I have a triple review for you today, concentrating on British brand Derwent and some of its products. The Derwent name is synonymous with high-calibre materials, their award-winning artist's pencils beginning manufacture in 1832 and later being used in classic animation such as The Snowman. They have a wide range of graphite and coloured pencils, as well as pens, pastels and watercolours, and are very economical in price whilst maintaining a great standard of quality. Derwent have recently produced their own book for the adult colouring market, alongside Lake District-based illustrator Sarah Taylor. Let's have a look at the book first and then move onto a comparison of the pencils.
Number of Pages: 96
Size: 24 x 24cm square
Paper colour: White
Paper surface: Smooth
Paper thickness: Good
One sided: No
Drawings go into the spine: Yes
Waterbased pen bleed: None
As you can see the book focuses primarily on wildlife and nature- some of Sarah's favourite things. There's copious amounts of flora and fauna to colour, the dense foliage accompanied by a plethora of characterful wild animals and insects. A few of the pages are partially done for the colourist to finish, but for those of you who don't favour this in books I can assure you these pages are few and far between (4 in total). There's a good mix of linework from fine up to bold, and it's not all landscapes and creatures- there's some geometric patterns thrown in too. Although it is double-sided, with acid free 150GSM paper there is no bleed so it's ideal for waterbased markers and coloured pencils alike. Which brings me onto the Derwent pencils!
They each come in a maximum of 72 shades, listed here:
Both types of pencils perform well, though I'm not hugely confident or clued up about watercolour pencils yet so I tried a small section of my picture to see how it went. I did the gnome's hats (below) with the Inktense, and found them to have a definite learning curve! I've created some shading there (I need to remember the position of my light source, I always forget!) but I will need lots more practice with them to acheive the desired results.
Below is a page I coloured from Unwind in the Wilds with the Coloursoft pencils. I found them to be very similar to Polychromos in terms of blending, so I feel these would be a cheaper alternative if you're looking for good performance on a budget.
I hope you enjoyed my review of Derwent's popular offerings! You can find them all on Amazon below: