A basic beginners pencil with great blending capabilities, Top Quality Art Supply’s novice-grade colored pencils are a unique set marketed specifically for a beginner’s unique needs- color selection, durability, and okay performance.
While most basic colored pencil sets (and even specialty pencils) come in a standard 12-24 count pack, these colored pencils are primarily sold in bulk. The company offers their Art Supplies Colored Pencils in a “basic” set of 72 colored pencils, a huge (and some argue complicated) case of them.
The pencils themselves are made with a hard wax core and set into a wooden barrel carved into a hexagonal shape, to improve grip. Each pencil is covered in a lacquer coating depicting the color of the lead, however other than the outside visual, there is no other indication or label of the color within- this can be an issue for people who cannot discriminate between subtle shade differences.
Despite the fact that labeling could use some improvement, the color selection available is varied, distinctive, and wide. Unlike most basic coloring sets, this brand includes a generous range of metallic colors as well as a good spectrum of the warm and cool tones, as well as skin and off-white colors.
What They’re Good For
Top Quality Art Supplies provide a great beginners set of colored pencils. Not only is the selection of colors huge, something a beginner needs to gain experience with color combination, layering, and blending, but the colored pencils also perform well for said coloring techniques, something quite rare in novice-grade colored pencils.
Wax-based pencils, especially novice-grade, tend to make a hard core, a feature that is difficult to shade with, let alone blend. Top Quality Art Supplies makes a surprisingly blendable novice-grade colored pencil and the color quality is also pretty vivid. Add to this the fact that these colored pencils are budget-priced and you’ve got an amazing set of colored pencils to practice your coloring techniques with.
There are a lot of novice-grade colored pencils on the market, and leading the bunch are the world-class Crayola colored pencils, with some of the higher brand colored pencils trailing, but not reaching because of price difference. Top Quality Art Supplies may however, give Crayola a run for its money, by sheer advantage of quantity. Let’s see how this brand measures up to the criticism.
These are a novice grade colored pencil and as such have an expectedly low lightfastness rating. That being said, you get what you pay for and you are paying for a beginner pencil that is great for practice. As far as something that will resist sunlight, not so much.
Durability/ Sturdiness 3/5
Harder cores also tend to be a bit brittle and unfortunately this is one of the downfalls of this otherwise great performing colored pencil. You can reduce breaking your lead by using a dual-use sharpener (one that sharpens the wood and then the lead) or an X-acto knife, but otherwise, these colored pencils are known to be a little weak. As far as durability in terms of the color itself, these are great for working on large areas because the color goes on easily and spreads very well. These can be durable, but you have to take care of them.
Binder/ Quality 5/5
Compared to their equivalent in other brands, Top Quality Art Supplies Colored Pencils are of excellent quality and are very high-performing colored pencils. Even though they are made of a hard, wax core, they are very easy to blend and shade with. Unlike the traditional novice-grade colored pencil, these do stand up well to sophisticated coloring techniques.
Color Intensity 5/5
You’ll have to press down a bit to get some good brightness out of this pencil, but otherwise, the colors are not only varied, but quite intense as well. The color selection is huge and covers the extremes and in-betweens of various tones. Awesome color selection and great performance for its grade.
In terms of value, you can’t get a much better deal. Novice grade colored pencils always come with the expectation of a mediocre performance and we pay for them enlightened of their shortcomings. These pencils do not have many shortcomings. They perform excellently, saving the minor issue of having brittle lead. However, the sheer quantity and range of colored pencils you receive, including the range of use, makes these colored pencils some of the best available for their value.
An excellent colored pencils with great performance features and a huge range of color as well as selection of pencils, Top Quality Art Supplies does indeed make a top quality novice-grade colored pencil. Even the top basic colored pencil brands like Crayola and Prang cannot compete with this brand’s color selection.