Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth is one of the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of first-rate stationery for schools, offices, and artists.
It was founded by Josef Hardtmuth in Vienna in 1790. However, in 1848 the production of graphite leads was relocated to České Budějovice, a city in Czech Republic. The pencils they have produced over the years have received recognition and awards in many world exhibitions. Since their inception, the brand has expanded their product range from pencils, to charcoal, chalk, crayons, watercolour, inks, and other drawing materials.
I’ve had the chance to visit Prague in Czech Republic recently, and of course I did not pass up the chance to score some products from the brand. I visited their store located in Na Příkopě which is a shopping street in Prague’s first district.
Here are the items i bought: Mondeluz 12 Aquarelle Coloured Pencils, Size 8 Kolinsky Watercolour Brush, 18 Pan Round Watercolours, and a “Gioconda” Aquarelle Pencil in 2B. (left to right)
I didn’t get to note down the prices for each item but I assure you they were definitely affordable. You can get these items too from Amazon where I saw a bunch of online resellers. If you’re in Singapore, you can buy Koh-I-Noor products from Overjoyed’s online store.
I have made a swatch of the items in the picture below.
For a quick review:
- Round Watercolours – The colours from the pans are quite pigmented but a little chalky. It takes time to rewet the pans and pick the colour off to get into the brush. However for the price, the colours produced by the set is okay. I was even surprised when I used it to paint a portrait, the reds and oranges form the set produced a really nice flesh tone. I can easily whip up skin tones from the warm colours in the set. I’m not quite sure about the colours’ lightfastness but I doubt that they are.
- Aquarelle Pencil in 2B – I’ve used this as my pencil for creating the outline before painting with watercolour. It writes easily without much pressure. Moreover, it seamlessly melts into your washes as long as you use a light hand when doing your line work.
- Aquarelle Coloured Pencils – This set of watercolour pencils really impressed me. I think Koh-I-Noor does pencils really well. Anyway, the leads are soft enough that you’re not digging into the paper to get that solid and super saturated colour you want. Once you wet it with your brush the pigment just melts and creates this vibrant wash of colour. One thing though, if you’re the type of person who mixes a lot of colours together, it might be a bit tricky doing it with these coloured pencils. I say try it first and practice with them. Also if you really want more colours, they offer a set with much more pencils in them.
- Kolinsky Watercolour Brush – This has got to be my most favourite purchase out of all of them. I didn’t expect much from this brush since it was really affordable. However, I was blown away. Once I wet it, it became this really soft brush that holds a decent amount of water and still retains its pointed tip once you’ve used it. It made painting washes and small details easier by just using this one brush. I would dare say the quality is pretty comparable to much more expensive brushes like ones form Escoda.
There you have it a quick introduction to the brand Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth. For art supply hoarders like me, I hope this post gave you a few things to add to your wishlists!