Saturday, 25 November 2017

Spectrum Noir colored pencil review!

Recently i purchased 4 sets from Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils (ColourBlends) to try them out. I was asked on several occasions if they would be a good choice for a beginner or even a professional artist since the range of colors is quite varied and looks like it can accommodate any type of subject. They are also easy to find (online and in stores) and you can start buying them set by set making it an affordable way even for a starting artist to build up a good selection of pencils.

I decided to buy the 4 sets i thought would give me the most options, so i could write a comprehensive review. The sets i have are Shade and Tone, Floral, Natural and Primaries . 

I noticed the leads were not matching the colors on the barrel's ends so i sharpened them before using since this can be an issue with wax based pencils.
I chose to draw a Toucan, a simple image, rich in color and shades so i could see how these pencils perform.

On the manufacturer's website they state the following:

"They have a soft lead for seamless blending and shading techniques"

I found this to be the case, but instead of the soft lead being good for blending they simply crumble into the paper, leaving so much residue behind that i had to clean up my drawing more than i was able to work on it! I have NEVER seen this with any pencil before. They simply disintegrate on the paper, leaving a million crumbs behind! 

"They have a high pigmentation and vibrancy of color"

This is not true! These pencils leave a streaky mess behind, they do not layer, do not blend and are not
intense as the manufacturer claims. They barely leave any pigment. 
I am not heavy handed, since my usual style of drawing is photo-realism and i like to build a lot of layers and fine details. These pencils do not work for that! 
They take 2 layers at most, after which they do not leave anymore pigment on top of the previous layer. 

I did my best to make this drawing as "ok " as possible, given the circumstances, but i was definitely not happy with the result.

I could not build up any contrast, shading or details making it look a flat and bleached. 

Also, i did not have a black pencil in any of the sets so i used my Prismacolor black pencil to finish the drawing. (my bad for not checking, before starting to draw!) 

As it is, i do not recommend these pencils and for me they are a waste of money. I will try to contact the manufacturer and see if what i have experienced is normal or if i had a bad/ old batch of pencils because i don't like giving negative reviews and i had at least some expectations from this brand. 

Hopefully they can help and i will post any developments here!

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