*First things first this review comes from a cardmaker (crafter)*
I personally, at this time, own two brands of pencils complete sets, and have a couple of pencils from a third brand I will touch on these at the end.
Prismacolor Priemer Pencils
Prismacolors are probably the most commonly known pencil brand, they are readily available in online stores, as well as locally. Prismacolour pencils are available in sets as well as in open stock (individual pencils, so you can replace the pencils as you need without needing to purchase an entire new set). In terms of artist grade coloured pencils these are at the lower end of the cost spectrum.
These pencils are wax based and have a very soft lead, unfortunately due to the way they are currently manufactured the leads have been knows to fall out of their wood casings, and to be not centered causing breakage during sharpening. The lack of adhesion to the casings cause the leads in these pencils to break at the slightest bump of the pencil. Sharpening can be difficult causing pencils to be eaten faster due to leads breaking during sharpening.
Wax based pencils cause “wax bloom”, which is when your work gets a milky white haze on the surface of your work when you use lots of heavy layers with your pencils work. Waxy pencils layer easier and tend to have more brilliant colours. The white and cream in prismacolours are fantastic and fairly opaque with the wax and softness of these pencils!
To remove wax bloom you can wipe your work with a soft cloth, just make sure do wipe it lightly as using lots of pressure with the rag could remove some colours or if you have not brushed off all of the loose pigment could cause your image to look blurred by rubbing that loose pigment into the paper that has not been coloured.
To prevent wax bloom you can purchase a coloured pencil fixative, and use it in light coats between layers on your work.
Wax pencils also tend to leave loose pigment behind because they are such a soft pencil and break apart so easily, make sure to brush your work off using a soft brush or canned air so as not to make marks on your work with that loose pigment.
Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils are an oil based pencil (soy bean). There are 120 different colours in this brand, again they are available in sets as well open stock. These pencils are not as common as the Primacolors but they are still easily accessible in online stores.
With these pencils being oil based they react especially well to Oderless Mineral Spirits for blending, I tend to do this for my base layer just to get the colour nice and smooth to start, they do blend well with just layering the pencils, but being as they are oil based and are a harder lead take your time and let the light layers do their work. The bonus in these harder leads is that these pencils hold their point a lot longer then the softer wax based pencils. The white and cream in this collection is not nearly as opaque as the wax based pencils and they tend to be more translucent. But the black is amazing! Oh the black!
Just because I am referring to these as oil based with a harder lead do not let that fool you, they still feel soft and lay down their colour wonderfully, but the hard lead makes those details easy to achieve without constant sharpening.
These do have a fair sticker price on them! They are on the more expensive then the Prismacolors, but, considering how much pencil I lose do u breakage of my Primacolors I find that they cost me about the same in the long run.
You will not experience “wax bloom” with these pencils as they are oil based! There is also not as much loose pigment floating around my page with these pencils.
I find these pencils play nicer layering over my copics then the Prismacolors, this could be because there is no wax laying on top of my alcohol markers.
Caran D’ache Luminance
These pencils basically the top of the line wax based coloured pencils. Their price tag could make you fall over. Currently I only own white and buff titanium in this range. But I absolutely love them! They are still the soft pencils with the smooth consistency you expect from a wax based pencil. But they do not break as much or fall out of their casing and all of those issues me, and many others, experience with the Prismacolors.
I can not speak from personal experience about working with this range on its own, as stated above, I do not have them all. Yet. But the two colours I own are absolutely magnificent. They are so opaque and play well with my Polychromos.
Many artists that use these pencils exclusively say that the “wax bloom” is not there with these pencils like it is with Prismacolors. I will test this for myself if I ever get a larger range of these pencils.
Thanks for stopping by,