I have a new toy to play with. I blindly ordered the brand new Color Escapes premium colored pencils from Crayola. I know what you are thinking, "Crayola, that's for kids!" Well, these are definitely a step above the usual school supplies. I used them on the tile above so I could really see what they could do. I'm pretty happy with what I got and how the pencils preformed.
Pros and cons; The price point is a lot less that the Prismacolors and Lyra pencils that I love. They are currently available on the Crayola.com website for $22.49 for the 72ct box. The selection of colors is very good (but not perfect). The box they come packaged in can be opened so that all the colors are easy visible but as it's only cardboard I may be moving them out to another container soon. (They sell a wooden box set at $49.)
When I did this tile I started by laying down the lightest color in each section coloring the entire area, I applied the color with a VERY light touch, I then laid the next lightest color - again - with a very light touch. I moved down the range of colors, adding each darker value in a slightly smaller area than I did the last one. At the end I went back with my lightest color and blended the color all together - it isn't until this point that I applied the color heavily and effectively burnished the area. At the very end I added a few white details with a white gel pen.
How did this process work as opposed to my Prismacolors? Well, they didn't lay down as nicely and the blending was more challenging. But it wasn't that much harder. I have no idea what the lightfast ratings are for these pencils - there is nothing written on the box or on the pencils.
Did these sharpen well? Yes, I had no problem there - but I'll let you know at a later date what happens when I get further down the pencil.
This picture shows you the range of colors I was using in my purple sections and my blue sections. Did the color choices give me exactly what I wanted - no. But I could 'make it work'. It helps if you have a little knowledge of color theory when you have to substitute colors. Also in this picture you can see the stencil I used to get my Zendala shape. If you are a quilter you will recognize that it comes from quilting supplies. I used a pencil very lightly to get my basic lines in. I then used my trusty, Micron, brown pen for the lines.
This is what the box looks like. I haven't seen it in the stores yet - I got mine from the Crayola.com web site.