Review: Colored Pencils

working on the Journal Fodder 365 challenge over on my ning site. Feel
free to go and join the group here
. Good stuff. One of the things the
JFJ suggest that I hardly ever use and didn’t have in my arsenal are
colored pencils. I have some, but not many and a few select colors. I
haven’t used CP in years. So at a recent trip to A&C I picked up a
few singles of a variety of colors form a range of brands. I’ve used a
few different brands of CP extensively- Prismacolor, Prang large core
and Palomino. All are good, feature a large creamy core of intense
color. I prefer CP that lay down a large quantity of color with ease. I
despise Col-erase CP by Prismacolor.

picked up the following: Koh-i-nor tricolor, Koh-i-nor progresso
woodless, and Faber-Castell polychrome. The progresso woodless were the
least expensive and are available at a variety of locations, so you can
buy them with a coupon. The tricolor were in the middle in terms of
price and are slightly less available but I have seen them at AC Moore.
The Polychrome were the most expensive  and least accessible in that I
don’t think I’ve ever seen them anywhere but A&C and Blick.
progresso pencil was the most surprising of all. It’s lower price point
led me to believe it would be the worst of the group. It was far from
it. The lead was well pigmented and I was able to put down a  nice swath
of color with ease and even pressure. The point wore well. It sharped
with ease in a standard sharpener. The only problem I found with the
progresso pencil was that if you drop them the colored core fractures
and pressure will snap the pencil into pieces. I found this to be
annoying but at the same time not a huge deal.
Tri-color were the sturdiest pencils of the lot, I never broke the
lead, even with heavy handed pressure. The thick wooden triangular
barrel keeps the lead safe. The color was slightly weaker than the other
2 pencils. It also needed to be sharpened with a knife. I know it has a
specialized sharpener but I didn’t purchase one. These would be a great
pencil to use with kids, as they are super tough.IMAG0319
polychrome was the best performer. Laying down a swath of color was no
problem, it practically leapt to the page. And the color once applied
was intense and smooth. The core on these pencils is the thinnest of the
3 purchased, so in addition to being the most expensive option it’s the
lowest value. However the intensity of color is superb and the best of
the lot. These are clearly artist grade and perform close to what I
remember to be Prismacolor performance, a gold standard in my book.

was surprised by all these pencils. I expected at least one of them to
suck- be too hard, pale or a waste of money. Any of these pencils would
be a good value. With the 12 pack of the progresso woodless being about
$7 without coupon they take the crown of best bang for your buck. They
also have the most amount of lead- in that the pencil has no wood, so
its all color. The tricolor was slightly less soft and creamy, taking a
little more effort to get pigment on the page, but still not a bad
value. The polychrome was the best performer but the most expensive,

Per pencil price at A&C:
Progresso: $.57
Triocolor: $1.85
Polychrome: $2.43