This section contains a review of what you find in the art materials catalogues and on dealers shelves, how they differ and what they cost.We also look at brands available in the UK, approximately in the order that they can be found in Europe - with the biggest brand in the UK - Derwent - at the start. Two essential areas are also looked at - what goes into a pencil and how durable you can expect the colour to be ( lightfastness ).Comparisons of colours is always difficult with so many variations on colours with the same name. Finding an equivalent colour in another brand is always a problem and there have been many attempts at solving this over the years.This section is NOT comprehensive. The data here has been put together over a ten year span, and all the tested brands have been compared on similar paper in a similar way. During that time new brands have appeared and manufacturer’s ranges have changed, so that it could well be that an item you are reading was written in 2007 or 2017. I try to keep pages updated, but I no longer go out buying pencils to review. This website earns nothing and after all those years I no longer spend hundreds of pounds buying pencils I don’t need. I try to ensure a ‘last reviewed’ date is shown at the foot of each topic page as a guide to how up to date it is.I welcome reviews of brands and products I have not included, please contact me to discuss how reviews are done and what is required. Reviews can be anonymous or with author’s name.
In my store cupboard, I currently have over 5,000 pencils from a wide variety of makers,more than I could possibly use in three lifetimes !ALL the reviews on the associated pages were done by me - unless it says differently.I have prepared this section as a guide to those new to the coloured pencil world, so that you can avoid buying expensive and unsuitable pencils, for the lack of information.Opinions offered here are entirely my own. The site has NO SPONSORSHIP so I don’t owe anyone any favours.If you disagree with my views, I am open to persuasion, but at my age (79) I will take some persuading !The listing of the pencil makers is entirely down to the way companies have been added to the list, starting with Derwent, our UK manufacturer, who produce the widest range of brands and are most easily found in the UK - where this is written. Readers in the USA may be surprised to find that Prismacolor appears way down the listing, when it is the biggest brand in the USA and features so much in books on the Coloured Pencil medium. This is entirely due to the fact that Prismacolor does not appear in UK art stores and is hard to find in Europe. Prismacolor can be purchased over the Internet and those buying the brand outside the USA are advised to quality check the stock they buy and ensure that they are able to return faulty goods to the supplier. This caution does not apply to European brands as they are usually of higher quality and usually well supported by the manufacturers and European retailers who will replace any faulty stock..In June 2018 we have added two extra pages as a supplementary to the Lightfastness sectionThese tests were carried out by an independant artist ( Judith Crown ) over 12 weeks or more of strong sunlight in Israel. They are not comprehensive, but they give a good cross section of results from many popular brands and will help you avoid brands and colours that quickly fade and ruin your artwork results Link to Judith Crown Test results 1/ By BRAND 2/ By colour GROUP