Im about to break my prisma pencils

Inspired by some of the gorgeous prisma hair that Ive seen here, I got more prisma pencils and gave it a go.

I read that the head has to be varnished first so I did that with the Americana soft touch that I normally use. And nothing. I could hardly see a mark. Read through the spyglass topics and saw a suggestion to wet the pencil. Did that and it showed up like a dark, thick blob. Some people get a whole head full of dark hair done with these pencils, while I get almost nothing or a blob. :confused:

What am I doing wrong?


Maybe the soft touch varnish doesnt have enough grit to it?


Are you using air dry or Genesis?
If Genesis, I used satin varnish and my Prisma worked great on that. If you are using Air Dry, I use Soft touch with matting powder, but I only get one go. If I have to wash the Prisma off, the varnish won’t accept it the second time and I have to re varnish.

Make sure whatever you use has some tooth to it. Matt varnishes have more tooth than satin. The pencils just won’t take on a slick surface.


I use air dry. Didn’t realize that it needed to be rough. Hmmm… Maybe I need to stick to paint? :smile:

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I have the same exact problem. The only pencil that works for me is the inktense Derwent. But most of the colors are dark and you have to be careful with them -beware the blob!. I have about 6 different brands of pencils and tried several varnishes. I wasn’t aware of the one go, but that sounds about right. So i went the paint route and go take a looksie at my post about “what’s wrong with me”. I just can’t win. maybe I should root. Glass and tile maybe, but them i read to make sure it’s a smooth varnish so it will lay nicely. Catch 22.

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Glad I’m not alone @marleeton. Saw your post but didn’t reply because I’m not good enough of a hair painter to help you. :joy:

The thing is that I did try that before and could hardly see the pencil. Thats when I searched the spyglass and saw the stuff about varnishing first ect.

Can you think of any reason why the pencil wouldn’t show up @Sony72’?

I’ll try that next time and see. These are getting painted hair. :slight_smile:

Make sure the varnish is thick like. Not so thick it gets really chalky but enough that the head feels rough/sandpaper feeling lol. I never could get them to work until I started making my varnish layer thicker.

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i have this exact problem on some vinyl that is well varnished and sometimes just on a certain part of a head. i VERY lightly wet the head. Get a paper towel damp and wring it out well. now just wipe it on a spot of the head (not on the pencil, at least that’s how i do it), draw light handed with sharpened tip. I naturally would push harder and get worse results. Then I touched it lightly and voila!

Most importantly, make sure you are using the Premier Prismacolors. They come in different makes and models. I originally tried my old timey prismas (from back when they only came in a single type). those definitely didn’t work for me. it was like trying to draw with crayon.

Another tip, that might seem obvious but bake it before doing any varnishing over it or it will smear. Also when you are satisfied with what you’ve done, go ahead and bake it or you risk smearing it as you work around the head.

I just got real excited over this topic I guess. LOLOL! I’m only on my 6th doll and trying to act like I know something. But i really enjoy painting hair.


Question about prisma pencils—I know most people use the “premiere” ones, but has anyone tried the Prismacolor Verithin, I believe they are supposed to have a harder lead and was wondering would that give a sharper point and maybe transfer better? In the meantime, I will try the lighter touch for now and see how that goes.