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Old 11-02-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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Cool Replace Prisma's with what? Why?

I have all of the prisma's and I have started to look around to see what other pencils there are out there as I have had so many problems with them along with everyone else since they moved to Mexico.
I've been going through all of my catalogs and Blick seems to have the largest selection of pencils and the most reasonable price.
I'm just wondering if anyone has found any pencils out there that are as good, or better, than the original prisma's.
I'm really looking hard at the Derwent pencils. They come in a wide variety of colors, the prices seem reasonable, and I like the idea of the color being coded on the end. I just wish I knew how they performed.
I'm not sure what brand to start buying so I would love to hear your imput.

What are your favorite pencils outside of prismas and why. How do they color, etc.?
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:07 PM   #2
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I have a lot of different pencils and use them all for different reasons. A lot of people don't like the Derwent Artist pencils because they are harder than most others, but I like them. They have a ton of colors and blend really well with OMS.
My favorite pencils after Prismacolors are Lyra Polycolor by Rembrandt. Awesome pencils, inexpensive, but the color selection is not as extensive.
Faber Castell Polychromos pencils are more expensive, but very smooth, they sharpen perfectly (unlike Prismacolors) and have a ton of colors. Because they sharpen with out breakage, I like them better than Prismacolors.
My suggestion to you would be to go to your local art store and pick out a few pencils from all the different brands out there. Color with them and see which ones you like best. Everyone will have a different opinion that may not be the same as your own.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:18 PM   #3
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Thank you for all of the feedback. I live in a fairly small town in Maine so we don't have any art stores. The closest to me is 45 minutes away & then that's Spiller's. We only have a small craft store which only carries a small selection of prisma's. I will do a search for the faber, I really like the idea that they don't break as easily and sharpen so good.
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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I came to the unhappy decision this week while making cards that my days working with Prismacolor pencils are over. I just can't get the same shading and blending results with the pencils made in Mexico.

I started making cards yesterday with my Derwent watercolor pencils and a blender pen. I don't like the results as well as with my old Prismas, but they are certainly better than dealing with the new ones.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:18 PM   #5
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Ya know what's funny? I didn't even realize that there was a difference until this past weekend when I finished using up one of my "old" Prismas and had to sharpen the "new" one of that color. It's a different color! The newer one isn't smooth, it seems waxier, and it's just not the quality that the old one was. I'm sad... I just finished buying my Prisma collection, and realize now that about 1/3 of them are "new" ones.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
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I have the Blick set of pencils and I am quite satisfied with them. But the pencils I always seem to grab for first are the Koh-I-Noor sets. They sharpen perfectly and are so creamy smooth. Very inexpensive also. The down side is they don't have alot of colors. I think the pack of 24 is the most they have. But I have found that because they are so blendable that I can always, ALWAYS, mix up just the colors I want.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:54 PM   #7
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I have some posts on my blog comparing different pencil types and brands. For what it's worth, I haven't had any problem with the newer Mexico-made pencils from Prismacolor, and I just saw that they are introducing 18 new colors this year, including some that previously been 'retired' (Deco Pink was on that list which made my heart beat faster... love that one).

I'm with Kathy - I use a lot of different kinds of pencils for different effects, moods, and reasons.... I have Prismacolor (wax based), pastel pencils (chalk based), Polycolors (oil based), and watercolor pencils (water soluble)... Here are the blog posts (they should all come up together) - feel free to ask questions here or there.

Mama Dini's Stamperia: pencil comparisons and faq
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:06 AM   #8
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Which Derwent pencils are you looking at? They produce a range and they all have different qualities. I think Coloursoft is closest to the Prismacolor pencils. I like them and don't notice any real difference in hardness between those and the Prismas I have. They sharpen well and blend easily with OMS.

Of course, I may be biased because they're a British product and the factory is fun to visit
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:48 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Angelnorth;18883829]Which Derwent pencils are you looking at? They produce a range and they all have different qualities. I think Coloursoft is closest to the Prismacolor pencils. I like them and don't notice any real difference in hardness between those and the Prismas I have. They sharpen well and blend easily with OMS.

Of course, I may be biased because they're a British product and the factory is fun to visit [/QUOTE
I'm with Angelnorth. I love my Derwent Coloursoft pencils! They are easy to use and
I've never had trouble sharpening them. Mayhaps I have a bit of the "Brit" in me! LOL! Seriously, love those pencils!!
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:08 AM   #10
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I've been preferring the oil-based pencils lately because they don't have the breakage issues that Prismacolors do... I actually found the Coloursoft pencils a bit crumbly but maybe I was using too much pressure.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:18 AM   #11
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Wow, thanks - what a random and unrelated fact...
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:27 AM   #12
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(Ack, can't edit! That last comment was directed at a spammer who wanted to tell us about Prism (or PRiSM), a Canadian rock band originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Trusting that will be deleted by a diligent mod soon!)
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:15 AM   #13
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I just watched the amazingly talented Jill Foster (Inspired by.. blog) do a video with Faber-Castell pencils.. The colors are so vivid and they look easy to blend. I want to try these pencils now after seeing her use them! I like how they come in packs of colors so you know they'll blend.

I wonder if anyone has tried these and what they think?
Here is the blog post with the link to video.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:03 PM   #14
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I mentioned in my previous post that I had Faber-Castell pencils and what I thought of them. However I just looked at the link you provided and they look different from the ones I have. Mine are Faber-Castell Polychromos, don't know what those are in the video.
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I just watched the amazingly talented Jill Foster (Inspired by.. blog) do a video with Faber-Castell pencils.. The colors are so vivid and they look easy to blend. I want to try these pencils now after seeing her use them! I like how they come in packs of colors so you know they'll blend.

I wonder if anyone has tried these and what they think?
Here is the blog post with the link to video.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:18 PM   #15
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Katarina -I did see your post but didn't know if Polychromos were same as the ones Jill used..
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:22 AM   #16
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I use my Derwent Coloursoft pencils alot even though I have Prismas. The lead is harder and a bit more crumbly than the Prismas and not as waxy, but I find they blend beautifully with OMS. I have a set of 72 which I believe is the maximum amount Derwent make. They also sharpen well and I get less lead breakage than with the Prismas. Personally, I love the Derwent Coloursofts and are very happy with them.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tspoland407 View Post

What are your favorite pencils outside of prismas and why. How do they color, etc.?
The thing you have to be careful about is that, for ALMOST everyone who writes here about colored pencils, there is a difference between the old and the new, no matter the brand. That's because of changes in the entire industry in late 2008. The marketplace still has some of the old mixed in with the new. So when you get a recommend of a certain brand, what you buy today may not be the same as what that person has been using.

That's not very helpful , but I had good luck buying Used ones from Ebay and from the Buy/Sell/Trade Forum here, making sure the Prismacolors I bought had the USA embossed on each pencil. I also found a few USA ones in open-stock at Michaels' and a local art store. Lots of people bought pencil sets years ago and moved on to other media, like Copics, so you might easily find old Prismas still, and the old ones are really fabulous.

By the way, the new Prismacolor containers that hold sets still say Made in the USA, but perhaps that refers to the container. The pencils are made elsewhere.

Good luck,
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:59 AM   #18
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My DD, who is a fine-arts major, owns both Prismacolor as well as Faber-Castell Polychromos pencil sets. Note that she does not use anything to "blend" her pencil colour. That is, she relies on her ability to layer colour on top of colour to achieve the end result in her art projects. In her opinion, while the Prismacolor pencils have a harder pencil "lead," they leave a waxy-"residue" on the bristol board. The Faber-Castell Polychromous are oil-based and seem to have a softer "lead." But, the layering of colour is very smooth. ( IMO, the down-side of the softer "lead" is that she tends to go through the pencil more quickly ).

Another "plus" of using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils is that their colours seem to match other products in the Faber-Castell line. This is a definite plus when working on mixed/multi-media art projects.

As always, YMMV, but she gives her Polychromos pencils a two thumbs up.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:01 AM   #19
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Thanks dlm! I got a full set of used Polychromos on ebay for a really great price, and they're waiting for me in Florida... I can't wait to try them out in a few weeks! The Polycolor pencils from Lyra are also oil based and they blend so smoothly.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dini View Post
I have some posts on my blog comparing different pencil types and brands. For what it's worth, I haven't had any problem with the newer Mexico-made pencils from Prismacolor, and I just saw that they are introducing 18 new colors this year, including some that previously been 'retired' (Deco Pink was on that list which made my heart beat faster... love that one).

I'm with Kathy - I use a lot of different kinds of pencils for different effects, moods, and reasons.... I have Prismacolor (wax based), pastel pencils (chalk based), Polycolors (oil based), and watercolor pencils (water soluble)... Here are the blog posts (they should all come up together) - feel free to ask questions here or there.

Mama Dini's Stamperia: pencil comparisons and faq
I am in awe of your coloring. You are one of the very best I have seen in card making. I know you are a an artist so I assume you have some type of art degree. Well I love love your coloring. I wish I could take some lessons from you. I use Copics and love them but have tried the colored pencils and oms and love them. I just have Crayola pencils but am getting ready to invest in the big Prisma set. I think its 172 pencils. Now I may have to do a little research before spending my moolah. I am really excited to get them. Thats what I want from my husband for Christmas. I like to have multiple ways to color. It's fun.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:01 AM   #21
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Thank you! I don't have a degree but I do enjoy art and coloring so much. I've been paying more attention to my markers lately but I love my pencils too... With the new colors Prismacolor is releasing, the "big" set will be 150 pencils. They have the new pencils in the Blick store now, but they won't be available until 12/6. I just posted the new colors on my blog, linking with the other pencil posts.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:07 PM   #22
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I have my copics but to be honest I prefer my pencils, I guess I'm just weird, LOL.

I have to say thank you to everyone, I have enjoyed reading all the comments & visiting the sites. I love what you did on your blog dini! I found that to be really informative. I feel like I'm learning something everytime I read a new piece.

I have found a little trick to stop my prisma's from breaking, throw them in the microwave for 10 seconds. That's helped a lot with the ones I have. The problem I find with them is they break when dropped. The craft store in town has them really low so of course the 2 yr olds & up can reach them to play with. The orders I get from Blick really aren't packed to stop the movement, never mind that most of the time the boxes themselves are damaged.

I did go to Blick to place another order this week. I have a few I have to replace (they are pretty small from use) and got a few of the other pencils to try.

I found spillerusa.com carries a lot of brands. They don't show up on the site even though the brands are listed. I contacted them for a catalog and signed up for the sale emails. They have 30 to 40% off a lot so the prices are fairly good. They also have a store 49 miles from me so I can drive up there. They have been very nice to me and will order anything I want so it will be in the store to save me on shipping. I've gotten a lot of the usa prisma's from them. They also carry koh-i-noor, faber-castell, jolly, reeves, mercur, crayola, & staedtler pencils also. The selection isn't as bigg as blick unfortunately.

My main thing is I want to be able to use my oms with the pencils and not have to buy something new.

Please keep leaving comments, I really enjoy them.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:46 PM   #23
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I am a colored pencil addict, so I have 'em all, from Crayolas and some cheap ones called "Start Colouring" to Dewrent Inktense pencils.

I really, really like the Blick brand pencils. They are smooth and the colors are really nice. My other fave as far as regular colored pencils are the Faber-Castell ones.

For watercolor pencils, I like the Derwent watercolor and the Derwent Inktense.
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