Prismacolor Art Stix Pencils
12-48 count pack
3 1/4″ x 1/4″ x 1/4″ block
Fantastic Color Intensity
Great for Large Areas of Work
A lot of Color for the Price
Not the Best for Fine Details
Prismacolor Art Stix Pencils Review
The Prismacolor Art Stix are made of the same material as the core of the standard Prismacolor Softcore Pencils, so you know that you are getting a quality product. However, these do not have a casing, which has its pros and cons depending on what you are going for. The color choices are less and the price is more but you get much more “color” per stick and you don’t have to deal with sharpening them. They come in 12 to 48 packs and are in a 3 ¼”x1/4”x1/4” block.
Visual Appeal – 4/5
In terms of color intensity and consistency, these are fantastic. The soft core is silky smooth and blending is a breeze. Speaking of, you will have to do a bit of mixing to get some specialty colors you might be after since these only come in up to 48 choices. The existing color gaps will be particularly noticeable in the smaller 12 and 24-pack sets.
Since the original intent for this is very broad strokes that can cover a great amount of area and to ease the blending process, try to focus your large-area work on taking advantage of the colors you have at your disposal via Art Stix over the conventional pencil. And for your more detailed areas, stick to traditional colored pencils with a small core. This makes a great one/two punch along with your favorite set of Prismacolor Colored Pencils. If you happen to try to use the Art Stix in small areas, you may become frustrated as it is easy to apply color across your desired borders. The only exception to this is if you are able to get the tip to a fine point.
Usability and Durability – 3/5
These have a much different feel than conventional colored pencils since you are literally holding a small block that is nothing more than the core. It sort of reminds of using an oil pastel without its paper packaging. The smooth feel is still there, but just over a larger effect since you don’t exactly “sharpen” these.
Strokes are large and, with a bit of pressure, can be extremely pronounced. Save your more detailed parts for a conventional pencil as trying to do so with these will be extremely frustrating. Obviously, since you are holding directly on to the colored core there can be some rubbing effect on your hands (and really anywhere you lay the pencil) so be careful!
Another great way to use this is to lay them long ways and gently push down. This allows you to cover enormous amounts of space. This can be great for skylines or water scenes where initially you are just wanting to put down a lot of color before going back over with more details.
Packaging and Presentation– 4/5
The 12, 24, 36, and 48 packs all come in an attractive case with extruded channels that each pencil can “pop” into. The pencil itself has no wood outside so there is no conventional marking you would see like on other pencils. Some people might find the lack of a wood outside odd but to each their own. Also, the pencils will vary in length, straightness, and even in width in some cases. It almost looks like whoever was packaging these pencils was cutting the cores out by hand, hence the variation.
Cost – 3.5/5
Prices are in the mid-range. This is typically more expensive than most other Prismacolor offerings (outside of their highest end sets) but you are also getting a lot more of the colored wax core with these than you would with a normal Prismacolor set. This means you can put down a lot more color from a single stick so the extra cost is understandable. Of course, you are also giving up the wood outer and a bit of the comfort associated with that. These are really designed as a support set as well so those on a tight budget should probably spend their money on a “normal” set before splurging on these.
Overall Ranking – 4/5
The Prismacolor Art Stix are a unique approach that definitely has its merits, depending on the application. They would definitely be best as a complementary set for someone who already has an established set, as certain things such fine details are quite difficult with these. However you are getting a stick full of the fantastic Prismacolor Soft Core Pencil’s core which has been shown to produce excellent colors, so for that, the slight upcharge is acceptable. We encourage experimenting with these in tangent with another one of your favorite sets to realize some fantastic results.