Derwent Metallic Pencils Review
Last updated by Brandon F. on June 23, 2020
These are a unique offering from Derwent for those applications that require a metallic “touch”. The Derwent Metallic Pencils can be purchased in singles up to a 12-pack tin and the colors include choices such as silver, pewter, antique gold, and even pink and purple examples.
They work best in applications involving a dark background as can lay down some unique tones to a work. Also, they are water-soluble so this can open up the blending and texture possibilities that are possible with these colored pencils. They have a wax core in one of Derwent’s standard 3.4mm offerings. The barrel is a 6.9mm hexagonal wood material.
Visual Appeal – 2/5
The colors offered are relatively dull and do not always match the color they are presenting. The yellows can appear more on the green side, for example. Due to the small selection size of colors available you might run into some issues if you decide to apply a metallic touch to create unique colors. Unfortunately, the metallic touch that they were going for isn’t there.
At best, you get a semi-shimmery sheen that is not that much different than a typical wax layer you get using many types of pencils. The brighter colors such as blue and purple somewhat approach this metallic ideal but overall the whole batch falls a bit short. Perhaps some additional reflective specs or glitter would do the trick but right now it simply isn’t there.
To make the most of the color that does exist, we recommend drawing on a darker canvas. This helps to maximize the shine that these pencils do have. Used in conjunction with a traditional set of colored pencils, you can notice some slight differences but it will take a trained eye to see them.
Usability and Durability – 3/5
As most Derwent pencils tend to be, the Derwent Metallic Pencils blend quite well, especially with the use of water in an application. In fact, Derwent has rebranded these as a watercolor pencil (likely because of this). The core is relatively soft so putting it on the paper isn’t too burdensome.
However, dealing with very fine details might take a bit of effort. You can mix these in with other types of colored pencils to give a rather unique look and we recommend experimenting with this technique.
The soft core and the metallic feature also can result in a somewhat flaky residue. However, you can easily brush this away. The pencils are relatively easy to sharpen and do a decent job of avoiding breakage. The 3.4mm wax core should be able to hold up for quite some time. The hexagonal shape should assist in gripping and we typically prefer it over a round barrel.
Packaging and Presentation – 4/5
The pencils came in one of Derwent’s standard tin cases and overall are well-packaged and protected. The pencils themselves have a white outer body with color accents on the base. The brand, type, and color are also printed on the outside. It is simple yet effective and represents at Derwent approaches most of their other sets. Also, Derwent has recently updated its styling on the case to a more modern look. Depending on where you purchase these, you may either receive the old style or the new style.
Cost – 4/5
The prices tend to be in the budget range and can creep up into the mid-priced range. These are on the lower end of what Derwent colored pencils usually cost. This is a very reasonable price and helps us to overlook some of the flaws.
Overall Ranking – 3/5
While Derwent tends to put out good products, their metallic pencils honestly fall a bit short. The relative lack of color selection, color accuracy, and messy use could be overlooked. But the fact that these “metallic” colored pencils aren’t all that “metallic” really drove down the rating. They might be an OK choice for someone wanting to blend and take advantage of the unique shimmery film these pencils produce but beyond that, there are better options out there.
If you do decide to purchase these, experiment with incorporating them into works that use other types of pencils. That, in our opinion, is the best way to harness the capability of these.