Since I haven’t done a pencil review in a while, it’s high time to look at something and why not check out some budget friendly pencils, namely Marco Raffine and Marco Renoir pencils, starting with Renoir.
All previous pencil reviews can be found HERE.
Marco is a Chinese brand and both Raffine and Renoir varieties are oil pencils that you can easily find on Ebay and other online sources. Aside from that, I really don’t know much about the company, digged around in the interwebs but didn’t find anything of significance. So lets stick to made in China and cheap for now.
Marco Renoir pencils come in a tin of 24, 48, 72 and 100. There’s also a special greyscale tin of 12. I have the box of 72. The tin is made of a quite thin material and will get banged up easily but still better then a cardboard box for sure. Inside there are two layers of pencils in thin plastic trays.
After testing, I gave these to my daughter and she moved them to a pencil roll so I’ll show you how they look in a roll. Before you ask, you can find this pencil roll on Ebay. Anyway so these have a round barrel with a long colored strip at the end.
The pencil has the number for the color and the other side also has Marco Raffine printed on it. These pencils don’t have names for colors, just codes.
- Very affordable, around 35-40$ for a set of 72
- Easy to find online
- Very soft and nice
- Blend very well
- Layer quite well with a light hand
- The lead looks like it’s a bit over 3mm diameter but not quite sure, in any case, it is a good amount of lead
- Will fit in all standard sharpeners
- A lot of yellow, orange, red and green pencils, also a ton of greys
- Round barrel is very comfortable and nice
- Erase well
- Highly breakable, they break if you look at them wrong. Honestly, my set is even worse then Prismas. But for the price, I don’t mind
- I’d prefer names with colors as well, not just numbers
- The casing is a bit shoddy, splinters easily when sharpening
- Not available open stock
- The reds are a little too similar, could use a wider variety
- Too many greys for a set of 72, could use fewer greys and instead maybe a few more peaches and browns
I feel these totally compare to Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils (review HERE) so comparing them with those. Now while Lyras are wax and Renoir is oil, they do perform in a similar way I think. To open the score, Renoir takes the first point for being way more affordable then Lyra for this kind of quality.
Renoir pencil casing is worse then Lyra, which by the way also doesn’t excel in that regard. The leads are a lot more breakable then Lyra. The tin is also not nearly as high quality. Lyra pencils have a wider lead which means you get a bit more for your money.
However when it comes to performance, I find they are quite equal. Both erase well, blend nicely and can layer with a light hand. They do feel quite similar to me when it comes to performance.
As for color selections, browns aren’t strong in either set though Renoir has it better with more choices. They’re both quite strong in the yellow to red department, Renoir has a bit more then Lyra, whereas Lyra is stronger in the blue and green area.
If I were to choose between them, I’d probably go with Renoir, it’s not better then Lyra but close enough for the price difference to decide it for me.
I will also compare these to Marco Raffines in the Raffine review next time and will link to it from this review as well.
There is no official chart that I could find but Google for images to get more charts in addition to my crooked charts here
Example image done with Marco Renoir:
Picture: Equinox by Stephen Barnwell.
I do highly recommend these pencils if you’re in a search for something affordable and maybe new for you. I definitely think that for budget pencils, these are the bomb. Seriously, they’re very nice. Even if you have fancier artist grade pencils, I suggest you try these out, they might be a fun addition to your collection.
Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience with these pencils