My review today focuses on the popular Derwent Graphitint range, the range is relatively small in numbers, however the colours are to die for and unsurpassed by many other watersoluable pencils on the market; but are they worth the investment? are you likely to use them on a painting and are they a quality product? lets find out.
To begin with, the specifics of the medium should be covered, closely followed by the performance. Unfortunately, and I use the term unfortunately due to the delectable colour palette, there are only twenty four colours in the Derwent Graphitint range. However, this is another case of be careful what you wish for, if this range, as is the same issue with the Derwent Drawing Range, was increased, then you would start to lose the absolute uniqueness of the colour range, turning both sets into ordinary run of the mill pencil sets.
Derwent Graphitint Prices
Although the range is small, as I have mentioned, all good things come in small packages, or in this version of the saying, all good things come in small quantity. I have provided a price list for this wonderful set of pencils in the UK, US and Europe. The prices are taken from Amazon and check the prices periodically in order to ensure you guys are getting the best prices available should you decide to purchase directly from The Art Gear Guide links.
Here in the UK, it is worth mentioning that you can buy these direct from Derwent's Website, or if you are lucky enough to visit the most beautiful place of Earth, here in the Lakes, you can visit Derwent's Pencil Museum and pick up the pencils inside the museum shop, they always have amazing sales and deals.
Here in the uk, the blister pack of 6 will cost £8.75, a set of 12 Graphitint will cost £9.59 and the 24 set will cost you £32, you can also purchase the pencils open stock for approximately £2.60. Derwent also sell drums of 72 inside which you get 72 Graphitint pencils obviously with colours duplicated, however the prices for the drums vary a lot.
In the US, at the time of writing this I couldn't locate the blister pack of 6 prices on Amazon.com, the set of 12 will cost $24 and the 24 set, the largest set will cost $39.69 and an Open Stock Graphitint pencil will cost $2.31.
in Europe, for the set of 12 Derwent Graphitint it will cost €17 and for the 24 set it will cost €38.31 and for the open stock pencils €2.31.
The pencils themselves are well proportioned with an amble 8mm, excellent quality, Cedar wood barrel. The core is deceptively dancing with a 4mm shaft of pigment, the reasons for my vague description will become clear during the performance section of this review.
Along the gunmetal coloured barrel of the Graphitint pencil, reading from core tip to end cap is the location of the production; England. Next is the name of the company; Derwent, closely followed by the name of the pencil brand; Graphitint, after which is a small icon depicting a paintbrush, indicating to the user that they are using a watersoluable pencil. Further toward the end of the barrel is the name of the colour corresponding to that pencil, beside which is a number, should the artist wish to order that particular pencil individually in open stock. Finally the end cap is painted with a flash of colour, which corresponds to the pigment in the core. The end cap is completely covered, which means the core of the pencil is not exposed.
Derwent Graphitint Colour Range
I don't normally list the colours in my written reviews, mainly because I can review sets that have 120 colours in them. This set however only has 24, but the colours are so gorgeous and even the names given to the colours will push your inspiration along. I have listed the colours in the order I have tested them and activated them in on the Derwent Watercolour pad for this swatch.
Storm, Russet, Warm Grey, Slate Green, Chestnut, Cocoa, Port, Juniper, Meadow, Green Gray, Steel Blue, Sage, Cool Brown, Cloud Grey, Cool Grey, Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, Shadow, Mountain Grey, Dark Indigo, Aubergine, Autumn Brown, Ivy and White.
As I have mentioned, the Derwent Graphitint range are a watersoluable pencil which can be used as a conventional dray pencil medium, but should not necessarily be used in this way due to the muted colours. As you can see from the swatch above, the colours dry can be viewed as similar, that is until you activate them with water. Once activated, these colours are explosive, yet sophisticated and classically rich.
I would certainly say that the Derwent Graphitint would be more beneficial for landscape artists or wildlife artists. I think if portraiture is your genre, this is not the set for you with regards your area of expertise. However, despite this pigeon holing of the Derwent Graphitint, I think given their inexpensive price tag and their largest set being twenty four, I really think every artist should have a set in their arsenal.
Graphitint Lightfast Rating
Lightfastness is a very important factor for all artists, including coloured pencil artists, Derwent seem to take this matter very seriously and have certainly done an excellent job with the Graphitint range. Derwent range their products on a scale of 0-8 for lightfastness, with 6 and above being considered very lightfast. In the 24 set of Derwent Graphitint, 19 of them are rated 6 and above, which is an excellent ratio in my opinion.
For my youtube video review of the Derwent Graphitint range, follow this link.
Derwent Graphitint Conclusion
I am not going to mince my words here, as with the Derwent Drawing range, I absolutely love this particular range of pencils. Derwent as a company are producing some of the most versatile products on the market at the minute, the Drawing and Graphitint ranges may not have a large number of colours in their sets, but the colours they do have will be difficult to find in other sets, making them a unique brand of pencils. After talking to a Derwent representative about this very issue, they confirmed what I and many others have already said, to increase the sets to 48, 72 or 120, would be to make them the same as any other set of watersoluable pencils out there, and that is not what Derwent, or their customers want.
So to answer the questions at the beginning of this review, Are you likely to use them on a painting? In my opinion, the Graphitint range are a must for landscape artists, with rich earthy tones and the same for wildlife artists. Artists more inclined to paint portraits would perhaps not benefit from this particular range. Are they a quality product? Absolutely. One thing I have noticed in my time reviewing Derwent products, quality control is most certainly not an issue.