Derwent Artists Colored Pencils Review
Updated by Brandon F. on May 1, 2023
The Derwent Artist Colored Pencils could be considered some of Derwent’s “bread and butter” standard colored pencils due to their popularity. They come in a wide array of sizes, ranging from singles up to the behemoth 120-count set. Their 4mm core allows for wider brush strokes when necessary and can make these viable for landscapes and other media that require broad applications of color while still having the control that you need. The wax core is wrapped in a round 8mm wood barrel, and all of this comes with a rather high asking price.
Visual Appeal – 4/5
The colors presented are vast, especially in the larger sets, so finding the right color for your application should not be an issue. The posted colors are also pretty true to what you’ll see on paper, so there shouldn’t be a lot of uncertainty there. Beyond this, the colors of the Derwent Artists Colored Pencils are quite vivid, and depending on how thick you apply them, they should fulfill just about any brightness demands you might need.
We were impressed with the darker colors (greens, blues, and browns) as they seemed to flow onto the paper and produce powerful statements. There is a slight waxy sheen that exists after application but this can be diluted some. This is a common issue with many wax-colored pencils and while these have it, they are by no means the worst we have come across. You shouldn’t notice the effect unless you are applying a lot of heavy layers.
Usability and Durability – 4/5
The Derwent Artist Colored Pencils excel in blending and their sticky texture makes them great for layering. A wide range of intensities can be achieved depending on how much pressure is applied to the pencil, so there is a lot of versatility here. Since the blending and layering are so good, you can easily create complex color patterns or fill in the color voids that may exist with one of the smaller set sizes.
The optimal 4mm core should hold up to quite a beating which is good for people who tend to apply a lot of pressure while coloring. There are some minor flake issues but nothing that is too burdensome and these flakes can be easily brushed away.
The round barrels might make gripping the pencil a bit harder than the hexagonal offerings but often that is left up to personal opinion. There can be some difficulty sharpening with a conventional hand sharpener so extra care will need to be taken while sharpening.
Packaging and Presentation – 4/5
The 12, 24, and 36 packs come in the standard Derwent tin while the 48 and 120 packs come in an attractive wooden box. If you can swing it, we recommend going with one of the larger sets not only so that you can enjoy a more diverse lineup of colors but also the great wooden storage box.
The round pencils have a green outer shell with the color accent on the base of the pencil as well as the type and color written on the side. This is a pretty standard look but it comes together quite nicely and matches the high-quality performance that Derwent colored pencils have.
Cost – 4/5
The price of these pencils falls into the lower premium price range, but for that, you get a premium pencil. There can be a lot of price fluctuation due to the large array of set sizes available, however. We encourage you to shop around and snag a large set of these when they go on sale or are at a price point that you are comfortable paying. If you can grab these when there is a sale, the asking price isn’t too bad. But even at full MSRP, you get plenty for your money.
Overall Ranking – 4/5
A solid choice for someone looking for a high-quality set of pencils at a reasonable price, the Derwent Artists Colored Pencils check most of the marks we look for. The usability and visuals of these pencils are on point. The wax core allows for good layering and blending and should allow you to express yourself while coloring. Also, jumping into one of the larger sets should give you just about every color you would need in your artistry tool belt. Any minor complaint with these pencils is trumped by the established quality and sheer color selection that exists.