Cathleen Lengyel > Scribbles > Artist Help > Brands > Blick Studio Artist Colored Pencils – Review

Blick Studio Artist Colored Pencils – Review

Blick Studio Artists' Colored Pencils
Blick Studio Artists’ Colored Pencils
I promised I would let everyone know what I thought about Blick Studio Artists’ Colored Pencils, so here’s what I’ve noticed so far. *NOTE:  Yes I am a Blick Affiliate, however, they did not ask me to test out their pencils.  I purchased them on my own.  They are not paying me for this review, they don’t even know I’m using them and reviewing them.  This is my honest opinion, for better or worse. Details about the pencils:
  • Made in the Czech Republic. -The only pencil company in the Czech Republic is the Koh-I-Noor company. Just saying. 😉
  • They come labeled as either Blick Studio Artists’ Colored Pencils or Utrecht Premium Colored Pencils.
  • Oil based.
  • California Cedar castings.
  • Highly pigmented, smooth laydown.
  • Color name on both ends of the pencil.
  • Developed utilizing feedback from Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) artist members and teachers.
  • A total of 91 colors.
  • Sets sold in 12, 24, 36, 48 and 72.
  • Also sold as open stock.
  • Special sets offered:  Portrait set of 12, Landscape set of 12, and Greys set of 12.
  The first thing I did after opening my pencils was to make color swatch charts.  This enables me to see right away the color of the pencil core when choosing what I need for a drawing.  I colored from light to dark on each swatch.  I did not make a swatch for the white pencil. Here’s a look at the colors on Canson Foundation Drawing Paper.  The colors went down smoothly and seemed to have really nice pigmentation.  I had also purchased a couple individual Faber Castell Polychromos in colors that were not lightfast in the Blick set.  When I made the color swatches of the polychromos I have to say they felt quite similar to the Blick pencils when I laid down the color. I decided to test out my new pencils and medium by drawing our state bird, the Western Meadowlark.  Here’s my work in progress below.

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  When I started this project I chose to try out Blick Bristol Smooth, 9 x 12 inches.  That was a mistake.  I definitely need a paper with a bit more tooth in order to layer more.   All in all I am happy with the results I am achieving.  I don’t think it’s turning out too bad for a first time colored pencil painting!

Scan of the finished painting:

Solitary Song

“Solitary Song” Western Meadowlark 8 x 10 inches, Blick Smooth Bristol Blick Studio Artists’ Pencils, Derwent Drawing Pencil 7200 – white, and Caran d’Ache Luminance 6901 – Buff

I have also tested these pencils out on other papers and I am extremely happy with them!  I’ve purchased some Strathmore 400 Bristol Vellum and Strathmore Medium weight (80lb) tan toned paper for upcoming drawings with these pencils.  I will definitely been doing more color work with these! OK, I’ve told you the “pro’s,” but are there any “cons?” Yes.
  • I did experience a little breakage when sharpening.  It wasn’t as bad as I have heard Prismacolor users experience, only two pencils seemed to have issues.
  • Not enough colors.  Seriously, I would like to see the colors expanded.
  • Along with that, I would like to see a set that contains ALL the colors made.  The 72 set is missing several other colors that are available.
  • Too many pencils are lower on the lightfast scale.  I would like to see more 4 & 5 stars and no 1 star pencils. A total of 17 pencils in the set are less than satisfactory with lightfastness, of those 7 have only one star.  Most of the poor lightfast quality pencils are in the pinks, violets and blues.
Still, I highly recommend them especially if  you’re on a tight budget and want to start working with colored pencils.  Blick Studio Artists’ Colored Pencils are worth giving a try! Until next time, Keep Creating!  

2 comments on “Blick Studio Artist Colored Pencils – Review

  1. Thank you for your review. I contacted the Koh-I-Noor company earlier and, yes, they do rebadge pencils for other companies. Obviously the shape of the DickBlicks are different than the Poloycolors And as you stated have been “Developed utilizing feedback from Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) artist members and teachers”. I am still curious – are these oil based and then probably the same as Polycolors or are they a different formulation and more wax based to compare to the PrismaColors. I have both sets and I do seem to feel a difference, but maybe that is just my imagination so I don’t feel like I spent money I shouldn’t have on “duplicate” sets. I sent this question to Dick Blick customer service and didn’t receive an answer. Thank you

    • Thank you for your comments! Comparing the Blick Artists pencils to my Faber Castell Polychromos, Caran d’Ache Luminance, Prismacolor and Derwent Drawing I’ve concluded the Blick’s are definitely oil based. They react much more like my polychromos than the wax based pencils. I haven’t tried the polycolors, but I am guessing they are probably slightly different than the Blick. I need to get a few to test out.

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