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Information, Choices, Techniques and Advice on all Pencil Matters

COLOURED PENCILS - WATERCOLOUR PENCILS - PASTEL PENCILS - GRAPHITE PENCILS

Over 150 detailed pages of information for beginners and improvers to help you develop your skills



PENCIL TOPICS



LIGHTFASTNESS


What is ‘Lightfastness’ and why does it matter

We look at the problems and try to explain solutions ( nothing is perfect !)

We also look at the ASTMS standards set in the USA that have worldwide interest


PRICE & CONTENT


A quick look at the way pencils are priced and suggestions of how to approach a purchase


COLOUR COMPARISONS


This is probably the most referred to section on the whole of this site.

Week in and week out, the highest readership is for this section.

We look at the colour choices and how the different brands have similar and unique colours.

There are links to ‘on-site’ PDF files which can be downloaded to help you match colours across different brands

using the on-site charts which have been prepared to a standard from the actual pencils



BRANDS


Please bear in mind that this web site is written from a UK perspective.

If you live outside the UK, some brands may well be available in your locality but we may not see them here.

If you do have a local brand that is particularly good, please contact me and I will discuss the option for you to submit an item


WHAT COLOURED PENCILS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE SHOPS & BY MAIL ORDER IN THE UK ?


THERE ARE A WIDE SELECTION OF LOWER PRICED BRANDS

Many are made in the far East and sold through non art retailers or as stores ‘own brand’ products

Quality of these brands may be good, but are generally not of a consistent quality for us to recommend them.

There are Asian brands that are excellent and of the topmost quality, where these have been identified they are included


BELOW WE CONCENTRATE ON ARTIST QUALITY PRODUCTS

SOLD THROUGH ART MATERIAL SPECIALISTS

By clicking on the names (in bold) below,

or using the click out boxes to the top of this page,

you can go to a page dedicated to the products of each manufacturer.

You can also find a link on that page to the manufacturer’s own web site

and (in some cases) one or more retailers who carry the products




Possibly the widest availability in the United Kingdom is from our UK based manufacturer,

DERWENT ( The Cumberland Pencil Company )

now based in Workington, Cumbria in a state-of-the art, modern factory.

There is wide availability  also  from FABER CASTELL,  imported into the UK in sets and also as single pencils.

From Geneva in Switzerland, CARAN d’ACHE import a broad range of Pencils.

and like Derwent, are continually researching and developing new products.

STAEDTLER market Karat Aquarelles in sets only and generally these are available from the Internet suppliers like Amazon.

 The American PRISMACOLOR pencils are not generally marketed through the UK retail trade,

but it is possible to buy the pencils via mail order in sets and individually through specialist Internet firms.

DALER ROWNEY market a brand of Watercolour pencil through major Art outlets,

and whilst the Winsor & Newton group contain CONTE, there is only a small representation

in their catalogue for Coloured Pencils (more so for pastel, of course)

It is possible to find ROYAL TALENS  Coloured Pencils on the Internet and a very few retailers

Though they are mainly sold via Mail Order - and very good they are.

Also see the notes on BRUYNZEEL now more readily available in the UK

The German made LYRA Coloured Pencils are available through some outlets, are good and attractively priced

and CRETACOLOR from Austria are well worth looking for.

I see in February 2014, that KOH-I-NOOR coloured pencils are more easily found in the UK,.

I now include a page on  SPECTRUM NOIR pencils - a low price craft brand now available in the UK and

also a page looking at Mitsubishi Uni Coloured Pencils


There are other brands manufactured worldwide and mainly sold in the USA ( the largest retail market for pencils )

Not all of these are available in the UK, though they can be found on the Internet.

and can often be obtained via either Amazon or EBay

I have only commented on those I have tried,

Established and Untested Brands originating from Japan include

Tombow Irojten ( 90 Colours)   and Holbein ( 150 colours )

Both have received good reviews but I have had no personal experience of handling them.




YOU WILL FIND THE BEST SELECTION OF PENCIL BRANDS,  AND ALSO POSSIBLY THE BEST PRICES

by buying over the Internet, but you can find exceptional special offers in some retail stores.

Bear in mind that pencils differ in ‘feel’ and colour ranges

and the best approach is to borrow and try as many types as possible before spending money.


SO WHERE DO YOU GO ON THE INTERNET ?

I can’t give you recommendations outside the UK as I have no experience of European and US based Internet retailers.

or those in other parts of the world.  


I can make some suggestions for one or two UK suppliers who I have used in the past and found to be good.

To be ‘good’ they should have competitive prices, not too high an addition for P & P,

and an efficient way of dealing with both orders and any subsequent queries.  

Delivery should also be prompt and the products well packed.

Have a look at ( in no particular order )


Jacksons Art Supplies  Wide cross section of brands, Good prices.

Artifolk  ( now part of the SAA but trading separately) Responsive and good prices

Pullingers  Good variety of products

SAA (The Society for all Artists)

More restricted range but P & P free to members . Delivery not as speedy as it used to be.

There is now an ability to pay an enhanced subscription for next day delivery of purchases.

Studio Arts of Lancaster

An Independent Art supply retailer in the North of England who have a good range

Ken Bromley Art Supplies in Bolton Lancashire, A good source for Caran d’Ache and often good discounts

 and down in the South West of England at Dartmouth  Pencils4Artists

A business who make it their aim to keep large stocks of single pencils of a wide variety of brands


There is also the major European Art Materials concern Gertstaecker, based in Germany

and selling through a number of national subsidiaries. The UK arm of which trades as ‘Great Art’

The French arm is Le Geant des beaux arts  and in Germany  Gerstaeker

Goods purchased from this group are all shipped from Germany ( very efficiently )

and there can be unique reductions on some products, particularly those manufactured in Germany & France.

This company has a very good reputation for handling any queries or problems


There are, of course, a very wide selection of other companies selling over the Internet who do an excellent job,

and many are also listed elsewhere within this site for one or more specialities



Lightfastness in Coloured Pencil is a major topic. Please see the adjoining page for information.


Rob Sloan has put together a very comprehensive review of the brands on sale

from a USA perspective   -

There are a number of reviews - one for each of the major media within the Coloured Pencil format

   They can be found by following this LINK






Latest revision November 2015

This section includes several Topics

You can reach them using the links below

BRANDS

HERE  WE LOOK AT THE VARIOUS BRANDS OF COLOURED PENCILS


THE DIFFERENT MANUFACTURERS WORLDWIDE, WHO MARKET PENCILS INTO EUROPE




To follow the notes for each manufacturer,

Please click on the brand in the list at the top right of this page.


You will see that there are also notes in this section on

LIGHTFASTNESS  - and why it matters

PRICE & CONTENT

&

A WAY OF GETTING A COMPARISON  BETWEEN THE SIMILAR COLOURS

IN  DIFFERENT BRANDS

WHICH MAY LOOK THE SAME BUT HAVE DIFFERENT COLOUR NAMES


NOTE


There are many brands of pencil out there,

some sold worldwide and some only in selected countries.


For many years I purchased, or begged, pencils from pencil manufacturers to compare them. With over 3,000 pencils in my collection, I no longer buy pencils just to test.

This web site earns nothing

so there is no justification in my spending my pension in just adding stock.


I am grateful for my many friends worldwide who

Keep me up to date with new products and also send me

Reviews of brands they have and can compare.

These reviews are posted up here as as a guide to help you

When you are looking to purchase a set of pencils.


If you are a pencil manufacturer and your products are not listed here

…and importantly, you would like to have them listed.

I will be happy to discuss your sending samples for review