Derwent Procolour Pencils Review.

Hi all! And welcome to my first art product review..

Over the past week I have tried out Derwent’s Procolour coloured pencils. They were released last year (2017) and I think they are somewhere in between a wax based and oil based pencil. They definitely seem like a mix between the two. I have really loved and enjoyed using these pencils but there are a few bad points I’d like to talk about too. so let’s start from the beginning..

I bought these pencils last summer when they first became available from the . Which is an amazing place to buy your coloured pencils from by the way, as the shop is run by a fellow coloured pencil artist Emma Kerridge, you can purchase coloured pencils as open stock as well as full sets. You get amazing service and quick delivery so definitely check her site out! I always buy my open stock pencils from her!

Anyway.. I couldn’t wait to use them so I tried them out first in conjunction with my Luminance And Polychromos on my drawing Butterfly Garden and I thought they worked beautifully with other brands of coloured pencils. This week I decided I wanted to put these guys to the test and draw a full picture just using the Procolours, And here are some of the things I liked and disliked about them..

Things I liked:

  • I found that they blended very smoothly using OMS (odourless mineral spirits) on the paper I chose for this project. Strathmore 100lb Bristol Vellum. I am actually quite surprised how many layers I was able to achieve! So I will definitely be using this paper a lot in the future.
  • The darker colours in the range are very opaque so you get a nice smooth lay down of pigment. (Not including the greys and blacks).
  • You get lots of beautiful colours and tones in the 72 set of Procolours. I have nearly completed a whole piece using just the procolours and I haven’t needed to grab any of my other brands for the colour I need. You can definitely complete a full piece with just these pencils and a few colour mixing skills.
  • They keep a point really well! I tried different sharpeners out on these pencils and had very little breakage! The only time I did have one break is on one pencil after I dropped it on the floor, and that was unfortunately, my fault.
  • they erase very easily! I found that when I made a mistake I could erase the pencil to near enough white paper again! Obviously not after I added OMS to it though. The OMS breaks any pigment down and sort of stains it to the paper.
  • They are not too expensive! You can actually purchase the full set over on Amazon for about £85 at the moment.. be careful though as I have had a lot of art supplies damaged when they have arrived from Amazon! You are probably better off paying a little bit more and having your pencils guaranteed to arrive safely.

Things I disliked:

  • As I mentioned above, the black pencil in the set in my opinion, is Rubbish, and the grey tones aren’t much better. They just don’t seem to be very opaque and take a lot of layers of pencil to get a little coverage.
  • The white pencil is near enough useless on the smooth paper I chose for my drawing. The other day I had to switch to my white Derwent Drawing Chinese White in the end as I just wasn’t achieving the look I wanted. I have tried the white pencil on Clairefontaine Pastelmat though and it works a lot better! It’s abit like the Faber Castell Polychromos white. Useless on smooth paper but brilliant on a sanded surface!
  • I found that the lighter colours in the set are very translucent and it takes a lot longer than other pencils I have got to get a nice even visible coverage with them. But, if your patient with them like I have been on my macarons and keep layering light pencil over one another you will end up with a nice smooth finish!
  • Only about half of these pencils are lightfast. So if you are selling your work, I recommend checking out the lightfast ratings on Derwents website here to see which colours won’t fade after a few years of being in direct sunlight. I personally don’t worry too much about lightfastness on most of my work at the moment as they are going in a portfolio and I won’t be selling them, only prints. But now I am starting to take on commissions I will be being more careful with the colours I choose.
  • I found that some colours, only two so far for me, but especially turquoise green had little dark scratchy bits that came out on my paper, sort of like a tiny bit of graphite in with the pigment. Easily rubbed out, but annoying.
Some of the scratchy lines that came out of the turquoise green pencil.

So, I think that’s about all of my pros and cons for these coloured pencils. I don’t think we will ever find a pencil that we can honestly say is absolutely perfect with no faults! So on that note, these pencils are actually really good and I will definitely be completing more pieces with them in the future. If you are thinking of buying a set, I just recommend buying a black Polychromos pencil and a white Luminance or Prismacolor to add to your set!

The photo I am using for my reference on my drawing this week is from Pixabay so if you like it you can go and check it out and draw it yourself. You will find it under a search for macarons.

If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask. If you want to see more of my artwork and work in progress shots then please go check out my Facebook page and Instagram and maybe even give them a like! ☺️

Thanks for reading!


1 Comment

  1. I too purchased these as soon as they were available as I loved the subtlety of the colours. I can back you up 100% on the problems with the light colours though. They do not cover well at all and I suspect I will be relegating these to ‘pencils I do not use often’. Overall though I love these pencils.

    Liked by 1 person

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