Colored Pencil Product Review – Prismacolor Premier

Quality can also be spelled P-r-i-s-m-a-c-o-l-o-r.  (Yes, I know that spells Prismacolor)  And if you’re looking for the highest quality colored pencils, then these are your best bet.  I do create a lot of colored pencil drawings and I’ve used a variety of different brands and hands down, Prismacolor is by far the best around.

The pencils that we are looking at in this product review are the Premier line of Prismacolor pencils.  The Premier line features soft wax much like “B” grades of graphite.  The Verithin line of Prismacolor pencils have harder wax and are similar to “H” grades of graphite.

Prismacolor is made by the reputable maker of art accessories, Sanford out of Illinois, USA.

So, let’s take a closer look at the pencil set…

Features:
1. Nice tin case for the pencils.  (These pencils are so soft, they do need protection from breakage)
2. Soft wax pigment easily spreads over different surfaces
3. Waxy pigment can be thinned with solvent and can be painted and spread over the surface
4. Layered colors build up quickly
5. Huge variety of colors that are sold individually

Cons:
1. Pricey – but hey, you get what you pay for
2. These pencils are so soft that sometimes they break internally making the pencil life shorter
3. Can ruin an electric pencil sharpener

Prismacolor pencils are so soft and behave so much unlike any other colored pencils on the market, that they almost should be their own art medium.  They really do elevate the art of drawing with colored pencils.  When used correctly, Prismacolor drawings can take on the appearance of a painting.  In fact, once layers are built up, the consequential layers are added in a manner similar to translucent glazing techniques used in oil painting.

These pencils are so soft and velvety that almost anyone can be successful with them.

Finished drawings in Prismacolor pencils are vibrant and bright.  Most of the colors are lightfast, but a few are not.  If you’re worried about the lightfastness, Prismacolor makes a set that features only its lightfast colors.

So, let’s take a look at the pencil in action…

Here’s where you can pick some up for less than at the local art store…
Prismacolor Premier Colored Woodcase Pencils, 12 Assorted Colors/set

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Assorted Colors, 24 Pencils

Sanford Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil Set, 48/Tin

Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils, 150 Colored Pencils

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  • ANONYMOUS!!!!!!

    Ugh, I want this so bad but it’s so damn expensive

  • ANON

    This reviewer doesn’t seem to have ever worked with any other professional grade pencils if they say this pencil is unlike any other pencils on the market… You arn’t looking hard enough. It just so happens that there are many more professional brands of colored pencil, many with greater quality than prismacolors, that work very similarly to this brand. This article is about 4 years old, but still, you might have wanted to put more time into looking for different brands that are actually professional, than just calling this one the greatest simply because you compare it to “casual” brands…

  • thevirtualinstructor

    Hello Anon! Thanks for your comment! I have actually used lots of professional quality colored pencils. You may want to take some time and actually look around the site. This page is focused on Prismacolor. It is a specific review of the brand. Some people don’t like them and that’s fine, but they are my favorite pencils. But thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts.

  • Kitty Cattie

    Hi,
    Great review! My aunt is looking for great dark color pencils for her adult coloring book. Do you think Prismacolor Premier is a good choice for her?
    Also, what are some other professional color pencil brands in the market that you recommend?
    Thank you.

  • Aiam

    I bought these due to a recommendation in a book and have been really disappointed because on certain colors the tips keep breaking when I try and sharpen them. I’ve tried a number of different sharpeners with no luck – do you have any recommendations on this? Right now I’m just super frustrated and really regretting their purchase ~