Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Box of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils

Posted On October 1, 2018

Silky smooth, wax-based lead perfect for blending layers and layers of colour on your drawings along with very affordable price is one of the features that makes Prismacolor Premier colored pencils so desirable in the art world. I would not say that these are my personal favourite but for many artists out there they are the best.


Pencils come in a nice tin box, which is actually ideal because the leads are so sensitive so it is necessary protecting them from breakage in any possible way, in sets from 12 pencils, 24 pencils, 36 pencils, 48 pencils, 72 pencils all the way up to an amazing 150 pencils set. Tho if I were you I wouldn’t get much excited about the wide range of colours because many of them have bad lightfastness so are actually not usable in any serious artwork.

There is a way of preserving those if you are particularly fond of using Prismacolor Premier by using a fixative or putting your drawing behind the glass that protects from UV light so I wouldn’t call that feature of the pencils really bad because it’s very easy finding a way to deal with it. Prismacolor also offers a chart for lightfastness of each pencil and even sets of coloured pencils with good lightfastness so you can purchase only those.

open box of prismacolor premier colored pencils

Basic features

The barrel is nice and round with 3.8mm soft wax lead in it. The colours on the barrel of the pencils pretty much are those you get when drawing, wouldn’t say an exact match but very very close one.

A nice feature is you have full clour name written on each pencil in silver writing along with the specific colour number so it is very easy finding exact pencil you need if you ever want to buy any of them individually. Many would complain about round barrel shape tho I personally don’t see that as a downside in the design, it still is very comfortable drawing with them.

Wax and pigments used for the leads are amazing, pigments are of nice full colours, pencil leaves creamy layers of colour on the paper, blending these is a delight. If you experiment enough and learn how to use the advantage of such a nice creamy wax lead you can almost achieve an oil painting effect in your drawings.


The biggest remark I do have on these is that lead breaks so easily, it can be really irritating sometimes having to sharpen them over and over while you are in the middle of your work and have the lead breaking a lot while you sharpen them. Adding precise details with these pencils is almost impossible because even if you manage to sharpen the pencil to a fine sharp point it will most likely break if a bit more pressure is applied while drawing.

Also, you have to be extremely cautious and not let them fall ever. They can last you a long time if you manage not to drop them and if you use a good very sharp pencil sharpener. Again this is not something that can not be dealt with but as you use these you will start to come up with more and more issues you have to deal with so I definitely would not recommend these to those of you that are not very patient.

If you, however, decide to purchase this particular coloured pencil there is a way to minimize the lead breakage by simply leaving them on the sun or heating them in order for the lead to melt a little and bind better inside the barrel. This may help in prolonging the “life” of your pencils.

In the case of this particular brand pros and cons are somewhat equal. So it’s really up to you to see if the effects you get by drawing with these pencils are actually worth the little inconveniences you have while using them.


  • Soft wax creamy lead
  • Good for blending and layering
  • A large variety of colours
  • Low price for an artist-grade pencils


  • Not good lightfastness in a number of colours
  • Lead breaks very easily which makes a simple job as sharpening the pencils a challenge
  • Due to soft constantly breaking lead pencils last much shorter than some of the more price ones in the same category

Basically what I am trying to say is that these are really worth having considering the price for any of the sets, the price is more than acceptable having in mind this is an artist-grade coloured pencil. Also the effect you achieve while drawing with Prismacolor Premier is as good as it goes. Definitely, this brand of pencils is something I would recommend to anyone either you are a beginner in art or a professional looking for something unique and pleasant to work with.

Go with the smaller set first, pencils are so creamy and easy to blend so you can get most of the colours you need by blending them so that can additionally save you money. I think that the set of 48 coloured pencils will be enough for you to get the feel of the pencils.

Always use good quality mechanical pencil sharpener for sharpening the pencil this will help you in preventing the leads to break as much. Handle the pencils with care trying to avoid dropping them and keep them in tin or wooden cases.

Always use odourless fixative with UV protection in order to protect your drawings and stop the colours with low lightfastness from fading. After reviewing all the properties of the Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, even with all the disadvantages I still think they are worth having due to that nice creamy trace they leave on many surfaces while drawing, and more than the acceptable price of the sets.

I really hope I managed to cover all the important features of this particular pencil brand and helped you in your decision. If you have any questions whatsoever concerning the Prismacolor colored pencils I will be more than happy to answer them.

Written by Magdalena

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