What is the difference between professional colored pencils and normal ones?
Reader Question: What is the difference between professional colored pencils and normal ones?
I've provided links below to the relevant products so that you can easily find them on Blick Art Materials, my favorite online art supplier. I'm a member of Blick's affiliate program, which means if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I'll receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Your purchase helps support this site and keeps it free of ads. Click here for more info.
Professional colored pencils, also called Artist Quality colored pencils, differ from "normal" colored pencils in several ways:
Professional colored pencils contain more pigment and less binder, whereas with normal colored pencils, it's the other way around.
The higher pigment content in colored pencils makes the colors more vibrant and rich, to the point where heavily layered colored pencil drawings can even resemble paintings... like my colored pencil drawing below!
Normal colored pencils, on the other hand, can't create drawings that are this vibrant and rich in color, because they don't contain strong enough pigments.
The higher pigment content in professional quality colored pencils (such as Prismacolor), combined with a core made of wax, clay and other ingredients, makes Prismacolor Colored Pencils softer than normal colored pencils. For this reason Prismacolors are easier to blend, which is ideal for creating strong colors, variations in hue, and transitions from light to dark.
Professional colored pencils are also more lightfast than regular colored pencils, so they are more resistant to fading over time. In other words, colored pencil drawings that were created using professional colored pencils will last much longer than colored pencil drawings created with regular colored pencils, which will fade or lighten within a few years.
Professional colored pencils like Prismacolor are also available in a wider range of colors than you'd find in a normal set of colored pencils. Prismacolors are available in 132 colors, which is ideal for creating fine art drawings.
In short, if you want to create fine art colored pencils drawings to display or sell, go for the professional quality colored pencils. You'll see better results. However, if you are on a budget or you just want to draw with colored pencils for fun, feel free to experiment with regular colored pencils.
If you make a purchase via the link below I receive a small commission, which helps support this site.