Anastasiya writes: I was told that Prismacolors are the best colored pencils, so I got a large set. After watching your videos, I know that is definitely not the case. As I am still a beginner, I don’t feel comfortable buying the luminance or polychromos knowing that I will be essentially wasting them on beginner work. The Prismacolors, despite being the cheapest of the three, were a huge purchase for me. Did I waste my money? Are they still good?
Everyone is going to have a different idea of what the “best” is. Here in the US, prismacolor has a reputation for being the best that stems back from when they really were our best option. Back in the early 90’s or before, we couldn’t easily go online and buy other pencils. Prismacolor by far were the best available to us. When they were bought by another company who started cheaping out on the manufacturing of them their name carried them. Many artists were already used to working with them and just dealt with the quality control issues. Many more didn’t realize there was a change in how they were made but assumed that they were doing something wrong to cause the breakage issue. These days we have MANY options for great quality colored pencil but so many artists still believe they are our only good choice. I was one of those at one point.
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan anymore but that doesn’t mean they are a terrible pencil. There are hundreds of artists who create absolutely amazing artwork with them. Even if you plan to move onto luminance and polychromos at a later time, that doesn’t mean that you won’t learn a ton from using your prismacolors! Don’t feel like they aren’t good enough to use or that you shouldn’t enjoy your new pencils! My personal issues with them are more about the company’s known quality control issues and that they are doing nothing to remedy the problem as far as anyone can tell. At worst, you will have to sharpen your pencils more often than if you were using another brand and frame your work behind UV protecting glass to protect the colors that aren’t lightfast. They aren’t a bad pencil otherwise and they do blend beautifully. Don’t regret your purchase! I would still consider them one of the top choices for colored pencil artists!
One tip I have that made a HUGE difference in the breakage was to use an electric sharpener. I still had more breakage than with any other pencil, but it reduced the amount of cracked leads significantly!