Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Can You Ever Have Too Many Pencils?

I confess, I’m a pencil junkie - in my opinion, you can never have too many pencils. I just love them! I even have a collection of antique pencils, mechanical pencils, and several sets of old drafting tools. My collection comes from years of experimentation with the medium. There's never been a question about what to get me for my birthday!
For my colored pencil work, I mostly use Prismacolors, which are a wax-based pencil. Recently, I’ve been using Faber-Castell’s Polychromos, which are oil-based. Other pencil brands I use include Derwent, Cretacolor, Koh-I-Noor, Lyra, and Bruynzeel. I also use a variety of different graphite as well as pastel pencils. I don’t use water-soluble colored pencils very much, but they can save you a lot of time with putting down a layer of color. When I teach, I give my students several different brands of pencils, and if you’re new to colored pencils, I suggest you try a few to find one that feels comfortable to you.
Leave me a comment and let me know what brand of pencils you use and share what you like about them.


  1. What I think is, you have more pencils than I do and I'm a little jealous of that---I use the Farber Castell Watercolor ones--before I discovered them, I did not care much for colored pencil... I guess because it did not spread out and seemed stiff ---but once I used the watercolor ones--I was hooked. I like them better than regular water color tubes or cakes, too. Your work is fabulous!

  2. I like polychromos too, better than prismas for my taste. I also like using Derwent's Coloursofts when I am working on a sanded surface. And yep, I have a ridiculous number of pencils myself:)

  3. Wow, when you said you were a color pencil junkie you really meant it! I think you have more than the art supply store. Great information here! I'm encouraged to go get some of the polychromos. I also enjoy using the watercolor pencils. Since you told me about the color pencils, I've been using the ones in my purse more often when I am waiting anywhere, like at the dentist today.

  4. Wow, I collect pencils, too, as well as any sort of writing implements. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine anything like your collection! What a wonderful photo that is. I look forward to seeing more of your work. Welcome to EDM.

  5. What a cool photo, and collection of pencils. I have a small set of watercolor pencils, but don't really use them much... I really think your storage system is very neat looking, I have glass stringers stored in a similar fashion, I guess I need to go to Wal-mart and get some for my pens and pencils... hum, paint brushes too...
    Oh Welcome to EDM

  6. I use Prismacolor for the colored pencils because I like their box the best and being new, it made sense to me. What are you storing your pencils in. It looks like plastic tubing or perhaps tubes cut down from maps or blueprints. Are they glued to the board? Just a few questions.

    I love the Creatacolor Nero Pencils for graphic work or line drawings. They are made of charcoal and clay mixture and really give a dark finish. I found them finally at MisterArt.com

  7. Hi, Diann!
    Nope, you can never have too many pencils...colored or otherwise! :) Ever since I was a kid, I believed that! I used to be a member of CPSA back when I was an illustrator in Seattle. Then I started working toward doing more fine art & wanted to expand my techniques & materials. BUT I STILL LOVE COLORED PENCILS! :) I use Prismacolor, or anything that gives me the effect I want!
    OH, and BTW, welcome to EDM!!!
    Warmest aloha,
    P.S. I'm not sure I'm commenting correctly, so help me out if this doubles up! :D

  8. I agree with C.C. - you can NEVER have to many pencils! I almost go into a trance when I pass a dispaly of pencils or pens. I've been that way ever since I was allowed to choose my first fountain pen and coloured pencils for school in Germany.

    Mostly I use water soluble pencil crayons, especially when I'm travelling. You get the best of two media looks with those. Different brands: mostly F-C Albrecht Dürer, Derwent Inktense and Graphitints.

    Other brands/types I really like are my F-C Polychromos and Derwent Colorsoft.

    Great post and lots of useful information :)

  9. I just found you and no you can never have to many pencils.