Prismacolor Pencils Review – The Full Scoop with Pros and Cons

Prismacolor Pencils Review

Welcome to my one and only Prismacolor pencils review where I’ll be discussing the pros and cons of these colored pencils. I’ll also provide a demo video of them in action.

[ RELATED: Check out our full guide: Best Colored Pencils for Artists ]

Key Highlights:

  • Very smooth & even lay down of color
  • High Light Fastness – Your colors don’t fade when exposed to light.
  • Break-resistant
  • Acid Free – (pretty standard among professional pencils)
  • Water Resistant

Prismacolor pencils review - Example art

What size set should I get, 150 or 72? 

Now most professionals can get by with a 72 piece set. You have the ability to combine colors to achieve different ones. I would not recommend going any lower then this set though.  You can still achieve some very realistic works of art with a 72 piece set. Plus, this will allow you to save some money in the process.

Wax or Oil Colored Pencils?

These are wax based. You will often see professionals using both wax and oils together because There are a lot of benefits of properties to each type.  Typically speaking, oil pencils are great for detail work because of their hard leads and don’t have any wax blooming affect that wax pencils are known for. Wax base pencils have a different feel, and lay down color easier. Another benefit is that the white pencil of wax base colored pencils perform a lot better when trying to color over already colored spots for highlighting and pulling out highlights.

You can buy Prismacolor pencils here.

Prismacolor brand - Best Colored Pencils for coloring

Prismacolor Demonstration

Prismacolor Pencils Review – Pros & Cons


Decline in Quality: Prismacolor pencils have recently ran into trouble because of their quality control. They used to be one of the best pencils on the market that lasted a long time. However, the lead breaks way too easily and you have to sharpen a lot.  Also the lead is off centered which causes issues and breakage when sharpening the colored pencils.

Wasting a lot of Time Sharpening: Like stated above, a lot of time is spent sharpening these pencils. It is an absolute nightmare and you feel like you spend more time sharpening than you do coloring with them.

Not for Detailed work: You can still create some amazing pieces that are very detailed, however if you need really detail oriented pencils, these are not the ones to get. It’s hard to keep a fine point.  The lead either breaks or wears down too fast. TIP: What you could do, is buy an oil-based black pencil (keeps its point better) and use that for shadow detailing.

Is there any Wax Bloom?: Yes, these colored pencils are wax based and therefore have a wax bloom affect.  These don’t wax bloom as bad as some other cheaper pencils though – But ALL wax pencils will eventually wax bloom.

Do the Pencils break easily?  Prismacolor pencils are notorious for breaking.  Their lead splits down the middle and the wood breaks as well too if you put a lot of pressure on them.



Popular: These are extremely popular colored pencils used and trusted by many artists.

Price /Value:  They are competitively priced and for their performance it is actually a pretty good value overall, even with the breakage that happens. If you’re just starting out then these could be a good set whether you are a professional or amateur.

Excellent Color Laydown:  Silky smooth lay down of color. It doesn’t get much better than this. All of your professional grade colored pencils will feel this smooth.


Blends extremely well:  These colored pencils blend really well. However you have to be careful with wax blooming which occurs when you build up too many colors on top of one another.


You have to press down more: You have to press a little bit harder to lay down color. This isn’t a big deal, but it will definitely feel different from wax based colored pencils at first.  You’ll get used to it pretty quickly and the harder lead feels like you have more control.

The White Pencil: The white pencil does a really good job in bringing out the highlights and coloring over already colored spots.

Light Fastness: This set has excellent light fastness which means that your drawing or piece of art will not dole over time, it will keep its same brilliance with years and years.


If you can’t afford other brands of high quality colored pencils Then this is a great brand to get. The only major drawback that I see is the breakage problem that a lot of people have with this colored pencil set.

Prismacolor Pencils: You can purchase them here.

If you can afford the other brands, we would highly encourage you to invest in a higher-quality colored pencil set such as the Caran D’ache Luminance colored pencil set.

This concludes our Prismacolor pencils review, hope it was helpful!