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  #1  
Old 12-12-2009, 06:01 AM
minstrel
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Default Absolute newbie question about colored pencils

I'm an absolute newbie to rubberstamping. Although I've been a scrapbooker for many years, I'm finding RS to open up a whole new world! My dh bought me a HUGE set of Prismacolor colored pencils (132 colors!!) and I sat down to play with them, but though the colors are INCREDIBLE, I'm having so much trouble with the leads breaking (and I'm trying to be sooo careful and not even sharpen them halfway, which brings another problem - can't get in fine places). They're so expensive, that I hate throwing away the lead that's coming out of them. How do you keep them from breaking and wasting so much of them? TIA for your help!
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:09 AM
stampin stacy
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One of the sacrifices of such wonderful color is that these pencils are softer and more fragile than cheaper ones because they have more color pigment concentration and less binders such as wax etc. Honestly a light hand when coloring is all you need due to the higher pigment. I have heard of Prisma pencils getting damaged if the box has been dropped (before purchase even) and therefore breakage being an issue.

I tend to have a heavy hand myself but don't have this problem and am able to sharpen them to a sharp point when needed. If you continue to have problems I would contact the company directly. Here is a link to their website:

http://www.prismacolor.com/sanford/c...=SNPRCat100001

Last edited by stampin stacy; 12-12-2009 at 07:15 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2009, 07:59 AM
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Inky Whiskers Inky Whiskers is offline
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Stacy is right! If you can't sharpen any of the pencils w/o the lead breaking off, the whole set may have been dropped, maybe more than once. I like to use a hand held sharpener (w/o the container to catch the shavings attached) so I can be extra gentle & see what I'm doing to the lead as I go.) That said, if the broken piece is at least 1/4" long I just stick it back in the tube & try to use it anyway.

Also, in the art aisle at your local craft store (or at your local art supply store) you should find this nifty little tool made to hold a pencil when it gets too short to easily hold in your hand. You insert the back end of the pencil into the holder, tighten it up & color away. I've used mine with pencil bits less than an inch long.

At least quality art pencils like the Prisma will last you a really long time! I'm still using some of the Spectracolor pencils (made by Faber-Castell) I bought when in art school over 20 years ago & they still color beautifully. Alas, they don't make that particualr line anymore.

Have you tried the 'Gamsol' Technique yet?

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/re...s/gamsol_magic
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2009, 09:04 AM
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I know some people who've had similar problems and they put their pencils in the microwave :::shudder::: for a few seconds. This bonds it all back together. I've never tried it though.

I use the special pencil sharpener made by Prisma and don't generally have problems. I try not to sharpen them to too much of a point. And I try to be very light handed.

But it does sound like your box may have been dropped.

Have you tried Gamsol with your pencils yet?
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Old 12-12-2009, 09:06 AM
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Theresagram Theresagram is offline
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Oh, if you have a Hobby Lobby...they carry the Prisma pencil sharpener for like $3.00

I know some people have issues just because of the type of pencil sharpener they use. I'm told never use electric or battery operated.

Anyway, since I started using the Prisma sharpener I'm having much few issues with mine.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2009, 07:24 AM
StampinNancy StampinNancy is offline
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I found this problem when I use an electric sharpener, so I reverted back to a manual sharpener - the one that came with the large prisma pack. I agree with the other posters that if you use a llighter hand in coloring it may help. Also try the gamasol that was mentioned - you just need a little color and it will go a long way.
While the set of pencils was expensive, they will last a long time. You may find yourself using the same colors - so you'll only have to replace those individuals as you go.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2009, 09:21 AM
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I agree with all the posters (manual pencil sharpener, box breakage) but in a class I took with Karen Lockhart she also mentioned that if the lead is not completely centered in the pencil you will also get breakage. Sure enough, the pencils I was having to sharpen and pray they held together were the few that weren't centered. There were about five in my set of 132. I know I'll have to replace these at some point but as I use a light hand they are okay for now.

In another thread folks mentioned Prisma's Verithin pencils. These should help for those small areas?

A light hand with many layers will increase the intensity of the color. The trick is to not get frustrated when you aren't quite at the color you want. Another trick is to move from light to dark in color; this will help with highlights and lowlights and also bring intensity to your final color. It's fun to play with the various grays in the 132 set to see the dimension that adds to your coloring. Another tip Karen Lockhart shared with us is to outline with your darkest color around the object once you are done, skipping an area if that is where your highlight is coming from. And, keep a scrap paper to mix the layering of colors on that is the same as your stamped image. The colors look different on ivory, tan, kraft, etc.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:59 PM
minstrel
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Thank you so much for all your suggestions. Since my set is new, I did use my electric sharpener, but I think I'll go back to the manual one that came in the set (although I was having problems even with that one, too). I'll just try to be more careful. I haven't tried Gamsol yet, but I just bought some so that I could do just that! I've watched some tutes on youtube Now if I could just get through Christmas and finish up the quilts I'm making so I can play with my stamps and pencils!
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2009, 08:18 PM
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Super glue the broken off point back into the pencil! No waste that way and you can use the pencil straight through the super glued part. I've been doing this for years so I don't waste that broken off tip.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2009, 08:53 PM
minstrel
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Thanks for the tip. I tried it and it seems to be working for me! :-)
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