View Full Version : Derwent pastel pencils

Spike the Creator
08-05-2018, 05:06 PM
Does anyone know the differences between the formulations of the old and new derwent pencils and how to identify if its old or new. I heard theres three different ones but dont remember what is what and would like to get the newest ones. Also how do these pencils compare to the carbothellos. Im looking to expand my pastel pencil range.

Equus Art
08-06-2018, 01:02 PM
Personally, I love the old Derwents and have literally completed the Internet searching for a vintage set. There are many colors in the old set that they did not duplicate in the new and that saddens me greatly. Some of those colors were my absolute "go tos" and I have not found an exact match for them in any other brand. Close but no cigar.

The older ones are numbered differently and they usually include a letter after the color number on the pencil. The way the end of the pencil is painted with the color on the end is also different. I am not in front of my set right now, so I can't get you the exact specifics, but truly, you won't be getting any of the old formula if you purchase them. Trust me, the old ones are as hard to find as hen's teeth!


08-06-2018, 03:41 PM
The older ones are numbered differently and they usually include a letter after the color number on the pencil.

What Cat said. The old ones had a B, D, and F of each color, with B being the darkest and F the lightest. So

Prussian Blue 35 B
Prussian Blue 35 D
Prussian Blue 35 F

would be three different pencils.

In the newer set, each pencil has a unique name and P-number (the P is just so you can tell your Pastels from your C-number Coloursofts, which have the same color casing). So

Coral P190

The new ones are my favorite pastel pencils, but for an idiosyncratic reason - I use them mostly as watercolor pencils, and haven't found another brand that responds so beautifully to a wet brush.


08-06-2018, 04:53 PM
I have two full sets of the old Derwents plus 10-20 duplicates of several colors of them. I also have a couple full sets of the newer ones. I also have same old Swan Carb-Othellos and new Stabilo Carb-Othello s.

In both brands I like the older formulations best overall, but the new ones are good, too.

In newer Derwent vs. newer Carb-Othello, I feel the Carbs are smoother.

Hope this helps:)

Spike the Creator
08-06-2018, 11:06 PM
All great responses im gonna try to get a
Set by the weekend if i can find a good deal. I really want more colors!!

Equus Art
08-07-2018, 11:50 AM
I have two full sets of the old Derwents plus 10-20 duplicates of several colors of them.

:eek: I am SO jealous!!


Spike the Creator
08-07-2018, 06:10 PM
Of these two which one would you recommend https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000P6YNFW/ref=ox_sc_act_image_2?smid=AY2ANYVC1YIBT&psc=1


Ones in a wood box ones in the tin box not sure if one os newer than the other

Equus Art
08-07-2018, 07:30 PM
Both are the new stock. I can tell by looking at the colored ends. The newer ones have a much smaller color dipped end and they also have that bit of a irregular swirl. The old ones have a larger colored end and it goes up over an inch or so and is completely even.

So I would say, either set, it just depends on the price with shipping and if you want a wooden box.

Old or new, they still remain one of my very favorite pastel pencils. Just wish they hadn't reformulated their color selections.


Spike the Creator
08-07-2018, 08:17 PM
Both are same price

Spike the Creator
08-08-2018, 07:49 AM
Just not sure which case would be better

08-08-2018, 01:11 PM
I loved the old color formulations, although some of the names didn't make sense...you'd have a Chocolate that was deep brown, and a Chocolate that was almost pale grey (D or F). I still have a tiny stub of Burnt Carmine 65D that I will NOT use until I find a color exactly the same. :crying:

The Derwents (old and new) are grittier than CarbOthellos, but then I love Giraults, which are firm and a bit gritty.

Of course, so much depends on your support, touch, and what you already have in your pencil arsenal. Unfortunately (at least for those of us with a cash flow problem and a pastel addiction), they're all good in some way!

08-08-2018, 04:49 PM
I have a full st of the old Derwents (I didn't know there are new ones!) and I like them, but they are a PITA to sharpen, must use xacto knife.

I like the carbothellos better, they are smoother and sharpen better.

The new ones are my favorite pastel pencils, but for an idiosyncratic reason - I use them mostly as watercolor pencils

the new Derwent pastel pencils are water-soluble?

Richard Barrere
08-08-2018, 05:36 PM
"Cash flow problem and pastel addiction." That about sums me up!

Spike the Creator
08-08-2018, 05:47 PM
Money and art doesnt go together lol. I like the carbothellos just want more pencils i have the 60 of those want to supplement it with a new one. Think im gonna get the wood box bc the price is the same as the metal tin. I mostly work on papers like strathmore 400 toned or strathmore 500 charcoal or 400 pastel. Occasionally ill do a piece on pastel bord for commisions

08-08-2018, 06:41 PM
...the new Derwent pastel pencils are water-soluble?

Pastels of every kind (except oil pastels) work wonderfully with water! I often use them like this; give me some soft pastels, a few pastel pencils, my watercolor pencils, and my watercolor/gouache palette and I'm a happy camper!

In fact, I'll often dip a double aught Winsor Newton brush in water, do a couple strokes on a Ludwig or Schmincke...perfect! Pastels used this way tends to have a more gouache (opaque) look than watercolors, but not always.

However, if you're working on a sanded surface, remember not to use your $200. Kolinsky sable brush on it (which I did once in the heat of creation...or wave of total stupidity).


Spike the Creator
08-08-2018, 08:01 PM
Nupastels work fabulously with water as well as the carbothellos. Charcaol mixed with water is very dramatic as well and working dry on wet, wet on dry, or wet stick on dry paper, etc all have unique effects

08-09-2018, 04:29 PM
Here's a chart of all 90 of the old Derwent formula. Ignore the last rows, after the greys, they are a different brand. I don't have the new ones to compare, but the tints were very useful.