skip to Main Content

Derwent Procolour – the best of two worlds?

Continuing the reviews of Derwent materials, let’s move on to this newest addition that Pauline and I wanted to test so bad. The Procolour Colored Pencils are, according to the brand description, the best of its other two permanent colored pencil lines: Coloursoft – soft and high coverage – and Artists – firm core for details.

Let’s check it out:


As we said, the aim of the Procolour range is to meet the need to cover large areas with ease and also to allow small details to be made, all in the same pencil. In other blog posts here, we’ve already tested some ranges of pencils for details and precision on a post about colored pencils with a strong core, where we compare Derwent Artists with ranges of two other brands that have an equivalent purpose.

In this post, we will see the main features of the Procolour pencils and also compare it to the two previous ranges – Coloursoft and Artists.


 The Procolour have a 4 mm highly pigmented wax core, which should not smudge, loose powder or flakes during the painting, according to Derwent UK. Also, its composition allows for very smooth or highly pigmented layers, depending on the pressure applied to the strokes. They were formulated to be softer than Artists during use, and offer even more intense colors.

Tests and comparison

For a better visualization of the results, we believe it is important to compare both ranges: Artists and Coloursoft, since, before Procolour, it was very common that both were used together for the purpose of high coverage with detailed elements.

So, in the images below, it is possible to view each of the previous lines in comparison with the Procolour pencil. The paper used in this review is our favorite (mine and Pauline’s), the Hahnemühle Leonardo (which has a review here on the blog).

Comparison of coverage and stroke between Artists, Procolour and Coloursoft ranges. Click to enlarge

The Artists pencils (left of the picture) have a pretty firm core, and consequently, their pigmentation is not as intense on paper. On the other hand, the Coloursoft (right of the image) are very soft (remembering that this is exactly the purpose of this line): see how the color gets intense and highly pigmented, although in all three the same pressure has been applied. However, the Procolour (center) have a very similar result of the Coloursoft pencils, but with more control over the application, since the point is resistant and yet it feels very smooth.

Comparison of paintings between Artists, Procolour and Coloursoft ranges, with their respective photographic references. Click to enlarge.

Para a tirar a prova real entre os três, fiz pequenos desenhos e pintei com as cores que eu tinha. Achei importante também anexar as imagens de referência, para que seja possível entender os tons que eu tentei alcançar. Algumas considerações:

For the final test between the three, I made small drawings and painted with the colors I had. I also found it important to attach the reference images, so that it is possible to understand the tones that I tried to achieve. Some considerations:

The Artists hard core makes it more difficult to lay pigment for the darker / saturated areas. I still thought the beetle was a little “dull”. Therefore Derwent’s recommendation for these pencils to be used for details.

As of the Coloursoft, the case is the opposite: the soft core allows you to reach for the “blackest” black very easily, as well as the maximum pigmentation of all the other colors, but it presents some difficulties when working on details. As the point wears out quickly, you need to sharpen it frequently – slowing down the process a bit. Besides that, even on a smooth paper, the texture in the painting is slightly more evident when using this range (enlarge the image above to see better).

Using the Procolour, however, I found none of the difficulties above: neither in the details, nor in reaching the desired hues. The pencils are very soft and still hold up the sharp point, allowing what I like to call coloring without suffering. Did it keep up with their purpose (details + high coverage in the same pencil)? Absolutely!!


According to the brand, more than 70% of the colors of the Procolour set should last up to 100 years under ideal conditions of light, temperature and humidity.

Derwent uses the Blue Wool scale to indicate the lightfastness ratings of their pencils, and the vast majority of colors is above 5 on the scale. Which means that, under the right conditions for preserving a painting, the durability of the pigments in the paintings is as follows:

1-2 = low resistance: the pigment can start to fade in up to 15 years
3-4 = moderate resistance: the pigment will begin to fade before 50 years
5-6 = the pigment remains unchanged for 50 to 100 years, under ideal display conditions.
7-8 = the pigment remains unchanged for more than 100 years under ideal display conditions.

Only a few colors of the Procolour range have ratings 1 and 2, and I particularly try to avoid these shades. However, there are so few of them that, for me, this does not detract from the quality of the line (and perhaps the emotional / professional attachment that I already feel for them).

Gift for download

Tabela devidamente preenchida com a nossa paleta atual.

It is very useful to always have a color chart with you of the pencils you are using in your painting. With that in mind, we’ll leave ours here for you, with helpful information for each color, such as their lightfastness ratings, and blank spaces for you to make your own color samples. It can be printed on an A4 paper and, if folded, fits inside the box of the 24 colors set or above. Download yours here:

Avaliação final — Derwent Procolour:

  • Colors available: 72
  • Water-soluble: No
  • Core: soft / 4mm wax based and oil characteristics
  • Lightfastness:
  • Yield:
  • Spare pencils available: Yes
  • Emmy’s opinion: Gostei muito, muito, MUITÃO /
  • They are pencils of excellent quality, great to use and I liked it a LOT. And the color set is very versatile; I really like the selection of colors in the smaller sets: in the 36 pack, most colors are the ones I usually use. And yes, it is already competing to become my favorite range – but that’s something for a future post!

Where to buy?

As usual, here are some links from partner stores:

Sources for this article: Derwent UK Procolour FAQ, Procolour chart / Who helped: Micael Biasin, our art teacher that let us borrow his Artists / Colorsoft pencils.

Ilustradora ✨ que deveria estar vivendo na Terra Média 🦉

Notificar-me de
mais velho
mais novo mais votado
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 anos atrás

Que matéria perfeita, nunca vi descrições e comparações tão assertivas, agradeço pela analise e ja me decidi a respeito de qual tipo adquirir.

Back To Top
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x