Inspiring artists worldwide
Producing the finest pencils in the world has been a passion for Derwent - originally established as the Cumberland Pencil Company in 1832. That passion and commitment to excellence remains today, demonstrated to perfection, in the Derwent brand of fine art drawing media.
Although justifiably proud of its heritage, Derwent also has a reputation for innovation. From the classic ranges of Artists, Graphic and Watercolour to exciting introductions such as Graphitint, Aquatone and Tinted Charcoal, Derwent has been inspiring artists worldwide for many years and continues to do so.
The softest, smoothest sketching pencils
A wonderful choice for free style sketches and bold line drawings, allowing complete and spontaneous freedom of expression. The soft, extra wide graphite strip sweeps smoothly across the paper for a fast, even lay down of tone but is equally suitable for more detailed work. Derwent Sketching comes in versatile degrees which blend together beautifully, creating subtle variations in tone and mood.
The classic graphite pencil
This is where good drawing starts. Whatever your drawing style or media preference, you’ll need some traditional, high quality graphite pencils – and you won’t find a better range than Derwent Graphic. This high quality pencil is produced in a fantastic choice of 20 degrees, from a crisp, non-scratchy hard pencil, to a soft, smudgy 9B. The hexagonal barrel is easy to hold and the pencil sharpens to a good point to cover all your drawing and sketching needs.
The gift of creativity
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for an artistic friend or family member, or maybe just want to treat yourself, a Derwent Collection should be top of your list. The collections provide the ideal introduction to Derwent products in sturdy tins of assorted drawing media and more.
Legend has it that in the early 1500s, a violent storm in the Borrowdale area of Cumberland led to trees being uprooted and the discovery of a strange black material underneath. This material turned out to be graphite, and shepherds began using it to mark their sheep.
A cottage industry of pencil making soon developed, culminating in the formation of the UK’s first pencil factory in 1832.
The factory has had various owners in its 175 year history, but became the Cumberland Pencil Company in 1916. The Lakeland children’s range was launched in 1930, followed by the Derwent brand of fine art pencils in 1938. Since then, a huge variety of artists’ materials has been developed, from traditional to highly innovative. The product range may have expanded beyond recognition but our commitment to excellence remains the same.
PHILOSOPHY & VISION
Derwent's past is very important to them and has helped make them the world leading company they are today. Their future looks even brighter as they continue to develop more exciting new products and improved manufacturing techniques. Derwent's vision is to continue to innovate in everything they do while at the same time respecting their heritage.
As ever, it is their staff who will take them forward in this vision. Derwent has achieved the coveted Investors in People award for an amazing 13 consecutive years. Derwent may be an internationally renowned art materials manufacturer, but they are also a major local employer.
Derwent takes equal pride in both roles.
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