Prismacolor Premier Pencils are available in different sets: 12, 24, 36, 72, 132 and 150. The largest set comes in a cardboard box, organized in six plastic trays of 25 pencils each. (Photos are from my set, the new ones have a butterfly on the cover.)
My first Prismacolor pencils were bought by the unit, open stock at DeSerres and Michael’s. I think this is a great way to find out if you’re going to enjoy a set or not, before spending the money on it. I really liked them. When I started colouring, I watched many videos from Chris Cheng on YouTube, an artist colourist that does wonders with Prisma pencils. After that, I really wanted the 150 count set. 🙂
I was quite happy when they arrived! The colour selection is awesome. I really like it because there are so many pastel tones as well as intense colours. We have skin tones, earth tones and a spectrum of blues, greens and purples. There is a good range of browns and greys. For me, there are no colours missing.
Prismacolor Premier pencils have a soft, buttery core. They are absolutely pleasant to work with because they feel so soft and smooth when applying colour. In addition, they are very easy to blend. However, very soft cores have some drawbacks. They don’t last as long as firmer cores and they have the tendency to release dust and to smudge. I believe it is part of the characteristics of the medium, that the artist should explore to their best interest. I use a brush to clean the page while working to avoid smudging and it works well.
Sometimes, if many layers were applied or if you’re heavy-handed, the finishing may bloom: it may look waxy or develop a whitish layer.
It’s not a big deal and it can be solved by lightly cleaning with a dry, soft clot. I prefer to complete with a layer of blender, it brings all together and there is no bloom after that. I like the blender from Caran D’Ache or Prismacolor colorless blender pencil.
A problem many people encounter with Prismas is breakage when sharpening. Having a soft core, these pencils need to be sharpened often and they do have the tendency to break or sharpen unevenly. I confess I was getting discouraged, until I saw a post about a great sharpener for Prismas. After I bought a T’GALL pencil sharpener, no more problems sharpening my Prismacolor pencils! They really do the best job sharpening and I don’t have breakage anymore. Happy 🙂
According to their website, Prismacolor pencils should not be put in a microwave. If you find necessary, you may place your pencils on a warm spot, like a sunny spot to soften the core. In general, coloured pencils should not be exposed to drastic changes in temperature in order to preserve their qualities.
Prismacolor pencils seem to be quite resistant to light exposure! With the exception of three neon tones and a few pinks, most colours did not change at all after 30 days exposed to sunlight. 😀 Please check my Prismacolor Premier lightfastness test in this blog.
Prismacolor Premier pencils are a great choice to create beautiful artwork and to discover the pleasure of colouring. They’re perfect as an introduction to artist pencils and also to develop interest in artistic techniques. Easy to use, they perform well in almost every paper, from very smooth to more textured paper. This is one of my favourite sets: the vivid colours and creamy soft pencils create a great colouring experience.