Earlier this week I shared an overview of Gamsol, an odorless mineral spirits used for dissolving the wax in colored pencils so that you could blend and shade them the same way you can with oil paints. Naturally, though, my curiosity got the better of me and I wondered if better (artist-grade) colored pencils really had an edge over cheaper, student-grade ones. And did the paper really matter? Well, I set out to answer those questions!
I tried five different colored pencils for this experiment. I’m listing them in order of price, lowest to highest, and you’ll find that these are affiliate links if you’d like to purchase them down the road.
- Liqui-mark Colored Pencils (I found mine at the Dollar Store!)
- Crayola Colored Pencils
- Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Assorted Colors
- Crafter’s Companion Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils
Derwent Colorsoft Pencils
On Amazon.com, the Prismacolor pencils are less expensive than the Spectrum Noir ones….and Spectrum Noir ones are about the same as the ColourSofts. But at my local art store, the ColourSofts went for about $1.50 a pencil, Prismacolor went for $1.17 a pencil, and the Spectrum Noir were under a buck. So really prices vary greatly, so see what you have in your area.
Now on the the information!
At the end of the day, I think that it’s pretty subjective. I like the looks of all of them- but I found that the more-waxy the pencil (read, cheaper) the more I needed a paper with some tooth to lay down more color so that I had enough pigment to blend once the wax was dissolved.
Either way, I love colored pencils (now MUCH more than my markers!!) and I can’t wait to color some more!
Do you have any questions? Have a preference for one pencil brand over another? I’d love to hear from you!
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