Guang Hui Watercolor Colouring Pencils Review
Guang Hui are a lower priced color pencil that comes in an amazing variety of color tones. Guanghui is the manufacturer name. This company appears to allow others to private label their product. This basically means that they are allowed to use their own brand name on the marketing materials for the pencil. For this reason you may see them sold under different names like “Hero” for example. If the water color pencils are out of stock, an easy way to locate them is to search for “150 water color pencils” on Amazon. You will then find a number of brands. Zoom in on the close up of the pencil barrel for these pencils and you are likely to see the Guanghui name on the barrel.
According to this site, Guanghui have been creating pencils for over 20 years out of their China manufacturing plant. They make a range of pencils which are exported to the US and Europe.
The company motto is “Quality always comes first”. You can see a list of the certificates they have obtained for International export on their site here.
The pencils are packaged in a light plastic box with a carry handle. In the US this plastic box has a gorgeous cardboard sleeve around it. I was impressed that none of the pencils had broken or were damaged on arrival, considering how flimsy the packaging and pencil trays are.
If you were using the pencils regularly you would need to consider purchasing a pencil case for them as the trays are not ideal.
Each pencil measures approximately from end of barrel to tip. They arrive pre sharpened.
The pencils are coded by number and name on the barrel written in silver. I had hoped that the numbering system for the pencils would correspond with their range of oil based pencils that I reviewed. Unfortunately, they do not completely correspond but there are some in each color family that have the same numbering. In order to work out how these pencils align in color with the oil based pencils by the same firm, I would need to sort them both into color families.
Unlike the oil based pencils, the entire barrel is colored with a similar color, but not the same, to the pigment. Unfortunately, this all over color means that you cannot see if the core has been centered or aligned.
Other than being water based, I could not find any other information about pigment or filler used in the pencils.
I used cheap copy paper for one experiment and a budget watercolor paper for another. The pencils, of course, performed better on the water color paper as you can see from the video. However, I was really surprised with how easy they were to apply and use on the cheap copy paper. They require hardly any water at all to remove the pencil marks, dissolving easily while retaining their color. I used a damp water brush to apply which I blotted on paper towel between changing colors.
Using these watercolor pencils reminded me of using my Prismacolor water colors. I only have a small set of Prismacolor pencils but I’m always impressed how creamy and light they are to apply. This was a similar experience. However, I used very light layers on my first colored picture – very light, which when dissolved required another layer to ensure the color was evident. I was initially shy of applying more pressure as I had thought it would be harder to dissolve the pigment. This was not the case at all, the color just melts with the slightest bit of water. You will see in the video, I applied extra layers and more pressure as I had learnt from my off video experience that was required in order to get the color I wanted.
You can see my color swatch below which shows the colors when activated. Unfortunately, my video was corrupted that showed the watercolors dry. If you do want to them dry, you can briefly see the color swatch in the review of the oil based pencils.
I used one light stroke with the damp water brush to activate the colors. The only color that did not activate or dissolve as well as the others, was the gold. This required two or three passes with the water brush. I assume that in order to have the metallic look that it has different pigment properties to the others, which slowed down the activation. Passing over once or twice with the wet brush was not a problem for me.
You can download a blank Guang Hui 150 pencil color chart here or below
I used my latest favorite sharpener – Bruynzeel twin hole. I bought this sharpener on a whim, basically so I could get free shipping for memory lol. The sharpener is the heaviest sharpener that I have. It feels like well made quality in your hand. The twin holes are perfect for most size pencils. It comes in a little tiny box with two replacement blades as well. More importantly, it sharpens like a dream producing a beautiful point with minimal pigment wastage. This sharpener is not readily available and you may need to go to an art store to locate it and give it a test. I purchased mine in Australia from here.
As you can see from the video I erased with a few different brands of erasers. I used my tombow sand eraser to erase watercolor that had been activated and dried. The tombow eraser is a bit of a beast and I was careful to be very light in case I also erased some of the line art.
Layering & Blending
I used an illustration by Christine Aldridge of C L Aldridge art which I purchased as a digital download from her Etsy store. In an earlier video that unfortunately was corrupted, I colored lightly with the pencils. As I felt the color was too light, as you will see from the video I adjusted the pencil pressure for more pigment in my second video attempt.
Colouring With Guang Hui Watercolor pencils
The pencils are very easy to use. Pigment is distributed evenly and more importantly retains the color on both the cheap copy paper and the budget watercolor paper. For t he price, I believe that they represent very good value for colorists wanting to try watercolors or add watercolor to their coloring repertoire.
Where to buy Guang Hui Watercolor pencils
The Guang Hui pencils are marketed under a number different of names including “Hero”. If you cannot find this brand name at your favorite online store try searching for “150 watercolor pencils” and zooming in on the images so you can see if the barrel has the same lettering.
You can buy the Guang Hui Watercolor pencils here on Amazon or here.
Happy coloring x