Thornton's Art Supply Colored Pencils Review

Visual Appeal
Overall Ranking

Thornton’s Art Supply Colored Pencils

12-150 count pack

Wax core

Round barrel



Nice Color Range

Acceptable Blending and Deep Color is Possible

Great Price


Color of Barrels Don’t Always Match Actual Color

Tips Can Break a Bit Too Easily

Check Current Prices on Amazon

Thornton’s Art Supply Colored Pencils Review

Last updated by Brandon F. on July 13, 2020

We have just recently learned about Thornton’s Art Supply and it appears that they are trying to make a splash in the very competitive budget colored pencil market.  Their offering comes in the form of a colored pencil that is advertised as being a step above the other budget lines in terms of softness and color output while still being user-friendly.  They come in packs of 12 up to their massive 150 count box (although the largest size isn’t just conventional colored pencils: it comes with water-soluble pencils, metallic colored pencils, charcoal pencils, and more) and has a traditional round barrel and wax core.

Visual Appeal – 3.5/5

When compared to their competition such as Crayola, Reeves, Prang, etc. these colored pencils do have comparable vibrancy.  You do have to push down pretty hard to get really deep colors but it is still possible to a certain extent.  You won’t enjoy the color depths of a premium line but then again you are paying only a fraction of the price for these so it is a good compromise.

Also, the larger sets do have a pretty nice variety of color choices.  The selection of blues and greens, in particular, is quite diverse.  Our biggest complaint is that the colors you see on the pencil don’t always match what the actual color output looks like so you will have to play with the colors and get a feel for them before diving into a piece of work.

Usability and Durability – 3/5

Being a softer core than many other budget offerings, you will probably notice that the tips seem to wear down and break off much more easily and quickly than you would like.  This is likely due to having to push down pretty hard for good colors so if you are gentler it might not be as big of an issue.

The color application is much creamier than we expected although some pencils seem to have “scratchy” spots in them that come and go as you wear down the pencil.  Also, a nice bonus of being a somewhat softer core is that you can do some minor blending with these which can be somewhat of a rarity in budget pencil brands.

Packaging and Presentation – 4/5

All but the largest sets of Thornton’s Art Supply Colored Pencils come in a standard cardboard box.  This is pretty standard for a budget colored pencil set so we can’t complain about it.  The largest set comes in a nice zippered black canvas case that makes transporting and protecting the pencils much easier but it, of course, comes at a bit of a premium.  The pencils themselves are nicely decorated, however, with a color-coordinated shell that is stamped and also has an aesthetically-pleasing bronze accent on the bottom.

Cost – 4.5/5

These pencils fall well into the most affordable student tier and should be within the budget of just about anybody.  Despite their low price they still seem to adhere to pretty good quality and presentation which can sometimes be tough to find in this price range.

Overall Ranking – 3.5/5

Thornton’s Art Supply Colored Pencils are more than acceptable for those looking to jump into colored pencils without breaking the bank and don’t want or need the extra performance that you get with the most expensive brands.  The color output is more than enough and can become quite deep with heavy applications and strokes are creamy enough to be enjoyable.

However, they aren’t quite as resilient as we hoped to see.  The presentation is on par if not exceeding most pencils at this price range (and even some above) and the color choices in the larger sets are plenty large for most people’s needs.  While they are no replacement for some Prismacolors, they will be great for a classroom or beginner setting.

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