Derwent Lightfast 100 Set v Caran d'Ache Luminance 76 Set
Derwent Lightfast 100 Set v Caran d'Ache Luminance 76 Set
In this article I must let you know right from the get go that this is not really a review or comparison of the pencils performance. I have already completed a comparison review of the Derwent Lightfast and the Care d’Ache Luminance coloured pencils, however, when I completed my comparison it was when Derwent had only released the Lightfast 36 set.
This article however is more of a comparison relating to the palettes of both sets, now that Derwent have released their full count of Lightfast pencils which is the 100 set, I wanted to compare the palettes of the 100 Lightfast and the 76 Luminance. I have been asked many times before as to which set I think is the best, the Derwent Lightfast or the Caran d’Ache Luminance and I have to say I think it is an almost impossible question to answer.
What I think is the best set may not actually help you as a colored pencil artist if you enjoy a particular genre of colored pencil art. I will however say this, both the Luminance and the Lightfast pencils work beautifully together, there is no issues whatsoever when using both pencils whether it be blending colors or layering etc.
Of course the ideal situation for a colored pencil artist to be in would be to own both sets, this would allow the artist to have a wonderful palette of 176 pigments, all of which can be used in a professional piece for a client or gallery. Every single color in both sets can be used with confidence, measuring your client that the piece you create for them will stand the test of time regarding fading under sun light. This is turn will allow you the artist to price your work accordingly and thus reap back the costs of two such sets of pencils.
Until recently, the Caran d’Ache Luminance were pretty much kind of the hill when it came to colored pencil artists go to pencil. When Derwent released the ProColour only three years ago, they met with a few complaints from professional colored pencil artists and so only a year later Derwent had offered up the Derwent Lightfast. Frustratingly they only released a 36 set and we all had to wait with anticipation for a full year before the 72 set was presented. If that wasn’t bad enough, we were made wait another few months for the full 100 set to go on sale. I am not altogether sure why this was the case, however, Derwent have tried to soften the blow by selling the second 36 colors in a 72 tin allowing those who purchased the first 36 to build their collection without having to buy duplicates. But now that the Lightfast is with us in all its glory, the Caran d’Ache Luminance at last has a worthy adversary.
Derwent Lightfast 100 Colors
I have provided a full color chart of the Derwent Lightfast as well as color swatches with the full set so that you can click on the image and enlarge it, viewing at your leisure. In this particular article you will notice that I have included a lot of images, color charts, swatches and the actual pencils, this is simply to give you the opportunity to explore the palette in the best possible way without you having to actually buy the pencils yourself. I hope to arm you with all the information and visual aids you will need to make your final decision.
Caran d’Ache Luminance 76 Colors
As with the Derwent Lightfast set above, I have provide for you the full color chart, swatch and images of the pencils to help you see what is available in the set.
Creating Softer Tones With Derwent Lightfast
One of the questions that was put to me by a friend of mine here in the community was the lack of soft pinks for botanical art. After I swatched the Derwent Lightfast 100 set, it was clear to see that there wasn’t a lot of soft pinks in the set, however I was able to demonstrate in the video review how this can be accomplished. I know that the friend who asked me this question originally will fully know and understand the process, but for those who might be new to the world of colored pencils.
In the Derwent Lightfast 100 set, they have some very pale pigments such as the Arctic which is essentially a white pencil with a hint of blue and the Oyster color which is a white pencil with the slightest hint of pink. When colored pencil artists layer colors and then they want to blend those colors together, they will either use Odourless Mineral Spirits, a blender pencil or a white colored pencil. For the result we are looking for with this example, I want to use some pinks and reduce the tone of them, so using a white pencil will achieve this effect for us, however, sometimes the white can be too much. This is were the Oyster pencil comes in, I took a Lightfast Magenta and Lightfast Heather, lay down a few layers of each color and then layered the Oyster on top with a heavy hand to help blend the colors.
In the image below you can see the how the Oyster reduces the tone of the Heather and Magenta and this can be achieved with working and reworking pigments, the white pencil of a lighter shade of pink such as the Oyster, Dusky Pink or Flesh Pink.
The Lightfast That Got Away
I was incredibly fortunate to have been sent the Derwent Lightfast Colored Pencils to test long before they were released to the public, however, now that the full 100 set is out, it turns out that one color in particular never made the cut. In the YouTube video I have made to accompany this article I show the pencil and use it, however, as this was very early on in the Lightfast life cycle, there was no pigment names on the barrel, so I have no idea what the color is called nor do I know why this pigment was dropped and never sold.
The image below shows the color swatched on some Hot Press Watercolour paper, however, as I have mentioned to see the actual pencil and it being used follow the link to see the video.
Derwent Lightfast White v Caran d’Ache Luminance White
The Caran d’Ache White pencil has always been considered one of if not thee most opaque white colored pencil about; however, the Derwent Drawing Chinese White colored pencil was considered a very close second. It is fair to say that a lot of colored pencil artists felt the Derwent Drawing white to be the more opaque and the Luminance white to be the close second, which only helps demonstrate that there really is no hard and fast rule in the world of art, it is very much a subjective world.
The Derwent Lightfast White however is a very different white compared to its sister white of the Derwent Drawing. The Derwent Drawing white is a much softer core and so some would agree helps to deliver a more opaque result. Regardless, in this demonstration I have swatched the Derwent Lightfast White and the Caran d’Ache Luminance White side by side so that you can be the judge and see what you feel is the more opaque of the two.
To my eye, the Caran d’Ache Luminance looks the more opaque of the two, but you be the judge and let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Derwent Lightfast and Caran d’Ache Luminance Full Set Conclusion
There is no doubt about it, if you are a professional colored pencil artist, to own both the Derwent Lightfast 100 set and the Caran d’Ache Luminance 76 would be incredibly advantageous to you and the quality of work you provide for potential clients. The reason I say this is because, as I previously mentioned, you would have at your access 176 colors with the correct lightfast value and able to use them all. There are some professional colored pencil sets that when you buy them, perhaps a handful of pencils are below the required lightfast scale and unfortunately you are unable to use them. So this requires the artist to set this pencils to the side and not use them in commissioned pieces. the artist can of course use them for other projects, but just not ones destined for a customer or gallery.
If however, you are just unable to purchase both sets, perhaps you are an amazing colored pencil artist just starting out and you need to see a few wonderful masterpieces before getting both full sets, you can buy open stock pencils and build you collection this way. there are certain genres of art that are just not going to need certain colors, Landscape art will require a select palette, as will wildlife art, botanical art, marine wildlife art etc.
If you are a dedicated botanical artist you are going to know the colors you use most and can’t live without and so with both the Derwent Lightfast and Caran d’Ache Luminance, you can pick and chose the colors that are going to best fit your needs.
With regards to answering the question, “Is on set better than the other?”, I just think that is a question only you can answer, because the correct question is, which set is better for my style of art? and only you know the answer. All I can try to do is provide you with all the information pertaining to both sets and hopefully this will help you best decide your next move.
To see my full review on the Derwent Lightfast pencils follow this link to see my review on the Caran d’Ache Luminance you can follow this link and to see my comparison review of the Luminance and Lightfast pencils you can follow this link. Also to see my YouTube video on comparing both Lightfast and Luminance Palettes follow the link.