Derwent Studio Colored Pencils Review
Updated by Brandon F. on July 12, 2023
A great complement to the other Derwent lines, the Derwent Studio Colored Pencils specialize in fine details. Their smaller core and harder wax core mean that the intricate areas such as feathers, grass blades, etc. are where these colored pencils shine. However, they will struggle to cover larger areas. Available from singles up to a 72-count set, there is a decent range of color selections for any project. The 3.4mm core is wrapped on a 6.9mm hexagonal barrel.
Visual Appeal – 4/5
As intended, these pencils have a much crisper and more precise output to them. They share the same color tree with the Derwent Artists line, although there are some colors not available since the Artists line goes all the way up to 120. The colors are pretty good and can be quite vivid if applied heavily.
However, the intention is for these in small details. For large areas that require excessive blending, there are much better alternatives. Attempting to color large areas will not only quickly consume the pencil but also take you a much longer period to achieve the desired results.
In particular, the selection of yellows and oranges is quite diverse. On the contrary, there are very few reds and purples. We do wish that Derwent would have distributed their color choices a bit better but we assume that this was intended as these pencils perform quite well in yellows and oranges. Also, since blending isn’t a huge positive with these, you will have to work harder to get specific colors that don’t come pre-packaged in the set. This set can be used well in parallel with other more traditional sets of colored pencils.
Usability and Durability – 4/5
The harder core means the Derwent Studio Colored Pencils hold up to pressure quite well. This also results in a pretty smooth application. The hard material can be a double-edged sword, however, in that pushing down too hard could potentially scratch the paper. These pencils do not blend well and it isn’t their intention to. Stick to outlines and fine lines with these and they shouldn’t disappoint. The hexagonal body also means a generally better grip when working on those fine details.
Used in conjunction with a set of pencils that does blend better, you should have a pretty good grasp of any type of art piece you want to work with. We also recommend experimenting with layering various types of pencils. These seem to go well with being put on top of other colors to great intricate details.
Packaging and Presentation – 4/5
Sets come in tin cases except for the 72-piece set which comes in an attractive wooden box. The pencils themselves have a black hexagonal body with the color accent on the base of the pencil and the type and color of the pencil written on the side. This is a very standard look from Derwent and is perfectly acceptable in our opinion. It looks professional but also casual for a classroom setting.
Cost – 4/5
Prices are in the premium range with the bigger quantities and the singles tending to fetch a higher premium. We aren’t surprised by this price point due to the quality but still, it is important to understand that these pencils are intended for specific applications and aren’t universal. So keep in mind that you will have to consider these an add-on to other sets so budget accordingly. But while they can be expensive, they are good at what they do.
Overall Ranking – 4/5
A nice addition to have with your standard, more “blend-friendly” set of colored pencils as these have a specific role that they do quite well. For the price, you get a well-made and proven colored pencil set that should last you for quite some time. Although the scope of what Derwent Studio Colored Pencils are capable of might seem somewhat narrow, what they do, they do well. They might not be a good choice for someone just starting but a lovely addition to an already established artist toolbox. Particularly for someone who wants to enjoy some very precise yellows and oranges.