Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils











  • Very smooth color lay-down from soft wax cores
  • Excellent blending capability
  • The overall value is great, considering how smooth they are an the relatively modest price
  • Hundreds of color varieties available, which helps save additional time and effort trying to create varieties yourself via blending
  • Quality is very good. Occasional minor splits in the wood or partially broken wax cores, but this is fairly rare (and is also somewhat dependent on where you buy them)


  • More expensive than lower end/more common retail pencils (although the value is still great due to high quality)
  • Not all retailers sell quality Prismacolor pencils. Although I've had great experience buying from Blick and, when I've bought from Walmart and third party sellers a greater percentage of the pencils were cracked/partially broken

In my other online life outside of writing reviews, I’m an amateur portrait artist. My primary medium is colored pencils, which I use a heavy blending style with thickly-layered color to try to achieve an almost paint-like effect. To avoid that “sketchy” pencil, I need a pencil with a relatively soft wax core. A softer core typically means easier layering, which in turn means it’s more likely to get this smooth blend in the final result.

Although I haven’t tried every colored pencil brand, I have sampled a few; I’ve used some generic store brands, Faber-Castell, Prismacolors, and various art set offerings. Of those I’ve tried, I have found the Prismacolor Premiers to be the best combination of cost effectiveness and quality. They still have a softness and smooth blending that seems to be an indicator of reasonable quality, but without absolutely destroying my wallet. If you don’t have experience with them, colored pencils can be sort of expensive. Prismacolor Premiers range from about $1-2 per pencil (about $1.35 per pencil right now at Blick), but the extremely high quality pencils like Caran d’Ache Luminance can be $4+ each. Those Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils, by the way, are supposed to be amazing; another artist described them to me once as being “smooth like butter.” I have yet to try them, mostly because I don’t want to become hooked and then not be able to afford them. Anyhow, the cheaper brands – especially those that I’ve found often in pre-packaged art sets, are noticeably less smooth to blend and have a grainy consistency (apparently due to more binders and fillers in the center wax). The value found in Prismacolor Premier pencils is quite excellent, bringing that gap between price and quality.

The first Prismacolor Premier purchase I made was a large 132 pencil set which had a wide variety of colors. The ability to differentiate between French Gray (a brownish gray), Warm Gray (nice for facial shadow), and Cool Gray (bluish gray) was a revelation! It opened up a new world of color variation and blending, especially when coupled with the varying darknesses/percentages (10, 20, 30, 50, 70, and 90). Essentially, having this tremendous variety has provided great utility and functionality. While I could probably get to those same colors by blending, it does save time to have many combinations in hand already. They quality is also fairly consistent; occasionally, I’ll find a core that is partially broken or some slightly cracked wood. But that is not as frequently encountered as it is with other brands I’ve tried.

Overall, I really can’t recommend these pencils enough – in the art supply category, Prismacolor Premier colored pencils are definitely on my go-to list for drawing.

Blick Art Materials

Availability Notes: These are available at many retailers. You can buy the larger sets for a decent price on Amazon, but the best price is often at Blick Art Supplies. I typically buy them per pencil (not in larger sets) directly from Blick. In my experience, typically the worst price is at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

Manufacturer Description:

  • Soft, thick cores are perfect for shading and shadows
  • Lightfast, richly saturated pigments
  • Ultra-smooth, even color laydown
  • Thick, robust leads resist cracking and chipping
  • Comes in multiple pencil count packages (36, 48, 72, 132, or 150)
  • Artist quality colored pencils for every level of expertise
  • Colors are easily blended, slow to wear and waterproof
  • Soft, thick cores create a smooth color laydown for superior blending and shading
  • Package contains one 9 3/4 by 8 1/8 by 1 1/8 inches tin

Product Description

Bring out the soft side of any illustration or art project with Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils featuring soft cores. Inside the box you’ll find coloring pencils featuring creamy cores that are the artist’s choice for blending, shading, and layering. Prismacolor colored pencils have pigments of unmatched quality and leads that are strong enough to be sharpened to a precision point. That means you can effortlessly switch between powerful lines, delicate blends, and silky shadowing.

From the Manufacturer

Designed to handle detailed work for advanced students and artists, these Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils feature high grade pigments for rich color saturation. Other features include soft, thick cores for superior blending and shading, and a color coded woodcasing for easy identification. The soft cores also resist breaking. Designed with professional artist quality for every level of expertise, these pencils come in an assorted set, and include a convenient tin case.

Artist Quality Colored Pencils

Bring your artistic vision to life with Prismacolor Artist Quality Colored Pencils! With a range of vibrant colors, you are sure to achieve your masterpiece accurately and completely. Inside the box you’ll find colored pencils featuring soft cores that are the artist’s choice for blending, shading and layering. At the same time, Prismacolor art pencils feature pigments of unparalleled quality and leads that are thick and durable. This empowers you to effortlessly transition between forceful lines, delicate blends and smooth shadows.

  • Soft core is perfect for shading and shadows
  • Richly saturated pigments
  • Lightfast
  • Smooth, even coverage
  • Thick, durable leads resist breaking
  • Vibrant colors
About Prismacolor

For over 75 years Prismacolor has set the standard for art products of unrivaled quality. Using only the finest materials and collaborating directly with artists to anticipate evolving needs, the Prismacolor portfolio has the tools artists need to flawlessly complete every project. From colored pencils to art markers and pastels, Prismacolor helps artists express their limitless imaginations.

Soft Cores for Smooth Coverage: Cores are both creamy and thick for unbeatable blending, smooth color laydown and reduced breakage.Superior Blending and Shading: Effortlessly combine colors to create unique shades that match your imagination.Vibrant, Intense Pigments: shades packed with brilliant, lasting pigments, you’ll have the right one to bring your illustration together.

See What’s Inside:

Cream, Ginger Root, Lemon Yellow, Canary Yellow, Yellowed Orange, Yellow Ochre, Spanish Orange, Goldenrod, Sunburst Yellow, Sand, Orange, Pale Vermilion, Poppy Red, Carmine Red, Crimson Red, Crimson Lake, Magenta, Process Red, Mulberry, Pink, Blush Pink, Light Peach, Beige, Peach, Dark Purple, Lilac, Parma Violet, Violet, Imperial Violet, Violet Blue, Ultramarine, Copenhagen Blue, True Blue, Lt. Cerulean Blue, Peacock Blue, Cloud Blue, Indigo Blue, Light Aqua, Aquamarine, Parrot Green, Yellow Chartreuse, Chartreuse, Lime Peel, Spring Green, Apple Green, True Green, Grass Green, Olive Green, Dark Green, Sepia, Jade Green, Putty Beige, Light Umber, Burnt Ochre, Sienna Brown, Terra Cotta, Tuscan Red, Dark Umber, Dark Brown, Warm Grey 20%, Warm Grey 50%, Warm Grey 70%, Cool Grey 20%, Cool Grey 50%, Cool Grey 70%, Black, French Grey 20%, French Grey 50%, French Grey 70%, White, Metallic Silver & Metallic Gold coloring pencils.

Manufacturer‎Newell Rubbermaid Office
Item Weight‎1.54 pounds
Product Dimensions‎8.15 x 1.15 x 10.25 inches
Item model number‎3599TN
Is Discontinued By Manufacturer‎No
Grip Type‎Contoured
Pencil Lead Degree (Hardness)‎2H
Material Type‎Wood
Number of Items‎1
Size‎36, 48, 72, 132, or 150 Count (Pack of 1)
Point Type‎Medium
Line Size‎0.7mm
Ink Color‎Assorted Color
Manufacturer Part Number‎3599TN

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