Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils
12-60 count pack
Decent Color Vividness
Not Very Good Packaging
Blending Could be Better
Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils Review
Updated by Brandon F. on January 23, 2020
A lower-end and more beginner-friendly option, the Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils attempt to combine the high-quality, easily blendable soft wax from their Premiere Soft Core line with a harder wax. These teach proper pressure applications and makes a more durable pencil at the expense of less blending capability and also a cheaper price. Sets are available in 12 to 60 packs as well as school packs. They come on a round colored exterior.
Visual Appeal – 3.5/5
The vivid, pure colors of the higher-end Prismacolor lines, for the most part, carry over to these as well. There is a bit more of a waxy layer that exists which might be off-putting to some as it will create some wax bloom. In addition, the less creamy and thick application will result in greater difficulties in blending and trying to find that perfect color if it doesn’t happen to be already on a pencil.
Speaking of, the sets go up to 60 colors so, while a majority of necessary colors will exist out of the box if you are wanting something more unique it might prove to be a bit more challenging. If your budget allows, go with the 60 count as it really expands on the reds, oranges, and yellows that the smaller sets are lacking on. With the smaller sets you will mostly be working with your primary colors.
Usability and Durability – 3/5
The overall harder core of Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils results in a less creamy feel. Getting a thick layer will be more dependent on applying pressure (and sometimes a lot of it!). However, since these are a harder material they should hold up to quite a bit of heavy pressure abuse. This makes them good for classroom settings where you might get multiple people applying varying levels of pressure to a single pencil.
In addition, sharpening these are much less cumbersome since the sharpened point will be less prone to falling apart. Blending will be more difficult with these, and any blending that does occur could get a bit waxy. It would also be nice to have a more grip-friendly exterior but it is a minor complaint.
We have experimented with adding solvents and also stacking on other types of colored pencils, but with mixed results. These seem to be best left to themselves as layering can be hit-or-miss with other brands involved.
Packaging and Presentation – 1.5/5
The “more affordable aspect” of these really shows through with the packaging. These come in a cheap plastic sleeve that you would be upset with even in a cheap budget pencil brand. They don’t do a very good job of protecting the pencils and there is little in terms of security while in the sleeve, so extra care needs to be taken when transporting these around.
The only bright spot is that the case has a self-standing feature. The pencils themselves have color-matching exteriors with the standard Prismacolor stamping on them.
Cost – 3/5
Costs for these are typically in the budget range. For this price, you are getting a quite good color output with plenty of intensity and what would amount to a pretty nice starter set for beginners or students. The inherent toughness of the cores is an added bonus.
If you really want to learn proper blend technique and experience a truly soft wax pencil then you would likely have to spend nearly twice this much. The packaging definitely could use an upgrade, though, even for the relatively cheap asking price.
Overall Ranking – 3/5
The Prismacolor Scholar Colored Pencils set is a nice training pencil that should be reasonable for most budgets. Some corners are cut to drive down the costs while still retaining some of the good qualities Prismacolor is known for. Notably, blending and the overall “feel” of the pencil doesn’t match the premium sets while color output and core toughness are more than adequate.
A serious artist might want to save up a bit more and purchase a softer wax set such as the standard Prismacolor lineup but these should do the trick for most everyone else. In particular, these are great for classroom settings.