If you鈥檝e watched any of our Pencil Kings tutorials, you鈥檒l know Prismacolor pencils are the tool of choice for artists all over the world. In fact, if you live in the USA or Canada, you鈥檒l probably have rushed out shortly afterwards and got your hands on some.
However, for artists living in the UK and Europe, trying to buy these premium art materials has often left them with a pretty blunt choice 鈥 either to buy them in bulk (with limited choice and often expensive shipping charges) or wait until they went Stateside to add these graphite goodies to their shopping basket.
Thankfully, that鈥檚 all changed recently with the launch of Pure Pencils UK 鈥 a website dedicated to supplying artists working in the UK with Prismacolor and other high quality colored pencils. The site only launched a short while ago, but it鈥檚 founder, Gary Stamp, has already reported a huge demand for these professional art products.
Let鈥檚 meet him and find out some more about this exciting news for all artists in the UK and Europe.
Firstly, who are the people behind Pure Pencils UK and when did you form?
Pure Pencils was formed in the summer of 2014 by me, Gary Stamp.
Do you have a background in art?
I started in art back in 2011, after a serious eye infection caused me to lose my eyesight and
50% of my hearing, after a five-month period back in 2010.
Steadily, I regained the use of my sight and from that moment on, decided to put my eyes to good use. I picked up the pencil and paintbrush and never looked back!
I love to draw and paint 鈥 my favourite mediums are colored pencil, oil and acrylic. I鈥檓 completely self-taught and have an unstoppable passion for still life that consists of anything glass or metallic.
When did you first try a Prismacolor pencil and what inspired you to set up the site?I first started using Prismacolor pencils 2011 after joining the most amazing group on Facebook called Colored Pencil Artists and Lovers.
The members are amazing and immediately made me feel welcome. There, I learned so many techniques and ways to use coloured pencils.
I soon found out just how hard it was to source these pencils in the UK.The only way I could get them was to either buy them from Germany or have them shipped directly from the States, which, if you only required a few pencils at a time, just wasn鈥檛 viable.
This got me thinking about the whole situation and how I could get them either in bulk or cheaper.
I searched and searched but found no other places that were able to supply them on a constant basis.
It still really puzzles me as to why Prismacolor do not operate within the UK or Europe like other major brands do.
After feeling rather annoyed, it struck me 鈥 why don鈥檛 I start supplying them? I thought to myself.聽 I know how to use them, I absolutely love them, so why not? And, with that,聽 Pure Pencils was born!
Bringing Prismacolor to The UK
Since opening my website, the demand and feedback has been so overwhelming. We already have repeat customers and, within three days of opening our Facebook page, received more than 1000 likes.
The demand is high and it was a great surprise to see that we were selling pencils on the very first day of opening our website.
Do you have any particular favourites in the Prismacolor range?
It has to be the entire Premier Range. They are soft, buttery and absolutely dreamy to use 鈥 especially when combined with solvents and even the Icarus Board 鈥 a heated drawing board specifically created by a fabulous artist/friend called Ester Roi.
I also use the Verithin Range to map out my line drawings, they are superb for drawings with glass and metal as your subject, as you need to keep straight clean edges and Verithin are perfect for this!
What do you most like to draw?
I absolutely love to create pieces of art that feature either glass or metal in them, trying to get the shapes and textures of both these subjects is fascinating, sharp edges are key and drawing what you see is so important.
It鈥檚 a fantastic challenge. Glass and metal are viewed as really difficult subjects to render, but if you think of them as a jigsaw puzzle and slot those pieces together, then the whole thing just seems to come together before your eyes.
I love it!
What other pencils would you recommend?
I would highly recommend Caran d鈥檃che Luminance colored pencils. Yes, they are more expensive, but in my opinion they are more than worth the extra money 鈥 fabulous colours that are rich and juicy!
Faber Castell Polychromos are another pencil that I love to use. They have a fantastic range of colors and using them all together increases the ranges you can achieve. They also hold a sharp point longer, so you can achieve really fine detailed work.
There are so many brands I have yet to try. My favourite however, will always be Prismacolor Pencils. In my opinion, they are still one of 鈥 if not the best 鈥 colored pencils available today. My love for these pencils is the very reason I set up Pure Pencils in the first place!
Lots of our subscribers are into digital art. Is this something you鈥檝e tried or do you still prefer pencils and paper?
I really enjoy digital art. In fact, I recently bought the Bosto Kingtee digital tablet 鈥 the fact that you can draw directly onto this tablet made getting used to it far easier.
I鈥檓 working on two glass pieces at the moment 鈥 one in digital and one in colored pencils. I will never restrict my mediums as there are way too many to enjoy!
Finally, how can people buy Prismacolor pencils from you? Is there a special discount code for Pencil Kings members?
You can shop directly with us at our website or, if that鈥檚 not your thing, you can even use our Facebook store app to buy pencils without even leaving this popular social media site! You can also follow us on Twitter.