Derwent Drawing review

I still have a few pencil reviews to do (a few, ha ha… yeah 😀 ) so lets continue with Derwent Drawing pencils, shall we?

Derwent is a UK based company and they have a wide variety of products from the insanely popular Inktense to graphite and colored pencils and all kinds of widgets and.. well, you name it, they probably have something like it. By the way, if you can, pick up their battery operated eraser, you can thank me later.

So, the Drawing pencils are the smallest in color range, the biggest tin is only 24 colors:
The Drawing pencils come in tins of 12 and 24 plus two blister packs of 6.
They are chubby guys with a thick core like all Derwent pencils. They have a cedar casing with the name and code of the color on the barrel:


  • The softest pencils of them all, at least from my collection
  • Beautiful muted colors
  • Surprisingly sturdy for such softness level
  • The whole range has a great lightfastness rating
  • Quite easy to get in Europe and probably in USA as well
  • Derwent has incredibly awesome customer support, they will help you out in case of any problems and will answer any questions you might have
  • Beautiful range of warm tones
  • The most opaque white and black pencils you’ll ever find
  • Great for filling big areas fast
  • Nice thick 4mm lead in an 8mm casing (same diameter barrel as Faber-Castell Polychromos but a slightly wider color strip with Polys having a more standard 3,8mm lead)
  • Will fit in most sharpeners
  • Available open stock in some art stores and Amazon


  • Since these are so soft, they’re also very smeary
  • They need some skill to handle successfully, a light hand is required if you want to layer these because they are very waxy and they’ll fill the tooth of the paper superfast
  • Limited color range
  • The greens are a bit disappointing, not the best for foliage

These are a little hard to compare to something since they’re quite different from other pencils so I’ll just talk about them more in general. The Drawing pencils are a lot softer then Derwent Coloursoft even. They’re the same casing quality as all other Derwents, sturdy and nice.
The Drawing pencils are meant for wildlife and portraiture, not really for coloring but I think they’d be great to add to your collection for some specific features. They are a tad limited on their own (tad is an understatement) for coloring but they’d be great for backgrounds and muted palette works. But if you dabble with drawing yourself, these have a wonderful use for drawing animals and birds.
The Drawing pencils have the absolute darkest black and whitest white, well they’re more opaque then other pencils.
The price won’t kill you but they are artist quality pencils so they’re not crazy cheap either. Quite mid-range pricing.
The pencils are sturdy, the cores of mine are all fine, even though I dropped the tin already. They do not hold a point long since they’re so soft and they tend to crumble a bit but that’s to be expected. They can be a bit of a challenge to get the hang of since they’re so soft and smeary but they’re worth the effort if you like soft pencils.

Color chart:
Official color chart:

Example coloring piece done with Derwent Drawing:
Picture: Imagimorphia by Kerby Rosanes
By the way, that shows pretty much the whole entire range here, used every single pencil in this picture. The yellow ochre background being my favorite color. Total trivia but yellow ochre and sepia are the two shortest pencils in all of my sets.

I love these, I really do. My husband gave these to me and it’s one of the sweetest gifts ever, really. If you like soft pencils like Prismacolor Premier or Derwent Coloursoft and dream of even softer pencils, this might be something for you. And if you don’t want the set but want the blackest black humanly possible, get an open stock one from this set (but keep in mind, it smears like there’s no tomorrow so be careful). Overall, thumbs up for sure!

Soon I’ll also talk of Derwent Artists pencils and I’m doing tests with cheaper pencils as well, Staedtler ergosoft and Marcos as well so eventually you’ll see reviews on those too. Eventually we’ll also get to water solubles, promise.

Disclaimer: all of the above opinions are mine, you might have a different experience with these pencils

5 thoughts on “Derwent Drawing review

  1. Hi! Thank you for the review! I got those pencils as I actually planned to use them for larger spaces, however it turned out that they work best for me as supplement to coloursofts in terms of colors, especially greens and blues. I find them hard to use with details as they are too soft. And was a bit worried that I have wasted money on them. I actually colourded same picture form imagimorphia with them but it is not even close to yours, which is beautiful.


    1. They’re really way too soft to hold a point well so they’re quite rubbish for small details, I like to use them for backgrounds since they get the job done quickly but if you do try that, do it in the end since they smear quite a bit.


  2. Hello Iris,

    Thank you for the review! I actually bought them before I noticed your review and I am so happy about this purchase. I started to draw and wanted to get some good drawing pencils but I realized they would also be a good addition to my coloring pencil collection. Your coloring page is beautiful!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s