UPDATED: January 20, 2021
You have limited time and energy, yet you want to thoroughly know your coloured pencils. You know it will take time to make colour charts and to sort your pencils according to lightfastness and type.
This post will help you get to know your pencil colours a bit better without you having to sit and swatch out your colours – especially if you need them in a hurry. You can also use our post on colour harmony together with this post to help you choose the colour combinations for your artwork.
If you want to get there now, you can access an interactive colour chart that lists the Prismacolor Premier pencils by colour family. Just click on the image below.
An earlier blog post explored the question which are the better coloured pencils and looked at four artist coloured pencil sets. Two were wax-based, and two were oil-based. However, the analysis was limited to looking at four pencils in each colour wheel colour family.
It was further limited in that some coloured pencils brands had fewer – or more – than four pencils in a colour family when grouped by lightfastness.
You can access the colour pencil type and lightfastness comparison analysis by clicking the button below.
We have explored each of the sets.
These are the wax-based Caran d’Ache Luminance 76 and Prismacolor Prismacolor Premier (also explored by lightfast and non-lightfast); and the oil-based Faber-Castell Polychromos 120; and now the Caran d’Ache Pablo 120.
Also, further to this analysis, we have had closer looks at the wax-based Derwent Drawing pencils and Prismacolor Art Stix woodless coloured pencils; water colour pencils – these being Caran d’Ache Museum and Caran d’Ache Supracolor, as well as other mixed media – the Derwent Inktense water soluble ink blocks, the Caran d’Ache Neopastel oil pastels, and the Caran d’Ache Neocolor II water soluble art crayons. We have also looked at the Derwent Procolour range of coloured pencils.
Read this disclaimer about the analysis.
This post has images of hand drawn colour swatches for each pencil in the range.
The Prismacolor Premier is a set of 150 wax-based coloured pencils.
Let’s separate these pencils into two colour family groups – the colour wheel colours, and the neutral colours.
The Prismacolor Premier colour wheel colours
The Colour Wheel Clock
The colour wheel moves clock-wise around the wheel. The image below shows the colour family positions on the clock.
Of the colour wheel colours, the make up of each colour family is outlined below. While the colours are of varying shades and tones, the predominant base colour belongs to the colour wheel family in which it has been placed.
Red – 12.00 o’clock
We will start with red at the 12.00 o’clock position.
Red-Orange – 1.00 o’clock
The next colour family group is red-orange at 1.00 o’clock.
Orange – 2.00 o’clock
Next colour wheel colour family is orange at 2.00 o’clock.
Orange-Yellow – 3.00 o’clock
Orange-Yellow sits at the 3.00 o’clock position.
Yellow – 4.00 o’clock
At 4.00 o’clock sits Yellow.
Yellow-Green – 5.00 o’clock
Yellow-Green sits at 5.00 o’clock.
Green – 6.00 o’clock
The colour family of green sits at 6.00 o’clock.
Green-Blue – 7.00 o’clock
Green-blue is at 7.00 o’clock.
Blue – 8.00 o’clock
The colour wheel colour family blue sits at the 8.00 o’clock position.
Blue-Violet – 9.00 o’clock
Blue-violet sits at the 9.00 o’clock position.
Violet – 10.00 o’clock
Violet sits at the 10.00 o’clock position.
Violet-Red – 11.00 o’clock
Violet-red is the last colour that sits at the 11.00 o’clock position.
Prismacolor Premier Colour wheel colour family – Summary
As you can see from the above images, the Prismacolor Premier coloured pencil range has pencils in all the colour family colours.
Now let’s look at the neutral and metallic colours included in the Prismacolor Premier range of coloured pencils.
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Prismacolor Premier – Neutral colours
First, there are the metallic colours. Please note that there is a user warning on one of the metallic colours. This for PC950 Gold, as it contains copper. Please see the image below of a warning from the Prismacolor Premier 150 box of pencils.
Let’s now look at the metallic colours.
Next are the neutral-black pencils.
Follows is neutral-cool beige.
Next is neutral-cool grey.
Neutral-warm beige follows.
Neutral-warm grey is next.
Neutral-white is the final neutral colour.
As you can see, the Prismacolor Premier coloured pencil set and range is made up of a variety of colours and neutrals.
As noted above, the selection of colour is subjective and the reviewer has chosen colour by looking at the actual coloured pencil swatches. Nevertheless, you may find that particular colours belong in different groups or families.
Of the 150 set of coloured pencils, 26 have the lowest lightfast rating of V, 14 coloured pencils have a lightfast rating of IV, and 25 have a lightfast rating of III, 26 have a lightfast rating of II, and 59 have the highest lightfast rating of I.
Therefore, of the range of 150 coloured pencils, 85 coloured pencils are considered lightfast (being rated I and II), and 65 coloured pencils are considered non-lightfast (being rated III, IV and V).
Therefore, more than half this range of coloured pencils are lightfast.
Only got a few pencils?
If you’d like to try this range of pencils, you can try a basic set of 12. We have analysed the small set, and provide colour swatches, and the colour recipes of 144 colours that you can make from the basic set. You can see the 144 Prismacolor Premier colour recipes here.
Make your own colour chart
For your knowledge, it’s advisable to draw up your own colour chart so you can get to know the actual colours of your coloured pencils. You will then be able to see how your pencils perform on the papers you use for your drawings.
However, it takes a long time to make your own chart, and it usually is something that we don’t get around to doing.
If you’ve made your own charts – that’s great. But – is as practical, you might also have your charts in one physical place while you draw in another. You need to have access to the colours where you are – hopefully, you’ll be there with internet access to your mobile device.
Interactive Prismacolor Premier colour chart
To help you with this, the colour charts used in this post were rearranged into a sortable and searchable format. The Prismacolor set of 150 is outlined in the interactive colour chart that you can access through the image link below. You can search this range of pencils by colour wheel colour family, or neutral colour; pencil name, pencil number, and lightfast rating. You can see colour swatches for all these pencils.
This handy interactive online chart should help you choose your Prismacolor Premier coloured pencil colours. It will also help you get a better understanding of what pencils are available in the Prismacolor Premier coloured pencil range. Click the button below to access the interactive colour chart.