Colouring Pencils or Professional Artists Tools
Coloured pencils are a pigment held together with a binder and then encased in wood. The quality of the pencil all depends on the ratio of pigment to binder and the quality of the pigment used.
The top artist quality colouring pencils will create more vibrant colours. Most colour pencils are pigment bound in a wax binder. A wax bound pencil is typically softer and will apply a richer colour with less pressure whilst an oil based pencil are more hard wearing and last longer.
However, there are drawbacks to using a wax binder such as the potential for wax bloom and build up. These occur as the binder begins to evaporate and move to surface- creating a white residue.
We stock both Polychromos Artists Pencils and Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 pencils.
We see many reviews comparing one as better than the other – but we believe in consultation with our artists that having access to both ranges gives artists a much better opportunity as they work well in collaboration, giving you access to an immense colour palette of professional grade pencils for your work.
Faber Castel Polychromos Pencils
Faber Castel Polychromos is an oil based pencil which makes it a firmer lead- but they are extremely pigmented which allows an intense laydown. These pencils layer and blend extremely well together as well. When using an oil based pencil, you can use Zest It Pencil Blend– a solvent which helps to blend the pencils out- try using a pencil blending stump dipped in zest it to see what effects you can get! You can watch a video tutorial by Joanna Basford here.
Caren D’Ache Luminance Pencils
The Caran d’Ache Luminance is a combination of oil and wax binder which creates a smooth creamy pencil. This vibrant pencil glides beautifully across paper with a soft and even blend. However, due to the creaminess of the pencil it does make it difficult to draw fine details in your work.
This is why many artists choose to combine the use of Polychromos to get the finer details and luminance for larger areas of the work.
Polychromos and Luminance Colourcharts
When you read a colour chart it doesn’t just tell you the colours it tells you important information about the quality of the lightfastness of your chosen colours.
If you are interested in lightfastness of different brands you can read more here generally speaking though if you work with lighter shades and strong reds these are likely to have less resistance to light, so don’t display in strong sunlight.
You can also protect your work with a UV stabilised non solvent based varnish such as the Montana range . We would suggest a matt or semi gloss for a realistic finish.
Credit for images:
Many thanks to Tamara Howarth for sending over her work for us to use in this article. Tamara is a portrait artist from Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, currently based in Liverpool. England. She specialises in bespoke commission work as well as her own inspired works. Explore her work through the links below:
Article written by Tabitha Bower for Northwich Art Shop