Friday, November 9, 2007

Color Pencil Comparison (part 1)

Before we get started, here are my disclaimers:

  • If I recommend a product here, it's simply because I love it.

  • I'm not representing anyone.-- I don't have time to represent anyone-- but me ;).

  • This blog is here only for the stated reason in my introduction. --It's a glimpse into my life thru my card making.

  • I have no desire to be on a design team. As much fun as it looks like it would be, I have to be honest with myself, I don't have the time in my life right now. Yes,I realize that means I'm potentially saying "NO" to getting free rubber stamps... (sigh)

The reason for this experiment ~
or why I'm suddenly obsessed with every color pencil on the market.

I began teaching my first coloring class here at Michaels by proclaiming that Prismacolor pencils were the best color pencils on the market. I had to quickly add "that I've tried". After a week or so of toying around with the idea of trying other pencils. I thought, "Should I spend money to purchase other color pencils when I'm perfectly happy with what I have? What will I do with the pencils I don't like? Who else cares?"

I looked around on the Internet for info and even asked for opinions on the Gingerwood Rubber Stamping Board. It was then that I decided that I really needed to see for myself. ----

--which brings me to this experiment and this post.


Test One and Test Two:

The paper, my control variable, is Georgia Pacific White Card stock for the Coloring and Blendablilty tests. ( I realize that blendability isn't in the dictionary, but it should be!)

I tested 11 brands/types of Color pencils... I had to stop somewhere...All the pencils are regular color pencils-- not water soluble or water color pencils.

Test One: Coloring

I based this test on how easy it was to cover an area of the paper. If you've ever used Prismacolor Pencils, you know that they core is very soft and it doesn't take much effort at all to transfer the color to the paper. I also considered how easily the pencil reacted to various amounts of pressure. Some pencils no matter how hard or soft I colored, the color didn't vary at all. I like to be able to achieve different shades of the same color just by varying the amount of pressure. The colors are listed under the following rating for this test.

The eleven brands were rated on a scale of 1-5

5 = as good as Prismacolor /4 =almost as good, definitely interchangeable /3= too much work/2= give them to the kids/1= waste of money

5 ~Prismacolor ~Dick Blick's Brand

4 ~Lyra~Faber Castell ~Derwent Color Soft

3 ~Prismacolor Lightfast (this surprised me, but it varied by color) ~Derwent Artist ~Pablo Caran d' Ache

2 ~Ek Sucess memory pencils ~Colorific ~Crayola


Test Two : Blendability

  • with the pencils

5 ~Prismacolor Lightfast~Prismacolor~Dick Blick's Brand~Derwent ColorSoft
4 ~Lyra~Faber Castell~
3 ~Pablo Caran d'Ache
2 ~Derwent Artist
1~ Ek Sucess memory~ Colorific ~Crayola


For the next two tests, the brands were rated at follows: 3 = affected by/ 2= not so much/ 1= wasn't affected at all

  • with a blender pencil

3 ~Prismacolor~Dick Blick's Brand ~Faber Castell~Derwent Artist
2 ~Lyra~Derwent Color Soft~Prismacolor Lightfast ~ EK Sucess Memory~
Pablo Caran d' Ache

1 ~Colorific~Crayola


  • with Odorless Mineral Spirits

3~Prismacolor~Dick Blick's Brand ~Faber Castell~Derwent Artist~Lyra~Derwent Color Soft~Prismacolor Lightfast ~ EK Sucess Memory~Pablo Caran d' Ache
2 Colorific~Crayola


Test Three: Opacity and Vibrancy on dark paper

5~Prismacolor ~Dick Blick's Brand
4 ~Lyra~Faber Castell ~Derwent Color Soft
3 ~Prismacolor Lightfast (this surprised me, but it varied by color) ~Derwent Artist ~Pablo Caran d' Ache
2 ~Ek Sucess memory pencils ~Colorific ~Crayola

Click here for Part TWO ~ my observations and conclusion


Flossie's Follies said...

Wow, thanks for all your time and hard work in comparing these pencils. I have Prismacolor pencils, thank you AC Moore for those 50% off coupons.

Dawn Bibbs said...

WOW...that was deep! :-)

Aunt T said...

Excellent information! Thanks for taking the time to do this :)


Summertree said...

Hi Jacki!!!

Loved your site. It's the first time I'm here... currently trying to decide if I should invest more money in Caran D'ache.

jacki jones said...

They are great pencils in my opinion. They are more expensive than Prismacolors but not better... again in my opinion. Sounds like you already have some?