A colored pencil, coloured pencil or pencil crayon is an art medium constructed of a narrow, pigmented core encased in a wooden cylindrical case. Unlike graphite and charcoal pencils, colored pencils’ cores are wax-based and contain varying proportions of pigments, additives, and binding agents. Oil-based, water-soluble and mechanical colored pencils are also manufactured.
The use of wax-based mediums in crayons is well-documented and can be traced back to the Greek Golden Age. Wax-based materials have appealed to artists for centuries due to their resistance to decay, the vividness and brilliance of their colors, and their unique rendering qualities. Although colored pencils had been used for “checking and marking” for decades prior, it was not until the early 20th century that artist-quality colored pencils were produced. Manufacturers that began producing artist-grade colored pencils included Faber-Castell and Caran d’Ache in 1924.
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