UPDATED: June 17, 2020
Prismacolor’s woodless pencils – Art Stix – are great for laying colour quickly.
We’ve recently looked at the colours inside some ranges of wax-based, oil-based and water colour pencils. This post continues this thread by providing an analysis of the colours in the wax-based Prismacolor Art Stix range.
You can read this disclaimer to see how the analysis was undertaken.
This post will help you save time and energy in selecting the right colours for your project. See an interactive colour chart for the Prismacolor Art Stix below.
Prismacolor Premiers but without timber casings
The 48 Art Stix box notes that Art Stix are woodless coloured pencils. They have the same lead as Prismacolor Premier. As such, they are Prismacolor Premier pencils without timber casings.
The Art Stix box notes:
- Same lead as Prismacolor Premier coloured pencils in a broad stroke medium;
- Soft, thick leads for easy blending and shading; and
- never needs sharpening.
The Art Stix box of 48 notes that Art Stix conform with ASTM D-4236 (see warning advice image below). Outlinesart.com provides an explanation of ASTM D-4236 here.
As with using all coloured pencils (even with timber casings) please note any product warning advice. This may be on the product’s website or written on your coloured pencil boxes or sets. The warning below is written on the Prismacolor Art Stix 48 box.
How to identify each Prismacolor Art Stix pencil?
As noted above, this range are woodless Prismacolor Premier coloured pencils. The colours available in the range totals 48, which is less than the Premier range of 150.
Like the Prismacolor Premier coloured pencils, the lightfast ratings are not listed on the woodless Art Stix pencils. This made identifying the lightfast ratings difficult. The lightfast ratings were identified by looking at the Prismacolor colour chart and listing these individually.
Also, identifying Art Stix colours was problematic. The Art Stix coloured pencils do not have any identifying features.
Thankfully, the colours in the set are listed on the box. These pencils are Prismacolor Premier leads. By comparing the colour swatches of the Prismacolor Premier pencils, we could then identify colour names, colour numbers and lightfast ratings.
The Art Stix pencils now sit in individual slots with a paper swatch listing its details. However, when used, this continues to cause issues. If the pencil used is not replaced into its specific slot, it cannot be identified. Each Art Stix pencil will soon have its details written on paper and wrapped around each pencil. This will identify it if even if not in its slotted place, and is mixed on a bench with other Art Stix pencils.
This post has images that includes the colour name, lightfast rating together with a colour swatch for each pencil in the range.
Prismacolor Art Stix
When looking at the set as a whole, all colours (including the colour wheel family colours, neutrals and metallic) are shown clockwise in the chart below.
The chart represents a total of 48 woodless coloured pencils, of which 4 are neutral, 2 are metallic, and 42 are colours that belong to colour wheel families.
Now to get a closer look let’s separate these colours into two groups – the colour wheel colours, and the neutral (and metallic) colours.
The colour wheel colours
The 12 colour wheel family colours available in the set are shown below:
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 o’clock
Starting with red at the 12:00 position, the image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 48 includes 2 red colour family pencils.
Red-Orange – 1:00 o’clock
The next colour family group is red-orange at the 1:00 o’clock position. The image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 48 includes 6 red-orange colour wheel family pencils.
Orange – 2:00 o’clock
The next colour on the colour wheel is orange at 2:00 o’clock. The coloured pencil set of 48 includes 2 orange pencils.
Orange-Yellow – 3:00 o’clock
Orange-Yellow sits at the 3:00 o’clock position. The image below shows that the range includes 3 orange-yellow colour wheel family coloured pencils.
Yellow – 4:00 o’clock
Yellow sits at 4:00 o’clock on the colour wheel. The 48 range of Art Stix includes 4 yellow pencils.
Yellow-Green – 5:00 o’clock
At the 5:00 o’clock position sits yellow-green. The image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 48 includes 3 yellow-green coloured pencils.
Green – 6:00 o’clock
The colour wheel family of green sits at the 6:00 o’clock position. The Artstix set of 48 includes 3 green coloured pencils.
Green-blue – 7:00 o’clock
Green-blue sits at 7:00 o’clock on the colour wheel. The Art Stix set of 48 includes 2 green-blue coloured pencils.
Blue – 8:00 o’clock
Blue sits at the 8:00 o’clock position on the colour wheel. The Art Stix range holds 4 blue coloured pencils.
Blue-Violet – 9:00 o’clock
Blue-violet sits at the 9:00 o’clock position. The Art Stix range has 3 blue-violet coloured pencils.
Violet – 10:00 o’clock
At the top end of the colour wheel sits violet. This is at the 10.:00 o’clock position. The Art Stix set has 5 violet pencils.
Violet-Red – 11:00 o’clock
Violet-red sits at the position of 11:00 o’clock. The Art Stix range has 5 violet-red coloured pencils.
Colour wheel colour family – Summary
As you can see from the above images, the Prismacolor Art Stix range of woodless coloured pencils has colours in all colour wheel colours.
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Of the Prismacolor Art Stix set of 48, 4 are neutral, and 2 are metallic. These are shown in the pie chart below.
The breakdown of these pencils follows. First there are two metallic colours. Please note that 1950 Metallic gold contains copper and has a warning. See User Warning paragraph above.
The four neutral colours are shown in the image below.
The bar chart below shows another breakdown of the neutral and metallic Art Stix pencils.
As you can see, the Prismacolor Art Stix range of woodless coloured pencils 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 48 set of Art Stix coloured pencils, 12 have the lowest lightfast rating of V, 3 have the next lowest lightfast rating of IV, 9 have III, 9 have II and 15 have the highest lightfast rating of I.
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 pencil performs on the papers you use in 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 – as is 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 – whether doing plein air sketching, or in the studio. Hopefully, wherever you are, you’ll have your mobile device and internet access.
Interactive Prismacolor Art Stix colour chart
To help you with this, the colour charts used in this post were rearranged by the colour wheel colour family above into a sortable and searchable format in an interactive colour chart. This should help you choose your Prismacolor Art Stix woodless coloured pencils. It will also help you get a better understanding of the colours available in this range. Click on the button below to access the interactive Art Stix colour chart.
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