Primsacolor vs Polychromos

I've been watching lots of Youtubers use Polychromos pencils instead of Prismacolor pencils, so I started wondering if I should investigate the Polychomos. I own a large number of Primsacolor pencils, so I wanted to know if it would be worth an investment to change.

I purchased a pack of 12 Polychromos pencils from Amazon and gave them a head to head comparison.

The pack of 12 pencils was limiting, especially since I wanted to see how the colors blended - hard to find pairs of pencils among 12 that would be close enough to blend.  Below are the Polychromos I pulled and the Prismacolors I pulled to try to match them.

Prismacolor Pencils
Polychromos Penscils

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Part of what I wanted to do was compare the color intensity on different kinds of paper, so you'll see three head to head comparisons below:

Primsacolor on the left, using Neenah Solor white paper

Primsacolor on the left, using Neenah Desert Storm paper.

Primsacolor on the left; black paper

  • Primsacolors are wax-based pencils; Polychromos are oil-based.  That did make a difference in the way you can layer color.  Once there is a lot of wax from the Prismacolors, there isn't much more that you can do.  You probably can't see it in the pictures, but I could see a big difference in sheen - the Primsacolors had a waxy shine.
  • I didn't really have the right pairs of colors to check out the blending abilities of either set, so no answer there. I know the Prismacolors do blend well (from other work I've done with them).  
  • I didn't worry about sharpening the Polychromos, because from what I read, they aren't prone to breaking. I never really know when I use the Primsacolors if they are going to break.
  • Other than the waxy coat, I didn't really notice much difference between the two.
So, I still don't know. Nothing in what I did convinced me to go out immediately and start buying Polychromos, but maybe something will later? I haven't decided yet. But it's fun to play!