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 

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