Pencil and Pencil Crayons

  • So I know with paint there is quality concerns with light and fading. Is it a concern for pencil and pencil crayons? Because I have a lot of them floating around. It's like my paper question, can I use a basic brand pencil for a work and sell it, should I be concerned with it's longevity on paper. For application I know crayola pencil crayons apply differently than Faber-Castell, just so I am clear, not what I am asking.


  • Yes, light and fading are an issue. I know prismacolor has a lightfastness chart. Not sure about other brands.


  • @TessaW what about pencils (not coloured), do you know? And thanks.

  • @Heather-Boyd like graphite pencils? Since they don't use pigment-based colors they should not have an issue with fading.

  • I found this chart for coloured pencil brands after searching the lightfastness (I had never heard of before).


    For further explaination below:

  • As far as I know graphite and charcoal pencils won't have fading issues when it comes to light exposure. The paper is more likely to give out before the marks will. Them getting rubbed off the page a bit can happen though, which is why people will use fixatives. I'm not sure about the longevity of fixatives though.

  • @Heather-Boyd Caran d'Ache Luminance are lovely pencils very nice to use, expensive tho. But great light fastness as the chart shows.

    Prisma color premier are also good, and good lightfastness, I've a mix of both these brands and they mix well together.

    Faber castel polychromos are good too. I don't have experience with the rest on the chart.

    Caran d'Ache luminance for me are the best, they're made from a mixture of oil and wax and don't bloom ( that weird shiny layer of wax you can get if your heavy handed or lay down loads of layers with colored pencils) they're lovely and soft and highly Pigmented, but very expensive.

  • I am a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America. They put out a Lightfast Chart for their members that is regularly updated. They also do all their own testing so it's independent of specific brands. There are certain colors in Prismacolor (for example) that might get a higher rating by the company than was tested by CPSA.

    I only use those colors deemed of the highest quality of lightfastness by CPSA and Karen Hull (an Australian/New Zealand artist who also puts out a lightfast chart that you can purchase directly through her).

    Prismacolor and Caran d'Ache Luminance are pretty much the exclusive brands I use. You also get what you pay for and if we are going to be producing art that we want people to purchase, it can't be on copy paper with Crayola or Rose Art pencils that are meant for children (that's how I inform my customers of the value of what they are getting when they refer to my drawings since they are not watercolors or oils.)

  • I've used Prismacolor Premier exclusively in the past, but they break too much and slowed down my illustration work, so based on recommendations, I now use Prismacolor mixed with Faber-Castell Polychromos. Polychromos don't break and have their lightfast rating printed on each pencil using a series of stars so you know right away, no chart needed. I only use Prismacolor when I need a certain color I can't find in Polychromos.

    Shout-out to other colored pencil / pencil crayon / coloured pencil artists on the forum! Excited to see others using a medium I actually know. Karen Hull was mentioned, and she is one of my icons and role models! She does excellent work in children's books, portraits, animals, experimenting with non-paper drawing surfaces.

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