I fall for the gorgeous packaging of Louise Fili’s pencil sets EVERY TIME. I bought the Perfetto Pencils but they were double ended red-and-graphite pencils so how could I not? The red leads were pleasingly soft and the graphite was decent not to mention the foil stamping on the pencils was gorgeous so for looks alone, I loved the Perfettos even though the cores were basically shattered from the moment I got them. But did that stop me from buying the Tutti Frutti colored pencil set? No, of course not.
The packaging on the Tutti Frutti box said it contained “12 Pencils 6 Colors”. What my mammalian pea-brain did not process was that that meant that these pencils would be split pencils and that the box would contain four sets of split pencils that each had complementary colors on each end. From one perspective, it means I have three sets of pencils to share with friends. From another perspective, it means I got three pencils for $12.95– in a lovely box with the same great silver foil stamping on each pencil as the Perfettos. The pencils are round with black cores, lovely smooth paint finishes and are packaged in a matte, slip case box. I am a sucker for good typography and there is beautiful typography all over – on the pencils and the packaging. Twelve dollars and ninety five cents worth of good typography.
Colorwise, the pencils are quite basic: red, yellow, blue, orange, green and purple. The basic primary and secondary colors. From a quality standpoint, the pencils are waxy and the colors are bright. On the slightly toothy Stillman & Birn Alpha sketchbook paper that I tested them on, the Fili pencils didn’t blend very much but I had done some earlier tests in my Seawhite of Brighton Artist’s Travel Journal which has a smoother, albeit slightly warm white paper, and the pencils did blend to allow me to make some tertiary colors more easily.
As you can see, the Prismas blend more easily than the Tutti Fruttis. I drew over the pencil with Golden High Flow acrylics in a paint pen (dioxazine purple, if you’re curious). For the price and convenience of having three sticks with six colors, the Tutti Frutti pencils are pretty decent, if you are inclined to be taken in by fabulous packaging and the novelty of double-ended pencils like I am. Ah, novelty pencils!
I think that a box of Tutti Fruttis would be a great way to have an assortment of colored pencils handy for traveling, particularly going into summer, and the ability to share the additional sets with friends or kids for road trips is a bonus.
The pencils are regular sized so they fit into a regular sharpener. Being completely round does mean they have a tendency to roll and that means they will fall off the table and break at a moment’s notice so keep that sharpener handy. Would replace my trusty Prismacolors with Tuttti Fruitts? No, but I will definitely keep a set of these in my travel case for drawing on-the-go.
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How did you know I have been so needing double-ended colored pencils — but didn’t know I needed them until I saw these! I must have these! My dream come true would be these double-ended colored pencils but with water–soluble leads! You find the best stuff! More colored pencil reviews, please. Meanwhile, I’ll go order these.
Oh, water soluble pencils would be the next thing I need too! (and I was just on your site loving on your Sweet Tooth Field Notes sketches!)
Nice review – and the test swatches are appreciated! The packaging alone makes me smile. 🙂