Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor is an oil-based pencil from German. Of all colored pencils I own, this must be the tiniest one. It feels almost weak in your hand. But the core is actually 4 mm. They have the brand name, color name and number of the pencil stamped into the pencil so hard that you can feel it when you drag your finger over the pencil. They have a color stripe on the end of the pencil, but the color stripe doesn't always match the actual color, so I strongly suggest making a color chart. The pencil is round.
They call their colored pencils Polycolor, just like Koh-I-Noor does.
|Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor|
Most of the Polycolor are quite hard, especially noticeable in the grey. Some of them can almost be difficult to use but others are very soft, like the yellows (but yellow are always soft in any brand). Since it is a quite hard pencil it doesn’t crumble so much.
Polycolor is the least opaque brand of all that I tested on black paper. It is very weak in colors with some exceptions (like the deep cobalt blue). I do not recommend them on colored paper; in fact, on black paper they look quite bad, not just because they are translucent but also because they look patchy and grainy.
Lyra Polycolor 78 colors are a very good set of colors. They also offer something unique: three different blacks. You get a black, black hard and black soft. And the later are very soft! Except for the feeling of the pencil, they also differ in hue and in shine. The soft black is very matt and the hard has more of a shine. They also have some dark greys that can be used as blacks, like the dark grey warm that can be a very warm black.
They have good Caucasian skin colors (it is comparable to Pablo and Polychromos, in hue and quantity and those brands have a color range of 42 more colors then Polycolor). They also have a lot of greys. I think they have a good variety of earth colors, but they lack a burnt sienna kind of brown. If you do marine subjects you might miss a jade green type of color. Otherwise I think this is among the most thought through set. 78 colors are limited, but they have done the best of it. Maybe (but that can be me) a yellow or two isn’t totally necessarily. Cream, lemon cadmium, zinc yellow and light chrome are very close in hue and differ only slightly in value.
I hade a few old Lyra but decided that I wanted them all J. Most places announced them as a full set of 72. However, the 72 set (in a thin case) where out of stock on several places and I don't like to wait. I found a full set on Ebay, which included some other pencils and accessories, all in all 105 pieces. It turned out that the full set of Polycolor where 78. Six colors that I had no idea existed. These six colors are four different warm greys and two different blacks. You can buy this open stock (I had the blacks since before).
Except for the 78 Polycolors you also get 22 drawing pencils of different kinds, sandpaper block, kneadable eraser, stumps and a sharp knife. I really like that the box has some space for other things than just the pencils. I have my spare pencils there to.
|Some supplies included |
in the wooden box set
|Lyra wooden box|
CPSA have only tested 72 of the 78 Polycolor, and 43 of them where lightfast. I have done an own lightfastness test on some of the colors. Oddly enough one of the color that I tested that failed the test has got three stars from CPSA. I am doing that test all over again.