Coloring Pencils/Pens/Markers Product Reviews

Prismacolor Colored Pencils Review | Swatching and Tips

Prismacolor Colored Pencils Review | Swatching and Tips

You can check out my video review of the Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils above.

If you want to jump ahead you can click on the relevant chapter link below

Introduction | Swatching | Sharpening | Tips for using Prismacolor Pencils

Prismacolor colored pencils are wax-based artist-grade pencils that are available in a number of sizes being 150, 132, 72, 48, and 36 pencils.


  • wax-based for easy blending
  • vibrant colors
  • large range of colors
  • wooden barrel with casing that is similar to pigment color
  • suitable for beginners to more advanced colorists and artists
  • pencil name and number printed on the barrel
  • no end cap means that you can easily see if the core is centered
  • available as open-stock individual pencils
  • the lightfast rating is not printed on the pencils but you can see a Prismacolor light fast rating here for each pencil


I have created a video testing out the best sharpeners for a range of colored pencils including Prismacolors which you can see here.

My favorite pencil sharpener is the M and R pencil sharpener.

Many subscribers and readers recommend the Dahle 133 but I have not tried this sharpener.

Erasing Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Prismacolors have a lot of pigment and it can be difficult to completely erase the color if you have added a lot of layers of color.     Most people use light layers of Prismacolor colored pencils which makes it easy to erase as you go.    You can erase the color carefully with your choice of eraser.

My favorite eraser is the Derwent electric eraser for larger areas.   You need to carefully use the eraser because if you are heavy-handed with it, you may tear the paper.

I use the Tombow mono eraser for small areas to erase by hand.


Best Paper for Prismacolor Colored Pencils

I have created a video testing out various papers with different pencils which you can see here.

My favorite paper to use with Prismacolor pencils is Canson Mi Teintes. This paper is dual-sided with one side being smooth for pencils and the other more textured for pastels. This paper is great if you are adding a lot of layers as it supports a lot of layering and blending.

Best Blender for Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Prismacolor sells a blender pencil separately that you can use.

My favorite blender pencil is the Caran D’Ache blender pencil.

For easy blending without pressure on my hands, I use the Tombow blender pen.

I have created a series reviewing a number of blending products and testing how they perform with pencils here.

Tips on using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

  • use light layers and build the color up
  • clean your sharpener by sharpening a lead pencil to remove a build-up of wax
  • slightly turn your pencil as you use it to keep the point sharp for longer
  • use a Crayola pencil or similar as a base layer if adding a lot of layers
  • use highlighter, markers, or watercolors as your base, and then add colored pencils on top for faster coloring and building of color
  • rest your hand on glassine paper to avoid smudging your picture as you work on it
  • wipe wax bloom if it occurs
  • brush pencil dust rather than blow on it to ensure it does not embed in your picture

Color Swatches

You can download a pre-colored Prismacolor swatch chart here 

I have created my swatch charts for Prismacolor in a paint chip style.    You can download a 3-page version here or a two-page version here.


  • large range of colors
  • can buy individual colored pencils
  • soft and easy to blend
  • large range of product options to suit different budgets and needs
  • pencils are often on sale


  • some colors are underrepresented in the largest set whereas others have a large range.  Depending on what you like to color the range of colors may not suit you
  • many users have experienced difficulty with the pencils breaking, crumbling, and problems with sharpening
  • the core on many of the pencils is not properly centered which may cause difficulty sharpening
  • depending on how you color, you may experience wax bloom or too much wax on your page making it difficult to add more color.  Time needs to be taken to learn how to use the pencils in a way that suits how you like to color
  • can be expensive to buy the full set

Happy coloring x


About the author


I'm Lea and I love everything to do with coloring! If it is a coloring book, a poster or even a bookmark that you can color in, I'm all over it. Of course, a girl has to have some pencils, markers, gelly rolls, pastels and what not to make those pictures pretty and I love those as well.

Whilst my coloring style lacks skill, I am enthusiastic and focused on enjoying the moment and having fun.

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