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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Badrock

What's so great about Prisma Colour Pencils???

I personally use Prisma Colours. They blend like butter and their colours are insanely vibrant, more often than not my sketches look like painting.

Unlike a standard coloured pencil you might find in a class room, the binding mediums are made of wax, oils, clay and other soft ingredients. The amount of pigment in the pencil makeup is higher than a standard pencil. These two factors - the binding materials and the pigment ration create a luscious coloured pencil that blends well with other pencils in the range. The bonus of this, is that artists can create ubiquitous range of colours, hues and tones.

Many professional artists use Prisma Colour Pencils due to their lightfastness, the colours will last for years, and so the quality of the portrait will not deteriorate, unlike cheaper pencils.

SPECIFICS OF THE PENCILS: They have an 8mm round barrel, which matches the 5mm diameter wax core

There are 150 colours

They have an 8mm round barrel,


The pencils tend to be a tad fragile. So, handle with care. As a portrait artist who uses these pencils ALL THE TIME I take care to store them laying flat in a box. I also use a proper sharpener that is super sharp – not blunt to avoid spiral breakage or weakening the core. Some artists like to use a craft knife and peel away the wood. Which completely avoids the whole spiral breakage or weakening of the core, however, for me personally, I find it hard to create a sharp tip.

I have read on numerous other blogs, that some artists put their pencils in the microwave to soften the core prior to using the pencil. I have not tried this, however, I do have a bunch of white pencils that keep breaking, so I might give this a try and document the outcome.

Also, due to the binder being wax, a ‘wax bloom’ can appear on your work. This occurs when there is more wax in coloured pencils then there is pigment, or in users who are heavy handed. It causes a wax film to appear over the places the pencil is used, which makes the work look more white or "washed out." Wax bloom can be removed by gently rubbing the affected area with a soft cloth or tissue.



I really like my puppy portraits to feel luminous and lively. When I’m sketching the gardens in all their colourful glory, I like to blend with baby oil. It’s a cheap version of liquid colour pencil blenders. I dab the end of a cotton tip into the oil and gently rub it over the colour transitions. This creates a seamless shading transition. Sometimes, I will also lightly run the tip over areas that I want to feel really warm and luscious. Be careful though. Remember only use a little and make sure your page is really saturated, otherwise you run the risk of the oil bleeding into the page and making this weird oil ring around the outside of your work. I always think the risk outweighs the effect. Once you refine this technique it completely transforms your work.

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