In an interesting turn of presentation, these are exactly the same core as you’ll find in the world-famous Prismacolor Softcore Pencils, with the exception that these come in block form- stix!
Prismacolor Art Stix Pencils are not technically a pencil. They are an uncovered block of lead with the same formula as Prismacolor’s Softcore pencils.
Available in a decent range of 12 to 48 colored pencils, Prismacolor’s Art Stix are a fantastic bulk of lead arranged into a 3 ¼”x1/4”x1/4” block. The blocks can be used with a lead holder and you are more than welcome to sharpen them, but they are better used for coverage of large areas- you can always drag color with a sharpened blending stick to work on more detailed areas.
The color intensity and application are phenomenal and anyone who’s worked with the Softcore line can compare these precisely, the integrity is absolute- with the single exception that these colored pencils will last far longer and cover way more ground (or paper).
What They’re Good For
Colored pencil stix have the buttery, rich application of the softcore line, but they are better to use for large areas or large-scale projects.
These are not technically a colored pencil and have a very different feel than colored pencils. If you’ve used a pastel block before, the feel and grip is similar- working with a Prismacolor Stix is like using a tiny brick. The application and look is still the same and with very little pressure, you can cover a lot of ground and apply a lot of color.
Another thing to watch out for when using a colored pencil block is the smudge. Control can be an issue, since there is no barrier between the lead and the paper (or your hand) so smudging can be a problem- just watch where you lay the Stix.
So here’s the main thing to take away: buying the Prismacolor Art Stix is like buying a big chunk of the lead inside Prismacolor Softcore Colored Pencils. A lot more lead for an equivalent price. The only catch? It comes in a block and you have to practice with it to get a hang of coloring with a tiny brick.
These are a professional grade colored pencil and have an outstanding lightfastness rating. Prismacolor is world known for their brilliant colors and velvety rich finish and with their superb lightfastness ratings, that color remains permanently fresh-looking.
Durability/ Sturdiness 5/5
Even though they lack a wooden barrel or a protective lacquer coating, the Prismacolor Art Stix are very durable. Also, since you don’t have to sharpen them, practically zero lead is wasted. They do cover much more ground than the traditional prismacolor pencil, but since the lead has the same formula, the block is not as easily used up through application like say, a pastel block. The strokes themselves are large and very pronounced, even with the slightest bit of pressure. Not only are these durable in their use, but they are also very sturdy due to their block structure.
Binder/ Quality 4/5
In terms of quality, these are another example of Prismacolor’s adherence to their company’s integrity. The Art Stix are made with the same lead formula as Prismacolor’s Premier Softcore Colored Pencils. Manufactured with a soft, wax-based core made with pure ground pigment, the only issue you’ll encounter is the color selection. As opposed to their pencil counterparts, the Stix only come in 48 colors. However, blending and layering comes very easy with these, so you can make specialty colors missing from the pack.
Color Intensity 5/5
Prismacolors are known for their brilliant, ink-like colors and paint-like intensity. Even though they are not an oil-based colored pencil, they offer the creamy rich application of an oil and the intensity of saturated pigment. If you’ve used a Prismacolor soft core pencil before, the expect the exact same vibrant color.
These are a professional grade colored pencil, but they are still quite affordable with a price in the mid to high range. They are more expensive than the Prismacolor colored pencil lines because they simply offer more product. Additionally, you can buy the 12 pack for a very reasonable price and while it may take a little extra work and technique, you can use these as a main coloring tool.
Prismacolor’s unique approach in creating the Prismacolor Art Stix pays off in an amazing product that fans of the company are sure to love. Artists who draw for large-scale products cannot get a better coloring tool than the Prismacolor Art Stix- there is simply no competing with Prismacolor’s superb quality.