This is the well-known English company Derwent’s relatively new pencil. Derwent Artist colored pencils has been around for a long time, but they have been heavily criticized for their hardness. Derwent answer the critic by creating a wax-based soft pencil that they call Coloursoft.
As so many other companies, the name on the pencils are written in reflective silver but they are written a bit larger then many other which makes them easier to read. Only the end of the pencil is marked with the actual color. The core on Coloursoft are 4 mm.
Coloursoft are a very waxy pencil. Some of the colors can feel a bit dry (for an example the greys and the Prussian blue) and scratchy, but most colors have a little too much wax in them and too little pigment, I believe (ultramarine feels very waxy, Lime green feels as it lacks pigment). A typical sign of that is how rich of a black you will have from a black pencil. Coloursoft do not have a rich black. It is difficult to cover a larger area with any colored pencil; that is not what colored pencils do best. However some colored pencils do better then other, Coloursoft is not one of them. Even with a lot of pressure they still look uneven (Brown earth is a good example). They also crumble a lot (not uncommon for any colored pencil). So far I haven’t had any lead breaking though.
They are a good choice if you want to draw on a colored paper. Maybe not the best choice for black paper, but it does ok (depending on the pigment of course).
The colors you get in the full set are quite a good range of colors. They have two different blacks, one brownish (called brown black) and one more greyish (the actually black), but no really dark black. Actually, the “petrel grey” can look blacker than the pencil called “black”, but it isn’t black enough. They also have a “white grey” (more of a light grey) and a “white”.
The first colors that I had to replace where many of the greys and the pale lavender.
|Coloursoft color chart|
The wooden box
Derwent offers wooden box for the full set of Coloursoft. It isn’t the most glamorous box, but is nice and has an own little solution: magnetic locks.
Of the 72 colors available 56 are lightfast according to CPSA. As usual there are some inconsistency between Derwents own lightfastness result and CPSA. Not a large difference (and the result goes both ways, sometimes CPSA consider a color more lightfast then Derwent) but enough to strongly recommend joining CPSA and find out for yourself.