Product Review: Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencils

It is no secret that I am a pencil addict, so it was with great anticipation that I awaited the arrival of the Stabilo Carbothello pastel pencils on the Artsavingsclub pencil rack.  They definitely did not disappoint when they finally found their way into my greedy hands!

About the Pencils

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencil Sketch

Pastel Pencils are a lovely way to get acquainted with pastels.  They take the mess and fuss out of the soft medium. The Carbothellos boast a 4.4mm core in a graceful 8mm total barrel.  The pencil sat really elegantly in my hands and I really liked the smooth feel of it.  Although the pencil has a more chalky consistency than some of the competing brands, the colour lays down vividly and easily.  They also played really well with my other pastel pencils!

While 4.4mm is a nice thick core, the pencils kept their point really well and I love

them for detailed work.  The colours are opaque and I especially enjoyed the deep black in the set.  Carbothellos come in sets from 12 to 60 pencils and again I was astounded at the range of lovely browns and greys in a comparatively small set.  As a wildlife artist those colours really add to my repertoire.

Great for Artists and Amateurs Alike

Each pencil has a barrel depicting the colour of the pastel which makes them easy to find quickly and the lightfastness ratings are printed on the barrels too – from zero to 5 stars. Out of the set more than 50% are rated above 4 stars indicating a high lightfastness suitable for professional artists.

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencil Wooden Set

Interestingly enough I read on the tin that they are aquarellable and I had to test that too.  I simply dipped the pencil in a bit of water and the pigment came off really deliciously dark.  Once dry the pastels still blended well, but wetting them definitely increased the coverage.  When dry they blend easily with a paperstump and they layer really well too.  More layers will be required when compared to wet application.

Carbothello Pastel Pencil Sketch

There are so many things I liked about these pencils. By far one of the best features is that they easily sharpened with a handheld sharpener.  Carving my pastel pencils to sharpen them takes ages, so that is a great time-saver.  I found that I still had to be careful and not press too hard due to the softer nature of the pastel core – but my results were excellent.

My Conclusion

All-in-all I view the Stabilo Carbothellos as a great investment and addition to my growing arsenal of pastel pencils. Considering price they are great value for money.  I would certainly recommend them to beginners and professionals alike.

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