I will be doing videos to compare the most popular pencil brands, starting with Spectrum Noir. In next videos I will use: Derwent Coloursoft, Prismacolor, Faber Castell Polychromos and Caran D'ache Luminance 6901)
The image used is a rubber stamp called Pia designed by Rick St.dennis and available at I Brake For Stamps.
First a bit about the pencils,
They come in 120 different colours, no open stock, they are sold in sets, (which means if you need to replace one pencil because you have used it often, you will have to buy the complete set it is in)
There are five - 24 pencil sets: Essentials, Primaries, Marine, Floral and Nature.
The pigments are wax based according to the Spectrum Noir website, on the tin it says they are oil based. Internet search learned that Spectrum Noir is changing the present advertising to wax based because the pencils are not completly oil based.
Wax based pencils have a softer lead than oil based pencils, but when layering you can get wax bloom (looks like a cloudy white layer over the colours). Oil based pencils are more expensive and can be used on a wider variety of surfaces, like wood.
Because the leads of wax based pencils are softer they can break more easily than oil based leads. Specially annoying when sharpening and the point keeps breaking.
The Spectrum Noirs pencils are packed in tins, there is a booklet inside that explains a bit about different colouring techniques and info about the other sets and accessoiries. The pencils are matte black (when you first open the tin you will they smell horrible, I think it is the paint, the smell disapears after a while though), with on the end of the pencils an index colour. The pencils don't have colour names but are numbered.
You can download a colour chart here, there are charts per set, a complete chart and one you will have to colour yourself (that works best ofcourse, printer ink will change colours and computer screen settings vary too).
The pencils are waterproof and can be used with a blending solution (like odourless white spirit, or baby oil) and a paper stump, with a blending pencil. And ofcourse without any blender or solvent jst using the pencils . Light fastness is being tested so no info about that yet.
I stamped the image using Archival Jet Black ink on 240 grams stamping paper, and used odourless whit spirit to blend the pencils. Using odourless white spirit works best on smooth paper.
Pencils used : Skin; 005, 009. Hair: 15, 89, 91, 95. Hair ribbon: 67, 73, Lips: 42. Blush: 37, Eyes 47, 73. These are all from the essentials set. I used one set so if you would like to try the pencils, you only have to buy 1 set and still can do the same as in the video. The best way to decide if you like a pencil brand is to try them. Most pencils are sold in open stock so you can just buy a few to test. In case of Spectrum Noir you will need to buy a tin of 24 pencils, and that's why I chose the Essential set.
Here the video, First time using narration and it was scary, hope it is not hurting your ears.