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You may have noticed from my Instagram page that I’ve been experimenting with coloured pencils in my journal. I’ve been on the hunt for a set of pencils that exactly meets my needs and have ended up with several brands on my quest to find my perfect set!
I thought it might be useful to share my findings so have created a spread that tests 4 brands of pencil. Each set had 24 pencils, (I only had the set of 12 for Crayola but have marked as if it were a set of 24).
Each will be marked out of ten for the following 5 categories:
- Storage Tin – for me the case is important, I prefer a tin so that I can easily see what colours I have and how they compare against others in the set. No Tin = 5 points, Tin = 10 points.
- Smoothness – I want a pencil that glides over the page smoothly. Scored from 0 (super scratchy) to 10 (uber smooth).
- Colour range – the 24 pencils in the set should cover a broad range of colours. It is so irritating when pencils in a small set are very close in colour to each other! Scored out of 10 (10 having the broadest range).
- Intensity – I love bright colours. If I want a muted tone I can press lightly, but would like to be able to create a pop of intense colour if I desire. Scored out of 10 (10 having the most intense colour potential).
- Price – The four sets were ranked by price (for 24 pencils). 10 given for cheapest set, then 8, 6, and 4 (4 for most expensive).
The points were then tallied to give a total score out of 50 for each set.
The Contenders: (prices correct at time of purchase – September 1st 2018)
- Faber-castle Polychromos* – set of 24 – £23.64
- Staedtler Mars Noris Colour* – set of 24 – £3.25
- Derwent Academy* – set of 24 – £9.35
- CrayolaCrayolaCrayola* – set of 24 – £5.49 (NB: set of 12 demonstrated in the colour wheel)
Using the Oops a Daisy Circle Stencil I created a colour wheel to showcase each of the ranges included. As you can see from the image below there is a real contrast in the intensity of the colours produced and the range of colours within the set.
The winners and losers category by category:
- Tin – only two of the sets came in a tin, the Faber-castle Polychromos and the Derwent Academy. Both of these were awarded 10 points. Staedtler and Crayola therefore scored 5 points each in this category.
- Smoothness – The Polychromos glided across the page and were a dream to colour with. They were awarded 9 out of 10. The scratchiest by far were the Derwent Academy pencils. hugely disappointed with these! They got 2/10.
- Colour range – The Polychromos again hit top of the shop with a gorgeous range of distinct colours (9/10). Staedtler and Derwent both had a couple of pencils with almost identical tone so shared joint bottom spot (7/10).
- Price – The Polychromos were most expensive, being over double the price of the next priced set. Staedtler were the least expensive, a seventh of the price of the Polychromos!
- Colour intensity – Another top spot for the Poloychromos but this time shared with Crayola (which are a fraction of the price). Bottom spot goes to the Derwent Academy pencils which despite trying I could not get an intense colour out of.
The Faber Castle Polychromos took the top spot with 41/50. These pencils are a joy to colour with, plus the fab tin makes storage easy. My perfect pencils!
Crayola were next in line with a fab 39/50 and a quarter of the price of the number one pencils. These would definitely be my best budget buy.
Staedtler Mars took the number 3 spot. I actually really liked these pencils, the lack of a storage tin cost them the number 2 spot.
Bottom of the list were the Derwent Academy pencils, I was disappointed with these guys. Scratchy to write with and colour not intense enough for me. Derwent do have a huge range of pencils available and I wonder if the Academy brand might not be the best of their ranges. Also, if you are a fan of a muted tone then they might be more up your street!
NB: The scores above are my personal opinion. I have not been sponsored by any of the brands included.