Derwent Drawing colored pencils - Review

This time I will review unique Derwent Drawing pencils and show some examples of my works which were created using them 😉

Derwent Drawing color range is available as open stock or sets of 6 (blister), 12 and 24 packed into a very aesthetic tin box. There is an option of buying a 72 pencils set in a tube. The company changed the look of the packaging - I got used to a series with rusty background and a beautiful fox drawing, now available only on a tube of 72 colors.

Prices (approx.):

~$2.60 per one pencil (open stock),
~$14 a set of 6 pencils (blister),
~$25 a set of 12 pencils,
~$50 a set of 24 pencils,
~$200 a set of 72 pencils in a tub.

These extremely creamy pencils with rich pigmentation were introduced in 1986 so they turn 35 this year 🎂🥳🎉 Initially there was only a set of 6 earthy tones. Now the full selection consists of 24 colors - you will find browns, olive green, gray, rusty shades here.

These pencils have a very thick core (5 mm). Cedar wood barrel protects the lead and the whole pencil looks very solid. The design concept is similar to other Derwent products - there is a company name preceded by country of production (England), then goes the color name and a golden strap with rounded ending that coloristically matches the lead. Personally I love the rusty laquer of these pencils, so unique and warm. Although it is sometimes difficult to find a particular color when you draw and have lots of pencils on your desk 😄🎨

When it comes to the lightfastness, Derwent claims that this product is 100% lightfast and this means that the colors remain the same for more than a 100 years under museum conditions.
How these pencils look on white paper? Have a look at a table I created with colors I have. I also showed other version on a tinted paper (Strathmore Toned Gray).

The smooth core covers darker papers very well. Chinese White pencil is praiseworthy as they are the greatest white pencil I've ever used, it is a must-have if you consider taking up drawing. The black color is also recommendable. Have a look at my comparison:

Derwent Drawing series was designed for those who draw wildlife, landscapes and portraits. I don't own all Derwent Drawing color range but I think there should be more shades like purples, green. I use these pencils as a complementary for Derwent Coloursoft and Faber Castell Polychromos.
Here is an example of using Chinese White as a blender over Polychromos:

Derwent Drawing can be sharpened to a fine tip. From time to time they break, but not so often like, for example, Koh-I-Noor products. The softness can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage, depends how you look at it. They easily cover darker papers, but you are able to create only a 3-4 layers. Then the surface gets so waxy, resembling a bit oil pastels, so this is not a product for everyone.

But if you like creating subdued artworks with velvety finish, you may find this product attractive. What is more, due to Drawing pencils softness it is hard to obtain fine details. They use up quite fast - here is a collection of my tiny Chinese White remains:

Here are examples of my works created with Derwent Drawing pencils (the last one, the owl, was created on a piece of a packing paper):

Dalmatian drawing

Dog drawing

Ocelot drawing

Owl drawing

To sum up, I will note pros and cons of these pencils:


💗 soft core covers tinted paper beautifully
💗 the best White color which can be used as a blender
💗 quite popular - you will find them in many stores
💗 available as open stock
💗 beautiful appearance


😞 they use up quite fast
😞 not for everyone
😞 not for fine details
😞 only 24 tones

* 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.