UPDATED: March 23, 2020
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 pencil 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. The chart will help you to follow when we look closer at the individual coloured pencil sets.
Read about the colour analysis in this disclaimer.
This is the fourth set of coloured pencils we will review. The first set we explored was the wax-based Caran d’Ache Luminance coloured pencil set of 76. The second set we explored was the oil-based Faber Castell Polychromos coloured pencils. The third we explored was the oil-based Caran d’Ache Pablo coloured pencils.
Like the Caran d’Ache Luminance set, the oil-based Faber Castell Polychromos set of 120, and the Caran d’Ache Pablo set of 120, the Prismacolor Premier set of 150 represents the whole range of Prismacolor Premier coloured pencils.
One of the Prismacolor Premier pencils is PC950 Gold. This pencil has a warning as it contains copper. Please see the warning notice below that appears on the 72 set of Prismacolor Premier pencils.
The following notice is from the back of the Prismacolor Premier 150 set.
Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils
This post has images that includes the colour name, lightfast rating together with a colour swatch for each pencil in the range.
When looking at the set as a whole, all colours (including in the colour wheel family colours, neutrals and metallics) are shown clockwise in the chart below.
This pie chart shows a count of all the coloured pencils from the range.
The charts represent a total of 150 pencils, of which 26 are neutral, 3 are metallic, and 121 are colours that belong to colour wheel families.
This bar chart shows a count of all the coloured pencils from the range.
Now to get a closer look, let’s separate these colours into two groups – the colour wheel colours, and the neutral colours.
The colour wheel colours
The 12 colour wheel family colours available in the set are shown clockwise below:
This bar chart shows a count of all the coloured pencils from the Prismacolor Premier coloured pencil range.
The Colour Wheel Clock
The colour wheel moves clock-wise around the wheel. The table 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 o’clock
Starting with red at the 12.00 o’clock position. The image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 150 includes 6 red colour family pencils.
Red-Orange – 1.00 o’clock
The next colour family group is red-orange at 1.00 o’clock. This shows that the coloured pencil set of 150 includes 12 red-orange colour family pencils.
Orange – 2.00 o’clock
Next colour is orange at 2.00 o’clock. The coloured pencil set of 150 includes 4 orange colour family pencils.
Orange-Yellow – 3.00 o’clock
Orange-Yellow sits at the 3.00 o’clock position. The image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 150 includes 10 orange-yellow colour family pencils.
Yellow – 4.00 o’clock
At 4.00 o’clock sits Yellow. The coloured pencil set of 150 includes 9 yellow colour family pencils.
Yellow-Green – 5.00 o’clock
Yellow-Green sits at 5.00 o’clock. The image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 150 includes 16 yellow-green colour family pencils. It includes the earth colour of raw umber.
Green – 6.00 o’clock
The colour family of green sits at 6.00 o’clock. The coloured pencil set of 150 includes 4 green colour family pencils.
Green-blue – 7.00 o’clock
Green-blue is at 7.00 o’clock. The image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 120 includes 9 green-blue colour family pencils.
Blue – 8.00 o’clock
Blue is at the 8.00 o’clock position. The coloured pencil set of 150 includes 15 blue colour family pencils.
Blue-Violet – 9.00 o’clock
Blue-violet sits at the 9.00 o’clock position. The image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 150 includes 9 blue-violet colour family pencils.
Violet – 10.00 o’clock
Violet sits at the 10.00 o’clock position. The image below shows that the coloured pencil set of 150 includes 13 violet colour family pencils.
Violet-Red – 11.00 o’clock
Violet-Red sits at the 11.00 o’clock position. The coloured pencil set of 150 includes 14 violet-red colour family pencils.
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. Additionally, the yellow-green, violet-red, violet, red-orange, orange-yellow, and blue colour families have 10 or more pencils in each colour family. (see bar chart below).
This bar chart shows a count of all the coloured pencils that belong to colour wheel colour families in the Prismacolor Premier coloured pencil range.
Let’s now look at the neutral and metallic colours included in the Prismacolor Premier coloured pencil range.
Of the set of 150 coloured pencils – 26 are neutral, and 3 are metallic. These are shown clockwise in the pie chart below.
The breakdown of these pencils are as follows. First there are the 3 metallic colours. Please note that metallic gold 950 contains copper. See user warnings above.
Next is one neutral-black pencil.
Next is neutral-cool beige with 2 pencils.
Next is neutral-cool grey with 6 pencils.
Neutral-warm beige follows with 5 pencils.
Neutral-warm grey follows with 11 pencils.
Finally, white is the final neutral colour with 1 pencil.
The bar chart below shows the breakdown of the set’s neutral and metallic colours.
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 pencils have the lowest lightfast rating of V, 14 pencils have a lightfast rating of IV, 25 coloured pencils have a lightfast rating of III, 26 have a light fast 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.
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 that 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 – 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 – hopefully you’ll be there with internet access and 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 Premier range is outlined in the interactive colour chart available by clicking the below. This 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. Access the chart and learn how to use it by clicking the image below.
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