The Art Gear Guide  

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 Graphik Line Painter Pens

Derwent Graphik Line Painter Pens

Derwent Graphik Line Painter Pens

I am so excited to be reviewing these Derwent Graphik Line Painter Pens because, although they are an artist quality and graded product, they are equally an art product that anyone can pick up and use. Their versatility opens up your creative mind to a huge range of artistic options.

Before I get in to the actual review, I would like to share a story with you, discussing how I got the Graphik Line Painters, the amazing deals that Derwent offer in their Museum and just how addictive and fun these pens really are. 

About this time last year, my wife and I took our family to Keswick, in the Lake District on holiday, as we do every year. Keswick is of course the home of Derwent and in particular the Derwent Pencil Museum, needless to say I visit the museum almost every day, pop in to see everyone working there and spend spend spend. On this particular day, the manager of the museum was delighted to see me as I was her and we got talking, she asked me if I had reviewed the Derwent Graphik Line Painters, to which I answered no. She handed me a box of them which just so happened to be on sale, a massive reduction from the RRP of £64.95 for 20 pens to an incredible £25, this is only one example of the amazing deals available from the Museum shop.

I took them back to our caravan and I had a play about with them, I turned my back for a second and my daughters and wife had also started playing about with them. First thing the very next morning, my wife had us all up early, so that she could head back to the Derwent Museum where three more boxes of 20 Graphik Line Painter Pens was purchased. the incredible thing about this is that my daughters love art, especially my eldest daughter, however, my wife has no interest whatsoever. With all the art supplies I have in our house, my wife has never tried any of them nor wanted to, except for the Derwent Graphik Line Painters. My wife has fallen in love with this medium, however, she simply uses them in the Derwent Colouring book she purchased, proving just how versatile they are. 

Derwent Graphik Line Painter Characteristics

The barrel of the pens is translucent, allowing the user to see the level of paint present in the pen, so each pen is a clear indication of the pigment you are using. the fine nib on the pens is a high quality nib, with all the pens I have used, I have not once encountered a pen with a faulty nib. When you first open the pens as they are wrapped individually, the nib is a visibly white plastic type nib, held within a metal sheath. To activate the paint, a pump action is required, which you can see demonstrated on my YouTube video review, however, as soon as you activate the pens nib, you will clearly see the nib fill with the colour from the barrel. 

Along the round barrel, printed in clear black print is a high level of information important to the artist. Starting from the Nib working back is printed the product brand "Graphik" followed but "Line Painter 0.5" which of course indicates the nib size, finally on this side of the barrel is a number "#01 etc" indication the pigment. 

On the opposite side of the above information is the web address which directs you to the Derwent page dedicated to the Graphik pens and finally on this side of the barrel is the "pigment name". This is perhaps the most fun thing about the Derwent Line Painters, none of the colours have been assigned typical pigment names, I have included the list of names for the full range of line painters.

Derwent Graphik Line Painter Performance. 

As you will be able to see from the still images I have provided, the Derwent Graphik Line Painters are incredibly opaque pigments, bright and vibrant, just simply bursting with colour. I think one of the many reasons so many people love these pens is their versatility. The paint inside the barrel is a water based pigment paint, this means that once you activate the pen and apply the incredibly opaque pigment to the surface you are using, you can apply water with a paint brush or water brush and move the pigment about as well as dilute it getting more watercolour effects. 

However, you don't have to add water, they apply pigment beautiful and you can simply use the pen as is. My wife for example loves using them in a Derwent Colouring Book she purchased and uses them exactly the same way ordinary marker pens would be used. But again, this is not the only methodology for using these pens, a splattering effect can be achieved by pumping the nib, building up paint on the nib and tapping on the paper. 

Another cool method is dripping paint onto the surface you are working on and using a straw to blow the paint in different directions etc. I have also created a video demonstration of the various methods and effects you can achieve from using the pens.

I also tried using the pens on various shades of paper, from Winsor and Newton Black paper, Strathmore Toned Tan as well as Strathmore's Toned Gray paper. I also used some of Derwents own Watercolor paper which help the pigment beautifully. While testing the pens, I wanted to see what they would be like being applied to wax based surface and so I laid down some black Prismacolor Premier and applied the pens paint, you be the judge. I also added a few layers of Winsor and Newton Black Brushmarkers to conduct the same test and the results are below. 

Derwent Graphink Line Painter Sets Available 

The largest set available in the Graphik Line Painters is a 20 set, contained in a well designed package which doubles as a stylish storage solution whilst using the pens. You can also purchase the pens in much smaller sets which come in very functional wallets and each wallet contains 5 pens. This equates to four separate wallets of 5 pens allowing the users to build up the collection in manageable chunks. Failing that, you can also purchase the pens in open stock format. 

Lightfast Information

It is important to note that whilst lightfast information is incredibly important for those artists who wish to create a piece of art that may be submitted to a competition or a commission for a client, lightfastness is not always so essential if you use the medium for fun or adult colouring books. 

That being said, the lightfast of the Graphik Line Painters is really quite impressive. The lightfast scale used for the Graphik pens has been the Blue Wool scale, which means the grading is from 1 - 8 with 8 being the highest lightfast and 1 the lowest. The Blue Wool scale suggests anything graded 6 and above is considered highly lightfast, however, some artist also consider 5 to be acceptable and anything 4 and below unusable on certain projects. 

Of the 20 colours available, 12 pens are rated 8 on the Blue Wool scale,   4 pens are rated 7 on the scale, 1 pen is rated 6, 2 pens are rated 5 and 1 pen is rated 2. So of the 20 Graphik Line Painters available, only one could definitely not be used on a commission piece and two other pens graded 5 would be down to the artist, but 17 pens of the 20 are excellent lightfast grades and can be used. 

Derwent Graphik Line Painter Price Guide

In the UK for the full 20 set of Derwent Graphik Line Painters on Amazon you can expect to pay approximately £45, but as I also have shown, if you are ever in Keswick you must visit the Museum and check out the awesome deals they always have on there. Also there are 4 wallets of 5 Line Painter Pens, they are simply labeled Palettes 1-4. For Palette 1 you will pay £6.97  for Palette 2 you will pay £6.99 For Palette 3 you will pay £9.63 and finally Palette 4 you will pay £7.79

It is worth mentioning in this section that Derwent also have another set of pens that look very similar but rather than paint, the pens are ink. Most people would call the pens fineliners but Derwent simply refer to them as Graphik Line Marker Pens. these pens have nib sizes of 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 for the two sets of 3, which are three Sepia pens and 3 Graphite pens. There is also a set of 6 black pens with nib sizes of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, and 0.8. 

In the US the Derwent Graphik Pens sell for the following, the 20 set of pens will cost $69.96, for the wallets of 5 painter pens, palette 1 will cost $21, palette 2 will cost $21, palette 3 will cost $21 and finally palette 4 will cost $17.49. 

For Europe, at the time of writing this review, I was only able to get the open stock prices of the pens, so I will keep checking Amazon in Europe and as soon as I get the prices I will add them on here.   


I have loved using the Derwent Graphik Line Painters, but more impressive to me is the fact that day in day out, my desk is jammed packed with some of the most expensive art supplies out there to the cheapest, an entire range of supplies and my wife has never shown interest in any of them, that was until she found the Graphik Line Painters. 

I get like all art supplies, they are not for everyone, however, if you are interested in trying them out, I would suggest either buying a few individual colours or perhaps even one of the 5 pen set wallets. After this, you can determine if you like them or not and possibly purchase the entire set. 

Don't forget you can see my video review of these pens over on my YouTube channel, the video helps demonstrate the different techniques that can be used and the effects that can be achieved with the pens. 

Spectrum Noir Metallic Markers

Spectrum Noir Metallic Markers

Soho Urban Artists Professional Colored Pencils

Soho Urban Artists Professional Colored Pencils