Best Colored Pencil Brand For Beginning Cartoonist

Hello, SDMB. I have a question. I’m looking for colored pencils for a cartoon series I’m starting up. The problem is that I have used a couple different brands in my life, each having its advantages and disadvantages, and my wife is pestering me to come back to bed because I’ve been up all night researching. My cartoons so far are B&W because I have had to work with regular pencils so far. I will be exiled to the couch unless I get this resolved SOON. There is a poll attached for which brand you guys think is the best for a beginning cartoonist.

I’m still happy with my old box of Eberhard-Faber “Mongol” colored pencils.

My sister uses Prismacolors. She’s a better artist than I am, so I probably should have voted for those.

Hmm. My missus really likes Faber-Castell, and rightly so, since she’s used them all her life. She actually volunteered to help me out with the artwork. But, for my money, I’d have to go with Derwents. I like the colored pencils with round shapes. They hold well in my hand due to my unusual way of holding pens or pencils. (In fact, my missus and I actually bonded over a shared love of drawing.)

I can’t answer this for several reasons.

To begin with, most of the brands you listed have different versions available. A student grade Faber Castell doesn’t remotely compare to their artists line.

Second, there is no “best”- it’s whatever works for you and your style. Prismacolors generally have a softer waxier finish (not the Verithins if those are still made). Derwents have a harder finish to them.

Third, it depends on what is most important to you: saving money or having a wide choice of colors. A upper end brand could easily cost you thirty dollars for a 12 pack, whereas that Same price could buy you a lower end line with more colors.

Your best bet would be to go to a store and test them out. See what feels best for you.
I work a lot in colored pencil and have almost every brand and style. To be honest, for beginner work, even crayola is just fine. I use them a lot in sketches.

A few hints:
don’t drum with pencils! Keep them in a box to avoid lead breakage.
Buy a QUALITY sharpener, especially for expensive pencils.
Buy a pencil extender. Get good erasers.

And lastly, don’t most cartoonists use markers?

Under normal circumstances I would use markers, but my wife pointed out that I can blend more colors a lot better with colored pencils.

My style is “elegant in simplicity.” The drawings are simple, but beautifully so.

My biggest thing in choosing a brand is having a fair range of colors. (ideally 48, but no higher.)

Your “few hints” were good for a laugh. Thanks, although I already know that stuff. Made my evening…

Well, thanks for the comment.

Actually, when I was working as a colorist for comics I used colored inks…

Really, though, it’s a matter of what works best for the artist if you’r talking about original work.

So you’ve ruled out scanning in b&w originals, and coloring them with Photoshop or adobe elements?

Prismacolor, according to my daughter (who’s a graphic designer). There more versatile, and alcohol-soluble so you can do washes with them.

Yeah. I tried it, but pencil marks smudge when placed on the scanner. It didn’t go well when I saw the scan. So, inked it in. I tried to fill in the color by computer, but, IMHO, you can’t beat old-fashioned colored pencils.

Comic work in the traditional sense usually is painted, you’re right. But a lot of cartoonists I have known (strip cartoons) use markers. Artists markers can be blended beautifully, but the learning curve is far higher.

As for the hints, one never knows. I used to teach intro classes. It was super common for me to see people using 50¢ sharpeners on $3.00 pencils that would be over sharpened!

You have to be careful with alcohol (most brands are dissolvable with alcohol -especially denatured alcohol). The alcohol can affect the inkwork (it blends the colored pencil but bleeds out the ink!)

A lot of my work is architectural. Generally I prefer Derwent. Prisma can be too messy, too blendy if used as a base. I use them as an overlay.

Prisma is typically the standard brand for artists. Blick’s are a cheaper substitution.

“Prisma is typically the standard brand for artists. Blick’s are a cheaper substitution.”

Is there a difference in quality between Prisma and Blick’s? Or is it really just price? Remember, I have higher shipping costs to get them shipped here to Hawaii. (One of the minor drawbacks to island life.)

Well, I decided to go with Prismacolor based on the Amazon reviews for the Premier line. I liked Derwents, but money was a bit of an issue…although at least my wife is happy that I’m not spending more sleepless nights on this.

Now, my next question is actually my wife’s: Do we get real, honest-to-God Bristol paper or just regular cardstock paper like you get at Staples? (Size has to be 8.5 x 11 inches. Not my rule, it’s the syndicates’ rule.)

Bristol board has a finish suitable for artwork whereas standard cardstock is likely less so and a bit of a crapshoot.

Bristol commonly comes in two finishes: plate, which is very smooth and intended for pen and ink, and vellum which is better for pencil, charcoal, pastels, and so forth. You can use any technique on either surface, it’s a matter of which is easier for a medium and likely to give the best results.

Prismacolor is the only brand I’ve used, for quite a few decades. The others are crap for shading, but of course that depends on your individual style.

And tell your wife that if she wants to be married to an artist, she should get used to all-nighters.

:D:D My wife is already WELL AWARE of that!:D:D

I’ve been married to her two years, give or take. Hell, she actually has stayed up all night with me on the artwork. She was sorta more upset that I’ve spent the previous six nights looking for a brand of colored pencil to choose. I did eventually buy Prismacolor Premier, a set of 48. With my budget, I got the most for the least.

(on a side note, any particular brand recommendations for Bristol? I reiterate that it has to be 8.5" x ll", and I would like to look at the plate version.)