At the CPSA conferences in Albuquerque, delegates were given a free pack of pencils in the new 2006 shades.
I was told these shades were so new that they were not yet in the shops in the USA a month ago when I received them. They're still not listed on the Prismacolor website - although I understand these new shades are now being included in the box of 132 Prismacolor pencils.
I've now produced a colour swatch of these new shades - with names and numbers - which you can see on the left. (The paper used is a pale cream)
They're all fairly muted shades. I like the look of the Black Raspberry - it's always good to get more coloured darks - and I really like the look of the 'Artichoke' shade.
The pinks should go some way to making up for those which have now been discontinued due to lightfastness problems. Interestingly - none of them carry the new lighfast Prismacolor logo and I don't know how well each responds to exposure to light.
The blues are interesting - I found the shades of paint used to coat the pencils varied much more than the shades produced when colouring the swatch boxes. The blue pencils also, in my opinion feel a lot less waxy than for example the pink shades.
What has not changed, unfortunately, is the tendency for Prismacolor pencils to break inside the cedar. On the Prismacolor site they say "Thick leads resist breakage"..........and yet, of the 12 pencils in the new pack I'm already having difficulties with three of them - the 'leads' keep breaking. Now since the pencils were a free gift maybe I shouldn't complain? However, breaking 'leads' is not a new problem with Prismacolor colored pencils. In fact it's probably the main issue which leads people to start trying other brands of colored pencils.
Prismacolor are to be congratulated for addressing lightfastness issues however they need to work harder on getting the 'lead' quality and its positioning right. In my opinion, they're still not producing the best quality pencils while pencil leads continue to break in significant numbers, especially since I hardly ever have this problem with other brands. And it's not just me that thinks this - see the review comments left by a number of artists using coloured pencils on the Wet Canvas Product review site and the way in which this problem appears to have affected their views and their product rating. Prismacolor have the most reviews and the worst rating of all the coloured pencils listed and reviewed - all, it seems, because of the breakage problem. All of these reviews are capable of being updated if the problem goes away - but only when it finally does.........
I'm also going to do a swatch of some the new Prismacolor Lightfast colours - coming soon!
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