PRISMACOLOR PENCILS ARE COSTLY DUE TO WASTAGE Whereas the colours and colour selection is beautiful these pencils are by no means robust or cost effective due to breakage and the number of times one has to sharpen them You need to be careful and gentle in handling these pencils.
Let me set the scene here first, Faber Castell Polychromos, Derwent Inktense and Derwent Procolour were my pencil Arsenal that I have been using for many years so my colouring technique had well and truly been established.
HOWEVER I had done my homework, through YouTube and reviews I was aware of the issues with these pencils but not the degree of the problem and the adjustments to my techniques that I had to make.
SHARPENING I purchased a Prismacolor Shapener, believing that this would alleviate some of the issues with breakage and achieving a sharp point - NO. This was the sharpener I used to sharpen these pencils pencils on first opening the box - RESULT- two pencils now half the size and another three significantly smaller - had not even put pencil to paper. Spoke with my Art Supply shop ( Professional supplier ) and they also stated that there had been similar issues raised with using the Prismacolor pencil sharpener with Prismacolor pencils It did take several attempts with sharpening technique and sharpener brand to find a combination that didn’t result in multiple breakage. For me it was a hand held Faber Castell and Staedtler sharpener that came with pencils that I had purchased for my grandchildren. BUT one still need to sharpen with care, hold sharpener and pencil as rigid as one can and turn either the sharpener or pencil ( this works better for me ) gently- pay attention to what you are doing otherwise you will get breakage. The likelihood of a sharp point breaking when you do colour is high so take care, adjust your pressure, take your time.
HOLDING THE POINT This next point ( pun intended) of sharpening did surprise me, yes this had been flagged as an issue on multiple reviews, but actual consequents of it once you got into colouring, especially when finer detail required, did shock me . COLOUR, SHARPEN, COLOUR, SHARPEN - it just goes on and on. During the course of the actual colouring process I find that the number of times that I sharpen is extremely high, Prismacolor get too blunt too quickly, so very much more then my Fabre Castell and Derwent. I have tried adjusting my technique to doing blocks of finer work when tip is sharp, less fine work when tip is blunt and adjusting angle and pressure, this has made a slight improvement but not significant.
I have done a comparison, using the same colouring page, one page using Prismacolor and another page ( same picture) using Faber Castell, approximately TWICE the amount of pencil shavings !! SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF WASTAGE DUE TO SHARPENING.
CONCLUSION: Love the colours and the “ creaminess “ of the Prismacolor, BUT find the fact that I have to be more attentive and careful when sharpening and how I use these pencils to reduce wastage really frustrating. Wax bloom is another aspect that you have to be mindful of in applying theses pencils .
Faber Castell Polychromos and Derwent Procolour are my go to pencils with ONLY using Prismacolor when I want a specific colour.