A Comprehensive Guide to the Derwent Coloursoft Colored Pencils

If you're looking for a versatile and vibrant set of colored pencils, you might want to check out Derwent Coloursoft. These pencils have a soft, velvety texture that allows you to blend and layer colors easily. They also have a wide range of hues that can make your artworks pop.

In this blog article, you'll learn more about the features and benefits of Derwent Coloursoft pencils, and how to use them for different drawing styles and techniques. You'll also see some examples of amazing artworks created with these pencils by professional artists.

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, Derwent Coloursoft pencils can help you unleash your creativity and express your vision. Read on to find out how.

What are Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils?

If you love drawing with vibrant colors and smooth textures, you might want to check out Derwent Coloursoft pencils. These are high-quality colored pencils that have a soft and velvety core that glides easily on paper. 

They are made by Derwent, a British company that has been producing art materials since 1832. 

Derwent Coloursoft pencils are suitable for artists of all levels and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as sketching, shading, blending, and layering. They come in a range of 72 colors that can be mixed and matched to create stunning effects. 

Whether you want to draw realistic portraits, landscapes, or abstract art, Derwent Coloursoft pencils can help you achieve your creative vision.

Derwent Coloursoft color chart

Features and benefits of Derwent Coloursoft pencils

These pencils have some amazing features and benefits that make them stand out from the crowd. Here are some of them:

1. Ultra soft, velvety texture for smooth coverage and blending

These pencils glide on the paper like butter, creating rich and even layers of color. You can easily blend different shades together to create smooth transitions and gradients. The soft texture also allows you to create subtle details and textures with a light touch.

2. Bold, vibrant color range with high color saturation

These pencils come in a variety of colors that are bright and vivid. You can find shades that suit any mood or theme, from warm and cozy to cool and refreshing. The colors are highly saturated, meaning they have a lot of pigment and don't look dull or washed out. You can create eye-catching artworks that pop with color and contrast.

3. Wide 4mm core for rapid application of color

These pencils have a thick core that covers a large area in one stroke. This makes them ideal for coloring large spaces or backgrounds quickly and efficiently. You don't have to spend a lot of time filling in the gaps or going over the same spot multiple times. The wide core also gives you more control over the pressure and intensity of the color.

4. Lightfast pigments that resist fading

These pencils have high-quality pigments that are resistant to fading over time. They retain their color and brightness even when exposed to light or humidity. You can enjoy your artworks for a long time without worrying about them losing their charm or quality.

Comparing Derwent Coloursoft with other colored pencils

If you are looking for some high-quality colored pencils to create vibrant and expressive artworks, you might want to compare Derwent Coloursoft with other popular brands. 

Here are some of the main differences and similarities between Derwent Coloursoft and three other colored pencils: Faber Castell Polychromos, Prismacolor Premier Soft Core, and Derwent Chromaflow.

1. Faber Castell Polychromos vs Derwent Coloursoft

Both of these pencils are highly pigmented and blendable, but they have different core types. 

Polychromos have an oil-based core, while Coloursoft have a wax-based core. This means that Polychromos are harder and more durable, while Coloursoft are softer and more velvety. 

Polychromos also have a thinner 3.8mm core, while Coloursoft have a wider 4mm core. 

Polychromos are more suitable for fine details and layering, while Coloursoft are more suitable for smooth coverage and blending.

2. Prismacolor Premier Soft Core vs Derwent Coloursoft

Both of these pencils have a wax-based core, but they have different levels of softness and lightfastness. 

Prismacolor pencils are softer and creamier than Coloursoft, which makes them easier to blend and create rich colors. However, they are also more prone to breakage and crumbling. 

Coloursoft pencils are firmer and more stable, which makes them more durable and less messy. 

Prismacolor pencils also have lower lightfast ratings than Coloursoft, which means they are more likely to fade over time. Coloursoft pencils have higher lightfast ratings, which means they are more resistant to fading.

3. Derwent Chromaflow vs Derwent Coloursoft

Both of these pencils are part of the Derwent range, but they have different features and purposes. 

Chromaflow pencils are oil-based, while Coloursoft pencils are wax-based. 

Chromaflow pencils have a smooth and creamy texture that allows for easy blending and layering. They also have a high color saturation and a glossy finish. 

Coloursoft pencils have a soft and velvety texture that allows for quick application of bold and vibrant colors. They also have a matte finish and a wider color range. 

Chromaflow pencils are more suitable for realistic and detailed drawings, while Coloursoft pencils are more suitable for expressive and abstract drawings.

Techniques and styles that work best with Derwent Coloursoft pencils

The Derwent Coloursoft Pencils are known for their vibrant, bold hues, and velvety soft leads, making them a top choice for artists of varying skill levels. The pencils' unique features lend themselves to a variety of techniques and styles that allow artists to take full advantage of their capabilities.

1. Blending

The waxy nature of the Coloursoft pencils makes them ideal for blending techniques. Artists can smoothly combine two or more colors to create a seamless transition or gradient effect. This feature is particularly beneficial when portraying complex color variations in skin tones, skies, and other elements with subtle color shifts.

2. Burnishing

This technique involves applying heavy pressure with the pencil to create a shiny, polished look. With their soft leads, Coloursoft pencils are well-suited for burnishing, as they can lay down a lot of pigments without damaging the paper surface. This technique works well when aiming for a glossy, photo-like finish in your artwork.

3. Impressionism

The Coloursoft line's vibrant and varied color palette lends itself well to impressionistic styles, where bold, intense colors are used to evoke feelings and impressions. The softness of these pencils allows for the creation of loose, expressive lines and marks that are characteristic of this style.

4. Pointillism

Though it might seem counterintuitive due to their soft leads, Coloursoft pencils can be used effectively for pointillism, a technique involving the application of small, distinct dots of color. The pencil's high pigmentation allows each dot to stand out, creating a vibrant, stippled effect when viewed from a distance.

In summary, the versatility and unique features of the Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils make them an excellent choice for a variety of techniques and styles. Whether you're a seasoned artist or just beginning your artistic journey, these pencils offer the flexibility and performance to bring your vision to life.

Artwork Created with Derwent Coloursoft pencils

Here are three artworks made with Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils:

Drawing of a bear made by Claudine O'Sullivan (source)
Drawing of a kingfisher made by Christopher Durant (source)
Drawing of a McLaren Sabre made by me (Luuk Minkman) (source)

What artists think of the Derwent Coloursoft pencils

Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils have been met with largely positive reviews from artists around the globe. Here's a summary of some of the most common opinions:

  1. Vibrant Colors: Artists frequently commend the Coloursoft line for its vibrant, intense colors. The pencils' high pigmentation and color saturation make them a favorite among artists seeking to create bold, eye-catching works of art.

  2. Smooth Application: The softness of the Coloursoft leads has received high praise for its smooth application. Artists note that these pencils glide across the page, allowing for effortless creation of both delicate lines and broad color swaths. This feature is particularly appreciated by those working on larger scale drawings or those seeking to cover significant areas quickly.

  3. Versatility: Artists often comment on the versatility of these pencils. Their ability to perform well in a variety of techniques, from layering to blending to burnishing, is highly appreciated. Whether an artist is creating intricate details or bold, impressionistic strokes, the Coloursoft pencils rise to the occasion.

  4. Quality Construction: Many artists have highlighted the overall quality of these pencils. The sturdy construction, durable leads, and lightfastness of the colors make them a reliable choice for serious art projects.

  5. Blendability: The Coloursoft pencils are often lauded for their excellent blendability. Artists appreciate how these pencils can create smooth gradients and complex color mixes, adding depth and richness to their artwork.

However, as with any art medium, the Coloursoft line is not without its criticisms:

  1. Softness of Leads: While the soft leads are a boon for many techniques, some artists find them too soft for highly detailed or precision work. The leads may require frequent sharpening, which can lead to faster consumption of the pencil.

  2. Limited Range of Light Shades: Some artists have noted that the Coloursoft line could benefit from a broader range of light shades, which are often used for highlights or soft background elements.

Despite these criticisms, the overall consensus among artists is that the Derwent Coloursoft pencils are a valuable addition to any artist's toolbox. Their vibrant colors, blendability, and smooth application make them a delight to work with, and their versatility enables artists to bring a wide array of creative visions to life.


Derwent Coloursoft pencils are a great choice for artists who want to create stunning artworks with smooth and vibrant colors. They are easy to use, blend, and layer, and they have a wide range of hues to suit any style and mood. They also have lightfast pigments that resist fading over time.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new about Derwent Coloursoft pencils. Do you have any questions or tips on how to use them? Let Me know in the comments below. Thank you for reading!

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