Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Top o'the morning to you all, me darlings. Hope all's well and your creatives juices are flowing abundantly. Mine are kinda dried up but I'm trying to get my groove back and get my pencils busy, they're getting bed sores from the "couch potato itis" they're suffering from these days :)

And since we're on the subject of pencils, I've heard so many negative things about Prismacolors on how they're not as good as they used to be, many of them having way too much impurities mixed in the lead, some aren't even centered properly, making sharpening a headache. Well, I was very puzzled by these statements, my Prismas are just fine, thank you very much! I simply couldn't understand what was all the buzz about it. Ok, I must confess that my Prismas are old, I've had them for about 5 years or so and I haven't really replaced any of the colors considering that I've always used colored pencils as a finishing touch on my watercolor/mixed media paintings so they used to last a long time. However, since the beginning of this year, I've started using colored pencils exclusively and enjoying the properties of this wonderful medium from beginning to end on my whimsical and fantasy art as well as on my pet portraits. Obviously I quickly developed a preference for certain colors and I had to buy new pencils to replace said colors several times in the past few months. And that's when I understood why so many cp artists are complaining about Prismas. Indeed, the quality is inferior now, I've come across several colors that were full of little specks of heaven knows what and some were quite scratchy and I had a heck of a hard time fixing the damages from the scratches.

Ok, so my question is: "What's up with that, Sanford?" What on earth is going on? Is Sanford taking advantage of the fact that, like it or not, Prismas are, not only the most readily available and economical brand of cp, but also, most artists/book authors use Prismacolor in the demonstrations and tutorials on their books. I'm really disappointed at this lack of quality control and the fact that these used to be beautifully crafted, high quality pencils.

I've been steadly using Polys, Lyras and Pablos way more than the Prismas. I find these pencils to be not only far superior, quality wise, but I've also come to like the feel of oil based pencils way more than their waxy counterpants, except for Derwent Coloursoft which I'm slowly getting to like very much, particularly when I use them on Pastelbord.

I'd love to hear your opinions on this subject. Are any of you experiencing the same problems? If so, what brands are you using more consistently instead of Prismas and what about them you love the most?

Also, I got a newsletter from Alyona Nickelsen where she said Caran D'Ache is coming up with their own version of a colorless blender. According to her it's totally amazing and you get a lot more for your money since they are not encased in wood, giving you lots of pure blender. It should be available soon, will be waiting anxiously to get one.

I wish you all a wonderful and creative week and to all of you in the U.S., have a happy 4th of July and enjoy your holiday, hopefully with a nice weather for a great cook-out.

Many hugs,


Rose said...

Jade, my sweet sis!!!

Yes, I have some problems and have had problems with Prismas in the past... the off centered problem as well as the breakage in the sharpener, the crumbs, etc. Your little pieces of heaven are just the ticket for me as well, the Pablos and the Caran d'Ache, the oil based are the ones I find the most beneficial and the most reliable. But many still like Prismas. I do notice a big difference from the pencils I have had for a while and those they are selling now, and definitely the quality has gone down. Isn't that the way with many things?

I am praying for you to stay well and keep your groove.. should be calling you Stella now :) You're getting your groove back!

And thanks for the tip on the Caran d'Ache colorless blender. Woo hoo!!! That sounds awesome.

Love of xoxox and happy 4th to you and your family. Keep cool there in NYC!

Your Irish Sis who cares so much! Rose

Holly Durr said...

I never really paid attention until you said something. Yes!!! That's it! For the last few years I've been down right frustrated when drawing and ZIP a scratch across my paper. If it cost more to make higher quality, then just raise the price. I would rather buy good quality pencils than cheap made junk. All of what you said has happen to me. I hate it when I sharpen a pencil and the casing just up and cracks and breaks all the way up! Sigh... What I wouldn't give for good Prismas. I can't use others, because of the way I work. I have other colored pencils, but I can't do the burnishing with them like prismas. If prismas get so bad I can't use them no more. I will go to a totally different media like acrylics.

Dors said...

Hi Jade. very interesting comments on the Prismas. I have just received an order of more pencils as my collection is still nowhere near the full range. I am constantly having breakages when sharpening and yes they do scratch at times. I have only been purchasing the Prismas over the last 6 months so cannot compare. I just thought it was the price to pay for having colored pencils that are like creamy butter texture to use. LOL. I have the full range of FC Polychromos and have been very happy with them over many years.
I will certainly try the Caran D'Ache I love to try different products.
All the video demo's use the Prismas. That is why I started to use them. Shame on Sandford.
We need quality not cheap.


Jade Erin Scarlett said...

Thanks for posting your thoughts girls. Glad to know that I'm not alone in the quest for better quality Prismas even if they cost more! Why can't Sanford just understand that? Artists are after good quality materials that will stand the thest of time, not cheap stuff that will fade and hinder your artistic process.


Dors said...

Hi Jade.

I have a little gift for you on my blog.

Please don't be concerned if you cannot get to participate... maybe when you get your Computer. Pleas accept my gift for the wonderful work you do.

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