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 Studio Colored Pencils

Derwent Studio Colored Pencils

Derwent Studio Colored Pencils

I've got to say, when looking about the internet; apart from the obvious places, i.e. the Derwent web site, there is not a lot of reviews or information about the Derwent Studio colored pencils, so I had to purchase them and put them through their paces. I will say this, my mind changed a few times about these pencils whilst reviewing them and actually using them. However, I am sure you are happy to learn that I have finally concluded a decision, a decision I will explain to you in this review. 

As I mentioned, for one reason or another, there does not appear to be many reviews of these pencils, and so, rightly or wrongly, I get from this lack of information that the Derwent Studio colored pencils are perhaps not one of Derwent's most popular pencil. So lets get into the specs and results of these pencils 

Derwent Studio and Artists

Derwent have written on the back side of the 24 Studio set the following, "The Studio colour strip is identical to the Artists pencils," which is why both pencils compliment each other so well. When I first read this, I understood this to mean that the core of both the Artists and Studio were identical, however, I think I may be wrong in my interpretation and in fact it may simply mean that the colour pallet for both pencils is identical. 

Never the less, from my own personal testing of the Studio and Artists pencils, I would say that the core texture and level of hardness in both are identical. As a result of this conclusion, I feel that Derwent have indirectly created a similar marriageto that of the Prismacolor Premier and the Prismacolor Verithin, with the Derwent Studio pencils on this occasion playing the part of the Verithin. Of course this is only my own thoughts and at no time have Derwent confirmed this to me. 

Studio Dimensions

As with all Derwent coloured pencils, the Cedar Wood casings have their own distinctly colored barrel and the Studio are no exception, sporting a subtle dark shade of purple. The end of the pencil has been capped, protecting the exposure of the core and the caps have been painted with a flash of color corresponding to the pigment within the core. 

The Studio pencil is hexagonal in shape, which for many artist is a bonus, preventing the pencil from rolling or sliding all over their workstation, particularly those working on slanted drafting boards. Of course the shape will very much be a personal desire, I myself much prefer the feel and balance of the round barrel. 

The barrel therefore is a slender 6.9mm in diameter which opposed to the hefty stockiness of the Derwent Artists 8mm barrel. Not forgetting the Studio core weighing in with a very modest 3.4mm diameter, up against the 4mm core of the Artists. So, I am sure you can see why I compared the Studio, Artists partnership to that of the Prismacolor Premier and Verithin. 

Studio Markings

Along the side of the Studio is embossed in crisp silver leafing explaining the place of manufacture, England the company name in bold, Derwent along with the pencil brand, Studio. Toward the end of the pencil is the name of the color corresponding to the individual pencil, along with a numerical code incase of open stock referencing. For many colored pencil artists, having the name of the color printed on the side of the pencil has always been vital, as opposed to simply leaving it down to the user to determine and remember the color. 

Although Derwent say that the Studio and Artists pencils go hand in hand with one an other, I do find it slightly odd that the largest set in the Studio line is 72, whereas the largest set in the Artist line is a whopping 120 set. This leaves 48 colors unaccounted for should you be using the Artists pencils and Studio together on a project.

The entire line of Derwent Studio colored pencils are, tin sets of 12, 24,36,48 and 72. Derwent also provide beautiful wooden display boxsets of 48 and 72. Along side the sets are smaller blister packs of 6 and not forgetting the open stock nature of the pencils, allowing the artist to replace individual pencils at will, without the need to purchase a new set every time the need arises. 

Derwent Studio Characteristics

As I previously skirted over, the core of the Derwent Studio pencil is very similar, if not identical to the Derwent Artists pencil. The core is a medium to hard waxy consistency, when used with a toothier paper, blending is a dream, as is blending the pigment with solvents. I'm a big fan of the Derwent Artists range, however, at first, when I started to use the Studio pencils, I couldn't really see a point to them but as Ive used them more this notion has faded. Never the less, I can understand the slight confusion towards the Studio line and therefore perhaps the lack of reviews and art work submitted on line with them. 

The Derwent Artists get an almost perfect point when sharpened and maintains this point for quite a time. The Studio pencil is very much the same. So on this bases, I understand the confusion, why purchase the Studio pencils, if the Artists pencils are identical and have a larger color range? In all honesty, I cannot answer this, my own question with any conviction. Perhaps the shape of the Studio may swing the decision for you and if it does, you are still getting an excellent pencil.


I think, perhaps the most confusing and disappointing thing about the Studio pencils is the lightfast rating. Derwent use a scale of 1-8 for their lightfast rating and pencils 6 and above are considered lightfast. 

In the 72 set of Studio pencils, I counted 16 pencils rated lightfast 6 or above from the PDF chart on the Derwent chart. This leaves a disappointing 56 pencils that you could not use on a commissioned piece of art, which is really such a shame because every other aspect of the pencils are wonderful. I have counted this a few times and came up with the same numbers, however, if by some chance I am wrong, please let me know and I will amend my review. I hope that given how good the pencils are in their own right and not put along side the Artists range, I really hope that Derwent try to resolve this problem. 


Of all the Derwent pencils, I can hand on heart say, the Studio pencil is the only line I don't really see a place for, despite the lightfast rating. With every other line in the Derwent family, they serve a purpose, there is a specific job that you may turn to and need such a brand. However, with the Studio I am not so sure. For me personally, a thinner barrel and core to that of the identical Artists pencil does not really swing it for me and primarily because the Derwent Artist pencil holds an amazing point and for a fantastic length of time. Just because the Studio core is .6mm thinner than the Artists, does not negate from the fact that the Artists point for me is one of the best in colored pencils, period. The Studio is a fantastic pencil, but Derwent already produce its equal and in a larger color range.

Don't forget, you can check out my YouTube video review of these pencils and get to see them in action. Or why not check out my video review of the Derwent Artists range.  

Derwent Artists Black And White

Derwent Artists Black And White

Derwent Graphitint

Derwent Graphitint