Interesting Facts About the Colored Pencil

Written by sarah burger
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Interesting Facts About the Colored Pencil
Coloured pencils are many artist's medium of choice. (coloured pencil image by saied shahinkiya from

Colouring isn't just for kids, and coloured pencils aren't only used in school. Artists use coloured pencils, too, thought the quality and price are different. This is one medium that is accessible to young children and adults, though they may not know much about this simple art tool.


There are two main categories that most coloured pencils fit into, wax-based and non wax-based. The difference is in function. Wax-based coloured pencils deliver great colour and work great for layering colour on colour, though the wax build-up may be a problem. This build-up causes a white haze called wax bloom. Non wax-based coloured pencils require harder pressure, though there will be no wax build-up. Some pencils don't really fit in either category, like the fine-art coloured pencils that can end up looking like watercolour when painted with a wet paintbrush.


Different functions create different prices. In the school supply aisle, coloured pencils can be purchased for under £6 for a set of 64. These are the wax-based pencils that children use. Artist pencils are much more expensive because of their ability to blend and shade. A high-quality set of artist pencils could run upwards of £97, as of 2010.


There are many societies entirely devoted to the love of the coloured pencil; one such society is the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA). They report over 1,900 members in the US and other countries. Their mission is eduction about the "fine art of the coloured pencil." There are district chapters of the CPSA in 20 states. The organisation offers its members the opportunity to attend workshops, receive product information, and attend the annual CPSA exhibitions.

Longest Pencil Drawing

The longest colour pencil drawing is 20 inches wide and 500 yards long. Jainthan Francis set this world record by creating his drawing in Sayreville, New Jersey in 2009. According to the World Record Academy, the artwork took Francis three months and includes tiles and footprints in 200 colours. Francis took inspiration from a local homeless man and used cardboard cutouts of his own feet for the job.

Biggest Pencil

The largest coloured pencil (or coloured pencil, as it resides in England) is located at the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Cumbria. According to the museum, the pencil has been on display since 2001. It weighs 446 Kilogram and is almost 26ft. long. It is a legitimate pencil, with lead running through the entire core, so it would actually write if anyone were strong enough to hold it. The pencil's lead is yellow.

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