Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Bruynzeel-Sakura Design Pencils, a review

My set of Bruynzeel Design coloured pencils is more than 17 years old.
The 100 colours I have in my set are not being sold anymore but Bruynzeel, now Bruynzeel - Sakura, still sells a set of 48 colours.
I really like colouring with my old set but I was curious about the new set. Are the new pencils of the same quality or did Bruynzeel change something?

Bruynzeel is a Dutch company that merged with the Japanese Sakura about 15 years ago.
The question many people have is whether this change had any negative effect on the products Bruynzeel makes.
It is quite obvious that there was a change, because the largest set of coloured pencils being sold by Bruynzeel - Sakura nowadays is only 48 colours. But if the pencils are of great quality and you can blend and layer with them, this limited range of colours may not be a problem.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to do a quick test with a set of 48 Bruynzeel - Sakura Design Pencils.
I read somewhere on the internet that the new pencils are of better quality than my 17 years old set.
Although my quick test isn't enough to review the pencils thoroughly I can tell you that they are performing very well so far!
The pencils I tried, some yellows and greens, performed beautifully.

The leads in my 17 years old set are not all of the same quality. Some reds are very soft and smooth while the blues and some greens seem to have less pigment. There are also some pencils with hard pieces in the leads which scratches the paper. I've learned the work my way around these problems and enjoy my pencils a lot!


Now, the current Bruynzeel - Sakura set doesn't seem to have these problems. I haven't tested all pencils but it certainly looks like Bruynzeel - Sakura solved the problems I described.
So this would mean that the current pencils perform better than the one I have.
The pencils lay down their colours very smoothly and layering and blending goes just as well as with my old set.

It also looks like the pencils do well on different types of paper.
My old Bruynzeel set do very well on the paper in my Secret Garden colouring book and paper with a little tooth but the paper in Enchanted Forest seems to be too smooth for my pencils.
In the picture below you can see a couple of leaves in Enchanted Forest coloured with the Buynzeel - Sakura Pencils.
Another thing I love about both my old set and the new one is that the pencils produce colours with a matte look. No shiny wax look as long as you don't push hard. I personally like that a lot!

I didn't test the pencils on lead breaking, points breaking and sharpening, so I cannot tell you anything about those things yet . 
The only downside so far can be the limited range of colours available. The largest set you can buy has 48 colours. But if you are okay with a smaller set of pencils, these Bruynzeel Sakura Pencils will give you a lot of hours of happy colouring!

If you want to buy a set of Bruynzeel - Sakura coloured pencils, you can order them from our webshops:


  1. Thank you for your review. I have an opportunity to buy some "gently used" Bruynzeel pencils and liked what you have to say about them.

  2. Thank you for your review. I have an opportunity to buy some "gently used" Bruynzeel pencils and liked what you have to say about them.

  3. Hello – I have a request that I am hoping that you can help out with. I have recently purchased the 72 pencil set of Marco Renoir pencils and I can match 48 of the numbers and colors that I have to a Bruynzeel chart I found online. This leaves me with 24 unnamed colors that I suspect are in your original set of 100 Bruynzeel pencils. Would it be possible for you to post a list or a short video or a few images of your Bruynzeel set with the names and numbers showing, please?
    To help anyone tring to match up colors as I am, the current numbering system of colors seems to be the same as the old numbers with one change as follows: your #245 Havana Brown is now #45 Havana Brown.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful coloring and also for sharing your passion with the internet community!

    1. Hi Kathy. I am in a similar boat, except I purchased the 100 pencil set of Marco Renoirs. I still have 35 unnamed colors, but here is what I've gathered from around the net as well as from watching Henny's vidoes. There is one pencil Henny has shown -- the Royal Blue one -- that clearly did not match the number in my set. I suspect my # 08 may be the Royal Blue. Anyway, here is my list:
      01 White
      02 ?? (similar to cream)
      03 ?? (red side of violet)
      04 ?? (pink side of red)
      05 ?? (pinker than the flesh colour)
      06 ?? (like a dull red)
      07 ?? (almost black, maybe indigo?)
      08 ?? (possibly royal blue)
      09 brown pink
      10 black
      11 crimson red
      12 ?? (greyish blue)
      13 oriental blue
      14 smyrna blue
      15 ?? (very light cloud blue)
      16 mid orange
      17 ?? (almost invisible orange-ish white)
      18 permanent orange
      19 naples yellow
      20 ?? (yellower naples yellow)
      21 light lemon yellow
      22 deep yellow
      23 orange
      24 ?? (looks like very light brown-grey)
      25 lemon yellow
      26 ?? (dull orange)
      27 yellow ochre
      28 ?? (red orange)
      29 yellow brown
      30 ?? (pink, almost red)
      31 vermillion
      32 ?? (red)
      33 deep red
      34 ?? (orange side of red)
      35 ?? (pink)
      36 dark rose
      37 ?? (slightly more purple than magenta)
      38 carmine
      39 magenta
      40 umber
      41 light brown
      42 sienna
      43 dark brown
      44 mid brown
      45 havana brown
      46 sanguine
      47 raw sienna
      48 brown ochre
      49 ?? (dark brown almost black)
      50 ultramarine
      51 light blue
      52 turquoise blue
      53 violet
      54 cerulean blue
      55 cobalt blue
      56 mauve
      57 blue violet
      58 prussian blue
      59 red violet
      60 light green
      61 dark green
      62 emerald green
      63 olive green
      64 ?? (apple green?)
      65 ?? (pine green?)
      66 green
      67 green blue
      68 ice green
      69 leaf green
      70 flesh colour
      71 candy pink
      72 cold grey
      73 light grey
      74 light grey
      75 light flesh
      76 azur blue
      77 light ultramarine
      78 blue grey
      79 burnt ochre
      80 metalic gold
      81 mid brown grey
      82 ?? (darker than 81)
      83 ?? (darker still)
      84 ?? (looks like a medium cool grey)
      85 metalic silver
      86 ?? (very light warm grey)
      87 ?? (slightly darker than 86)
      88 dull cold grey (note: but it looks like a warm grey to me)
      89 ?? (darker than 88)
      90 ?? (darker still)
      91 dark violet
      92 ?? (maroon?)
      93 ?? (neutral grey?)
      94 cool grey
      95 ?? (aquamarine?)
      96 sap green
      97 ?? (peacock green?)
      98 ?? (another grey)
      99 ?? (similar to prismacolor sandbar brown)

      Regards, Ceci


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