Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Coloured Pencil | Review & Demo

Hi guys and welcome to another review video. In this video I’ll be taking a thorough
look at the Winsor & Newton Studio Collection coloured pencils- from the packaging and pencils
themselves, the properties of the pencils and finishing up with a demonstration. As usual I’ll leave time stamps and relevant
links down in the description box below. So starting off by taking a look at the packaging-
this set is presented beautifully in a transparent plastic case, showing the pencils inside. The information on the front is quite minimal,
so alongside the brand name and line name, we are told that these are soft thick-core
colour pencils- and like always I’ll be analysing these packaging claims later on
in the video. Turning over on to the back, we have more
product information in English, French and Spanish. The first bullet point describes these pencils
as “premium artist quality highly pigmented brilliant colours”… which is a whole lot
of information in one go! Next it says “rich laydown and colour saturation”,
and finally it says “excellent lightfastness”. Also included n the tin we have a little drawing
on Winsor and Newton’s griffon logo, as well as some very tiny watches of the colours
included inside. I feel like the swatches could’ve been a
touch bigger, but I appreciate that they’re there anyway. And you can see that this of course is the
12 set. At the bottom of the packaging we have some
contact information and a symbol showing that these pencils conform to the ASTM-D standards,
so therefore are non-toxic. Removing the outer packaging, we can see what
is included inside. I was a bit disappointed to see that there
was no leaflet inside, considering that there was very little information on the packaging. And I think that this would’ve been a great
way to show the other products available in the studio collection, as when I purchased
these pencils I saw that they also offered some watercolour pencils and some graphite
sketching sets too. The back of this cardboard sleeve is plain,
so there’s no information inside, and again, I think that they missed out on an opportunity
to advertise and suggest some tips and tricks for these pencils. But I digress, the tin here is lovely, it
has a very nice build quality to it, and is embossed with the Winsor and Newton logo. Inside the tin is a plastic tray that seems
to have done a good job of keeping the pencils protected. Now looking at the individual pencils. These pencils are made from Californian aromatic
cedar- and they have a 7.2 mm round barrel with a reasonable 3.7mm wax-based core. I’ve also been assured that these pencils
don’t contain animal based products, which is also great to hear. The barrels are painted a light grey colour,
and each pencil has a long end-cap to indicate the colour inside. The barrels are printed on one side with the
Winsor & Newton name and logo in a dazzling silver, and the colour name is printed in
black. The names are quite small and the lettering
quite fine, but I like the size of the end-cap as that makes it easier to find the colour
you’re looking for if they’re all stacked together. Overall, I really love the understated and
clean design of these pencils and the packaging, and they were very unique, eye-catching and
recognisable in the shop that I bought them at. Anyway, moving on to these pencil’s properties,
first off I’ll swatch them out on the paper I have in front of me here- I have a little
selection to try them out on as you can see, and as always I’ll leave a list of my materials
in the description box down below. On the left, we have Canson Mi-Teintes in
black. The Canson Mi-Teintes has two sides, the front
side has a large honeycomb-like texture, but the reverse side- the side that I’m using-
is much smoother, with a fine tooth that I find ideal for coloured pencils. Swatching these pencils on black will give
a great impression of how pigmented and opaque these pencils are, as the more pigmented and
opaque they are, the more they’ll stand out against this dark paper. In the middle I have some Clairefontaine Pastelmat
in white, which is my favourite paper to use for coloured pencil- and this paper has a
special coating of cellulose fibres that gives it an abrasive texture, which really pulls
the pigment from the tip of the pencil. And on the right we have Strathmore’s Toned
Tan mixed media paper, which has a smooth vellum finish. Aas you can see, the colours are highly pigmented
and fairly opaque, so stand out well even on the tan and black paper. This 12 set has a great range of colour, but
is definitely biased towards the warm side. On another note, like most pencils, the end-caps
only serve as an indication of the colour inside, and the colour doesn’t match exactly-
so it’s always worth referring to a swatch chart when choosing colours. The next property I want to explore is how
well these pencils layer, and to investigate the pencil’s laydown a little further. Here I’ve created a long rectangle which
I’ve filled in using a very light hand, and I’ll continue to layer on decreasing
lengths of the rectangle so we can compare what differing amounts of layers look like
in terms of the colour’s coverage and saturation. Overall, I was only able to create 5 or 6
different levels of saturation with simple layering, although the different paper types
I used here did offer various levels of control. Because the pigment is rather opaque, once
the pencil created complete coverage on the paper, there was no going darker. In this sense, saturation is controlled by
how much of the paper is left uncovered. The pencil’s laydown is very soft and smooth,
and effortless to apply. Next, I want to see how well different blending
materials work with these pencils, so I have some rough gradients drawn out here. First off, I’ll be using the Zest-It pencil
blend to try to smooth out the gradient and create even coverage. I’m using a small synthetic filbert brush
to push the solvents around on the paper’s surface. The waxy binder dissolves really easily and
I’m able to manipulate the pigments pretty well. The second blender I want to try out is the
Derwent blending pencil, which is a coloured pencil without the pigment. As you can see, the blending pencil does have
an effect on the colour of the pencil on the black paper, but not on the Strathmore Mixed
Media paper as you’re seeing here. The pencil does a very good job of smooth
out the pencil strokes to create flat colour. The final blending tool I want to try is the
Derwent Blender Pen, which is an alcohol based blender for coloured pencils- and a colourless
blender for alcohol based markers should work exactly the same. As you can see, I’m not carrying out this
test on the Clairefontaine Pastelmat, and that’s because the coating of this paper
dissolves and wipes off with strong concentrations of alcohol. The blender pen dissolves the waxy binder
and allows the pigment to be moved around on the paper surface, similarly to the liquid
solvents applied with a brush. It does become difficult to see the pigments
on this dark paper when the binder is dissolved, but I’ll come back to these charts later
on to take a closer look when the solvents have dried. The next test is to see how well these pencils
can erase, so I’m using the Derwent Electric eraser here to see how easily the pigments
lift from the paper. I was impressed with just how well these pencils
erased on the Mi-Teintes and the Strathmore Mixed Media paper, although the darker pencils
did seem to stain the paper, as is expected with most coloured pencils. The pencils erased very poorly on the pastelmat
and although some pigment did lift off, a lot of it got smudged around instead. Moving on, next I wanted to see how these
pencils blend on their own- without any additional blending products. So like I’ve done before on some of my previous
coloured pencil reviews, I’m trying to create a colour wheel using primary colours. Here I’m using Yellow and Azure, and I chose
to use two colours for my red, as the Red in the selection is warm and the Plum is very
cool. This means that the Plum mixed with Yellow
would create a muddy brown colour rather than an orange, and likewise the Red mixed with
Azure would create a muddy purple. Overall the colours mixed and blended fairly
well with a little bit of patience and strategic layering. Finally, I wanted to see how well the white
performs underneath and on top of other colours. So here I have some boxes of True Blue which
I’m layering white on top of, first with firm pressure, and next with light pressure. The white is surprisingly well pigmented and
opaque- often white pencils are a little lacklustre- but this one stands out pretty well. And to make use of the small amount of space
at the bottom, I’ve scribbled down some white strips to see how the white influences
colours laid over the top. There is a slight tinting effect, but the
other colours are pretty opaque so do well to cover over the white. Before we move on to the demo, I wanted to
take a look at these test sheets now that they’ve fully dried, as well as having a
look at a colour mixing grid I made using these 12 colours. So here are those blends again, and you can
see they look quite different now that they’ve dried. The smoothest blend is by far the zest it
on pastelmat, and on the other two papers the blender pen and zest-it performed similarly
to each other. The pencils have developed a wax bloom since
I’ve applied them, and it only seems visible on the smoother Mi-Teintes and Strathmore. As you can see, the wax bloom creates a subtle
milky-looking film on the surface of the pencil, visually similar to the dusty bloom you get
on fruit such as plums or grapes. Similarly, it can be wiped off, so that’s
what I’m doing here with a paper blending stump. If you’d like an even closer look at these
charts, I’ll leave a link to my blog post about this review in the description box below. And here I’ve made a rough colour mixing
grid in my sketchbook, where I’ve drawn out a 12×12 grid. Each colour has its own row and column, and
so the squares are mixes of two different colours. This helps me to get a quick overview of what
colours I can create just by mixing two different colours and is a really handy tool to have
if you only have a small selection of colours to work from. ___ But now moving on to the demonstration part
of the video! I’ll start off by giving some insight about
my choice of paper and how I go about using the products, and later on I’ll go over
some more detailed product specifics too. As you can see, I’ve drawn out a ladybird
on some more Strathmore Toned Tan Mixed Media paper. Once I had decided that the piece would be
completed on this type of paper, I chose to do my colour grid in a Strathmore toned tan
sketchbook- like you saw earlier. And the paper here has a similar colour and
texture to the Toned Tan Mixed Media paper, but is thinner and more inexpensive. After completing that colour grid I had a
better feel for what colours I had and could easily mix, and given that there were lots
of interesting red tones I could create, I felt inspired to draw a ladybird. I chose the Strathmore Mixed Media paper out
of the three papers I trialled earlier for a variety of reasons. First of all, although the pastelmat yielded
the best results, I didn’t feel like it was a good match in terms of the intended
purpose and audience of these pencils- which I’ll explain later on in the video. As such, I felt that the Strathmore and Mi-Teintes
were better suited- and between these two, I preferred the Strathmore for these pencils
as I felt like I was able to get the most control for the application of lighter and
thinner layers. I began this piece by using my prismacolor
col-erase pencils to sketch out an outline, and I used the grid method to improve my drawing
accuracy. I began the colouring by starting with the
brightest white highlights to help reserve them and avoid colouring over them later. I then started lightly layering colour, firstly
by mapping in some of the nuanced and subtle colour in the ladybird’s wing cases, and
next mixed in more reds and oranges. To get a glossy feel, it’s important to
have sharp and bright contrasts and include the colour of the insect’s environment in
the reflections and highlights. Whilst working, I did find that these pencils
were pretty fragile when sharpened to a narrow and sharp point, so weren’t ideal for fine
details. I use the Zest-It pencil blend solvents rather
sparingly to improve coverage, reduce wax build up and to help merge my layers. I also used the Derwent Blender pencil to
help burnish the pencil in some areas of lighter coverage, and I also used a paper blending
stump or tortillion on the background to help create a soft fade. Later on in this piece, I use the Brush & Pencil
Touch-Up Texture mixed with Brush & Pencil Titanium White pigment to really make the
highlights pop against the toned paper, especially where I had covered over the paper with coloured
pencil. You could get a similar effect using something
like a white gel pen or posca marker, but the drawback of these waterbased products
is that they don’t properly adhere to the waxy surface of coloured pencils. This means that they are more prone to flake
off- whereas the Touch-Up Texture and Titanium White mixture is archival and robust as it
properly adheres to the coloured pencil layers below, and can even be coloured over with
more coloured pencil to adjust colour and detail. Anyway, moving on to a bit more about the
product history and availability. I only heard of these pencils earlier in the
spring of this year 2018- after somebody had made a post about them in an art group I’m
part of. At the time there was very little information
about the product- and the only information I could find at the time was on Michael’s
art supplies website, which also seemed to be the exclusive seller of these pencils. I did find it strange that there was little
to no product information or marketing on Winsor & Newton’s part on their social media
or through the regular emails they send about their products, and there is no information
about any of the studio collection products on their website either. Anyway, whilst I was visiting England over
the summer, I went into a budget homeware store called “The Range”, and noticed
that these were being sold there, despite my impression that they were a Michael’s
exclusive. They were also selling the other sets under
the “studio collection” line, including watercolour pencils and sketching sets. At the time of making this video, I’ve not
been able to find any online supplier of these pencils other than Michael’s, but I’ll
be sure to add other sources of the pencils in the description box below as and when I
learn more. If you’re really desperate for these pencils,
I suggest keeping an eye out on online auction sites. I’d love to hear if any of you guys have
found these pencils available elsewhere, and if you have, please leave me a comment down
below- that would be really helpful! Because I wasn’t able to find much information
online, and considering the packaging wasn’t informative, I went ahead and directly contacted
Winsor and Newton so that I could provide some extra information for this review. As for set sizes, these coloured pencils and
matching line of watercolour pencils are available in set containing 12, 24 and 48 pencils. The Winsor & Newton spokesperson told me that
they plan on launching larger sets, but at the time they couldn’t confirm whether they
had plans to sell these pencils open stock. I paid £15 (GBP) when I purchased my 12 set
from The Range, and the 24 sets were being sold for £30. As of filming this video, the prices seem
to be evenly matched on Michael’s website, with the 12 set going for $20 USD, and the
24 and 48 sets going for 40 and 60 dollars respectively. As such, these pencils cost £1.25 GBP or
$1.67 USD each, putting them at a similar price to many other popular professional brands
on the market. And I can imagine what you all are asking
me right now- “Yes, but Claudia… are they lightfast!?”. This was my main concern about these pencils
too, as the packaging only states that they have “excellent lightfastness”. From my exchange with the spokesperson, I
was told that they had “performed quite well in the lightfastness tests that they
carried out”- which didn’t offer much help either. As you may know from my previous videos, lightfastness
claims only have a meaning to them if there’s objective ratings comparable to international
standards to back them up. So I then asked Winsor & Newton if they could
quantify these claims. They told me they’d pass my query on, but
I’ve yet to hear back from them- which really doesn’t seem promising. A lot of my conclusions about the product
are based upon this fact, and if I hear any more information about lightfastness, I’ll
provide an update as a pinned comment in the comment section below. Without knowing what the individual ratings
are for these pencils, I’d consider them student grade or a craft supply. And this is essentially the reason why I chose
not to use pastelmat for this demonstration. Pastelmat is an expensive professional grade
material, and to me it makes little sense to use a product on it that isn’t guaranteed
to be lightfast, meaning that the end result isn’t up to standard for sale or display. The Strathmore Mixed Media and Canson Mi-Teintes
papers are very affordable by comparison, so I’m much more willing to use this papers
for practice pieces. But moving on to the rest packaging claims
for these pencils: The first claim was that these are soft, thick
core pencils, which I agree with entirely. I also agree with the statements that they
colours are highly pigmented and brilliant, and that the pencils offer rich laydown and
colour saturation. No doubt, the pigmentation of these pencils
is wonderful- they are bright and vibrant, and in addition, their laydown is soft and
smooth. But, I can’t really get on board with the
claim that these are “premium artist grade” pencils. My opinion for coloured pencils is that if
there isn’t detailed lightfastness information accessible and if the colours aren’t available
open stock, the product probably hasn’t been designed to be used in an intensive or
professional artist setting, and is better suited for casual use. Moving on to the value for money of these
pencils: I think that their price is pretty fair given the beautiful quality and feel
of the product. In terms of laydown and pigmentation, they’re
on-par with competitors of this price point. The main drawback is that many of these similarly
priced competitors provide individual lightfastness ratings for their products- and in addition
to this, they often rate pretty highly. I don’t feel like these Winsor & Newton
pencils really offer anything that their competitors don’t, unless you are won over by the sleek
and minimalistic packaging, or if they’re just more easily available or affordable to
you than other brands. And, if you’re interested in finding out
what pencils I own and have reviewed, as well as some lightfastness comparisons between
major brands, I’ll leave links in the description box down below to my blog where I provide
lots of useful information. So who would I recommend these pencils to? I think if these pencils are easily available
to you, then they’d be worth picking up for something like adult colouring, sketchbook
work, or for adding pops of colour in a bullet journal, or in any situation where you aren’t
concerned about the lightfastness or longevity of a piece. They’d be excellent for laying down base
layers when colouring owing to their softness and smooth application, but for more detailed
work I’d recommend combining these pencils with another brand with a harder and more
robust core. So that’s about all I have to say about
these pencils- If you have any questions, they’re most visible written down below
in the comment section- so please ask them there and I’ll respond as soon as I can! Here’s the finished piece! I’m really happy with the outcome given
that I was limited to 12 colours. The piece didn’t take all that long to complete
owing to the quick laydown of these pencils too! Let me know what you think- and your thoughts
on the Winsor & Newton Studio Collection pencils. Don’t forget to leave a like if you found
the video helpful, and hit the subscribe button if you’d like to keep up to date with my
future reviews and other arty videos. Thank you very much for watching, hope you
have a lovely week and I’ll see you in the next video!


  • Kyomii

    They are definitely a student product imho – hence why “studio” is in the title, and why there is no marketing pushing them forward as had these been produced for archival fine art pieces, there would be advertising everywhere and all relevant info, so I think Winsor and Newton stating artists quality without giving LF info is more about the overall quality rather than a selling point. I agree colouring book use and journaling is the best use though if you swatch them and leave in the window for 6 months you would get a better idea about LF ratings.

  • Parasol Mushroom Art

    I listened to this while I worked on my inktober drawings =u=
    Love the lady bug! 😀

  • DeeJay28

    I have never seen these pencils before, and I also get their newsletter in my mail. I wouldn't use these as an artist pencil either..did you test these with an odorless mineral spirit? I would say that they are student quality by your testing . I do however love this ladybug! Thanks for the review Claudia!

  • aartadventure

    Thorough review, and a wonderful illustration! Who doesn't love a lady beetle?

  • Moon Ram

    Beautiful lady bug !! Could u tell me which colored pencils work well on Strathmore toned tan paper (the sketchbook u used – not mixed media). Thanks.

  • michael mc ewan

    Love your truthful tutorials, was at the range today, because it didn't have much information about them I didn't buy them

  • Aury Arts

    I really appreciate your rewiev and your artwork as really good 😄🙏🏼 Big hello from Italian artist 👩‍🎨

  • Faye Wulf

    Cute ladybug! I didnt realise the swatch/test cards were that tiny until you moved it closer to the camera 😂😂😂They are soooo endearing!
    Even if these are student grade pencils, they look really nice when you tried them out on the different paper… I kept thinking they look like pastels. Probably will be a product to add to my wishlist cough watchlist.

  • Emma Devost

    Love your reviews! It's beautiful!

  • WatchuDrawing

    I have the 48 set, and really love how creamy they feel. I also agree that they are probably student grade, with the lack of lightfastness information. I too emailed them about it, but of course, I got the same answer as you did. All in all, I really enjoy using these pencils, and your review was fair and informative. Lovely ladybug as well, I love the warm tones!


    Nice excellent

  • Autumn Roberts

    Fabulous, an in-depth review as usual, thank you! Tempting too! Eek! 😊

  • Peti C

    Are these pencils soft? How would you compare them to Prismacolors and Polychromos? Thank you!

  • Yongchae

    Do you have patreon page or any other real time tutorial website..?

  • kathy marine

    Very nice considering you only had 12 to use. Very good critique!

  • Art By Connie Dawn

    Hi Claudia I love all your tutorials and your artwork is amazing. I have recently bought pastel pencils by faber castell and I am using them on pastelmat. I wonder whether you have ever used pitt Pastel pencils and what your opinion is on pastels generally.

  • Piefje P

    I just discovered your channel and have watched a lot of your product reviews. The way you do reviews is very good, very systematic. Thank you for sharing these. 👍

  • Animal Creek

    Hope you could post more often, but great video as always!☺

  • Cathy Kemp

    Love working with the 48 set. Was told when I contacted them they would be adding their lightfastness ratings later. Trying to see if they are well recieved. Also bought mine on Amazon. Bought at a great price but now they've raised the price thats steep. Loved video. Also had some colors that turned to dust. They did replace those colors.

  • Joseph Reinke III

    Your colored pencil reviews are amazing… The best I have seen! I own many different sets of colored pencils of many different brands. I feel very good about considering your advice on any colored pencil set prior to me buying. You give so much info and seem to leave nothing out.

  • Ben Bignell

    hi did you study art or are you self taught?

  • Barbara Antunes

    Just came across your channel about a month ago and I love your style of posting, how you edit the videos and your art! I would think you have decades of experience! I would really like to see a video of a flip through of your past and present sketch books. Hope you consider to make one this year 🙂

  • Cassie

    this is so informative! thank you!

  • Attack On belly

    Hi, I’m really glad to see you did this review, I saw these color pencils in the local shop, but can’t find any information or reviews on them. Thank you a lot for those useful informations. Helps a lot.

  • mix meduim and crafts

    Love all creatures great work not seen these pencils before tfs

  • Iona English

    Excellent video. Just found your channel and I hope you post some more soon!

  • f j s

    Pity you have given up posting to the channel. It was good. Now gone.

  • Danio Eritro

    In Spain you can find them in el Corte Inglés, a chain of big stores

  • Aridescent Art

    Love your videos!! I hope you post soon!! ❤️❤️❤️ great review!

  • Tricia T-B

    Great Ladybug and lots of useful info. Thanks

  • Tricia T-B

    Brilliant review, Claudia. I just bought a set of 12 and find them not bad, not as nice as Prismacolor, which I can only find on Amazon. Thanks for your hard work and sharing.

  • Tricia T-B

    W H Smith in the UK also do some Winsor & Newton (of all places!) but my set i bought from W&N website direct. I think they are now more available than they were. Still not much lightfast info, though.

  • Claudia Sketches

    Winsor & Newton have just recently started putting out marketing material about these pencils- and additionally I got some more objective information about their lightfastness ratings! Apparently all pencils rate I or II (which I assume to mean ASTM I or II, but need verification on this). More info can be found in the blog post linked in the description.

  • Robyn B Artist

    very good work! thank you for sharing this!

  • lottuzi ¡

    Are you still going to make videos?

  • f j s

    You are not back over a year, which is a great pity. Assume life has overtaken you. Good Luck.

  • Adam P.

    Hi Claudia, I understand you must be busy at the moment but do you plan to continue your YT channel?

  • Claudia Sketches

    Hi! Why am I not uploading anymore?

    I'm currently busy with my last year of a nursing degree as well as commissions, and unfortunately simply don't have the 20+ hours a week it takes to upload videos to YouTube. I plan on making more videos once I'm finished with my degree (summer 2020).

    More info can be found here:
    I'm still uploading relatively frequently to my facebook, twitter and instagram- and upload as timelapse videos there- so be sure to follow me on these platforms for more content and information 🙂

  • JR Official

    I admire your video

  • Kathy Spitler

    Michaels in the USA has only started carrying these pencils in last year or so. Hobby Lobby in the USA doesn’t carry them. Thanks for the review.

  • Kate

    When a company advertises a studio product its generally considered in the art world to mean student grade. W & N are well aware of this fact so to put studio on the box it says it all without needing to try them you know these are not artist grade.


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