Breaking News! Prima & Spectrum Noir Pencil Expose!

Hi friends! Let me tell you about my nerdy afternoon! It all started with me indexing my new Prima watercolor pencils with washi tape depending on what set they were from then cross indexing them with thinner strip of washi tape to indicate what other sets they could be found in. then I started coloring some stamped images. I was coloring one of my favorite PSX pansy images but it just did not have the depth I wanted with the watercolor pencils alone so I grabbed my Spectrum Noir colored pencils to punch up the color….wait a minute, hold the phone, the color numbers on both lines of pencils matched! They looked identical as far as I could tell so then I swatched out the Spectrum Noir pencils next to the Primas on the chart I made yesterday and low and behold the colors matched from number to number. don’t believe me? Have a look:

I wonder if these pencils were made in the same factory, both of the tins said they were made in China. How do you feel about this? I like having lines that match even if they are not from the same company. I hope that one of these companies release the whole line of colors in watercolor pencils because I like the Primas and the Spectrum Noirs both very much. I have to say I prefer the way Spectrum Noir releases products so that you do not have duplicates between sets and you can collect as your budget allows. I’m sure there is a reason for Prima releasing the watercolor pencils with the same color in more than one set (they probably think that a crafter will buy the one set they like most and do not realize that we want them all LOL!) Nobody asked my opinion.Hey, if there are any companies out their looking for a  product development specialist I’m available.  Well, the phone isn’t ringing yet LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Edit: I realized when reading the comments that some readers did not realize that the Prima pencils are Watersoluble (aka watercolor pencils) and the Spectrum Noir pencils are traditional wax/oil based colored pencils and are not watersoluble. So if you have them both you did not just buy the same thing twice, they are different mediums with very similar colors, in facet as near as I can tell the colors are the same (in my opinion.)

43 Responses

  1. I love my SN markers and am happy that they are only a few that are in a couple sets. Love the fact that I have all 12 of the 6 packs and no repeats. And from my research there are only a couple that will be in the larger sets that I already have. My next collection is the SN pencils then the Aqua Pens. UGH… turning into an art nerd myself… but that is alright I am in awesome company.

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  2. I can see how that would really come in handy if wanting to add a bit more color, thank you for the information! 🙂

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  3. Bet they are made at the same place. Like you I love the pansy stamp it is a PSX stamp I think I have all of those flowers they are nice. PSX made a good stamp. I have a lot of PSX stamps. I think a lot of places make several kinds. Several years ago we visited the Coors Brewery in Golden Colorado and it was amazing at all the different beers they brewed. Lindsay have you ever used the nylon cord or thread to crochet with. I was just wondering about finishing the threads at the end. I finished a beach bag today and it turned out very neat and pretty. I melted the ends and weaved them through and put some E 6000 fabric glue on the end. Do you think that will work?

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  4. You make my day!!!! Thanks…

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  5. Reblogged this on mycraftysmell and commented:
    I wonder what the spectrum noir team would make of this!

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  6. So glad you did this, I have faffed around for so long on which to choose on a very tight budget…I finally bought one set spectrum noir just this week, still waiting on the blender fluid when I visited your brilliant tute on youtube…thanks for that……so far so good I hope, but I feel better now, you know how you can wonder did you buy the right thing..well if they are the same then fine…cheers..xx

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    • yep, the colors are, as far as I can tell, the same. The primas are watercolor and you need the blending solution or a solvent to liquefy the Spectrums. Have fun!

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  7. Hi that’s very interesting I imagine they must be made at the same place as I heard Crafters Companion had a little trouble with another company when they released the original spectrum noir markers because they looked and were numbered the same as another brand of alcohol marker which it turned out were made at the same factory.
    Lyndsay woild you recommend the Prima skin tones or the Derwent studio skin tones there is quite a difference in price … Derwent being much cheaper.
    Thank you. X

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    • Derwent studio is a drier wax pencil and the Prima skintones are watercolor, or did you mean Prisma (as in Prismacolor) which is also wax based? I think they are all goo, just decide if you want a watercolor pencil or a wax based one. Cant go wrong.

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  8. Could this marker, pencil, ink thing get any more confusing? I think not!

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  9. You crack me up, Lindsey! I’ve missed the upside down thumbs-up!

    Have you seen these? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VZB51C/sr=8-1/qid=1425766884/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1425766884&sr=8-1

    I need another art supply like a hole in the head, but they look fabulous!

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    • they do! I already have the elmers and Beinfang watercolor brush pens and I don’t use them as much as I should.

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  10. Dear Lindsay, what happens if you liquify the spectrums with water? Do they behave the same as the primas? Thank you for testing this.

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    • if you add water to the spectrums a tiny bit of color will move but not a lot, you can dissolve them with gamsol or OMS though!

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  11. Sounds like to me that I can buy the cheaper pencils and not have to worry about quality vs another brand. Tricky tricky.

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    • except that the Spectrums are wax based (if you want to dissolve them you need solvent like Gamsol or Oderless mineral spirits) and the Primas are watercolor so you can dissolve the pigment with water.

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  12. Am I missing something? I would be upset if I had duplicates. Right?

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    • Thought about it some. Dry or not. Still. I must be on too tight of a budget when I would ‘ve gotten upset about having duplicates even if they are same but not.

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      • the Sprectrums are wax (not watersoluble) and the primas are watercolor (they dissolve in water) so they are different kids of pencils but the colors are the same. There are doubles on the watercolor pencils within the sets (I’d rather have different colors rather than duplicates witin the watercolor pencils) but having them match the regular wax pencils is cool.

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  13. Do the colors of the pencils and water color pencils match the spectrum noir markers too by any chance? That would be kinda cool to have pencils, markers, and water colors that all work well together. Multi-media heaven!

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    • I’m sure some do but there are more colors in the alcohol marker range than the pencils or aquas…I think more test need to be done! (It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it LOL!)

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  14. I have mixed feelings on this. While some of you think it’s great, these respective companies might have different opinions on this. When one company copies another it’s a violation.

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  15. Wouldn’t you love to have all the colors of the parent company? Brand loyalty is what this is all about, I think. And that’s not a bad thing. Just an interesting thing. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

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    • Honestly, I’d love to see Crafter’s Companion (makers of Spectrum) come out with the pencils in watercolor because I like how they design the sets to be useful alone but with no duplicates between sets. They could come out with 2 sets (of 24) that comprised the 48 unique colors from the prima line and 3 sets (of 24 each) containing the other colors that were not in the prima lines so no one would be upset if they bought the primas already and want the full line. And anone who waited could still get all the colors. I wonder if the brands could get along like that? I would be a win for crafters not having to buy the same thing twice to get all the colors.

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      • I would love that Crafter’s Companion create watercolor pencils. I just can’t afford too much more. Besides, My craft area i.e. bedroom is crowded. I remember moving here years back that I did not like our old place due to wall to wall furniture. Yikes! I am so in trouble with myself.

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      • I imagine this to happen more than we know. After all, SOMEONE makes supermarket coffees and flour and peanut butter. If there was just a way to know who made what so you could really choose the best price. Now that would be really great!

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  16. You are now the Detective Crafter! lol. I find this fascinating!

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  17. I got so tickled at your enthusiasm in regards to the pencils. You were so excited, so then I got excited. You are so cute. Keep up the good work.

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  18. Interesting. I don’t think I like that they are the same – I like to know what I am buying! I would be super annoyed if I spent money to buy both lines, only to discover I bought the same thing I already had. It happens enough just with my forgetting what is at home, I don’t need help duplicating supplies!

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    • Well, the spectrums are wax based and the primas are watercolor pencils so they are different media, I think I should have been more clear on that but they are two companies with products that seem to fall within the same color line with the pencils.

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  19. Great tutorial! And very informational,too! Thank you so much!!!

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  20. Aren’t these new discoveries so much fun? Glad to have that information.

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  21. Well that was interesting, thank you, plus you have inspired me to audit and tag my collection, double thank you. I have the SN pencils, and was looking at Prima (to add to my watercolour pencils) but might wait and get SN. I don’t like SN alcohol pens, but pencils are good.

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    • I am looking forward to that too. The pens take a little getting used to as they do nor blends as easily as others and I reckon maybe they cam e out with the pencils so you can use them over the markers for good results. My kids have been using my SN penicls a lot lately and they love them:)

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  22. I am having problems with the Spectrum Noire pencils. The lead is loose from the wood And the more I sharpen they continue loose.

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    • you can try microwaving the pencils for 6 seconds, let cool and sharpen, it should fuse the lead. Do this AT YOUR OWN RISK it works for me but use your judgement

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