Sunday, August 2, 2015

Battle of the Color Pencils

Hi everyone! So last week I posted the Hydrangea Fairy that I colored using Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils. Since it was my first attempt, I realized as I colored along the way that there were some things I'd like to do over. Being the perfectionist that I am, I went back and tried to improve upon it. This time I used Prismacolor Premier Pencils. I tried to shoot 2 birds with one stone, thinking I'd improve my coloring skills and at the same time try what's the difference between Spectrum Noir and Prismacolor.

Before I go into detail, here's my finished image using Prismacolor.



Skin - White, Eggshell, light Peach, Peach, Burnt Ochre, Dark Brown
Hair - Sand, Light Umber
Dress - Lilac, Blue Lake, Imperial Violet
Wings - Lavender, Lilac
Flowers - Lemon Yellow, Lilac, Blue Lake, Imperial Violet
Leaves - Yellow Chartreuse, True Green, Prussian Green, Grass Green
Sky - Black, Indigo Blue, Peacock Blue, Powder Blue - Gamsol
Water Puddles and Ground - Indigo Blue, Indanthrone Blue, Powder Blue, Slate Gray

This is my comparison image.


I improved upon the wings, and I thought I'd improve upon the flowers, but that's still up for debate. I thought I'd also try to improve on the sky, but halfway through it, I figured I'm doomed again. Man coloring that background sky is HARD!!! And the puddles, they sure are hard to draw and much harder to color. So I will leave it up to you to comment, and let me know which version you like better.

So, having used both pencils, here are some of my observations:

1.) Spectrum Noir pencils break easily. I know it's half wax and half oil and shouldn't break easily, but mine did, on A LOT of them. Which makes me sad given you can't buy them in singles - at least not yet.
2.) Spectrum Noir takes more effort to blend, but you get more control out of it. 
3.) Prismacolor pencils are way more vibrant. A little goes a long way.
4.) Prismacolor's wax based core makes it easier to blend, but harder to control. Too much color, too waxy, and next thing you know you've put down way too much color.
5.) Prismacolor needs to be sharpened more often. 
6.) Prismacolor - I never had a pencil that broke on me while doing the entire image. But since it's waxy, I feel like I've used more than I should, especially during burnishing, so at the end I kinda lost a good amount of pencil (especially with Imperial Violet since I used that the most). 

Overall, I think both brands are great. Color wise I'd say nothing beats Prismacolor. As you can see, just from the sky alone, the vibrancy is so obvious. I wouldn't rule out Spectrum Noir though. It's not bad, and maybe an expert colorist who knows what they're doing can actually try to give Prismacolor a run of it's money. If you ask me though, I think I will continue to use Prismacolor, at least until Spectrum Noir starts selling their pencils in singles. Coz if not, I sure am not going to spend on a whole set just to get 1 or 2 to refill. 

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Would love to hear from you!  Thanks for visiting!

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