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Who makes the best colored pencils?

 
 
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 08:25 pm
What brand of colored pencils is best?

What makes it better than the others?
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 08:33 pm
@boomerang,
Ask Realjohnboy. That's his business
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 08:38 pm
@boomerang,
Back when I was into art I liked Staedtler. They are a very reputable brand world-wide for them and have great sets (I used to have some in the 100s) with good colors. I know "good colors" is subjective but they are miles above the crappy stuff you can find. I'm sure there are better or equal brands out there but around the world it was usually these and crap available.

They also had the first "water color pencils" I ever saw, which was what got me hooked. They worked like regular color pencils dry, but they were made of solid water color. So you could wet the tips (not what I tended to do) or use brushes and water over the applied color on the paper itself. I liked that more than watercolors alone or colored pencils alone, as you could get some really neat effects with the combination.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 08:47 pm
@boomerang,
For kids? Faber-Castell

http://www.dickblick.com/zz205/38/
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 09:03 pm
@CalamityJane,
Faber-Castell, especially in Brazil, was the alternative "crap" I spoke of, but come to think of it, if it's for kids you are probably right. The ones I liked are pretty pricey and I'm not sure kids would notice the difference. But they sure were fun:

http://www.staedtler.ca/karat_aquarell_applications_gb.Staedtler

For reference, the brand they use for both their crayon watercolors and pencils is "aquarell". The closest I can find on their Canadian site to what I used to use are listed as STAEDTLER® karat® aquarell.

This question makes me want to draw again....
realjohnboy
 
  2  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 09:18 pm
@CalamityJane,
I realize you meant no harm, CJ, but I do think it is inappropriate to link to a website that competes with stores, like mine, selling the same product.
Faber-Castell is a bit of a step up from Crayola and the many of other products coming out of China.
The dominant brand in the U.S. is Primacolor (made by a company called Sanford). They have a rich, waxy texture. Available in sets or, in many art stores, in open stock. They have a retail price of about $1.50 each.
A British brand is sold under the name of Derwent. They are, to me, a bit less waxy; a little gritty. About the same price as Prismacolor.
General Pencil, in business since 1889 or so has a mid-priced range that isn't bad.

What you are paying for as you move up is the quality of the pigment that makes up the color. Light-fastness and brilliance.

The watercolor pencils that were mentioned above are really cool. So versatile.

If you drop a colored pencil, that is bad. The "lead" is very soft and it will break internally. Whenever you go to sharpen it, it will come out in pieces.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 09:25 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Staedtler is a great brand for teens/adults, I wouldn't have bought them
for my kid. She liked Faber-Castell and still does.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 09:37 pm
@realjohnboy,
realjohnboy wrote:

I realize you meant no harm, CJ, but I do think it is inappropriate to link to a website that competes with stores, like mine, selling the same product.


Sorry, realjohnboy, I did know what you do for a living or that my link competes with your store. Now I know and won't do it again Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 09:42 pm
@realjohnboy,
realjohnboy wrote:
I do think it is inappropriate to link to a website that competes with stores, like mine, selling the same product.


I can only speak for myself but I appreciate links to online vendors when researching on the web. I can't check out your store from here (though I'm sure I'd love to) but I can check out a link. I prefer buying online as well (and often have no choice here in Costa Rica) but even if I plan to buy in a store I usually check it out on online merchants first to see reviews, other related products etc.

If it's an issue of online eating into brick-and-mortar have you considered selling online? You can sell through Amazon or Yahoo shops pretty easily (in addition to ebay and a host of others). Buying online is sometimes more convenient and brick-and-mortar folk can get in on it pretty easily.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 09:53 pm
@realjohnboy,
realjohnboy wrote:

I realize you meant no harm, CJ, but I do think it is inappropriate to link to a website that competes with stores, like mine, selling the same product.
Faber-Castell is a bit of a step up from Crayola and the many of other products coming out of China.
The dominant brand in the U.S. is Primacolor (made by a company called Sanford). They have a rich, waxy texture. Available in sets or, in many art stores, in open stock. They have a retail price of about $1.50 each.
A British brand is sold under the name of Derwent. They are, to me, a bit less waxy; a little gritty. About the same price as Prismacolor.
General Pencil, in business since 1889 or so has a mid-priced range that isn't bad.

What you are paying for as you move up is the quality of the pigment that makes up the color. Light-fastness and brilliance.

The watercolor pencils that were mentioned above are really cool. So versatile.

If you drop a colored pencil, that is bad. The "lead" is very soft and it will break internally. Whenever you go to sharpen it, it will come out in pieces.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 10:03 pm
@realjohnboy,
I used to do a great many colored presentation drawings for work, always a kick.

(Memories of having 45 minutes to color a 6 foot long 3 foot high drawing for a firm when I first started apprenticing - could only do part of it, though I am fast, so chose the parts, and it actually turned out ok. Rarely photo'd those drawings, which were mostly done at speed, though not all.)

My main colored pencils have been prismacolors; I like the way they can be bought individually because I've run through some colors with great vigor, and others just not so much.

Also have much liked and probably prefer the Rexel Cumberland Derwent Studio pencils - like the colors better much of the time as well as the "feel". These can be bought singly as well.

Was this question primarily about pencils for children?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 10:04 pm
@ossobuco,
Excuse me, I had a quote there so I could check RJB's post after I typed mine, but messed up.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 04:42 am
@boomerang,
been using prismacolor "COL-ERASE" for years at work --
grass green, canary yelluh, vermillion (orange), carmine red...
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 06:14 am
Kylie was way into art while in school. One Christmas (around 14) she got a drawing table, stool, watercolor paper, various size canvas, and a BIG container of Prismacolors.

They are expensive, but lovely.

Doesn't Prismacolor make watercolor pencils, oils, and different kinds?

0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  3  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 06:20 am
rjb wrote:
If you drop a colored pencil, that is bad. The "lead" is very soft and it will break internally. Whenever you go to sharpen it, it will come out in pieces.
if you pound the busted pencil point-first into the side of the desk a few times, the fracture within will mend nicely...
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 06:21 am
@boomerang,
Great thread! I have been thinking of getting some good pencils.

We used to have Derwent as kids....but cheap ones I suspect...sometimes I see those huge tins of them remaindered...all those lovely rows of colour.



0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 06:23 am
@Region Philbis,
Region Philbis wrote:

rjb wrote:
If you drop a colored pencil, that is bad. The "lead" is very soft and it will break internally. Whenever you go to sharpen it, it will come out in pieces.
if you pound the busted pencil point-first into the side of the desk a few times, the fracture within will mend nicely...



You're KIDDING, right?


(We use coloured pencils at work, of course, and they often end up with the "lead" broken, driving everyone mad.)
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 06:29 am
@dlowan,

it is a tried and true, time tested pencil-fixin' procedure...
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 07:19 am
@Region Philbis,
Well, I am speechless.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Nov, 2008 08:06 am
Wow! Thanks all! Now I have a good base to start from when doing my shopping. I don't mind paying a little more for quality.

I've had pencil pencils do that breaking lead thing and it drives me crazy. I always thought it was the pencils fault. Now I know the fault is my own.

The pencils will mostly be for Mo; he put them on his Christmas list. He loves to draw but he doesn't like crayons or markers so I've been letting him use my oil pastels. He likes that really fat color but the smearing frustrates him. I would rather buy him a good set of pencils that he will use and enjoy than buy a cheap set that will end up in a drawer along with the crayons and markers.

Those water color pencils sound great. I've seen those at the art supply shop but never have tried any. I might have to pick some of those up too!

Thanks again.
 

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