One of the hardest things to decide is which brand of pencil is right for you. There are so many different brands and types of pencils within those brands for you to choose from. I suggest you purchase a few single pencils to try from each branch to test before you make your choice if you can only afford one type of pencil. Below is a short description of the Prismacolor Premier Pencils, the ones I would recommend if you are just starting out because most tutorials are completed using this brand.
- Wax Based Pencil, Round, 3.8mm
- Required for most Coloured Pencil tutorials
- For longevity check the lightfast ratings because almost half are not high lightfast rated
These are the most popular pencils in America and they come in a range of 150 beautiful colours. Apparently they used to be very high quality, but nowadays they are made in Mexico which means that you are better off buying them in person pencil by pencil rather than online. There seems to be no quality control at all. Some of the pencils do not have their leads centred so when you sharpen them you end up with mostly wood exposed and pencil only showing on one side. The other issue that people have had is with breakage, but I have to say I have not had that issue at all. I believe if you use a good quality sharpener that has rotary blades rather than just a single blade, then you will have no issues.
The two sharpeners I own and have had no issues with any pencils with are the following:
Prismacolor Premier Pencils are beautiful to use. They are soft and buttery and blend easily. The core is wax based and if you burnish (press really hard to get full coverage) you can sometimes end up with what is called wax bloom – a white filmy sheen over your colours. To fix this issue you can wipe over your image with a soft cloth and then spray a fixative (either workable or final) over the top to stop the bloom from coming back again.
Prismacolor also have a blender pencil which works great with all coloured pencils. Unfortunately there are quality issues with this pencil also, so when you are buying one, make sure it is white not grey. The grey ones don’t work the way they are supposed to, the white ones work great!
Even given their issues, these pencils are definitely worth the purchase price, especially since most tutorials are completed in Prismacolor pencils. They are really lovely to use and most issues aren’t an issue if you are aware of them first 🙂
Please feel free to leave your own opinion about the Prismacolor Premier pencils below in the comments. I would love to hear what you all think of them also.