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The Art Gear Guide is your one stop shop for the most recent, up to date, honest reviews on all your favourite art supply products. 


Derwent Artists Coloured Pencil Review

Derwent Artists Coloured Pencil Review

To find out more about Derwent as a company, you can click on the links and either read my own personal review on the company or check out Derwent's own web site. In this post I am going to review the first ever coloured pencil set that I purchased for myself. At the time, I only really knew about Prismacolour, due to the fact I had been watching so many videos on YouTube about drawing, the vast majority of which were American artists. At the time I was only really beginning my journey in the world of coloured pencils and art, so Prismacolor seemed a tad expensive for me, so I settled for the Artist range in Derwent's collection. 

When I purchased my Derwent Artist set, I had no idea at all of the complexity involved in selecting and using coloured pencils; I had no idea what to look for in a good coloured pencil. To me they were coloured pencils, they either produced colour or they didn't. It was really the Derwent Artist set that made me understand very sharply, that there was more to coloured pencils than the items we all used as children in primary school. 

So, first thing is first, and I know this is going to sound bonkers, but I am sure some of you will relate to this. On very first opening the Derwent Artis range, you are immediately hit with this gorgeous woodland small, almost like damp pine trees on an autumn morning or fall morning to my American friends. Now of course, we don't purchase expensive coloured pencils on the bases of weather or not they smell good, but with the Artist range, it is an added bonus anyway.

The pencils themselves are coated in a beautiful English Racing Car Green colour, with the actual colour of the pencil tipped on the top of the pencil. 

The Derwent Artist pencil is a comfortable 8mm thick over all diameter, lending for a very comfortable grip and decent overall weight to the pencil. The actual core of the pencil is a 4mm diameter packed with exquisite pigment. 

Along the side of the pencil, printed in gold text are the words England (showing the country they are made)-Derwent (The company name)-Artists (The range of coloured pencil or model if you prefer) the colour name, despite the colour being painted on top of the pencil and finally the number corresponding to the colour, this information helps when the need arrises to order a replacement pencil. 

The Derwent Artist pencil is a wax based pencil, however, it is quite a hard core and keeps a point well. I found when using the Artist pencil, there was very little wax bloom. The range of colours in the Artist range is absolutely to die for, with lots of beautiful earthy tones. 

The Artist range, although quite a hard wax core, lays colour very well and using a light hand blends exceptionally well also. There appears to be an opacity about the pigment on the artist range, which is why they lend well to blending. Of course the downside to this is the white, I feel the white in this set holds very little value however at the other end of the spectrum, the black is a very natural black with good depth. 

The Artist range comes in the following sets, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 120. The set that I personally have been reviewing is the 24 set which consists of the following colours. 

Lemon Cadmium 0200

Deep Cadmium 0600

Orange Chrome 1000

Rose Pink 1800 

Deep Vermillion 1400

Crimson Lak 2000

Imperial Purple 2300

Light Violet 2600 

Spectrum Blue 3200

Prussian Blue 3500

Kingfisher Blue 3800

Mineral Green 4500

May Green 4800

Grass Green 4700

Emerald Green 4600

Olive Green 5100 

Brown Ochre 5700

Copper Beech 6100

Golden Brown 5900

Terracotta 6400

Ivory Black 6700

Blue Grey 6800

Gunmetal 6900

Chinese White 7200

A comprehensive range of colours in the 24 set, however, to get a full view of the 120 colours, you can down load a PDF version of the colour chart here

As I've already mentioned, I have a soft spot for Derwent, but aside from that, I do actually think they produce high quality materials and in particular the Artist range. I've heard the term used before that the Artist range are Derwent's work horse pencils, their allrounders, I can't remember where I heard or read this, but I fully agree with the statement. I love the Artist range and although I have an extensive coloured pencil collection, I definitely will be purchasing the 120 Derwent Artist set some time soon.  

Check out my YouTube Video review of these awesome Derwent Artists Coloured Pencils. 

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