Almost the Best Professional Colored Pencils - Derwent Lightfast Review

derwent lightfast review. drawing of a ferrari portofino in light blue drawn with derwent lightfast colored pencils

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Review of: Derwent Lightfast


These are one of the best, but also one of the most expensive


Very good, especially since they aren't even wax-based


Can handle many layers


Fade-resistant for up to 100 years

What I like

  • Soft core, but still good for drawing details
  • Sharpens very effortlessly
  • Vibrant colors
  • Easy and smooth blending
  • Lightfast/fade resistant pigment

What I don't like

  • Some colors are very transparent
  • You can't glaze with these pencils
  • You can't draw lighter colors on darker colors once they're burnished

Summary: Derwent Lightfast colored pencils are great for professional artists as they are 100% lightfast (under museum conditions). They blend well, the colors are vibrant and the build quality is very good.

The only thing I don't like is that you can't draw with lighter colors onto darker colors.

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When doing some research on lightfast colored pencils I came across the Derwent Lightfast pencils. They were the second most expensive pencils I had ever seen. So naturally I wanted to try them and they were surprisingly good.

My experience with the Derwent Lightfast

They blend surprisingly well

Being able to blend easy and well is for me one of the most important things when it comes to colored pencils. And I already knew these pencils were oil based which often means that they are quite hard, but don't blend well.

But that wasn't the case with the Derwent Lightfast colored pencils. They were surprisingly soft and very easy to blend, especially for oil based pencils.

This makes them a really good balance between holding its point to draw details and being able to blend easily. Normally you only get one or the other, but the Lightfast can do both.

Once burnished you can't add highlights with lighter colors

I often like to simplify shapes before I add details, especially when I draw wheels of cars. I start by coloring the wheel fully black and then add the spokes with lighter colors. But, probably because the Derwent Lightfast pencils are oil based, you can't add highlights with lighter colored pencils on burnished darker colors.

Really good build quality

The Derwent Lightfast colored pencils have an amazing build quality. The full barrel is exposed wood, only the ends are painted in the color of the pigment.

The wood is surprisingly soft when sharpening which makes it so much easier, especially compared the cheaper pencils with very hard compressed wood.

The barrel also perfectly protect the core from breaking, even when you accidentally drop them.

Aimed at professional artists

With their main selling point being that they are 100% lightfast in museum conditions, these pencils are definitely marketed towards professional artists. For a professional artist lightfastness can be very important as you don't want to drawings you made for someone else to fade over time.

You want them to stay as good as possible for as long as possible. You don't want them to fade.

Almost the best colored pencils

Derwent definitely did their best to make the best colored pencils out there. They have a premium design, they blend really well and the are very lightfast.

 However there is one brand of colored pencils that is just better: the Caran d'Ache Luminance. They can do everything the Derwent Lightfast pencils can, but they have a more matte finished and you can draw lighter colors on darker colors as they are wax based.

But apart from that the Derwent Lightfast are a very good number 2.


Overall score:





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