Derwent Drawing Pencils
1-24 count pack
Perfect for Earthy Tones
Great, Smooth Application
Strong, Thick Core
Small Color Selection
Derwent Drawing Pencils Review
Updated by Brandon F. on May 2, 2023
Another unique offering from Derwent, the Derwent Drawing Colored Pencils goes for a more “earthy” feel in their color selection. The creamy core is great for wildlife and landscapes, but general applications might leave you having to dig into other sets for the right colors. They are available in singles up to 24 packs and have an extremely thick 5mm core and round 8mm barrel.
Visual Appeal – 2.5/5
The colors available have a nice, earthy tone. Some would say almost rustic. This is great for certain applications such as drawing a wild fox or the bark on a tree but for a lot of your works, you will find the color portfolio quite lacking. Looking for much in the way of purples? What about varied blues? Greens? You might have to look elsewhere. However, the colors available do a great job of showing fine details such as fur or skin.
These aren’t very flexible in the way of blending to make additional colors, either. While you can sort of layer with them, what you see is what you get for the most part. This further amplifies the limitations of these small sets and you will need to be sure to have some other support sets laying around.
This is what happens when you only offer small set sizes. This makes these sit (even in the largest 24-pack option) more of a complementary set rather than a standalone set.
Usability and Durability – 3/5
The Derwent Drawing Colored Pencils are some of the softest pencils you will come across. They could be compared to the Derwent Coloursoft line in that they almost feel like pastels from time to time. The relatively low-wax residue means that applications will have a heavy, smooth feel to them with little in the way of wax bloom.
The thick core means that these take to pressure quite well and very broad or narrow sweeps can be made, depending on the applied pressure. We’d prefer to have a non-round barrel for the more intricate details but this is a minor complaint.
As we mentioned above, you will be limited in the level of blending you will be able to accomplish. However, the fact that these pencils are so soft and allow for thick strokes of color makes that pill a little easier to swallow. As for using solvents, they do better than trying to just blend with the pencil tip but it still won’t be anything eye-opening. We recommend experiment with different solvents of your liking to find what combination works best for you.
Packaging and Presentation – 4/5
These are available in a single up to a 24-pack tin. There are no options for wooden boxes that we’ve come across, likely due to the much smaller quantity. The outside is painted an earthy red which is a nice representation of what sort of feel the entire set has. The color is displayed on the bottom of the pencil and the color and pencil type are stamped on the side. The look is a classic one and we don’t mind that one bit.
There has been a recent facelift on the packaging but the actual pencils, for the most part, look the same. These pencils will likely stand out in your artist toolbox thanks to their attractive and unique outside color.
Cost – 3.5/5
In the mid-price range, these fall pretty well in line with other Derwent offerings. The difference is that these by themselves will not get you near all the color ranges you need for most applications, so if this is your first purchase of pencils plan on spending some extra to get the other colors you need. However, if you already have a full set and like working on landscapes then the asking price is more than fair. You will get to enjoy some unique colors and hues that few other pencil sets can offer.
Overall Ranking – 3/5
The Derwent Drawing Colored Pencils introduce some really interesting colors that you might not have an easy time getting or have difficulty emulating through blending with other sets. The application itself is buttery smooth and the relatively wide core allows for some pretty interesting variations in brush width while still giving you the control to do fine details. Blending is lackluster at best, however. These are a great addition to your artist tool belt if you are into wildlife pictures or landscapes, but should be down the list if you are looking to start from scratch.