Review of Caran d’Ache Luminance Pencils

Review of Caran d’Ache Luminance Pencils

When I came across this video review of Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils, I knew I wanted to share it with you.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for new ideas. New tools, tips and techniques. New colors.

And yes, new pencils.

So whenever someone reviews a product I don’t yet have, I want to watch it.

I’ve heard a lot about the Caran d’Ache Luminous pencils since their introduction a few years ago, but I’ve have yet to give them a try.

What I learned in this video makes me more interested in trying Luminance pencils than ever.

Review of Caran d’Ache Luminance Pencils

The review is provided by ColoringKaria on YouTube. Karia does reviews of adult coloring books and supplies, but this review will be of interest to fine artists, too.

Here’s Karia.

Caran d’Ache is a Swiss company.  According the Caran d’Ache web page for Luminance 6901 pencils, these wax-based pencils are “designed for works intended for exhibition, collection and museum purposes.”

In other words, high quality.

And fairly expensive. At the time of this writing, open stock Luminance pencils are $4.62 each at Dick Blick.

As Karia mentioned, that’s on the pricey side for adult coloring book artists.

Even so, I am curious enough to consider a few open stock pencils, even if it’s only a handful of their luscious looking earth tones. I’ll let you know!


Since I first wrote this post, I purchased a Caran d’Ache Luminance White (along with a Derwent Drawing Chinese White.) They’re reportedly among the most opaque colored pencils available, and they work fairly well over darker colors.

Both pencils are more opaque than my other pencils (Prismacolor and Polychromos,) but they don’t cover color completely. As least not as completely as I hoped. But you have to remember that I’m a former oil painter and when I hear one color covers another, I expect it to perform like oil paints! No colored pencil is capable of that.

But the Luminance pencil is more like Prismacolor when it goes onto paper. Limited use still makes me want to buy a few more colors in open stock and try them on a landscape drawing.

More from the Caran d’Ache Luminance Web Page

Highly sought after by drawing masters from every creative sector, the subtle velvety effect of the new permanent pencil stems from two years of technical research conducted in complete secrecy at the heart of the Maison’s workshops. Its delicate texture, along with the vibrancy of the many recently developed shades, open up exciting new vistas in the realms of overlaying, mixed techniques and gradation.

Its extreme lightfastness is confirmed by the most rigorous tests, earning Luminance 6901 top results and international ASTM D-6901 certification.

With Luminance 6901, Caran d’Ache has achieved the feat of creating quite simply the most lightfast colour pencil ever designed.

The line is created according to the criteria laid down by the Swiss Made label and eco-friendly standards, thereby providing an additional demonstration of the Maison’s steadfast ethical commitment.

More Information

Caran d’ache Luminance Pencils web site.

Luminance Colored Pencils Open Stock at Dick Blick

Have you used Caran d’ache Luminance pencils? What did you think?


  1. John P. Garrett

    Hi Carrie,
    That’s a nice review. Though I recently discovered the trend of Adult coloring Books and am worried it will cause Color Pencils to lose ground as far as acceptance in the Artistic Community. I recently bought the set of 40 and like them a lot. I bought a few whites a few months ago after Jason Morgan did a review of white pencils. The white is far superior to other brands on covering over mid tone colors with maybe the exception of Stabilo’s White. She is right about the blendability of the Luminance.

    1. John,

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

      I only recently became aware of adult coloring books, too, but they’ve been selling well for a couple of years. It amazes me to see that half of the top selling books at Amazon are adult coloring books.

      I don’t think the popularity of adult coloring books will damage the credibility of colored pencils among fine artists. I see it as being pretty much the same as cameras. When cameras became popular among the general public, that didn’t mean the end of professional photographers. Not by any stretch.

      There will be some overlap, but adult coloring books and fine art are two different categories. The people who love fine colored pencil art will still love it. And when the adult coloring book fad wanes or passes, there will still be fine art.

      I’m glad to hear your personal experience with Luminance white. Being able to use white over darker colors would make colored pencils much better.

      I still plan to get a few and try them. Right now, I’m leaning toward buying earth tones open stock. I looked at the color chart on the Caran d’ache website and they have some intriguing browns!

      Thanks so much for reading and for joining the conversation!

      Best wishes, Carrie

  2. Morning, Carrie! A few years ago I got zealous about lightfast news when a piece I ha in a gallery for a while showed some signs of fading. I looked to Luminance to plug gaps in my color ranges – especially pinks, reds, purples, blues, etc. I ordered a few open stock from Blick and was very pleased when I tested the colors. I found them very soft and buttery to work with. They seem to have a higher pigment density than most other brands and hugs to go farther despite their added cost. You know I work heavily in solvent-enhanced CP on canvas these days so I’m very please with the response I get from Luminance. I’ve continued to fill color gaps with them as well as chasing those luscious earth tones and other proprietary colors they offer. Have never yet been disappointed.


    1. John,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with Luminance! It’s much appreciated!

      And I’m glad to see I’m not alone in appreciating the earth tones.

      What other types of pencils are you using and how do you find Luminance mixes with other brands?

      Thanks again for your comment and best wishes,


  3. Melanie Lightbody

    Wow. I have seen several reviews of the Luminance but yours was, by far, the clearest explanation of why buy them and what they offer. I am a cardmaker and I am really looking for opacity particularly on craft-colored cardstock.

    I’ve gone ahead and purchased a set. I wish I had seen your review because I should have added a couple of open stock white. Thank you!

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