When the art world is blessed with such colored pencil excellence as Caran d’Ache’s Luminance line and Prismacolor’s world-famous Premier Soft-Cored line, do we really need another creamy, soft-cored, color popper? The answer is absolutely yes! And that colored pencil is another fantastic Derwent brainchild, the Derwent Coloursoft Colored Pencil.
Prismacolor and Caran d’Ache produce some of the best colored pencils in the world and their soft-cored colored pencils are the stuff of an artist’s most blissful dreams. That being said, Derwent has created a colored pencil for the coloring aficionados.
I’m not saying that those with a Prismacolor or Caran d’Ache firmly poised between thumb and forefinger are not enjoying themselves (those are some phenomenal pencils!), but Derwent makes a colored pencil that is soft not only at its core- the very tone of a Derwent Coloursoft is soft. The colors are lighter and more blendable.
What They’re Good For
Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils lend themselves very well to the blending and burnishing techniques one might use in portrait drawing. The softer colors mean that more layers may be applied and the velvety finish with minor wax bloom means that layering doesn’t look layered. Just an subtle harmony of colors such as you might see in the finish of an oil painting.
Since these are soft-cored colored pencils with a slightly less intense finish than other brands, they are not very good for highly detailed work. These are designed for blending over large areas, not the sharp, intense color needs of a more detailed project.
Designed for extensive coloring and blending use, these colored pencils are ideal for portrait drawings and projects that require a lot of color. They are ideal for layering and burnishing, producing a smooth, cohesive finish that is the result of many hours of work.
Derwent recently reformulated their colored pencils to account for the demand in more lightfast, permanent colored pencils. This means that all of their colored pencils are professional grade colored pencils with a high lightfastness rating. Since their Coloursoft line consists of lighter colors, they do rank lower on the lightfastness scale than their more intense lines, but that being said, the color is designed to last.
Durability/ Sturdiness 3/5
Derwent Coloursoft pencils have a very soft, creamy core. Since they are also designed to be used over large areas, they do not last very long. That being said, since they are designed to be layered, depending on your technique this will either mean that you preserve the life of individual colored pencils or extinguish a whole set with overzealous layering.
Binder/ Quality 5/5
This is a soft-cored color pencil which means that it has a higher percentage of wax to make it smooth. The colors are also intentionally made lighter, the better to blend and burnish. Smooth upon application, with minimal wax bloom and very easy to spread, this pencil performs with very high quality.
Color Intensity 3/5
These are not very intense colored pencils, but it says so on the description. They are soft colors, both in texture and appearance. Those soft colors however, are rich. The application of the colors are more sheer than other soft-cored pencils because this feature allows the colors to blend well with others.
The smallest set of Derwent Coloursoft Colored pencils is a set of six. That, coupled with the fact that these are professional grade colored pencils makes them very affordable to the casual artist. For the quality of the colored pencil and its use in practicing blending and burnishing techniques, you cannot get a better-performing colored pencil.
Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils are one of Derwent’s many successful colored pencil lines. They cater to specific coloring techniques and while most people look for a colored pencil with an intense color finish, it is Coloursoft’s lack of that feature that distinguishes it from the rest.