Prismacolor Premier Pencil Review- Artist quality water resistant colored pencils 150 colors. Wax Based. Soft, with thick cores. A lot of the colors are unique, and very beautiful. When you get a good pencil, they have creamy, smooth lay-down of color. If you really do love grey, there are 6 each of Warm, Cool, and French Grey, as well as other greys. Cool greys have a Bluish tint. Warm greys have a reddish tint. And French greys have a yellowish tint.
Prismacolor Premiers are available in open stock, in boxes, and in beautiful tins. The new 150 box is very sturdy, the pencils are arranged somewhat in color order, and are now presharpened. Sometimes the wrong end (the one with the name) has been sharpened by mistake. They are usually not sharpened evenly. Once opened, the top can fold back to make an easel stand that props the box up slightly. There are three layers, each with two plastic trays that lift out. The plastic trays are flimsy and you end up juggling the layers around to get to the ones that are not on top. If the top two layers were put in firm cardboard that lifted out, they would be easier to place on your desk without spilling them. The cover art is by Ester Roi, who uses her Icarus Heated Board with Prismacolors and other colored pencils.
Prismacolors used to be owned by a comany called Berol, and older pencils have this name on them. The Berol pencils were of much higher quality than the new ones. It is very sad that this pencil has the potential to be a really great colored pencil, and in fact artists have done beautiful work with them. But the company no longer seems to care at about their quality. Or the fact that long time artists have complained about them. We first started using these in the early 1980's, so it is not like we haven't hung in there and keep trying to use them. Here are some of the issues:
When sharp, the tips tend to snap off and break.
Trying to sharpen them often is impossible, since the cores sometimes crumble up and break apart.
Many of the pencils, not just a few, have off-centered cores. This makes them impossible to sharpen evenly, and that pencil is basically worthless.
You often have to use up 3 pencils to achieve the same amount of coverege as a higher quality pencil. So the fact that they are initially less expensive really is rather meaningless.
Cores are not glued in. Often, 2 or more inches of your pencil core just 'slides out' of the pencil.
You really do need to hand-sharpen Prismacolors.
Most of the early instructional books were made based on Prismacolors. Some of the best teachers are heavily invested in this product, so they teach students only about this type of colored pencil. If you are trying to use instructions based on Prismacolor to learn how to best use colored pencils, you really need to use the Prismacolors.
Most are of poor quality.
Excellent Color Selection, and widely available in the US.
Layers very well.
Blends very well.
No line of matching water-soluble pencils (which can give you a fast base layer, and get rid of the white dots on the paper very quickly).
No Lightfastness ratings.
No Pigment Information.
Difficult to Sharpen.