White pencil comparison

So while I move at a snails pace with my WIP, lets do a white pencil comparison, shall we?
General pencil reviews for individual sets are combined into the “reviews” tab HERE. You can find most of these pencils there in greater detail. Some I haven’t gotten to yet.

1 is one layer, 2 is as strong as it gets, blending is how it works as a blender/effect on top of another color, erase is pretty self explanatory, how well it erases:_DSC3668
Lets take it from the top:

  • Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor – well, what to say. I expected more of this since it is a soft pencil. But alas, you can’t have it all. Lyra Rembrandts are affordable and great, though with a bit of a limited palette but the white is simply not doing it for me. It’s the least opaque, doesn’t work well at all on top of another pencil and the only pro to it is that it erases well. Which is probably what you’ll want to do with it once you try it 😛 Okay well, not all of it is bad. At least it doesn’t break?
  • Faber-Castell Polychromos – second least opaque of the bunch. It’s smooth and nice to work with and an ace when it comes to erasing it but don’t expect miracles out of this white in terms of it being really white. It just isn’t. It’s a good blender though, just for the reason that it’s not too opaque so it does change the color of the pencil underneath but not as much as the other whites. However I rarely ever recommend blending with white. Blend with a blender pencil if you must or a light color of some sort that fits whatever you’re going for. White as a blender tends to just lose any kind of contrast underneath and makes everything look chalky and strange. So while I love Polychromos, the white is not my first choice.
  • Prismacolor Premier – sharing the second most opaque title with Luminance and Coloursoft. Prismacolor has a tiny bit more opaque properties then Luminance on the low value end but reaches about the same opacity at its whitest. It erases decently, not the best but Prismacolor is generally a bad one to erase anyway. Good choice if in the market for a white that is readily available on the US market as open stock. For Europeans, I would say don’t bother, get a Luminance or Coloursoft white out of these three.
  • Caran D’Ache Pablo – not the most opaque of the bunch but look how smooth of a gradient you get without even trying. This is hands down the best blending one without the use of a blender. With softness, Pablo is on par with Polychromos but as you can see, the white is much more opaque. Erases well. Very solid choice.
  • Caran D’Ache Luminance – sharing the second place of the most opaque whites with Prismacolor Premier and Derwent Coloursoft, however Luminance I find is smoother and nicer to handle. It’s not as opaque as Derwent Drawing but to me, this is a top contender. I find over other pencils, this is more opaque then the other two. Alone, it shares the second place. So if you want white on top of other pencils, this is the best out of these three for that. Wide value range. Erasability is very good for a pencil this soft.
  • Derwent Drawing – the softest of them all, oh mirror mirror on the wall. Seriously, Derwent Drawing is the softest pencil in all the seven kingdoms and then some. The upside of this is that this produces incredibly opaque color with no real effort. The downside is that it smears like there’s no tomorrow. Erasability is surprisingly good for a pencil this soft. If in the market for the whitest possible white, this is your happy pencil.
  • Derwent Coloursoft – second most opaque along with Prismacolor and Luminance. The lightest layer of this is more opaque then the other two which can be a good thing and a bad thing, bad if you want wide value range, good if you want in-your-face white without working for it. Erasability not the best but good for a soft pencil.
  • Derwent Artists – the hardest pencil of the bunch and surprisingly not the worst performer out of all of them, I would have expected the white to be the least opaque and hardest to work with but it beat Lyra by a mile and even Faber-Castell Polychromos is less opaque. Overall hard and not the best for using as a blender but not bad at all. Since this is a hard pencil, I suggest using this for fine detailing. In that area, this set shines.


  • Most opaque – Derwent Drawing
  • Least opaque – Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor
  • Softest – Derwent Drawing
  • Hardest – Derwent Artists
  • Best erasability – Faber-Castell Polychromos
  • Personal favorite – Caran D’Ache Luminance

Hope it was helpful and tomorrow I’ll line up blacks for you guys to compare.

Don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions in the comments or drop me an e-mail: iris.eenmae@gmail.com. There’s also a fancy contact form thingy under the “about me” tab for your enjoyment 🙂


2 thoughts on “White pencil comparison

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