Holbein Colored Pencils, 12 Pastel Tones, 12 Basic Tones, 12 Design Tones Review and Swatches

Recently I got the opportunity to try Holbein colored pencils and they did not disappoint. The pencils that I tried were 12 pack tins of colored pencils, Basic Tone Set, Pastel Tone Set and Design Tone Set. My favorite set was the Pastel Tone Set. I thought the colors were so soft, vibrant and pretty. Holbein pencils have been around in Japan for a long time and are making their way to the US in 2021. Holbein colored pencils are sold open stock or in packs of 12, 24, 36, 50, 100 and 150. The best place to get these pencils is an authorized dealer, not Amazon. Unfortunately because they are worth so much there is a lot of fraud on Amazon and eBay.

This blog post contains affiliate links. Colored Pencils provided by Holbein, paper provided by Hahnemuhle (Bamboo and Harmony Watercolor), and colored book provided by Hopscotch Girls.Find these pencils at Blick Art Supplies.
Click here to get the Hahnemuhle Bamboo Paper.
Click here to find the Hahnemuhle Harmony Watercolor paper.

For my review I tried these pencils on three different paper types for swatches, watercolor cold press paper, smooth HP paper and black cardstock. The colored pencils reacted differently to each paper, but they were super pigmented on all three, which is one of the most important thing with colored pencils.

This is the watercolor paper. The top swatches were without the Meltz blending solution. The bottom swatch on mauve, rose pink, and pink I used a colorless blender to blend half of the unblended swatch. The results were about the same using the Meltz and the colorless blender.
Color Information
Here are all the colors in the sets:
What's In the Box:
  • 12 Pastel Tone Set: OP 434 Mauve, OP 426 Rose Pink, OP 022 Pink, OP 028 Salmon Pink, OP 134 Naples Yellow, OP 127 Cream, OP 222 Lettuce Green, OP 225 Cobalt Green, OP 228 Ice Green, OP 324 Sky Blue, OP 328 Lavender Blue, OP 430 Wisteria
  • 12 Design Tone Set: OP 449 Magenta, OP 043 Red, OP 340 Tangerine, OP 145 Dandelion, OP 149 Lemon, OP 243 Fresh Green, OP247 Viridian, OP 348 Royal Blue, OP 443 Iris, OP 510 Black, OP 500 White
  • 12 Basic Tone Set: OP 042 Carmine, OP 048 Orange, OP 147 Yellow, OP 251 Apple Green, OP 264 Holly Green, OP 323 Aqua, OP 147 Cobalt Blue, OP 441 Violet, OP 057 Burnt Sienna, OP 180 Burnt Umber, OP 510 Black, OP 500 White
This is the colored pencils on the smooth HP paper. The laydown was super smooth. The bottom is blending with the colorless blender. Click here to get this swatch chart.
These are the swatches on black paper. All the colors showed up really well. 

Here is a coloring page from "I Am Confident, Brave and Beautiful, A Coloring book For Girls". Find on Amazon. It was printed on smooth paper. I used the colorless blender for blending.

Here is the same page on bamboo Bamboo paper using the Meltz blender for a watercolor effect. 
I would definitely recommend picking up one or two of these sets or all of them. The colors are super pretty, the laydown is nice and there are so many ways to use them.

Here is the box information. The colored pencils that are made for the US have a AP sticker on the right bottom corner of the box. They have been approved for use in the United States.

Here is the YouTube video I made for these pencils.
Collecting Information

Boxes: 12 Count Holbein Artists' Colored Pencils, Pastel Tone Set, Design Tone Set, Basic Tone Set
Other Boxes: There are boxes of 12, 24, 36, 50, 100 and 150 colored pencils.
Year: 2018
Part Numbers:  OP903 (Pastel), OP901 (Basic), OP902 (Design)
UPC Numbers: 4900669209034 (Pastel),  4900669209010 (Basic), 4900669209027 (Design)
Manufacturing Location: Japan?
Where to buy:  Blick Art Supplies

Here is the back of the tin.


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