Derwent Graphitint review

Yay for pencil review time! Derwent Graphitint is not meant for coloring, strictly speaking, but can be used for it successfully so while not aimed at us, lets look at them anyway.

Derwent is a company based in the United Kingdom and they produce a LOT of stuff, from the insanely popular and awesome Inktense to all kinds of accessories. Their colored pencils are pretty popular too, check the Product Reviews tab above the banner to find some reviews on their other products.

Graphitints are water soluble, graphite and color in one pencil and insanely cool, even though their color range is small:
They come in tins of 12 and 24, plus a blister of 6. I think this is the first time I’m showing you something that isn’t full set but while I adore these pencils, 12 is enough for my purposes so I’m not going to splurge on the 24, though there are some colors in the full set that make me go all grabbyhands.
As all Derwent pencils, these are chubby pencils, these particular ones have a silver casing and their usual color coded tips. They have a cedar casing with the name of the color and code printed on them.


  • Seriously, tinted graphite pencils that are water soluble as a cherry on top? What’s not to love!
  • They offer a lot of variation even with their small color range, the color is very subtle when dry, when adding water, they’re beautifully vibrant
  • The casing quality is nice, I didn’t have any problems with splintering
  • Really gorgeous selection of muted colors, great for nature sketching
  • Nice thick 4mm lead in 8mm cedar casing, you really do get all the bang for your buck here
  • Fit in most standard sharpeners
  • Easy to get a hold of in Europe at least, probably not that difficult in USA either
  • Also available open stock in some art stores and Amazon
  • Derwent customer support rocks, I never hesitate to buy their products, in case of problems, they will help you, I’m sure


  • Due to their graphite content, they don’t melt quite as easily with water as say Inktense does but while you can’t float them around too much, they do dissolve nicely so pencil marks won’t remain (unless you did some really harsh ones)
  • Limited color range
  • I’d like less greys. I know, I know, water soluble graphite but well I also have Graphitone so that will cover the soluble grey for me, I’d like to see more reds and maybe an ochre instead
  • The tin of 12 only has one green

So usually there’s a comparison bit here but these are really different and not comparable to anything else so lets make this section general blabber instead.
I do have to say this, the OCD in me loves Derwent for producing pencils that look alike and are color coded. I love that they are all uniform in size and shape and I have the barrel color to help me tell them apart. I know this is not something most people even notice or think about but I love the uniformity it creates.
Graphitint was something I bought ages ago to sketch, I read tinted graphite and went oh hello there, didn’t even notice it was water soluble until I got the tin. And well that just made it all even better. I’ve used these for sketching quite a bit and I can tell you, while they don’t behave like your standard HB pencil to a T, they do work like graphite rather than colored pencil.
In my set of 12, I’m happy with all of them. I do wish for less greys in the tin of 12 at least but the range is nice. I would buy the tin of 24 if I ever ran out of the 12 but seeing that I don’t sketch all that much these days, it’s not that likely that it would happen in the near future.

Color chart:
My shaky 12 color one:
Official color chart:

Example colored picture done with Derwent Graphitint:
Picture: from Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon

I do really like these. They are not at all just a gimmick I think, they work beautifully and blend together nicely, creating a really subtle muted palette. I think they’d be great for more coloring work in addition to sketching. So overall, if this is something that interests you, go ahead, try them, you’ll like them, I’m sure.

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

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