US Art Supply is making yet another line of novice-grade colored pencils, to compete with the huge range already existing on the market and to make your options much more expansive. As their name indicates, US Art Supply makes a range of artist-catered products and their basic colored pencils are made to stand out from the rest because of their excellent blending capability.
These colored pencils come in pretty big packs for beginner sets. Count sets range from 36 to 50 colored pencils. To make up for the cost of a better-quality core, these colored pencils are a bit lacking in the packaging department. Covered in a simple plastic slip that snaps close, the colored pencils are not very well protected and they also lack proper labeling. Other than a “matching” lacquer coating, they have no other indication of the pencil’s color on the pencil.
While the packaging and pencil presentation could use some improvement, these pencils blend especially well for a novice-grade colored pencil. Bound in a basic round barrel and made with a wax core, these are more “waxy” than regular colored pencils which makes them slightly softer and loads easier to blend and layer.
What They’re Good For
US Art Supply Colored Pencils are a good set for beginners who need practice with coloring techniques, especially blending. Novice-grade colored pencils usually don’t cater very well to practicing because other than being durable and challenging (some could say honing) your pressure control, they’re quite difficult to work with. These colored pencils however, are incredibly good for blending and because layering and shading requires a similar texture, they’re just all around good for practicing.
US Art Supply prioritized certain features when they developed these colored pencils, but their judgement was right on. These colored pencils set themselves apart from other brands because they have a higher quality lead than their competitors and while they may not look fancy and you’ll have to find something else than their original packaging to carry them around in, you won’t regret choosing them.
These are a novice-grade colored pencil and they are not designed for lightfastness. Pretty much every beginner level colored pencil you use is the same in this aspect. That being said, these can be slightly less fade resistant than other colored pencils simply because their color intensity is not strong to begin with.
Durability/ Sturdiness 4/5
If you ignore any protection the packaging provides (in this case, none), these are quite durable colored pencils. Made with a thick, waxy core, and fitted into a round, wooden barrel, the pencils are made to last. Also, because their wax is softer than regular wax-based pencils, the core is not brittle and stands up well to sharpening.
Binder/ Quality 5/5
The outstanding feature of these colored pencils is their wax core. While basic across brands, US Art Supply manufactured a novice-grade colored pencil with a high quality wax core that unlike its competitors, can actually perform a great blending and layering function.
Color Intensity 3/5
While they come in a greater color selection than competing brands, US Art Supply colored pencils have been criticized for their lack of brightness. While you can get decent color and intensity by layering and blending, one color alone comes off a little pale. Not only are the colors not very bright, but they also change very subtly across the color spectrum. Since they do improve significantly with blending and the quality of the pigment is great for the value, we do rate these a little higher.
When you pay for an artist grade colored pencil as opposed to a novice-grade pencil, you are primarily paying for the difference in the core texture and what that does toward the quality of your coloring project. In terms of cost, when you buy a set of US Art Supply Colored Pencils, you are paying for a basic colored pencil that far outperforms its grade. The value is inarguably better than fair.
One of the best beginner level colored pencils on the market, US Art Supply Colored Pencils are a great snag for their price. Unlike the majority of equivalent colored pencils, these will allow you to practice blending and layering with a good resemblance to the real deal.