Prismacolor Colored Pencils Product Comparison
Prismacolor Colored Pencils rate high on the scale of fine art products and come in eight distinct product lines, four of which are briefly reviewed here.
These include Art Stix®, Premier, Lightfast, and Scholar® pencils. Each product line can be used exclusive to the other lines, or mixed to create multiple textures and visual effects.
PrismacolorArt Stix® Colored Pencils
For example, because of its flat and broad surface, Art Stix® are terrific for covering large areas. While similar in shape to a pastel stick, Art Stix® are made of the same quality texture and pigments as Prismacolor pencil leads. Unlike pastels, Art Stix® can be sharpened using a razor or knife, and can even be shaped into a fine point using fine sandpaper or newsprint.
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
The Premier is a line of pencils that comes in 132 different colors, which can be purchased either individually or in a set. Sets come in quantities of 12, 24, 36, 72, 120, and 132. Premier colored pencils are made of rich, high-quality pigment leads, suitable for artists from beginners to professionals.
Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils
The Scholar® line is only sold in sets of 12, 24, 36 and 48 pencils, and is not sold individually. Premier leads are thicker and heavier in weight than Scholar® colored pencils and resist breakage better when dropped. That is particularly an advantage to most beginning artists, who tend to drop their pencils more often than experienced artists.
When a pencil is dropped onto a hard surface, the lead inside the wood encasing easily shatters into small splints of lead. One drop can sometimes damage an entire pencil, which when sharpened will crumble. Because Scholar® colored pencil leads are thinner, they tend to break more easily. However, if you work in an area where the flooring is not made of hard concrete, an occasional drop will probably not do quite as much damage.
Prismacolor Lightfast Colored Pencils
If you are looking for a pencil which will preserve its overall tonal and color quality, especially when exposed to light, the recommended pencil is the Prismacolor Lightfast series. The Lightfast colored pencil line was designed to resist fading even when exposed to light for prolonged periods of time.
Lightfast complies with ASTM D 6901 for light fastness – a standard established by ASTM International, a not-for-profit organization that publishes voluntary consensus standards for materials and products for quality, including the labeling of artists’ colored pencils.
Prismacolor Lightfast colored pencils are sold in 48 rich colors and are made of rich, light-resistant pigments. They can be purchased individually or in sets of 12, 24, and 48.
In the case of Prismacolor colored pencils or any other artist pencils, never use an electric pencil sharpener to sharpen your pencils. Electric pencil sharpeners tend to eat up pencils, as well as shake-up the delicate lead inside the wood casing. If you must use a pencil sharpener, use a sharpener such as the Prismacolor Colored Pencil Sharpener, which is engineered specifically for artist pencils.
Most art students will learn to sharpen their pencils using a straight edge razor or knife – sort of in the style of wood whittling. For safety as well as quality, always hold the pencil away from the body, pointing the pencil point towards the floor while making light, gentle, even shaving strokes. Make sure to rotate the pencil after each shave in order to achieve an evenly sharpened pencil, and never made deep incisions into the pencil. If you require a precisely pointed pencil lead, you can gently sand the exposed wood and pencil lead with a piece of fine sandpaper or newsprint.
Photo Credit: Jiho Jung