Prismacolor Pencil Review Lightfast Test Fugitive Color Chart 48 Set

Prismacolor has been a popular choice among color pencil artists for many years. The company who makes them has changed hands several times over the past 30 years resulting in quality changes. In recent years many artists complain about higher frequency of lead breakage when sharpening their pencils. These wax based pencils are capable of smooth blending and come in a huge variety of colors, but they are not the highest quality option on the market. They are also overall fugitive (fade when hung on a wall with nearby window lighting). Because of the lightfast issues, professional artists may decide that Luminance may be what they require instead.

prismacolor pencil opaque drawing on black paper color transparent color chart

Lightfast pigments can withstand a year or more of repeat daily sunlight (window exposure). Unfortunately my Prismacolor 48 pencil set had a number of colors start to fade within just one month.

prismacolor pencil color chart fading lightfast uv fugitive test

Many more colors will fade after the first month to a year. There were signs of fading starting in Process Red, Violet Blue, Permanent Violet, Violet, Magenta and more. Pinks/reds/purples appear to have the most problems, with black and dark browns being the least problematic. Many of these colors will fully disappear after 1 year near window lighting, appearing as if nothing was ever there.

You can find lightfast alternatives, like Luminance on Amazon or Blick Art Materials store below. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you :)

Top of the line lightfast pencils by Luminance:


More affordable alternatives to Prismacolor for those who do not require lightfastness (coloring books, practice, sketchbooks etc.):



Blick offers many options in open stock so you can try individual pencils to decide. I highly recommend checking out brands like Polychromos, Luminance and Pablo in addition to Prismacolor here:


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