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Lightfast FAQs

Interested in trying out our Lightfast pencil range but you have some questions? Visit our FAQs page to find out more information on this amazing range of pencils.

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Procolour FAQs

Interested in trying out our Procolour rnage but you have some questions? Visit our FAQs page to find out more information on this amazing range of pencils.

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We currently have 2 lines in our pens range but that doesn’t mean you are limited with what you can create. 

Paint Pens

If you are looking for something more suited to creative drawing and painting, then try Derwent’s Paint Pens. Permanent, highly lightfast and opaque with 20 colours. Create fine lines, large layers of colour or even exciting splatters. Our paint pens are also water-soluble, so dilute with water to create transparent washes, that once dry are permanent and fixed.

View our Paint Pens range

Line Makers

Use our Line Makers to create sketches, drawings and writing from superfine, free-flowing permanent water-based pigment ink. Available in 9 colours and up to 6 nib sizes (black only) so you can get the precision you need whether in the studio or on location.

View our Line Makers range

Hobby (Derwent Academy™)

Our Derwent Academy™ range has been created for aspiring artists wishing to develop and improve their skills. With pencils, markers, paints and pastels, there is something for everyone to use to dive into the world of art and give it a go.

View our Derwent Academy range

Children (Derwent Lakeland)

Derwent Lakeland pencils combine high quality with excellent value for money, all with features, styles and grips that suit little hands best. With colouring pencils, painting pencils and drawing pencils, this range is great for children starting out in the art world. Lakeland is suitable for children aged 4 – 10 years old.

View our Lakeland range


How did Derwent decide on the pencil livery?
The stained barrels were chosen mainly for environmental reasons. The UV coating process is environmentally friendly and stains are the ideal finish for UV coating. The angled dips were chosen as a design feature to make the pencils stand out and have their own Derwent identity.

What gives a pencil its texture?
All the ingredients play a part. High levels of pigment will tend to make a pencil hard. The amount and type of wax will define how it interacts with the paper.

What is lightfastness?
A measure of how quickly something will change when exposed to UV light (sunlight). Light can cause colour to whiten, darken, fade or completely disappear. Lightfastness refers to the chemical stability of a pigment under long exposure to light. Our colours are rated on a scale of 1 to 8, the higher the number the better lightfast rating it has, so a colour with a rating of 8 will react more slowly when exposed to light.

What's the difference between the graphite degrees?
B stands for BLACK and H stands for HARD. 9B is very soft & black and 9H is very hard & pale in shade. HB is half way between the two. F degree was made (stands for FINE) for doing shorthand in the days before computers!

How are degrees made and controlled?
By varying the proportions of clay and graphite. More graphite means a softer, blacker degree. More clay means a harder degree. HB has 50:50 clay and graphite.
My pastel pencil won’t sharpen, it keeps breaking. 

Pastels are more delicate than normal pencils so they need to be handled with care during sharpening. Also the materials used to make pastel pencils are more abrasive than the materials in other pencils so the blades in sharpeners and craft knives will blunt more quickly. We recommend using a craft knife or special pastel sharpener and replacing them regularly to keep the blades sharp.

How can we identify when a particular batch of pencils was made?   
Each batch has a date code stamped on next to the imprint. This identifies the week that batch was made. From that we can trace the exact details of when the pencils were manufactured: the day, the operator, the machine etc.

Are Derwent pencils non-toxic?
Yes, all of our pencils are non-toxic.

Can I buy loose pencils or are they only available in tins?
Loose pencils from all our Derwent ranges are available to buy individually. Please contact your local store to see if they have the colour you need in stock or you can buy them from our website, just visit the page of the range you are interested in.