Caran d´ache Pablo

The pencil
This is the second colored pencil line that Caran d’ache offers (Luminance being the first). The lead is 3,7 mm and it is in a cedar casing. The pencil has a hexagon shape. The color name and number is written in gold, and is very difficult to read. The color however, is represented on the whole pencil so that makes it easy to pick the right one. 
If you Google on Pablo you will most likely read that it is an oil-based colored pencil. I wrote to Caran d’ache and asked about this. They answered that they actually are wax-based.

Some colors are a bit harder (like the aubergine) and some are very soft (like the lemon yellow). Some also feels a little bit waxy, as if they don´t have so much pigment in them (Dark carmine and Bordeaux red).
They are an excellent choice if you want to draw on a colored paper. Even on black paper they give (depending on the pigment of course) opaque vibrant colors.  The white could be a bit more opaque though (but it is better than many other brands).

Pablo wooden box
The extra mile
When you buy the pencils on open stock their tip is protected by plastic that has a prepared opening.  It gives the feeling of a company that care about their product.
            The wooden box for Pablo looks different then the box for Luminance. Most brands seem to reuse a box for more then one product. I know Derwent do that, and that's perfectly fine. For someone like me that love that extra for my pencils, I really like having a different box for the Pablo. It is a huge beautiful box. There is a bit of empty space that can be used for accessories or extra pencils.

Pablo open stock

Color range
Pablo has a line of 120 colors, which is quite much compared to many other brands. When I compare the color range to other brands I feel that they have a very good range of colors around the color spectrum. They carry a lot of natural colors. You get a good variety of greys and earth colors (all kind of browns and ochre), as well as natural looking greens (like olive green in many different values and hues). You also get good colors for Caucasian skin. They also have a lot of turquoise colors, both turquoise leaning to greens as well as to blue. They have less primary colors (compare to other brands with a large color range), but in my opinion enough.   
The only thing negative to say about the color choices is that some colors look a bit alike. For example some browns don't differ that much. Chestnut, burnt sienna and mahogany are very close in color. This is also true for some other colors.
They also have a gold, silver and a bronze. I do not personally use them, but I do not think someone who wants to use them would be happy with either the look of particularly the bronze or the covering power. 
The first colors that I had to replace, where burnt sienna and ash grey.

It is a bit surprising that the Caran d´ache that also produce the famous all lightfast Luminance also produce the Pablo line that doesn't have an accepted lightfastness rate in my opinion. Of the 120 set there are only 42 colors that are lightfast (according to CPSA).

My goal is to do a lightfastness test on every art material that I work with. I did color swatches on the full range on Pablo in early spring and the swatches have now been exposed to sunlight for six months.  

On the pencils you can find Caran d´ aches own testing result organized in a three-star system were three stars is the best.

I compared my result to theirs (and to CPSAs tests, but I am not allowed to share that).

Three pencils lack stars completely. I don´t know what that means, maybe they haven’t had the time to test them yet or maybe they are just that bad? However, my test results lean to the first assumption. The three pencils without stars are: Jade, light lemon yellow and brownish orange. A small change was found in Jade but none in the other two.

Pablo has seven pencils with one star. Out of them Salmon Pink did not change anything in my testing. Pink, Sky blue, Bluish Pale and Salmon had changes but far from as bad as the two last one (with one star) which are Mauve and Periwinkle blue.

Most of Pablo’s pencils have two stars. Some of them changed in value, some in hue. Prussian blue did not get a two star in my testing; it changed a lot both in value and hue.

44 pencils has three stars, among them gold, bronze and silver. All but one of them where three stars in my testing as well, the only one that did really bad was Gold, which changed drastically and became a dull green color instead.  All greys, black and white were lightfast.
Read about my comparison of Faber-Castell Polychromos and Pablo:

Caran d´ache Pablo 

A comparison between Pablo and Polychromos

Pablo vs. Polychromos
It is interesting to compare these two brands since they have so many similarities. Both have a range of 120 colors. For both, three of them are gold, silver and bronze/copper (Pablo/Polychromos). 
In large I would say that they perform similar to each other. They both have some colors that are very smooth and creamy and some that are a bit harder (depending on the pigment). Some few colors in the Pablo range have a bit of a waxy feeling to them.

A large difference is the shape of the pencil. Pablo has a hexagon shape and Polychromos are round. I know that a round pencil can be a bit irritating for some people since it has a tendency to roll away, and Polychromos that has a thick varnish on their pencils that is shinny and slippery do roll around. However, it isn’t a huge problem, put a bit of a felt under or keep them in a jar and that problem is solved.

Color range
Pablo has a little more greys then Polychromos. And they also have a lot of different grey hues. In Polychromos you get few different hues but a lot of different values of them (they have six warm grey and six cool grey). The warm grey are a close match to Pablos “beige” colors. Polychromos has some other colors using the same principle, as Phthalo (both blue and green) that comes in three values, from light to dark. So if you need help in finding colors that blend good together Polychromos gives you an easy recipe.
They both have about the same range and quantity of pinks and reddish browns that are useful for light skin tones. The Polychromos have them even named “flesh” but the “dark flesh” is really not so much a flesh color as it is a pink color.
The Pablos have a little more earth colors. Both have a lot of olive greens. But Polychromos has a green that looks a lot like what terra verte usually looks like (they also called it Earth green) which is a bit bluer and toned down color. Pablo does not have anything like that. Also Polychromos has a “Pompeian red” that Pablo does not have.
Polychromos has a lot more red and pink colors then Pablo, almost twice as many, but I do not feel that mean so much because the reds are very close to each other in hue, saturation and value. So far Pablo has more earth tones and Polychromos more vibrant colors, but when it comes to turquoise colors, Polychromos really lacking, while Pablo has a large range (even though some colors are a bit to look alike, like “light green” and “turquoise green”).

Complement each other
If you have a set of Faber-Castell Polychromos and only want some colors from Pablo to complement to that, I would recommend following colors: Apricot, olive brown, cocoa and brownish beige (cocoa are darker version of the brownish beige), brownish orange (close to caput mortuum, but has more white), light lemon yellow or pale yellow (colder yellow then the Polychromos Cream), salmon, aubergine, night blue, jade green (Polychromos don´t have anything close), turquoise green or light green, spring green or lime green.
            If you have the Caran d’ache Pablo and want to complement with some Polychromos, I would recommend following: indian red, Pompeian red, middle carmine red, Dark red, pink carmine, light magenta, fuchsia, dark indigo, leaf green, permanent green, chrome oxide green (a dark natural green), earth green (terra verte) and grass green.

Color names
I appreciate that Polychromos use so many traditional color names, however, some are not used the way I would. Most disturbing is the Alizarin crimson that is far too red in my opinion.  Pablo uses less of the traditional pigment names.

84 of the 120 colors that Polychromos offer are lightfast according to CPSA, while only 42 of the 120 colors of Pablo are lightfast (according to CPSA). That is a huge difference.