Today l am soooo excited l probably won’t stop writing for ages. I have been testing out my new Derwent Lightfast pencils, and l have been longing to tell you all about them. But l wanted to make sure l had tried them out properly first of all. l have now completed several pieces using pretty much only the Lightfast pencils.
They are an oil based pencil, tested to be ‘100% lightfast’ (please read last week’s blog for my thoughts on that). They are a premium quality, professional, artists pencil and they now come in 100 colors.
And before l tell you any more, l am going to start by saying that they are the pencils of my dreams. They are soooo gorgeously beautiful to work with that l haven’t wanted to put them down since l opened the box.
The most incredible thing about these pencils is the richness of the pigment. I have never had a pencil ooze so much color onto the paper with so little effort. With certain colors it is like pencilling with ink, the color just slides onto the paper. I have actually had a first for me with colored pencil, and that is that l have got too much color on the paper too soon! With some colors l have had to learn to go very lightly indeed. Many of the darker colors particularly are just so intense, so fast.
The lay down of the pigment is buttery smooth, such a beautiful sensation to work with. This is true for nearly all the colors, there are one or two that are not quite so good. They have a slightly scratchy feel or the pigment does not come out as strong as l would like. On the chart above l have started the colors that l found scratchy or lacking in pigment, one star for a little lacking and two stars for a colour l didn’t really like using. I think there are six that l found unpleasant to use. But l have not had any actually score the paper as l have with Luminance.
Most of them are even creamier and smoother than the good Luminance colors. They blend into each other like blending an oil pastel. And yet they are not horribly soft to work with. They sharpen to a really good point which they hold reasonably well.
They are a softer core than Pablo’s or Polychromos so will not hold a point for as long as those and the line you get is not quite as fine. But with regular sharpening you can get really good fine detail.
They blend beautifully with Luminance too. (Actually they are the perfect compliment to Luminance).And l was surprised to find that Pablo’s and Polychromos would layer nicely on top (which they won’t over Luminance).
The only con for me with these pencils is that they are missing some pretty core colors, there is no real pink
(there are three beautiful pastel pinks) no rose, fuchsia or hot pink. Very weirdly there is no turquoise blue?! And weirder still are the greens. Lots of dark greens but only two horrible, lurid mid greens (Grass Green and Grass Green 70%), these are the color a 5 year old would paint grass. There are no light greens at all and no yellow greens. There is a gorgeous pastel mint green. This is annoying as l can easily make a light green darker but l can’t make a dark green lighter. The only way l have managed to use Grass Green so far is with large amounts of yellow.
There are however, some magic colors. Nightshade is glorious and l never, ever want to be without it. It will be in every piece l work. Dark Indigo, Mars Violet, Arctic (pale pastel blue), lots of gorgeous pastels.
An average number of greys for the color range l think and some really pretty and unusual ones (although greys seemed to be consistently the more scratchy ones).
Champagne is a gorgeous pale yellow. Derwent Red is a beautiful red. The sort of red you expect to find in every set of pencils but is actually rarely there. There are some beautiful dark oranges that veer towards brown but are not brown. Wild lavender is an excellent pale lilac.
I find l still want my Polychromos black to sharpen things up, (you really can’t beat the crisp edge you get from those pencils).ln fact l still want my Pablo’s and Polychromos for the finest details and definitely for the missing colors. I am finding that l like to use the Lightfast along with Luminance to build vibrant color more quickly and then l add detail on top with Polychromos and Pablo’s.
The white is actually the best white pencil l have used so far. And l also discovered today that my Pablo’s white works really well on top of even lots of layers of Lightfast.
l have had no core breakage issues. No problems with sharpening them.
I have really, thoroughly tested these pencils out now, and l can honestly say that l love these pencils. I mean l really love them. For sheer vibrancy and pigment and the beautiful feel of the lay down these are just the nicest pencils l have ever used. They are up there on my top spot with Polychromos and Pablo’s.
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