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Inktense vs Prismacolor Flowers

Colored Pencil Comparison

Hi All,

By request, I am doing a comparison of two colored pencil brands: Prismacolor and Derwent Inktense. It was a very interesting and fun exercise. Here is a close-up of the flowers, with Prismacolor flowers labeled with a “P” and Inktense flowers labeled with an “I”.

Colored Pencil Comparison

Enjoy the video. 🙂



To purchase at Ellen Hutson, click the EH link. To purchase at Simon Says Stamp, click the SSS link.
Prismacolor pencils used: white, crimson red, pink, canary yellow
Inktense pencils used: antique white, sun yellow, carmine pink, and poppy red

Prismacolor Pencils
Prismacolor Pencils
Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils
Inktense Pencils
Oriental Orchid
Oriental Orchid
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Memento Black Ink
Versafine Black Onyx Ink
Versafine Black Ink
Neenah Solar White Cardstock
Neenah Cardstock
Stampin' Up! Basic Black Cardstock
Black Cardstock
Fog Cardstock
Fog Cardstock
Pick Me Up Stick
Pick Me Up Stick
Stampin' Up! Dimensionals
Stampin' Up! Two-Way Glue Pen
Glue Pen
ATG Tape Runner
ATG Tape Runner


  1. wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 6:43 am


    Thanks Darlene for giving us another valuable comparison video. I love both my Prismacolor and Derwent Inktense pencils. But, your comparison confirms that Prismacolor pencils are by far the best for applying dry. So I’ll leave my Inktense pencils for watercoloring. I tend to use my PC blender but will try the PC white to see how it goes. I like the effect you got. I also like the oriental orchid stamp set. This is definitely going on my wish list. Altenew is becoming one of my favourite stamp companies. I’m waiting right now for their magnolia stamp set to arrive! Oh, by the way … I’m looking forward to seeing a video of your new craft room all set up soon (smile)!

    • wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 5:28 pm


      Thanks much for your comments, Connie. I too had been using the PC Blender only, anxious now to try out the WHITE pencil! Also, after I watched the video I too wondered, “hmmm, I thought Inktense used water”. (Obviously, I’ve not worked w/my Inktense pencils yet) So great to see they certainly have two uses.

  2. wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Mary Jane

    Great comparison video. Didn’t realize there was such a difference. I have a set of PrismaColor Pencils that I have never used so this gives me inspiration to get them out and take them for a test drive!
    Thanks again for sharing.
    Mary Jane

    • wrote on March 26th, 2016 at 7:44 pm


      Shame on you Mary Jane! I’m sure you will adore your Prismacolors. They are still my mainstay. Please let us know how you go with them!

  3. wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 2:21 pm


    Thanks for the great tips and comparison, Darlene. This card is so beautiful.

  4. wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 3:30 pm


    Another lovely work of art. Thanks for comparing.

  5. wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 5:14 pm


    I can’t get the video to work.

    • wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 5:30 pm


      The video did hang up on me early on so I moved the cursor to the right a tad and it started up again with no further problem. Good luck!

      • wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 10:46 am


        Thanks! I got it to play this time!

    • wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Darlene DeVries

      Are you by chance trying to play it on a device running iOS 9.3?

  6. wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 6:06 pm


    Thanks for the review. I like my Inktense for watercolor since they do seem dry. I use Faber-Castell Polychromos for coloring because they blend well and are fairly creamy to use. I don’t have Prismacolor, so I’m not sure how they compare.

  7. wrote on March 23rd, 2016 at 11:05 pm


    I have a brand new set of 72 inktense pencils so I’m a little disappointed at their performance, however, I took out some paper stumps that I’ve had for years, and some baby oil and tried blending with them, and I’m happy with the results! Has anyone tried this technique with pencils?

    • wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 3:55 pm


      I’ve used paper stumps and Gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) on Prismacolor pencils. It works pretty much the same way as the baby oil, which I’ve seen other artists use. I’ve never tried it with Inktense pencils, though. I use them just with a damp paintbrush (water) to blend the colors. Usually, I pick the color up from the pencil tip with the brush and use it just like paint. Works great! 🙂

  8. wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 12:00 am


    I was a little confused… I didn’t think it was a really fair comparison.. Intense r for the use of water mainly not dry and I think a lady up above in her comment was also a little confused… I love my ink tense for watercolor and my prisma colors for dry…. Do love your videos tho:)

    • wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 1:46 am


      I felt confused too Roxy 🙂 I couldn’t understand why the Inktense were being used like an oil/waxed based pencil. I agree that it is an unfair comparison since inktense are intended to be used with water as they lack the necessary oil/wax that enables them to blend into each other without water. Seems strange to try to make a pencil perform in a way in which it was not intended. I love my inktense for watercoloring!

      • wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 9:55 am

        Darlene DeVries

        Inktense are actually marketed as both dry and wet pencils. Some people will try to be economical with this set, rather than purchasing both Inktense and Prismacolor. Even though the application felt different, the end results between the two brands are really not that different. I think the card recipient wouldn’t notice that the flowers were colored differently. I used my Inktense pencils dry on THIS CARD, which is one of my favs.

        Of course, the benefit of the Inktense over the Prismacolor is that they are watercolor pencils. Personally, I don’t use dry pencils very often (which is why I have 72 Inktense and 24 Prisamcolor). I don’t regret my 72-count purchase at all.

        • wrote on March 25th, 2016 at 3:17 am


          My confusion lies in using the pencils as if they were the same type of pencil. Not that I didn’t enjoy seeing the result of your experiment, but it wasn’t a fair comparison. I wouldn’t expect the prismacolor to outshine in a watercolor comparison just as I wouldn’t expect the Inktense pencil to outshine in this one. Of course, this video may have been geared toward someone who has little- to-no knowledge regarding the various types of colored pencils. The marketing strategies to make Inktense pencils seem more versatile does not mean they will yield the same results with the same ease as a wax/oil base. I personally do not like the look of the dry Inktense pencil and the struggles to obtain “similar” results do not seem worth the effort. I do appreciate you showing the strength and weaknesses of various types mediums and allowing us to respectfully disagree 🙂

          • wrote on June 12th, 2016 at 10:44 am


            I agree golightly23.

  9. wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 11:33 am


    Very nice video! I was pleased to hear that the Prismacolor worked best for this because that is the set that I have.

  10. wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 3:43 pm


    Darlene, thanks so much for the link to that GORGEOUS card which was colored entirely with dry Inktense pencils. That makes me smile and glad I have the set. I love versatility and these pencils have just that. I look forward to using them more in the future.

  11. wrote on March 24th, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Barbara Gertrud

    Hello everybody,
    I read your comments with great interest. I had the same questions. I feel that the colours from the Inktense only become vbrant, whe used with water. There exist from Prismalo, and from Caran D’ Ache watersoluble color pencils in different qualities which have practically no color difference between dry and wet. There exist 120! different colours. ( I live in Switzerland).
    I have the polychromos,and will definitvely try the blending with white.

  12. wrote on March 25th, 2016 at 8:15 am


    Love it!!! When you first used this stamp set, I didn’t think I could ever do the stamp layering as you demonstrated it. I love orchids so I want to give it a try!

  13. wrote on March 26th, 2016 at 6:42 pm


    Gorgeous !

  14. wrote on April 14th, 2016 at 12:30 pm


    I will agree with the other posters about the Intense pencils because they really do shine with water best, no matter how they may be marketed. The colors become so much more vivid when even a small amount of water is added so I think when you talked about the pinks in this set you may have not done them full justice. In any case, I did enjoy your coloring and like to see the PC pencils in action because I don’t have any of those.

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