Cretacolor Nero Pencil Review

I just got back from a wonderful New Orleans trip to visit family. Whilst there I also managed to "make time” to pick up some exciting new art supplies from my favorite local shop - David Art Supply. Here’s a look at just one of the many new sets of drawing pencils I acquired - Cretacolor Nero pencils. 

Cretacolor Nero Pencil Review |

Cretacolor Nero pencils are oil-based charcoal pencils with a wood casing that eliminates the usual mess of charcoal sticks. They are also water and smudge resistant, making them an excellent companion when working with water based media.

The Nero pencils are available in 5 densities ranging from extra soft to extra hard. As you can see in the comparison below, the value in shading can be quite subtle. For this reason I recommend limiting your set to the extra hard, medium, and extra soft pencils. 

Cretacolor Nero Pencil Comparison |

What I love :

  • The boldness of a charcoal stick without the mess
  • The ability to use with water based media
  • The matte finish on the pencil body that provides an excellent grip

What I Wish For :

  • Varying shades of gray along the pencil tops to make it easier to differentiate one density from another. It’s annoying to have to pull out each pencil and read the small print on the side.
  • Hexagonal pencil bodies that would prevent them from rolling across my work surface

All in All :

I love these pencils! They have a permanent place in my studio and I’m particularly excited to incorporate them into my watercolor sketches. 

Cretacolor Nero Pencils available HERE