Review: Caran d'Ache Luminance 20 Coloured Pencil Portrait Set

For my birthday, I received the much coveted Caran d'Ache Luminance Portrait set from the dear hubby, and I decided it would be timely to draw the trusty companion to Woody from Toy Story that I drew a couple of weeks back. Who else but Buzz Lightyear, protector of the galaxy.

Before this, I only owned a few loose Luminance pencils as they're very pricey. If you've read my comparison blog post of the Luminance, Faber-Castell Polychromos and Derwent Lightfast pencils, you'll know that I love these coloured pencils, so to say that I was thrilled to receive this as a gift is an understatement. I wanted the Portrait set specifically because I didn't want yet another coloured pencil set with the usual colours. Even though I generally don't draw portraits, this Portrait set contains hues that I'm drawn to - lots of flesh, pink and purples tones.

Here's a closer look at the colours.

This set turned out to be extremely suitable for drawing Buzz Lightyear. The flesh tones are perfect, so are the pinks, purples and blues. In fact, I barely had to supplement with pencils from my other sets, which surprised me. There is no black or white pencil in this set, but the dark indigo is a gorgeous deep blue that served as a substitute for black, and the pink white would be a great alternative for white if you don't need a super white highlight.

What took my breath away was the pigmentation of these pencils. One swipe would result in creamy, vivid colour. In terms of saturation, neither the Derwent Lightfast nor Faber-Castell Polychromos has anything on the Luminance. The chroma is unparalleled, and the light colours go on very well, even on top of darker shades. They're simply in a league of their own. Can you see the rich purple/blue shine? I can't get that same vibrant sheen with other pencils.

To infinity and beyond!

And here are the two pals, side by side. Both were drawn on Clairefontaine Paint On Denim paper.

Incidentally, I was going to meet up with a dear friend I hadn't seen in a long time, so on the spur of the moment, I decided to draw a beagle for her (she used to own a beagle). I mention this because I used the Luminance pencils for that drawing. I had to supplement with some other pencils since there are only two brown tones in the Portrait set, but they worked very nicely. The dark blue hues are utterly beautiful as shadow shades, especially for the nose.

The only drawback about the Luminance pencils is that they're not great for keeping a sharp point, so I still had to turn to the Polychromos for details. But honestly, the colour saturation of the Luminance makes them worth the price if you're a coloured pencil artist.

This is an excellent complementary set if you already have other brands of coloured pencils. And here's another look at the gorgeous set.

Cult Pens in the UK delivers to Singapore free of charge for purchases above £70. If you use my referral link, you get 10% off your first purchase.

Or you can also buy them from Jackson's Art. If you use my referral link, I'll get a few points.