Derwent Studio review - a set of 24 colours

I've written about Koh-I-Noor and Faber Castell products so now it's time to review another company's pencils. Today I'd like to share my opinion on Derwent Studio - a set of 24 assorted colours.

On producer's official site we can read that this series has the same core as the Artists line. The lead is narrow, so the Studio series is dedicated to those who draw very detailed works. I've been a big fan of the Artists for a long time and I placed my hopes on the Studio pencils.

Derwent Studio is available as:

- 12, 24, 36, 72 sets of assorted colours in a tin box;
- 48 and 72 colours in a wooden case.

On Derwent's site they are available individually.

Prices: $14 for 12 colours set; $132 for a wooden case of 72 (dickblick.com)

The pencils are packed in a nice violet tin box. There is a colour chart on it. You can take the lid off and put it under the tin case, which is very convenient.

On the bottom of the box, there are product's descriptions, written in 4 languages. The producer points out Studio's features. We can read that these pencils sharpen to a fine point and they are perfect for detailed works. The blending is smooth and effortless, and because they are identical to the Artists series, they complement each other perfectly.

When we take off the lid, we can see 24 aesthetically done hexagonal pre-sharpened pencils. (My set, as you can see, is a bit used up). Each one is covered with dark blue varnish and has white lettering. The rounded ending is marked with a violet strap and a colour (which is the same as the core's shade).

The colour range includes 72 subdued shades. Here you can see a colour chart from Derwent's site - I don't know how they achieved such saturation, they must have photoshoped it :D

Have a look at my chart, for comparison:

This series is dedicated for those who draw autumn landscapes and subdued portraits. With Studio series we can't create a work with bright and saturated colours.

OK, now it's time to verify the producer's note!

First of all, these pencils really sharpen to a fine point.
However, the wood covering the core tends to crush and reveals too much lead. Unfortunately, they tend to break when sharpening and drawing.

Secondly, 'they are highly-pigmented' - it could be better!
I must say that the Studio pencils are very hard (even harder than the Artists!) so you must press the lead very hard to the surface to get the particular colour!

Thirdly, they blend very well and the layering is effortless - this product is wax-based so the area covered with Studio pencils is slippery and waxy, which makes layering hard. I don't agree with the producer's note; the blending isn't easy. For me drawing with this series was tiresome.

Unfortunately, I didn't fell in love with the Studio series. They are not for me. Happily I bought a 24 colours set instead of investing in 72 shades!

Have a look at my drawings done with Studio and some Artists pencils. There are only two works and I don't think I will create more drawings with them in the nearest future. I don't really like these two works; to be honest, I think I might have achieved better results using cheaper Koh-I-Noor pencils.

For me the Studio pencils are too hard. I prefer Derwent Coloursoft and Drawing series, they are soft and have better colour range.

But if you like creating works with subdued shades and you don't mind hard pencils, which force you to sit long hours on one drawing, you may think of buying one of the Derwent Studio sets.

* Some of the photos included in this article come from official Derwent site, some were taken by me. It is forbidden to copy this material (and images included in it) without the author's permission.