As a user of the standard Albrecht Durer pencils I had tried out a few of these as single stock and was impressed enough to buy the full set. These are big, fat pencils with big, highly pigmented leads that are softer than the standard ones. Consequently they lay down larger areas of colour easily and smoothly and seem to dissolve into a wash more readily without pencil lines showing. (I've added a photo of the box and swatches . These are on cheap C P watercolour paper with the lower half of each wet down with a brush pen) I was pleased to find that they not only sharpened to a good point but also don't break or crumble easily, which is amazing considering the size of the lead. My only grumble with them is the choice of colours -and this may be a matter of style since I mainly paint landscape- where I miss a yellow earth and a really dark blue in the set. When I take these out sketching I will also carry a dark indigo and a dark naples ochre in the standard A- D pencils. However I am really looking forward to being able to make fast colour studies en plein air and have already enjoyed playing about with these in the studio. I succesfully combined them with ordinary watercolour and many other kinds of water-soluble pencils. They were very satisfying to hold and suspect that these would be a real boon to anyone who has problems with gripping. If you need an excuse to buy more Faber-Castell water-colour pencils the big ones are definitely a different experience.
More Faber Castell pencls for my collection....I am really hooked on their products and these jumbo versions of the standard size are already in my top list of fav. art products. I do have a set of the standard Albrecht Durer also, so these Magnus ones are a bit of a luxury.
So far I have used them to apply large spreads...and they are fantastic once activated.