Coloring Pencils/Pens/Markers Product Reviews

Astra Pastelowe Coloured Pencils v Holbein Coloured Pencils

Astra Pastelowe Coloured Pencils v Holbein Coloured Pencils

A number of people have asked me to compare my new Pastelowe pencils to the Holbein pencils so here is my quick summary – there is more detail in the video above.

  • Astra Pastelowe is made in Poland and come in either a set of 50 or a dual-tip set of 48.    You can see my review of them here 
  • The Holbein pencils come in a range of sizes including a small set of 12
  • The Pastelowe pencils are marketed towards children whereas the Holbeins are artist quality
  • There is no information on lightfastness or binding/filling quality for the Pastelowe pencils but there is for the Holbein pencils
  • You can find information for the Holbein pencils on lightfastness whereas the Pastelowe pencils do not disclose this information
  • You can purchase open-stock replacement pencils of the Holbeins but not the Pastelowes
  • The Holbeins are far more expensive than the Pastelowes

Holbein v Pastelowe Color Swatch

In the color swatch below which was created on Art and Wash paper 210 gsm (which is quite toothy) both pencils were swatched and compared.   The Pastelowes is the rectangle at the top and the Holbein underneath.

As you can see from the swatch there is a lot of similarities in the colors of both sets of pencils.     There are a few colors that I could not find a similar match to ….like Pink as you can see below.    All in all, though, the colors are pretty similar.

Using the pencils, I found it very difficult to compare which one felt better. I had to test them 3 times together to finally decide that the Pastelowes are creamier than the Holbeins (this surprised me). On my third coloring with them, I actually found the Holbein a bit dry in comparison.

The Pastelowes are not as creamy as Prismacolor Premier pencils in my opinion. For me, they feel more like the Prismacolor Scholars, creamy with a slight hardness to them.

For me, the Astra Pastelowes represent great value for money ….if you are in a country where you can easily obtain them and you do not want to use them for artist commissions where lightfastness would be an issue.   For Australians, the cost may be too much when you consider shipping to buy the Astra Pastelowe but this, of course, would depend on your budget.

We all color differently though and think differently (thank goodness) so your opinion may differ from mine.

Happy coloring x


About the author


I'm Lea and I love everything to do with coloring! If it is a coloring book, a poster or even a bookmark that you can color in, I'm all over it. Of course, a girl has to have some pencils, markers, gelly rolls, pastels and what not to make those pictures pretty and I love those as well.

Whilst my coloring style lacks skill, I am enthusiastic and focused on enjoying the moment and having fun.

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