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Monday, 20 July 2015

Comparing Derwent Pencils to Derwent Pencils

I had a very interesting discussion about coloring pencils with someone recently. It got me really curious about one range of Derwent pencils I had not tried yet - the Studio pencils. I had a blister set in store and opened it to find out more. What a lovely pencil! I then decided to test it next to more ranges by Derwent. If you've been wondering which pencils to buy then this blog is a must-read!


I only had this small blister set to test and have never bothered before because I have such lovely full sets at my disposal. I opened this set of Studio pencils and tested it on a drawing pad.


As always, I started with a color test. I lay down a blend of each color and then hatch and cross-hatch the same color to see how well it fills the space using these two widely varying methods. I found they responded very well and gave clear, crisp color. I then wrote each color's name in its own lead, aside from yellow. Notice how clean the lines are in the writing. Derwent promotes these pencils on the fact that it will give you such a fine line. I am duly impressed.


Here is a close-up shot.


I now wanted to see if I could get a good visual mix if I hatched and cross-hatched two different colors on top of each other. I started with the red.


I cross-hatched the red with blue. This is not a brilliant visual blend. However, the fact that the colors retain their own identity can be used to your advantage in drawing as well.


I then blended the same two colors. This time the result was a definite blend. Can you see the purple?


I took a paper stump to the first mix and it gave me the very faint beginnings of purple.


When I took the same paper stump to the bottom blend, it responded with enthusiasm, virtually blossoming purple on the page.


 Notice how I managed to lay down the pencil using the paper stump only.


I laid down a bit of green and washed it with water using a Pentel Aquash Brush. I did not expect much since these pencils are not meant to be soluble. What was my surprise when the color lifted and spread wherever my brush dragged it! Very nice indeed!


 Next, I made a gradated shading, testing how feint or intense the pencil could be applied. That was when it occurred to me to put my other Derwent pencils to the same test. I wrote their names next to the test results to make it easier to distinguish. Here is the order:




I drew clumps of hair/grass with the same pencils to test the sharpness of the lines. I have to agree that the Studio pencils do give the finest line.


Here is an overview of the two tests side by side.


Here you can see the five pencils that were tested.


I had actually finished the test, but decided that I wanted to test two more sets that I had in stock. The first to be tested was Faber-Castell's Goldfaber Studio pencils.


I was caught off-guard by how easily the color applied to the paper. However, I did manage a belated feint shading.  Very nice!


I found that it made a fine line that compared very well with that of Derwent's version. Very nice once again!


The last set was not really in the same league as the others as it is not intended for the professional market, but rather at scholars. I like the triangular shape of these Koh-I-Noor Hadtmuth pencils which makes it easier for clumsy hands to get a grip on them.


It is not a bad pencil, but not quite up to par with the rest.



The results of the day's testing on one page.


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