Derwent Lightfast, ProColour, Coloursoft and Artists Comparison Test
Derwent Lightfast, ProColour, Coloursoft and Artists Comparison Test.
I am often asked, what the difference is between a certain group of pencils, which I am always happy to answer and love being able to help people out. So, I thought that there might be a demand for a series of videos exclusive to comparing certain pencils against other pencils.
Without doubt, one such group of pencils I am frequently asked about is the Derwent Lightfast, ProColour, Artists and Coloursoft coloured pencils. I think in fairness, this might have to do with the fact that in the past two years, Derwent have released two new lines of pencils; the ProColour and Lightfast, both pencils becoming really popular among the coloured pencil community.
I have of course already completed fully detailed reviews individually of the pencils used in this test, so if after reading this article or watching the YouTube speed drawing of the test, you can check out the individual reviews.
All I have done is sketched a botanical piece and then traced it, I copied the image four times on the one piece of paper and recorded the drawing process for you to see. Because the video is sped up, I have also included close up images of the final drawings. The paper I used was the Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate, this way all four pencils have been tested on the same paper.
When completing each drawing I tried my best to use exactly the same colours from each set, however not all sets had the same colours, so I used the closest colors I could find. Below I have broke down my experience with each pencil, but I must emphasis that this is purely based on my personal opinion and my own drawing technique, none of which is the only way of drawing or concluding outcomes.
I started the first drawing with the Derwent Coloursoft, with all these pencils, I have used them extensively on other projects, but using them in this capacity really makes one see the tiny differences and similarities otherwise missed.
When using the Coloursoft I did notice that the cores continually broke on me, this however may have had more to do with heavy handed approach than the actual core of the Derwent Coloursoft pencil. The laying down of the Coloursoft was really smooth, and when all four images were complete, it was easy to see just how rich and vibrant the pigment was against the other pencils, especially the greens.
Blending and burnishing was slightly harder with the coloursoft due to the incredibly soft core, applying pressure often resulted in the core snapping, however, it is that beautiful soft core that makes blending effortless and delivering gorgeous results.
I have always said that what I love about the Procolour is the fact it falls directly in between the Derwent Artists and Derwent Coloursoft. The Procolour core is not quite as hard as the Artists and not quite as soft as the Coloursoft. For those artists who find the Coloursoft too soft and the Artists too hard, the Procolour is the pencil for you.
When using the Procolour on this test, the Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate took a lot of layers from the Procolour. Although the Procolour, Coloursoft and Artists are all wax based pencils, they are a perfect example of how wax, doesn’t automatically mean a soft cored pencil.
As with the Coloursoft, there was a beautiful range of greens in the set. I was able to blend really well without the core snapping, the procolour held up well to my heavy handed approach.
Another important factor during this test is the set sizes, the Derwent Procolour, Coloursoft and Artist I used were from 72 sets, but of course the Artists also come in a 120 set, as opposed to the Lightfast’s 36. We are supposed to be getting an extra 36 Lightfast pencils in 2019 when further pigments have passed the Lightfast tests. Selecting colours for this test from the Lightfast 36 set was challenging, however, due to the Lightfast’s amazing quality, I was able to accomplish what I needed for the test.
Not really relevant to this test but certainly to those with a set of Derwent Artists who don’t use them, you should definitely try the Artists range on some pastlemat paper or some UART paper with the Brush And Pencil kit. I know mostly oil based pencils are preferred for this type of colored pencil work, however due to the hard core of the Artists they work wonderfully with this technique.
During this test I was able to apply many layers on the Strathmore 500 Series Bristol Plate and I think this paper lends itself so well to layering due to the 100% cotton makeup of the paper. the pigment os the Derwent Artist range is slightly more saturated than the other pencils in the test, however it is because of this that layering works so well with this pencil.
Final Test Results Of The Derwent Lightfast, Coloursoft, Artists and Procolour Range
I think the saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, really applies to art, after I completed this test I asked my wife and kids to select their favourite drawing and why they chose that particular one. They all chose different images, so it is very much up to you, the viewer as to which pencil you think has performed the best, or perhaps that is the wrong way of looking at the test, more the one you prefer.
to see the individual reviews of the pencils used in this comparison test, simply follow the relevant links, Derwent Procolour, Derwent Coloursoft, Derwent Artists and Derwent Lightfast. Also each drawing in the images has been competed and recorded in a speed drawing on my YouTube video, to see the video simply follow the links.