Hello, Chromaflow!

I heard about the Derwent Chromaflow colored pencils through a friend who had ordered a set and said she was quite happy with them. Once I got the pencils in my hands and did a quick swatch chart of all 24 colors, I put them to the test by coloring a few of my designs on charcoal and black card stock. And it was so much fun!

UPDATE (13 May, 2022): In addition to 12 and 24 color sets, Derwent now includes sets of 36, 48 and 72 Chromaflow colors!

After a quick review of the pencils, I’ll share some of what I have colored with them so far … and I’ll give you the low-down on how to:

win a set of Chromaflow pencils!

A hearty thank you to Derwent , via Blick, for kindly sending me a few sets to give away! My first giveaway starts today (Wednesday, June 16, 2021), and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Be sure to see the rules for entering at the end of this post and keep your eyes open for more giveaways this summer including more Chromaflow sets, a set of Derwent Drawing Pencils, a set of Derwent Watercolour pencils, AND a spiral-bound Artist Edition of the Big Book of Color Charts which includes a chart for the Chromaflow pencils. And a little more good news … Pre-orders for this special Artist Edition are right around the corner in my Etsy shop!

About the Derwent Chromaflow Pencils

Derwent’s new Chromaflow colored pencils come in sets of 12 and 24 colors (pictured above) and have round, black barrels with a fairly creamy 3.5mm core. The ends of the barrels are dipped in color to match the cores and the name and number of each color is printed on each pencil. Here is what is included in each set:

Set of 12: Sun Yellow, Flame, Scarlet, Blush Pink, Lilac, Denim, Blue, Basil, White,
Natural Brown, Grass Green, Black.

Set of 24: Sun Yellow, Flame, Scarlet, Blush Pink, Lilac, Denim, Blue, Basil, White,
Natural Brown, Grass Green, Black, in addition to Foliage, Golden Sun, Violet, Salmon,
Magenta, Amber Gold, Strawberry, Light Blue, Raisin, Turquoise Green, Platinum, Burnt Sienna.

I love the colors overall and feel there is a nice mix of bright colors (Grass Green, Magenta, Scarlet and Yellow), and colors that are a little more muted or natural (Golden Sun, Burnt Sienna, Raisin and Foliage). Of course, like many people have already expressed, I would love to see even more colors in this collection eventually⏤partly because they are a decent value for beginners and experts alike⏤and partly because I am a color junkie. I am always craving more colors, though truthfully, I found I could do a lot with these 24 colors by simply layering and blending, and these pencils performed fairly well in that department.

As with any colored pencil, paper quality and texture does make a difference. Very smooth papers are not ideal for most colored pencils (including the Chromaflows). Smooth paper can make layering difficult, sometimes impossible. On paper with a little more tooth, however, they perform quite well and I can typically get between 3 to 5 layers depending on how heavy-handed I am working. They work nicely on the paper Amazon uses to print my art journals and coloring books, and on one of my favorite card stocks made by Recollections and sold through Michaels. The Chromaflow pencils leave a little more pigment crumbs on my paper than other pencils, but they are easy to dust away with a small brush. I have not noticed much (if any) wax bloom.

The Chromaflows lay down a lot of pigment without a lot of effort and they feel nice in my hand. The barrels are not lacquered as nicely as the more expensive Derwent pencils, but that’s probably part of what saves us a little money. I tend to color with a lot of pressure at times, and I did break a few of the tips I had sharpened to a super fine point for detail work, but that is not unusual for me. I can be very heavy-handed. These pencils sharpen beautifully and I have had no issues with the cores breaking. They sharpen to a fine tip very nicely, and when they are more blunt, they can lay down a lot of color fast. I feel they fall between the Derwent Coloursoft and Procolour pencils in regard to core softness / hardness. They work well with a few of the blenders I tried, and with other pencils and watercolor pencils. All-in-all, they are versatile and affordable and I am happy to have them in my coveted pencil collection.

Most of you know I am madly in love with the Derwent Lightfast colored pencils, but they are expensive. I am still working on completing my set of 100 colors and use them for colorings I plan to turn into art for products and prints. The Lightfast pencils are great for professional artists because of their beautiful color range and exceptional lightfast quality, but perhaps overkill for those who simply love to color. If you are on a budget and want softer, creamy pencils instead of the run-of-the-mill, off-brand colored pencils that can typically be quite hard and not layer well, then the Chromaflows might just be the ticket for you.

Coloring with the Chromaflow pencils

Now comes the fun part⏤coloring! While this is not a step-by-step tutorial, you can see how I start building my layers and work in my colors. For this particular piece, I wanted to keep my overall color palette somewhat limited to more accurately reflect what the Candytuft in my garden looks like, but in a more loose and “painterly” way with pencils. It’s a little departure from my usual coloring style.

After printing my new Candytuft flower design on 65# charcoal grey cardstock, I used Foliage (naturally) as a base layer of color for the leaves and stems in the design. From there, I started building more colors. You can see how readily the Chromaflow pigments fill larger areas and how, when sharpened to a fine point, they work well for details, too.

The next video is a continuation of my coloring process. Some of you might notice I wear an artist’s glove on my right hand when coloring. I started using one when working on my iPad creating line art, but soon realized it worked well while coloring with pencils, too⏤especially when it is warm and my hands get a little sticky. It keeps oils (from hand lotion, etc.) from smudging my paper and minimizes some of the color lift from my pencil work. Using a glove really helps, and my hand does not get hot at all while wearing one.

Also appearing in the video (though very briefly) is a Tim Holtz Distress Blending Brush which I use just for keeping my paper clear of debris. It’s a round brush that retracts into its own nifty cylinder so the bristles stay neat.

Here is the finished piece, Candytuft. This design can be found on Etsy, though you can also now go straight to the source and purchase a PDF right here at RubyCharmColors.com!

Once you download the PDF, you can print it on your favorite paper⏤and as always, my PDFs come with a bonus grey-line version of the design if you prefer less emphasis on black lines.

Win a set of Chromaflow pencils!

Thanks to Derwent and Blick kindly sending me several sets of pencils to give away, I’ll be holding multiple contests and giveaways between now and the end of summer, 2021!

The first giveaway for a brand new set of 12 Chromaflow colored pencils starts today (Wednesday, June 16, 2021, and the winner will be chosen on Wednesday, June 30, 2021!

Here are the rules:

  • Follow my blog, give this post a like, and let me know your favorite Derwent pencils in the comments section of this post.
  • Find the two RubyCharmColors videos posted above on YouTube, give them both a thumbs-up, and let me know your favorite flowers to color in the comment section under one of the videos.
  • Visit the new Ruby Charm Colors PDF Shop, scroll to the bottom of the page and subscribe for special announcements. You can always unsubscribe down the road.

Participants who complete the three steps above by midnight (EST) on Tuesday, June 29 will then be entered into a random drawing, and the winner will be announced here and on Instagram and Facebook at noon (EST), Wednesday June 30th.

Winner will also be contacted via email and will need to provide a physical mailing address so I can ship the pencils. Winner will be provided a tracking number when their pencils are shipped.

** Please note that although I received pencils from Derwent via Blick, I do not work for either entity and this contest / giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Derwent and/or Blick (aside from providing the products to award a winner), Instagram or Facebook.

Blick has a wonderful selection of art supplies for coloring and more, and I typically only link to products I have personally used and like to use. As a Blick Affiliate, I may earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase through my website and/ or blog using links to specific products on Blick’s website. This does not affect your shopping experience or your privacy, but earning a small commission does help me continue my work as an independent artist. Thank you!