I was so excited to progress from drawing from biro pens to something that has colour, that the temptation to buy more colourful art materials was too hard to resist. Since I'm working on mixed media at the moment, I've decided to buy new coloured pencils.
I already own a set of 24 Derwent Coloursoft pencils which I've had almost 10 years ago and never used. When I used them for the first time last week, there were times when I thought I could do with having more colours. I thought to myself, I can either learn to blend colours more and use what I already have... OR, I can just buy new and shiny coloured pencils. Of course, the latter won. I like having shiny new things.
Things I considered before buying
I'm not going to lie, I am so used to buying cheap art materials that I had to look into the difference between student grade and professional grade mediums. The expensive professional brands such as Prismacolour, Polychromos, Caran d'ache and Derwent were a bit too much for my budget. I mean, should I really invest in expensive coloured pencils when I'm just trying to get to know it? At the same time, I don't want to buy the cheapest coloured pencils since I might just be completely turned off without giving the medium justice. So, I went for good balance and looked for budget professional pencils that has good reviews.
I watched a ton of videos on Youtube to try and find out what the best budget coloured pencils were. I found that the Arteza coloured pencils had lots of great reviews. Some even said that it rivalled the big brands. So, I decided to check out the prices to see if it was reasonable. The Arteza coloured pencils come in the following sets here in the UK:
48 for £21.99 (in metal tin) or £19.99 (in cylindrical box)
72 for £28.08
120 for £51.99
When I thought about the price per pencil, the 120 was a winner at 43p per pencil. However, did I really need all those colours? Also, it might be cheaper per pencil, but that's still £51.99 in total and is more than double the price of the 48 set. I couldn't justify this, so the 120 set was out.
It was then a battle between the 72 set and the 48 set. The tipping point for me was the fact that the set of 48 (in metal tin) was on sale for £18.68. Looking at the colours available, I believed there is more than enough colours for me to work with. I also thought that if I did really get into coloured pencils, I could always buy more later.
So after tons of consideration and checking reviews on Youtube and Amazon, I decided to purchase the Arteza Professional 48 coloured pencils. Of course, this choice is specific to my needs. You may be in a different stage in your art journey and making the same choices as I have may not be right for you.
Above: Arteza 48 Professional shows lightfast rating. The more lightfast, it is less likely for discolouration when exposed to light.
Above: 48 Arteza Professional coloured pencils, Tray 1 (not in the right order)
Above: 48 Arteza Professional coloured pencils, Tray 2 (not in the right order)
I was very pleased with the variety of coloured pencils there was and I don't think I'll be complaining about lack of colour. Although, I didn't want to just trust the colours as it was packaged, I wanted to do swatches. Also, I really wanted to use the Isomars stencil ruler that I bought that had lots of circles in it. I never used to, but the thought of 'swatching' made me happy for some bizarre reason. Do you enjoy doing swatches of newly purchased art items too?
Since I'm new to coloured pencils, I can't really say if this product is the best or how it compares with the top brands. However here are my thoughts as a beginner in coloured pencils:
I was able to layer the colours and create gradients.
The pencils are strong and sturdy and never broke on me.
The pigment isn't too soft that it crumbled or too hard that I had put too much pressure.
The quality is definitely better than cheap coloured pencils like Staedtler (I used to have them years ago and was put off as soon as I used them).
It's not that different from my Derwent coloured pencils which cost a lot more.
It's a bargain!
There are a lot of colours available and I believe I've got all that I need.
It's perfect for practice and learning this medium.
Above: Arteza Professional 48 coloured pencils swatches
That was fun drawing circle swatches with coloured pencils, but I just thought it would be even better to give them faces and turn them into 'kawaii' coloured balls. I'm not going to lie, giving them faces was very entertaining... I think I need to get out more.
Above: Kawaii coloured pencil swatches, just because.
I'm so looking forward to using my new purchase for my next drawing. For next week, I'll be drawing Taiga, from the anime, Toradora. I'll be using these Arteza coloured pencils on Taiga, so feel free to have a look to see how it appears on actual art work.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my thoughts on the Arteza coloured pencils. If you like what you've seen so far and want to follow my art journey, please follow my socials or subscribe to get notification when I have a new blog post out.
Remember, It's not about creating the best art, but creating art that makes you happy!
All the best and until next time!
Lots of love and positivity,