View Full Version : Which Coloured Pencils are best for beginners??

11-10-2002, 03:35 AM
:confused: Hi i am just starting out in colour pencil and i am totally confused and mind boggled.Can you give me some suggestions and advice on choosing the coloured pencils.I ahve been looking at the following brands: Primsacolour,Carandache,Derwent,Brynzeel,Rembrandt and Stabilo,any feed back on any of these products would be so welcomed.Also when you are starting out what size set is more versatile to use.I am also looking at buying some books and kits from Anne Kullberg and Pat Averill,so im not sure on the size of the colour range needed or if all the different brands are colour compatibale.
I really appreciate your time and help as i admire all of your works so very much and it is quite overwhelming for a beginner ...or should i say a yet to beginner!!!!


11-10-2002, 08:02 AM
Dear Moo,

Of course everybody has their personal taste, but I haven't heard many complaints about Prismacolor, plus they are readily available as open stock (individual pencils, rather than a set). So you can buy a set to start with, and add individual colors as you need them or when the originals get used up.

Somebody in this forum (Colleen) has been using the new Van Gogh lightfast pencils too, which she likes very much. Those are not yet available in open stock.

If you go with Caran d'Ache, stick with the Pablo line, or if you want watercolor pencils, the Supracolor line. Pablos are available as open stock. I thought the Supracolors were too, but now that I'm trying to find the open stock, I can't.

I'm really not fond of the other brands I've tried. My personal recommendation would be that you stick with Prismacolor to begin with. They're a sort of "industry standard".


11-10-2002, 08:07 AM
Good advice from Jamie... I concur.

11-10-2002, 09:48 AM
I use Faber Castel Polychromos and Brynzeel's almost excluesivley They (as well as the Carandache) are oil based and have none of the wax bloom problems that Primacolors have.
I'm sure someone will eventually point you to the "stickys" at the top of the forum for more info. You can also look under Community for product reviews as well.


11-10-2002, 10:26 AM
I'd recommend picking one brand and buying a set of at least 48 colors in that brand. The set is a more economical option for starting out. I'd also recommend getting a brand that is available in open stock so you can replace as needed. I'd say that Faber Castell Polychromos, Derwent Studios or Sanford Prismacolors are the best option. They represent the most popular three brands and are available in open stock.

Personally, I'd recommend Prismacolors for a couple of reasons.

1) Most instruction books and guides are going to list Prismacolor colors, so if you have Prismas, you know exactly what color they are using or talking about.

2) Prismas are widely available and are also easy to buy and sell on places like ebay (good for getting cheap sets or getting rid of your pencils if you don't like them).

3) Prismas have become a sort of "standard" in colored pencils, so they are a good starting point. The color lays on nicely and there is a wide selection of color. If you branch out into other pencils the Prismas are a good standard of comparison for the new pencils.

Regardless of what you choose, just be sure to go with an artist grade pencil. Also, make sure to have decent paper.

There is a Colored Pencil Hall of Fame forum that has lots of information. I'd recommend the thread called "What's your favorite surface to work on" for information on paper. There are several threads regarding supplies. If you don't want to buy a full set of pencils, then I recommend the reading the thread called "Must Have Colors?" that has a list of some of our favorite colors and brands that we use a lot. :)

Welcome to Wetcanvas!!! :D

11-10-2002, 10:50 AM
Funny, I know this has been discussed ad naseum but I can't find the thread(s) that discuss this in detail...maybe it was in another thread...

I insist that my students pick up a set of 48 Prismacolor pencils and fill in with the following colors.

Black grape
Slate Grey
Cool Grey 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%
French Grey 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%
Colorless Blender Pencil
Colorless Marker

And to learn what go read the hall of fame like elankat said...

Make sure at the bottom when you open it up to Click on the see thread from the last ........and pick the beginning so you see all threads...

11-10-2002, 12:18 PM
Arlene thanks for the information about the extra colours.I also took your advice and Elankat's and headed for the Coloured Pencil
Hall of Fame.Alot of great reading and i have absorbed your colour comparison charts as well.

11-10-2002, 12:21 PM
Wow Elankat thank you for so much information.You have dfinately answered my queries about if most books etc use Primsacolour.I suppose once you become use to it all then you can use your knowledge and subsitute colours,but it helps so much knowing some kind of starting point.

11-10-2002, 12:24 PM
Twyla nice to hear a different point of experience. I will also look at product reviews as well.If its not to much trouble can you explain what you mean about the wax bloom problems please?

11-10-2002, 12:31 PM
thanks for so much information and taking the time to explain it all. Another new set of pencils on the market a beginners mind is boggling even more!!!!! Have you had any of the wax bloom problems that Twyla mentioned?
Thanks Again

11-10-2002, 12:41 PM
i have just visited your website and i am so in awe of the way in which you have captured the essence and the spirit of the horse.Do you think that the beautiful shine that you get on your horse's coats are due to using an oil based pencil?
Fantastic words cant do your work justice.

11-10-2002, 02:26 PM
Hi moo67,

I own and work with all of the brands of colored pencils available.
As a teacher, I use and speak Prismacolor, for all of the same reasons stated here by the others.

I recommend spending about $6.00 for a set of Sanford's Col-erase pencils. They are great for laying out your drawing in color without introducing graphite as a color and...they are erasable!
They are not for coloring since the colors are pale and hard, but they allow you to draw and adjust your composition without scaring your expensive paper. The pencils have erasers on the end.

Happing coloring.

11-10-2002, 05:19 PM
gorilla thanks for that advice...cause it's just what I did after our discussion, went out and bought the col-erase pencils and used them for the drawing i just started. It does make a big difference, and I put it in my list of supplies for my students.

11-10-2002, 05:55 PM
Hi Moo and welcome to WC! :)
Not too sure where you are in Oz but there is a place in Maroochydore QLD who sell Prismas. I think the addy is in the Hall of Fame.

11-10-2002, 10:56 PM
Thanks moo. Wax bloom is when the wax in wax based pencils like Prisma's come to the surface and cloud the image. You then need to wipe it off and spray you drawing with a fixatif to prevent it from happening again. I had this happen really badly with a large piece and even after spraying it repetadly it still came back. It was very noticealbe because it was a very dark horse. But I still do have some Prismas but I like the oil based better.

Thank you for the comments on my work. No the shiny horses are more from how they are drawn not what they were drawn with. :D :D

11-11-2002, 10:05 AM
Thanks Gorilla for that info especially about the Colour-Erase pencils...hey here i was thinking that i wouldnt need such a thing,no doubt i will.Now it is ordering some and getting started.

11-11-2002, 10:08 AM
Te Anne,
thank you for the welcome i am in Brissy. Do you know the name of the place at Maroochydore or do you know if they are on the net at all.Really love your work and all the great things you do on WC.

11-11-2002, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by moo67
Te Anne,
thank you for the welcome i am in Brissy. Do you know the name of the place at Maroochydore or do you know if they are on the net at all.Really love your work and all the great things you do on WC.

*ugh* Took me ages but I found it. :)

The Stanford Prismacolour Pencils,

Speak to Ronald Key from
Sunshine Coast Art Supplies,
Ph: 00 61 7 5479 5933 Fax: 00 61 07 5479 5934
(Australia is 61 international code)
Address: 94 Aerodrome Road,
Queensland 5448
Email Address: [email protected]
I am sure he will do a credit card transaction for you and will post them to you
- it will be a lot cheaper than America. Once you work out the exchange etc.

11-11-2002, 10:31 AM
Wow your a speedy replier you must be an octopus to be so versatile.I will get in contact with them.I did look at buying through the states as they were so mucher cheaper even after converting but the thing that sent it through the roof was the cost of postage.I have been reading a thread about the colour fastness of the different brands and have seen alot of talk about the Van Gough pencil line do we have them in Oz as yet,would you know?

11-11-2002, 12:25 PM
Again I'd suggest you read through all the threads in the Hall of fame Moo as even Teannes information is up there about the stores.

There is such a wealth of info up there, and I'll be adding more threads as I find them...and eventually leanne will be making a table of contents.