or difficult to dissolve. Typical watercolour half pans are probably easier to dissolve but that really depends on the brand too. To create a huge wash with these colour blocks, it would take a while to dissolve the blocks.

These are the colours swatches painted using the blocks.

The colours definitely aren't as intense compared to top quality watercolour paint from well known brands. The colours here are more pastel and light value. You can dissolve the blocks more to achieve more intense colours but that takes more time.

The colours are non-granulating. Colours like Sienna and Ivory Black are supposed to be granulating but here they don't granulate.

Cadmium Yellow is less opaque that I expected considering it's a cadmium colour.

Delft Blue and Prussian Blue looked very different from what I have in mind. Delft Blue and Prussian Blue look like Cerulean or Cobalt Blue. The real Delft Blue uses PB60 and Prussian Blue PB27 are intense dark value blues.

Just for comparison purposes, I've painted some swatches from the Artgraf colour set which are also water-soluble colour blocks. Artgraf is visibly more vibrant.

Here's a sketch I painted with the colours. The colours are relatively transparent so they are good to use with pen and ink.

The selection of colours is good enough but could be better with the addition of a warm red (maybe in place of the white) and a warm blue, in place of one of the weaker blues.

The colours here look more vibrant because I dissolved a lot more paint compared to the colour swatches.

Overall, the quality is alright for the relatively affordable price it's selling at, which is at the time of this review, less than US $18.

If you really want quality water-soluble blocks, you can consider the ArtGraf products, Daniel Smith watercolor sticks or the Caran d'ache Neocolor II watersoluble crayons.


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