Marco Raffine Pencils Review.

My Marco Raffine pencils from China arrived yesterday. There isn’t much about them on the Interwebs that I can find so I thought I’d write a quick review of them for anyone interested in buying a a large set of budget priced pencils. I paid just over $28 dollars Australian for them and this included free shipping. Not bad for 72 pencils!


The package arrived much earlier than the predicted shipping date, only twelve days from order to delivery.  the packaging wasn’t very impressive, though.  Only a plastic wrap taped around the box.  Not much protection there.  (Note there are a lot of different sellers for this item so packaging is dependent on who you buy them from.)


The box is very compact.  I bought the largest set of 72 but they come in a variety of amounts from 12 pencils upwards.  The box is made of flimsy cardboard and won’t take much wear and tear.  You’ll have to quickly find an alternate way to store them if you want to use them regularly.  I don’t like using pencils from boxes, too hard and time consuming to keep getting them in and out, especially when they start to shrink with use.


This is how they look inside the box.  Squished in like little pencil sardines.  I have liberated the poor little things and they’ve found a new home nested in the pot on my desk, as shown in the top photo, where I can get to them easily.  Thinking of buying a zip up pencil holder for on the go colouring.  Now for the colour range…


I think this might be the very first published colour chart for these pencils on the web.  I created this chart on a piece of cartridge paper which has slightly more tooth than printer paper thus you can see a bit of paper texture through the tooth.  The colours go down nice and smooth on printer paper and all the colouring book papers I’ve tried so far.  As you can see there is quite a good range of colours.  Some are very close in colour to another pencil but not many and all are different.  And there is a BOAT LOAD of different greens for all of you that draw and colour foliage!  I especially like the three different skin tones I have in the orange column… great for light skinned faces and a fairly good palette of browns for darker skinned faces.  All the pencils go down smoothly with rich, dense colour.  Shading and blending seems pretty good, no complaints.  The pencils sharpen well and keep a nice fine point although the cores are fairly soft… around Polychromos soft although some colours will vary slightly. I have had no issues with core breakage so far and I’ve sharpened just under a dozen of them.  Below is a picture I’m working on using both Faber Castell Polychromos and Marco Raffine pencils… can you tell which is which?


Answer: The red leaves and the peppermint stripes on the tree are the Marco Raffine pencils.

In conclusion.. if you are on a budget and you’re after a large set of pencils with lots of colour choices then I can recommend Marco Raffine pencils.  If you’re interested you can purchase them off Ebay and Amazon and there seems to be a large amount of sellers offering these, so shop around for the best price.  Happy colouring.



  1. Tracey- Lee

    Thank you so much for the review, love it. I think I like what you did with the Macros better than the Polychromos. hehe

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      You’re welcome. I’ve found them so far quite easy to get nice colour gradients. I want to tackle a picture completely in Marco Raffines but it will have to wait until I’ve finished this double page in Enchanted Forest.

      1. Diane
        1. Diane
      2. Diane

        I am so sorry but my computer server is giving me issues! Hopefully this will fully go through now.
        Back in August of 2016 I started grayscale coloring. My first set was Prang wax pencils. (Not bad to learn on & I still use them some to get a color mix I need.) I then graduated to the Marco Raffine. They also now come in a set of 72 in a round cylinder container called Niutop and it does come with a NAMED & NUMBERED chart however the colors are not very accurate. What I did using Vellum Bristol paper drew rectangles divided in half. Top half of rectangle is colored dark the bottom half light with the name and number of the pencil written above the triangle. So easy to refer to! They lay down wonderful color and great for layering and erasing (I use pink eraser or Faber Castell dust free). Sharpen very well with a Kum sharpener and hold the points. The price of the pencils was great with Amazon Prime free shipping. $21.99 USA currency. Here is the link They arrived in most excellent condition. They do not have open stock is the only draw back. Just as an aside as I do travel there is most excellent carrier actually two one for 48 & 72 with added pockets for erasers and such. The carriers are made to protect the points which they do and come with snap straps. Only $9.99 (Prime free shipping).
        Colored Pencils Organizer,SENHAI 48 Slot+ 72 Slot Canvas Pencil Bag/Wrap Rollable Pouch for School, Office, Travel I trust these carriers with my new Faber Castells.

        by SENHAI

      3. Frank McGee

        A quick question please. Why are they numbered in the 500’s ? Also have you any idea where I can just get the light blue, dark green and dark brown only as they seem to get used the quickest.
        I bought a 48 piece set in but the main colours weren’t in with them. If I go to my local hobby craft store they charge £3 each for a decent colour pencil. I’d be better off buying a set of 72 for £12 .
        Kind regards.

  2. Lynne

    I use these a lot as I really like the colour range and they don’t break as easy as my Prismacolours. I think they are great value. Nice of you to do a write up and let others know about them 🙂

  3. lisa

    Thank you so very much for the review, I do think I’ll have to invest in these for sure.
    Love your colouring too.
    All the best
    Lisa x

  4. Sharon Jones

    I purchased a set of these pencils as well,and think I prefer them to my Prismacolor pencils. The price is fantastic!

  5. hana

    nice review…I’ve never heard of this brand and will try these out on my growing collection of coloring books. Thanks!!

  6. Erin

    We must have got them from the same seller. My packaging was the same as that. Very lackluster… that being said, these pencils are awesome. I have sharpened a few of them quite a bit and there’s been no breakage.

  7. MJI

    I finally got mine yesterday. They were just okay to a neat on the go substitute as a dry pencil. I perfer Pablo as a dry point. That was until I discovered these are water soluble. They aren’t like full watercolor pencil strength, but can still be blended with water, or a tombow colorless blender. This makes them much more interesting to use and considering the cost, budget friendly.

    If I dip the tips in water, they act like the neocolor II pastels I was trying to gather open stock on. This makes them especially useful. Overall I am glad I got these. I also tried to submit a swatch chart on Amazon. If that doesn’t go through, I’ll have to get active on my blog and post it there. Some time.

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Interesting. Thanks for the heads up. I’m going to have to try this.

  8. Tracy

    Peta, I think this is a very fair review of the MR pencils! I got a set as well. I think it’s hard to go wrong with the price and they are much better pencils than I expected! I made a color chart for myself too which I think is really important with these because it’s difficult to look at the lead or color on the end and REALLY know how they will lay down on paper.

    In reference to another commenter here, I think it’s probably unfair to compare MR pencils to Pablos and other full-on artist pencils (in the US, the MR work out to be about 30 cents each versus Prismacolor at $2 each and Polys at $3 each), but honestly, for the budget conscious, these are excellent and I recommend them to friends starting out with coloring. I have Prismacolors and Polychromos as well, but find that I often reach specifically for the MRs for some of their blending qualities or for all those lovely greens!

  9. Diana

    Hi Peta. My box of pencils has arrived and I dumped the box immediately. The pencils came with a nice little zipper pouch, which is nice. I purchased these pencils after reading the reviews on the Amazon site, and now your review as well, which happily confirms the purchase. I am a beginner colorist, and now I remember how much I enjoyed coloring when I was a child.

    Thank you, Peta, for your wonderful YouTube videos. I am enjoying learning new techniques and watching the speed drawings. They are just so much fun.

    Diana in San Jose, California

  10. Eden Moss

    This is the 2nd review I’ve read of these pencils, and both have been very complimentary towards them, so are all the msgs above, so I think I’m going to go with these as well. I live in NZ and availability here is limited to cheap or super expensive, and buying off amazon comes with a hefty postage cost attached, but buying, like I’m guessing you did, from eBay or from alibaba express comes with tons of different sellers and many with free postage. Don’t think you can go wrong with these. Now off to find a review of the Marco Renois which are I think oil based, with the amount saved might just spring for those, or some nice water colors, metallic …. The list goes on ! Thanks for your review it made up my mind 🙂

    1. Helen Vyner

      Eden I use these pencils, . ….;….the from EBay tamfirework168… For once it was and still is free postage !!!!
      The price is just $26.88.. If for some reason they don’t send to NZ ….if you can trust a Aussie send them to my address I PROMISE I will forward them on as send them to me I will gladly on .my email address

    2. Keeley

      Eden the watercolor pencils I really like are the aquablend by Spectrum Noir. You can get them from several places like Amazon I believe. I bought mine from HSN. The Collection comes in tins with four of them total. They are sort of on the pricey side but I have enjoyed being able to use them dry or with water. They blend really well with water. I got mine on sale and it was just over $80 for all four tins. Spectrum Noir also has different types of coloring pencils. For instance, they do have dry blendables. I really cannot tell the difference between the dry blendables and using the aquablend without water. Happy Hunting

  11. Ann W

    I received mine earlier in the week & 11 of them were broken so you were lucky. They discounted them for me though after I complained. I really do like them though so thanks for the review!

    1. Angela Campbell

      was it just the leads that were broken? or the whole pencil? I am thinking of buying a set for my son.

      1. Chaypeta (Post author)

        In this box one pencil had the tip broken… I think due to transport. I’ve had the pencil core tip drop off after sharpening twice but not since i up graded my sharpener. Over all they seem pretty sturdy.

  12. Joanne

    I noticed on the Chinese website that some are OIL and some are made of something else? Could you tell me which ones you purchased?

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      I noticed there is some confusion over the binder of the Marco Raffines. They are oil based pencils. Hope this helps.

  13. rjy

    I purchased the Marco pencils (72 set) online from an Ebay seller. The pencils are quite nice, great many colors and go down smoothly on paper. HOWEVER,the description on the sales ad states they are “oil based”; however I cannot find anywhere on the box or on the pencil that it says oil based. There is no description whatsoever on the box other than “colored pencils.” All in all I am satisfied, but wonder if they are really oil-based as advertised.

  14. Karen beavers

    This is great. I was wondering if all were water soluble or only certain sets. Because being oil based I wasn’t sure about solubility. So is there one type of these?

    1. Tammy

      Yes, there’s a 5000 series and a 7000 series. One is a “water color” set, and one is not. I honestly had a completely difference experience with my oil based mr’s. They were so soft they were crumbling, and yet so scratchy sounding. My boyfriend, who I must say supports my “coloring habit” completely, threatened to take the pencils and bury them in the trash bin if I didn’t quit using them immediately! Though I found the noise extremely bothersome, I kept testing different pencils, hoping it was just one pencil, or one color. It didn’t seem to be just one pencil or one color family… was EVERY pencil. My boyfriend, though, isn’t usually bothered by noises, so I knew it had to be pretty bad. Perhaps I got a bad batch, who knows? Also, I suppose that’s why so many different pencils sell well, everyone has an opinion, right? I tossed them, so I couldn’t tell you which series is which.

  15. Richard

    Thank you for the review and the color chart. I have been looking for a good deep coloring type pencil that is value priced.

  16. Celia

    Thanks so much for the great review!

  17. Karina

    I just got mine yesterday, I purchased it right after I read your review. I started with Lost Ocean, and they worked wonders. So many colour choices and also great blending.
    I purchased it from Aliexpress only for USD 20 with free shipping! It took 3 weeks for me to get them (I live in Indonesia).
    Great pencils with great price. Thank you Peta for the review.

  18. mia

    I bought mine a month ago and then a four section pencil case for them, I love these pencils and planning a large project with these pencils. What would like to know are these pencil wax or oil or a combination of both?

  19. Ioana

    Peta, you are an inspiration! Thank you for the review. I purchased them from Aliexpress for 20 dollars and i’m still waiting for them. I’ve colored independent pages but never in a book. Could you recomand a book or a list of books you think are suitable for more of a beginner? I”m from Romania but i want to buy the original books because i’m not sure about the quality of the books published in Romania. I’m glad I found you’re website.

    Best wishes,

  20. Ioana

    Peta, you are an inspiration! Thank you for the review. I purchased them from Aliexpress for 20 dollars and i’m still waiting for them. I’ve colored independent pages but never in a book. Could you recommend a book or a list of books you think are suitable for more of a beginner? I”m from Romania but i want to buy the original books because i’m not sure about the quality of the books published in Romania. I’m glad I found you’re website.

    Best wishes,

  21. Covel Thornton

    Please tell me where I can find names corresponding to numbers on pencils. I.e. I can see 501 is white but that is about as far as I can go.

  22. Zaida

    Hi! Do you know if they also sale them by the unit, thank you

  23. Phyllis Stuart

    I ordered this pencil set & am really looking forward to using them. Thank you for the review! Now I feel more confident that I made the right choice!

  24. donna

    Great pencils!I also have the Renoir which are similar to Prismacolor Premier,Another good budget set is the Colleen from Thailand..

  25. Michele

    Thanks for the review, Peta. I normally use the FC Polychromos but I’m looking for a less expensive alternative to carry on the go with me. (I cant’t risk my expensive Polychromos getting stolen and my Crayolas are driving me NUTS with all the breakage. Thanks again for everything you do to help all of us colorists out here. I learn so much everytime I watch your vids!

  26. annalynn

    great review but where is the list of colors the names of colors that is. Not just the number to the color but the actual name of the color? Its making me mad that companies use numbers and not names to the color and then make it hard to find the list of names. I will not buy anymore color pencils sets inless they have the anem on the pencils. I’ve got three sets like this and its frustrating and I waste so much paper testing out the color and trying to guess what the name of the color is. what a great way for companies to make money and not give the full details of the product especially when the product is a good product. makes me want to think its a scam in some way


      thanks for the link, I didn’t think of looking there for the color chart. I printed it and will color over it when mine arrive. I just got them on Amazon for $19 free shipping. They come tomorrow. I’ll be adding them to my polychromos and few derwent I have.


      look above for the link to aliexpress, they give a chart with color names

  27. Nido

    i own the Raffine set too, and just brought the Renoir Artist grade after they release a 72 colour version.

    And Renoir in fact richer in pigment but yet its very soft, in fact its softer then Colleen that you review as “soft”. And i have a hard time with Renoir as a leftie, as even with a little pressure the tip will turn into powder much like Pastel colour pencils. And Renoir has claimed its pencils are lightfast on its pencil tin.

    I have a colour chart for Raffine translated from a few source mixed together, so feel free to ask me for it if you need it. As of now im translating the Renoir version, but as of what i know Renoir have new batch of pencils with new colour codes, so its pretty hard.

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Thank you Nido. I would be very interested in seeing those colour charts. Interesting about those pencils being powdery. I have a few sets I will review in future that have the same issue. It’s like manufacturers are trying to create a hybrid between pencils and pastel pencils.

  28. Reva Sharon

    I wrote to you quite a while ago and I did not disappear, but have a severe back problem that caused me lots of trouble recently. Thanks to the fact that I have a laptop I was able to try to keep up with your wonderful and very beautiful work. Was not up to writing though. Now I am
    getting better.
    I was glad to read your review on the raffine pencils. I am buying sets for two friends as a gift. They are just getting interested in coloring. I am in the process of getting the Marco Renoir pencils for myself. The newest ones are advertised as being lightfast, and so many are advertising them this way I am hopeful that is true. I will let you know what I think of them when they arrive.
    I would like to subscribe to your list, and to find out more about the program that helps with the video costs and other things. I am not sure I understand how that works.
    Peta, you are a truly fine artist, your tutorials are superb, and such a generous person to share so willingly. I wish you success in all you are doing.
    Warmest regards,

  29. Reva Sharon

    Hello Peta,
    I just subscribed and am glad to be on your list. I wrote to you once quite some time ago. Then I wrote today and somehow after trying to send off my message, it disappeared so I will try again.
    i am sorry it took so long for me to be in touch again. I have a very serious back problem and it has been really bad recently. Good think I have a laptop so I could use it while in bed and did try to keep up with your tutorials. I think all of your tutorials are so fine and the series that you did and people could follow was great. I could not do any of it, but have a good memory and will try to follow the series and do it when I am up to it.
    I just read the message about the Marco Renoir pencils. I am in process of ordering them. The newest series are supposed to be lightfast. That became important to me when I lived in Florida and had a gallery and a framing shop. It was not a gallery of my work, but I represented others. In more recent years I have had exhibitions of my work and only used lightfast materials for work I was selling. So I hope the Renoir pencis will be good. I am left handed and cannot understand why that should be a problem with the pencils … but we shall see when they arrive. Iam also planning to get a set of the Lyra Rembrandt polycolors as I progress with using pencils.
    I wrote to you quite some time ago and then due to my back problems was not up to writing until now. I did just subscribe, and I do want to find out more about that program that supports artists, and you mentioned your videos. I am quite confused about how it works.
    Peta, you are such a splendid artist, and your work is superb. I recently read an article by someone who does not believe that coloring is a creative form. Nonesense! You are a fine example of how creative this form is and it should be greatly appreciated. I have never used pencils as a medium before and I am learning so much from you. Not only the techniques, but the devotion you have to your work, and to your creativity.
    I wish you great success!
    Warmest wishes,

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Reva, First, just to explain the disappearing messages… all these blog pages get an incredible amount of spam, at least three viagra selling posts at least per day. So to keep the horrible spam bots away my husband and I check each message and approve it before it goes live. Once you have been approved your messages will start appearing automatically as the site now knows your IP is for a real person.
      I’m sorry hear about your back problem. I have been very fortunate, even after 30 years of nursing my back is still okay. I can’t imagine what chronic pain must be like but I see my fellow work mates who also suffer terribly with it.
      I don’t have the Renior pencils but i have spoken to others that have both Raffines and Reniors and the Reniors are softer and more colour dense, all good things. For light fastness.. the very best are the Caran d’ Ache Luminance pencils which have the highest light fastness rating of all pencils currently manufactured. Unfortunately they are jaw droppingly expensive. (Fortunately for me my incredibly supportive husband has just surprised me with a set so i will be able to do a proper review of them in the future.) And pencils don’t care what hand you use. Many of my favourite YouTube artists are left handed. (Maybe they tap into the creative right side of the brain easier… see-> an advantage!)
      To answer your question… I’m sorry but i can’t remember a program that supports artists. can you point me to the video you heard me say it in. I can’t think at the moment what that could mean. Sorry.
      lastly, I agree with you. I do not understand how anyone can say that colouring isn’t art. I have been making art since I was little and to my mind you start with a sketch and then you colour colour colour! How is that not art? The vast and overwhelming majority of artists spend most of their time colouring. I think some people are just being elitist and I don’t pay them any mind.

      1. Reva Sharon

        Thank you for your quick reply and kind words. Also for all the information. Again, sorry about the double emails. I understand now how this works.
        I was delighted to hear about the gift of the Luminance pencils your husband gave you. If anyone deserve them you do! And he will have the pleasure of seing what you create with them. So shall all of us who admire and enjoy your work. As for me, I am looking forward to the Lyra pencils which have a good lightfast record and the Luminance, well that is a dream for the future if I am successful with learning the work with pencils.
        Peta, I wish you continued success in all you do!
        All the best,

    2. Nido

      Well…the reason why i would say why Renoir is recommended for left handers it due to the fact that there are some left handers like me who apply alot of pressure on the pencils when colouring. And therefore if lead is too soft it will powder as i colour.

      And there is a thing about Renoir is that they claimed to be lightfast, but yet there is no proof that they are being tested.

      And also Renoir seems to have a very odd colour palette as compare to Raffine. And yes….the 2 have different colour palettes.

      1. Chaypeta (Post author)

        That is odd. Are you planning to do a light fastness test yourself when they arrive? I would be interested in the results.

        1. Tina

          I bought a set of Marco Renoir (48 colours) for RMB 150. The numbers on the pencils are strange e.g. 14 is blue, 16 is an orange and 10 is black. Most colours are good but 4 were extremely hard and not pigmented, felt scratchy. The core of 2 greens seems to break off and I cannot sharpen it to a pointed tip and it is already 2-3cm shorter than the rest.

          I made a colour chart and could share it.

          Overall, quite good pencils for the price. I do wonder if I should have gotten the Raffine range 72 colours for RMB100.

          1. Chaypeta (Post author)

            Hi Tina, sorry to hear about the troubles you are having with the Reniors. The comparrisons to the Raffines that I have seen show the reniors to be supperior in colour lay down and blendability so i think you have made the better choice. I would be very interested in seeing your colour chart so I could compare it to my Raffine colour chart.

          2. Nido

            Well….Renoirs numbers are all over the place unlike Raffine. But both sets have almost different colours.

            And sad to say that in less then 10hrs after my Renoirs arrives, i dropped the whole box of 72 colours that i placed on my bed. And of the 72 pencils, 4 end up with 4 broken leads, and then another 3 leads broke when i try to sharpen them. And now some of my Renoir pencils are shorter then my 10 months old Raffine which survive a drop without any broken leads.

            And i noticed the heating method use for pencils with damaged cores dont work will on this oil based pencils.

            But if you really intend to get Raffine 72 colours, you might just find that you will like the colour more then Renoirs. But do get the tin version if you like your pencil laying flat infront of you.

          3. Janet

            I live in China and recently bought the 72 set of Renoirs. Some of them are hard and scratchy, but the others remind me a bit of my Prismacolors… soft and buttery. I have the Marco Raffine watercolour pencils and they are great, so I am also going to buy the normal Raffine pencils before I leave China in a couple of months. They are made here in Shanghai, so are very cheap 100rmb for 72.

        2. Nido

          Hi Peta,

          there is one thing i guess i forgot to ask you, as from what i know from your video you mentioned Derwent Artist’s Blue Grey is the must have colour. And Raffine range did have a Blue Grey have a Blue Grey that is no.567. So how does that compare to the Derwent Artist Blue Grey?

          As for the lightfast test, i guess home based test isnt really useful as compare to lab based test. Since home based test can only tell the lightfastness of the colours for short term. And its hard to tell those that is yrs and even decades away.

          By the way have you received my email on the colour charts?

  30. Reva Sharon

    HiPeta,I have been getting ready to purchase a wet of the Marco Renoir,and the comments certainly are making me think. There are some strange things happening with both the Renoir pencils and the raffine. The Raffine prices on Amazon keep dropping and dropping, and they have not put any of the new Renoir pencils up for sale, the ones that are being advertised as being lightfast. That information is coming mainly from Ebay and Aliexpress. In addition last week they both made a connection to Mitsubishi connecting the Marco lines to a Mitsubishe school. Although I have been skeptical about about the pencils being lightfast I was still interested inem because of reviews I had read and was planning to use them only in coloring books I would be coloring for my own use. I will be buying another set that I know is lightfast for later things. I am passing on the information I have to you all because I thought you should know what I have found out. I wish you all good luck. I am still planning to get some of the Raffine sets for some gifts, and maybe one for myself.

    1. Nido

      Well….its normal to see price dropping for China made products. And the more seller sales them the more the price will drop. It happens in Ebay as well. And Raffine is now about $6USD cheaper as compare to the price i paid for 10 months ago. And there is more people selling Raffine then Renoirs.

      And in China, its all about earning so much so they can even make things that stamp other company’s name on their products. So i doubt there is an official lab test results for the lightfast claims. But still there pencils might be lightfast like most good brands colour pencils without lightfast ratings for short term wise. As for weather it will survive for a decade or century, no one will know. unless someone decide to do a lab test and publish the results.

  31. Deborah Heilborn

    Hi Peta, I am so not an artist – can’t draw a straight line to save my life and am so glad I found you on YouTube. I love your sense of color and your video demonstrations – have learned a lot! For a couple of months now, I’ve been doing adult coloring and found it quite addicting and a stress reliever. My first purchase were the Marco Raffine which I like and have used Gamisol or a blending pencil to blend colors which works quite well – couldn’t quite accomplish your look of blending colors without the assist of these – but do realize I need more practice. So I spent more money and moved up to Prismacolors for the blending ability, and boy have I been disappointed in how they smear, don’t keep a point for long and seem overly waxy – actually feel I wasted my money since I went for the 132 set – big mistake. I’ve now ordered the Marco Renoir set and am awaiting delivery – looking to achieve more of the blending ability as you have demonstrated without using anything else – at least most of the time :-). For the price, the Marco pencils seem quite the bargain for the quality.

    1. Nido

      Hi, Hope you dont regret getting Marco Renoir as much as i do. And hope you didnt get the 72 colour set either. And i have just found out that most seller who did sale Marco Renoir open stock, only have 24 colours available and only a handful of seller have 48 colours. And none so far i have seen have all 72 colours up for open stock.

      The really bad thing about Marco Renoir 72 colour set is that you almost getting 3 same colours in different shades that is slightly light and/or darker then the middle colour for most of its colours.

      But with the price of Prismacolours and Marco Renoir i think you can get Polychormos.

      1. Deborah Heilborn

        I got my Renoir set yesterday – and yup – I always go for the gusto…got the 72 off of eBay. I tried them last night and they are a step above the Raffine as far as blend ability. The points stay longer than the Prismacolours and are not as waxy. I do see what you mean about colors, I was disappointed that the shades weren’t more diverse. I am learning my lesson – buy a small set and try first, though in this case – you wouldn’t have known about the color choices. Here in the US, I haven’t seen them sold in open stock – though I haven’t looked too hard. Thank you for responding – I think I’ll also buy a small set of the Polychromos just so I have a comparison before continuing to add to my collection. The one conclusion I have come to is that I like the oil based pencils versus wax based.

        1. Nido

          i just remember sawing a review on Raffine blending, and they are more blendable if you do the dark colour first.

          And i just notice that most sellers in China, actually list all colour pencils as oil based. Even when they are cheap kiddy grade type.

          As far as i can see, there is no open stock for Renoir on Ebay, best way to get them, is go holiday in China or ask someone you know that is coming back from there to get them for your, or from China based online shop portal such as Aliexpress .etc. Not sure if Amazon have them.

          If im not wrong Lyra Rembrandt is also oil based, and the full set should cost about the same as a 72 colour set of Renoirs (depending where you are from). Consider trying a small set of Colleens, they are wax based, but pretty good.

          But one thing is the wax based pencils seems more blendable then oil based.

          And i think you might consider getting some water colour pencils and try them out. I saw a Youtuber that own almost all the watercolour pencils brand i know off, and she will buy more when someone tell her there is one that she doesnt have it. And this pencils is great when use with blending pens or blender markers used for oil based marker.

        2. Deborah Heilborn

          Peta, Out of curiosity, I did color charts for the 72 Renoir pencils and for the 72 Raffine pencils and compared them side-by-side. I was really surprised. The colors are much better in the Raffine set. Better shades of blue, green, pink and flesh colors. I went to look for a yellow green color in the Renoir set and it doesn’t exist – yes, I can create this color by blending, but in the Raffine set, that color exists. I find it strange that the quality seems better in the lower cost Raffine set versus the Renoir set.

          1. Virginia Phillips-Smith

            I am so surprised. Would like money back on others.

  32. Virginia Phillips-Smith

    I was given a set of Marco for my birthday at end of March. I have invested quite a bit of money in pencils. I have a big set of Faber Castell, Derwent super soft, Lyra professional and others. I noticed this set cost about $26 so I put them canvas storage pack that came with them.

    I am pleasantly surprised. I am using them exclusively. I have problems with other pencils. I’m getting ready to use a bit of solvent. My only comment is I wish the color name was on the pencil, but no matter. I’ve made mistakes with colors but am getting use to them. I’ve burnished and blended. They are as good as the very expensive set, and I am happy. I’m used to graphite and usually retreat to them after using some of the color pencils. I’ve even used pan pastels with them.

  33. Mallory

    I just bought these too and I love them. I felt like you no reviews at all I got mine with the cases off amazon for 23$ And they glide so softly great for light color and deep color. I prefer a soft core as an artist but I’m not to snobby as to not use what’s on hand haha

  34. Karen

    Hello from Texas, Peta! First, I HAVE to tell you that I, like everyone I know LOVE your videos & blogs!!Thanks for your dedication and your response to your followers can’t be beat, so thank you for that, also!!

    I have most of the higher quality pencils, but bought the Renoirs, based of reviews, for backgrounds and other large areas, so I could save my more expensive pencils. My problem is, like others, the fact that they have no color names, at least none that anyone I know can find. Do you, or any of your followers, have one yet?

    Thanks, in advance, and PLEASE continue your work. It’s invaluable to many “colorists” (I LOVE that word, makes me feel better about my hobby! LOL!).

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Hi Karen. I’m afraid I don’t know about the Reniors at all. A lot of cheaper pencils don’t seem to have colour names attached to them at all. Sorry. I’m no help here.

  35. Monique

    I bought a 72 tin box that were listed as Ohuhu, but when I got them, the were listed as Raffine color – Marco. I love all the different colors and I find them to go on nice and smooth and I am extremely happy with the product. I was lucky to get deal on Amazon for $26.00 because the tin was dented, but all the pencils were intact and in perfect condition.

  36. Melanie Jean

    At this moment in time, I own just about every brand out there- Crayola, RoseArt, Cra-Z-Art, Primsacolor, Caran d’Ache Pablo, Faber Castell Polychromos, Derwent Studio, Blick Studio (DickBlick brand) and my most recent purchases, Lyra Rembrandt Polycolors and the Marco Raffines. I’ll be happy to chime in with a comparison when the last two get here. The Marco Raffines are supposed to be scholar or student grade while the Renoirs are artist grade and I’ve read the Renoirs have all the same colors but are slightly softer. I chose the Raffines for the adult coloring books (perhaps will upgrade later if I am pleased) because well, the rest are too expensive to play with. I have a love/hate relationship with my Prismacolor so a quality brand, even from China, would be a welcome change.

  37. Dick & Diane

    Purchased one set of the Marco Raffine 7100 color pencils (72) for wife and she liked so much we ordered 3 more sets 72 pencil holders pouches for each set to be used as gifts for family members.
    The pencils cost under $20 (US) each set with free ship and the pouches (three fold with four sides holding 18 pencils each, very handy and portable), they cost $2 for each pouch but they get you at $5 each for shipping.

    She/we use them for freehand drawing. Up to this time my wife had done only the graphite and drawing charcoals (9b to 9h) pencil and stick drawings and wanted to experiment with color. We had several sets of crayola, prismacolor, roseart, etc. but in limited colors so I jumped at 72 shades in one box.

    I also ordered several sets of inexpensive brushes for watercolor and other media.

    We found that these colored pencils can be used wet or dry for different effects and techniques.
    1. Straight color only…. drawing and coloring.
    2. Draw with pencil…. then blend or smooth with wet or damp brush.
    3. Dip pencil in water and wet draw, blend and smooth with dry or damp brush or tissue.

    Use of different paper textures and absorbances (Newsprint, Copy/Typing, Bristol, Vellum, Rag and Watercolor) will also change the effects.

    The key to what you get is to experiment.

  38. Artseller

    WARNING: Raffine Colored Pencils are NOT lightfast. I did some tests. (Hundreds of hours wrapped on a 75W [equivelent] CFL bulb.) The red color basically DISAPPEARED! Pink, orange, flesh/peach and brown weakened very much. Greens, blues, yellow, and purple (surprisingly), were lightfast.

    That said, they work fine for me as I sell prints not originals, so they only have to last until the scan is done. They are very soluble, saturated, and CHEAP. Go on smooth and brush out/mix well. Excellent to practice, and do non-saleable work.

    1. Chaypeta (Post author)

      Thank you very much, Artseller. That is important to know for people who want to frame their work. I have a test sheet of Tombow watercolor brushpens and one of Marco Raffines posted at my desk (flouro lighting, no direct sunlight, room mostly dark when not in use.) After 10 months in these conditions the MR’s are actually holding up okay. Tombows, on the other hand, faded considerably in the first three months and more slowly since, particularly reds, pinks and purples. Good point though: if you are creating something to sell, or give as a gift, or to use as part of the decor then go with light fast artist quality materials.

  39. Sarah Jean Thompson

    Thank you for your review, Peta. I finally bought a set of MR’s to try out, and they are OK. I have used Prismas all my school life (going back to the 50’s) and have really found them best for me. Last year I bought a 72 set of Colorsoft to augment my pencils and love the colours. They lay down silky, but I find them hard to mix – they seem dry on colouring book paper. Also in a month, I had 8 broken leads. I still like my Prismas for their softness, brilliance, and ability to blend and mix. Maybe next year I will try out a few Polychromos.

  40. Deepa

    Wow, so many reviews for these Marco Raffines, all the way from Oct 2015 to Feb 2017!! A lot of people are into adult coloring…and now, so am I. I’ve just ordered these 72 Marco raffines from Ali express and can’t wait to try them out. I own the 48 color sets of Fabre Castell classics and Steadtler Luna aquarells. Both good in their own way…but I want more, hence the MR’s….Prisma or Marco Renoir will be my next…but I’ll wait till these other colours have shortened to less than half their original sizes! (So as to justify a new purchase!!)…for those who have access to purchases from India or Middle East, I would suggest this colouring book ‘Dreamland Refreshing Mandala coloring book for Adults’. The designs are lovely, one to a page, size is big at almost 30cmX30cm, paper is thick too with about 31 or so designs. It is a series of 5 books, I only have 1. Would like to get more, after the first is done! Thank you PETA for your review and others for sharing your thoughts. It’s good to know what others have to say!

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