Tag: review

Announcing: Baron Fig Archer Pencils

Baron Fig Archer Pencils

It’s not everyday that a company unveils a new pencil. Today, Baron Fig announced its new Archer Pencil. Or should I say “rolled” out its new pencil since they are packaged in a matte charcoal paperboard tube? Inside, are snuggled a dozen hexagonal graphite painted pencils with a charcoal tipped ends.

Baron Fig Archer Pencils

Discreetly stamped in white foil is the Baron Fig bran name and a monoline arrow on the opposite side on the barrel of the pencil just below the the black dipped end. Very nicely designed and very simply branded. The paperboard tube doubles as storage for your pencils much like the tins of yore but with a modern Apple/21st-century twist.

Baron Fig Archer Pencils

Baron Fig Archer Pencils

Baron Fig Archer Pencils Writing Sample

I sharpened the pencils with a 2-step, long-point sharpener and the HB lead had no problem holding the point and keeping a nice point for the duration of my test writing. The Archer is a lighter pencil than a Blackwing since it doesn’t have the large ferrule and eraser on the end so I found it light in the hand and easy to balance. The lead is lighter and harder than the Blackwings as well but that means its a bit less smudgy too. I even did some heavy scrbbing tests after I photographed the writing sample just to verify my instincts, and the Archer really did maintain a god crisp point even after scrubbing a good chunky of graphite on the page.

I’d compare the Archer to one of my favorites, the Faber-Castell Grip 2001 HB, in terms of hardness but the wood is a bit weightier. It smells good too. Yes, I sniffed it. This is a full-service blog.

I really like these pencils but I am biased because I like pencils that are HB, a bit on the harder side without erasers and are well-designed. The price is right and the packaging and design is SPOT-ON.

The Archer is available in a tube of one dozen for $15. You can order today and pencils will start shipping on 10/20.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Baron Fig for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Review: Denik Sketchbooks & Notebooks

Denik Notebooks 2

Denik Notebooks 1

Denik Love Sketchbook Denik Love Sketchbook inside


Denik is an artist-designed notebook company that’s mission is to change the world with art. It’s doing this by contributing part of their profits to education and by paying the artists that create the cover designs a royalty fee for their designs.

Last year, they helped to build the Denik Middle School in Zambougou, Mali. They are currently working on funding a school in Laos and are working with Pencils of Promise, to build a school in Guatemala which will start in the Spring of 2017.

In their spirit of generosity, they sent me a huge stack of notebooks to review. So many, that I enlisted the help of friends in order to test all the notebooks in a timely fashion. Jordan, Marcos, Allyson, Kim, Terence, Bob, and Meshelle all pitched in to provide feedback and assistance in reviewing these notebooks and sketchbooks. For all of them, it was their first outings reviewing a notebook so I’m pooling their comments and opinions to streamline this review. Otherwise this would have had to be an ebook.

The notebooks that we had to review are:

  • Plaid Classic (5.25″ x 8.25″, hardcover with flannel fabric over board, 60 heavyweight pages, blank) $24.95
  • Granite Softcover (5.25″ x 8.25″ 150 pages acid-free, 75% recycled paper, lined) $11.95
  • Drawing Mountains (5.25″ x 8.25″ 150 pages acid-free, 75% recycled paper, blank) $11.95
  • Margerita Illustrated by Lisa Congdon (5.25″ x 8.25″ 150 pages acid-free, 75% recycled paper, blank) $11.95
  • Hideaway (5.25″ x 8.25″ 150 pages acid-free, 75% recycled paper, lined) $11.95
  • Floral Beauty (5.25″ x 8.25″ 150 pages acid-free, 75% recycled paper, blank) $11.95
  • Floral Love Sketchbook (8″ x 10.5″ 150 pages of acid free, 75% recycled paper, blank) $10.95
  • Crazy Ideas Sketchbook (9″ x 11″ 77# natural, 150 pages of acid free, 75% recycled paper, perforated) $14.95

The Plain Paper Notebooks:

For efficiency, I’m going to group all the plain paper notebooks together. These are the books that Bob, Marcos, and I tested. It includes the 150-page, 5.25″ x 8.5″ “Hideaway,” “Floral Beauty,” Margerita,’ “Drawing Mountains,” and the larger 8″ x 10.5″ “Floral Love” Sketchbook.

All the books have a “soft-touch” cover, rounded corners and a perfect bound spine. The sketchbook in the exception in that is has square corners.

Denik Tamale Illo 1

I used my Cross Century II with blue felt tip refill and colored pencils for my first page. I got some show through and a little bleed through where I had the most color coverage with the felt tip ink.

Denik Red pen test

Marco used a red felt tip pen with similar results to my page above. I think it was the Pentel Sign Pen or similar which would be similar to a Micron or a Multiliner. He got a bit a show through but no actual bleed through.

Denik Tamale illo 2

More tamale art with colored pencils, felt tip and a little bit of alcohol marker as well.

Denik microns

Bob did a light bit of sketching with a Copic Multiliner and there’s some evidence of the show through on the reverse side of his page. So we all got similar results and we all love to use felt tips!

Denik collage

Marco did some collage work with ink, and pasted papers which I absolutely love. He used foil papers, kraft, and card stocks. The glue caused the paper to buckle a little bit but the collage looks so cool, who cares?

Denik brush pen

More of Marco’s drawings, this time with a brush pen.

Denik Sakura Identipen

The Sakura IdentiPen is similar to a traditional Sharpie permanent marker so it had plenty of show through and some bleed through but the paper held up fine for doodling. You can also see some of the showthrough from the Pentel Finito Xtra Fine page on the lefthand side.

Denik Pentel finito Denik Sharpie

Sharpie permanent markers, like other alcohol-based markers bleed through the paper a lot and even on to the next page so if you’re planning to do note taking with a Sharpie, you may want to put a piece of cardstock under your page or a pencil board to protect the sheets below. Still looks pretty cool in Marco’s capable hands. (If he keeps this up, I might be out of a job!)

Denik Copic Fountain Pen

This page is a mix of Copic Drawing Fountain Pen and alcohol marker for the gray shading. The fountain pen has a little show through but not much bleed through. As you’ll see further down, Copics and other alcohol markers bleed through quite a lot.

Denik Colored Pencils 2

Bob sketched with colored pencils and liked the way the paper kept his colors bright and true on the crisp white paper. The smoothness was a plus too.

Denik Colored Pencils

Bob also experimented with laying down a thick layer of color to get a solid build up of pigment to see how the paper handled it. He was pleased with the results.

Denik Erasable Colored Pencils

I tested the paper with pencils and a much lighter hand with my sketch of 11 from Stranger Things. I used the Pilot Color Eno Neox erasable leads in my Cross Century. I agreed that the smooth paper was a good match for colored pencils.

Denik Gouache

I also tried some gouache on the paper. I got a little bit of buckling as the paper is not really designed to handle wet media but not so much that for a small sketch it would bother me. I wouldn’t recommend full on watercolor work though.

Denik Notebooks Copics

Denik Copic pen 3

Then we have our Copic and alcohol-marker tests. Both Marco and I had the same results. The colors bled to the back and some colors bled all the way to the next page and to the back side of that. Dark colors bled even further. So, proceed with caution, use a slip sheet or skip the Copics with the blank notebooks.

The Lined Notebook:

The Hideaway and Granite notebooks are both lined and feature softcovers  and the same paper, page count and general configuration as the blank notebooks. They have the same rounded corners and soft touch covers as well. Allyson’s big complaint was that she was not a fan of the soft touch covers. They reminded her of nails on a chalkboard sensations. It is definitely not a sensation for everyone.

Denik Lined

The ruling inside is 7mm and the lines are a dark gray. There is additional space at the top of each space for a title. The lines could be a wee bit thinner or lighter for my taste but no one else complained about them so maybe I’m just super picky. Meshelle, Terence and Allyson were all under tight deadlines this past week so their comments were limited so I did standard pen tests on the lined notebooks. Felt tips pens and darker, juicier fountain pens left some dot bleed through. Rollerballs, like the Regal Alice, and particularly wet fountain pens like the Karas Kustoms with super-saturated Robert Oster Blue Sea ink (also the blob of ink in the top corner) left its mark on the reverse of the paper which you can see in the photo below. Overall, the results in the lined notebooks are consistent with the blank notebooks which lead me to believe its probably the same paper.

With gel pens like the Pilot Hi-Tec C, there was no show through or bleed though issue so that’s good. And pencils performed just fine. I particularly liked the  Mitsubishi Prussian Blue/Vermillion pencil. It was lush and dark on the paper.

I wish that Denik was less obscure with the actual weight of the paper in the notebooks. Its a very Moleskine-y thing to do. Denik is specific with the sketchbook paper weight, why not be specific with the notebooks too?

Denik Lined

The Sketchbook:

Denik Sketchbook

The Crazy Ideas Sketchbook  is a classic wire bound sketchbook and exactly the kind of sketchbook that Bob would gravitate towards. The large format 9″ x 11″ size and wire binding is his go-to format. The paper is a little lighter weight than his favored Canson XL Mix Media but its a little larger in size and the perforation means its a little cleaner and easier to remove pages for sharing and scanning.

Denik Sketchbook drawing tools 1

None of Bob’s regular drawing tools like felt tips, rollerballs, pencils or gel pens had any show through or bleed through and he liked the light tooth and weight of the paper. The paper was thick enough to feel substantial but not so thick as too take itself TOO seriously. He could doodle, sketch or take notes at will and not feel too precious about the paper. That’s just how he likes his sketchbooks.

Denik Sketchbook drawing tools 2

When it got into more marker territory, there was definite show through with those pesky Copics but not as bad as there was with the notebook paper and it certainly didn’t bleed to the next page. This is much better for drawing purposes. With watercolor brush markers, there was no show through at all. Even adding water to spread the color, there is only a little buckling. This is not really watercolor paper though. I did find that this paper was okay for a bit of gouache as well but again, it did pucker a bit. So, I’d rate it “light wash” and ink only and not full-on watercolor or wet media. It would do in a pinch but would cause some weird pooling due to the paper buckling.

Denik Sketchbook Fountain pens

As for fountain pens, I had really good luck with no feathering and little show through. I’d actually use it for calligraphy practice since the sheets are large, easy to remove and fairly smooth.

The Hardcover Notebook:

The hardcover notebook had a woolly flannel plaid cover with a leather tag debossed with the Denik logo on it. Very subtle. On the inside covers was a black and white mottled print that reminds me of a composition book. And the whole book reminded me of something Jordan would love and I was right. There is also a red satin ribbon bookmark inside this book. I wish the ribbon had been finished on the end to keep it from fraying but  some white glue or a FrayCheck should stop it. A flame might work as well but since I am letting Jordan keep this book since she tested it, I’m not going to set it on fire, just in case.

Denik Pencil and Sharpie

Jordan used some colored pencils and a Sharpie permanent marker too. We Hallmarkers are nothing if not consistent. She was overall really happy with the thicker paper though the Sharpie permanent markers did still bleed through. You can see the Sharpie show through on the photo below.

Denik Ink and more

Jordan found that pen and ink and felt tip was awesome on this smooth paper and had little to no issue with bleed through because it was thicker. The ink washes did not cause any warping or buckling. Jordan was able to get a range of blacks and grays which made for a happy lettering artist.

Denik Watercolor

Jordan also experimented with her Koi watercolors. She got some warping of the paper but was still able to produce some good color range. Once the paper was dry, the weight of the book itself flattened the paper back out to create satisfactory results for sketching and experimentation.

The Verdict:

I really like the cover designs of the notebooks and sketchbooks. The artwork is very cool and there are lots of options to choose from, designs ranging from inspirational quotes to textural patterns. Some covers even feature gold foil stamping for extra zing.

I thought I was going to love the softcover notebooks but I find that they don’t lay flat enough for me and I really have to work them to keep them open or roll the covers back on themselves. The fact the covers are fexible enough to fold back on themselves is a plus for some though. In general though, I’m more inclined to use the softcover notebooks for notetaking rather than art-making. The lined versions would be good for general writing, list-making, journaling and the like and the 7mm ruling is in that sweet spot of ruling being neither too wide nor too narrow.

While I was initially hesitant about the spiral bound sketchbooks, I have been won over to them. The paper is good quality for drawing, pen and ink and most markers as well as light gouache and water media making it good as a daily sketchbook. Having used the spiral bound for a couple weeks, I have been won over to the idea of a wirebound sketchbook in general. I like the lay-flat-ability and the perforation makes it easy to remove pages for scanning and other digital capture.

The Plaid Classic hardcover with the extra-heavyweight pages was also a huge hit and I hope that Denik will continue to produce this particular configuration because it was a clear winner. Jordan handed it over to me with a sheepish “I’m gonna get this back, right?”  look in her eye. It is being returned to her today as are all the other books that were tested as thanks to everyone who helped out on this epic notebook and sketchbook testing project.

For more information about Denik you can follow them on Instagram, Twitter or on Facebook

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Denik for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Pen Review: Regal Alice Fountain Pen

regal alice fountain pen title

The Regal Alice fountain pen is a slender copper body pen with a shimmer metallic finish and silver tone hardware. The pen is pretty, inexpensive and feels nice in the hand. Everyone who sees it compliments its looks and asks about it because the color is unusual and the slim understated design is something not often seen in modern pen designs. Originally, the pen only shipped with a medium nib but is now designed to accept an EF fountain pen nib ($10) or can be retrofit to accept a rollerball refill if you change out the grip section..

The pen ships with standard black ink cartridges and there is an option to use a cartridge converter. A cartridge converter is available directly from Regal for $3 or the Monteverde Piston Converter which is more widely available.

regal alice fountain pen

regal alice fountain pen EF nib

I swapped out the medium nib for the EF nib which is quite fine and perfect for everyday office writing since its fine enough to stand up to inexpensive copy paper and the like. I also went ahead and got the cartridge converter because I wanted to be able to use lots of ink colors easily.

regal alice fountain pen writing sample

Fountain Pen Weights

The pen is fairly long and slender but because of the brass base material it has a nice weight. The cap does not post because of a plastic lining material inside the cap that helps seal the cap and keep the pen closed tightly. It reminds me of the cap on the Pelikan Stola III in that way. I didn’t mind that it didn’t post but I know this might be an issue for some folks.

regal alice fountain pen close-up writing sample

I normally write pretty small for notes and daily writing so the EF nib on a small, slender body fits my writing style nicely. The Alice is a bit drier writing pen overall so it felt more like a needlepoint rollerball or gel pen and may feel more familiar to people just starting in fountain pens than a wet writer. It also makes it a good candidate for mucking about on everyday office papers where you don’t get a lot of say on the types of paper it is on but would still like to use a fountain pen.

regal alice fountain pen writing samples

I tested the Alice on a bit of Moleskine Cahier paper, Tomoe River Hobonichi and some cheap 20# office paper just to prove my point. There was no feathering and very little show through with the light turquoise ink color I was using. YMMV.

The Alice is available for $20 from Regal in black, white, pink, turquoise,  and champagne pink (fuchsia). It’s also available as a rollerball or ballpoint. At a price like this, if the colors appeal to you, its a fun pen to add to the collection and one that may intrigue non-fountain pen users into the hobby. It definitely catches attention.

regal alice fountain pen

The Alice got to visit my very own Wonderland… in my backyard this weekend. I think it looks right at home.

regal alice fountain pen

Ink Review: Ink Crate Volume 2

Ink Crate Volume 2

I finally got a chance to test out the inks in the second volume of the Ink Crate subscription service. Each month, the service sends five 2ml samples each month for $10 per month plus $3.99 shipping worldwide (at present) in their signature mint blue “crates”. Should shipping costs change, Ink Crate will notify subscribers and subscriptions auto-renew via credit card. I say that only because I know how expensive it is to ship overseas from the US, and $3.99 is a STEAL.

Ink Crate Volume 2

This month’s colors were, once again, a nice variety of colors. Two Diamine shades, Aurora Black and two colors from an ink company I had not heard of before: Seitz-Kreuznach. Overall, the color selections seemed “ripe” for heading into fall with tomato red, green apples, denim blue and a maybe not- entirely unwelcome cooler arctic blue. Aurora Black is a classic that is often overlooked but is a staple that should probably be included in any ink collection so its nice to have a chance to take it for a test drive.

Ink Crate Volume 2

Ink Crate Volume 2

According to a thread on FPN, Seitz-Kreuznach is actually a (EDIT!) German ink brand sold mostly on Ebay and their color series is called “The Colors of Nature”. Thus far, I quite liked both of them and am pleased that Ink Crate was able to surprise me with something new. That’s not easy to do!

Tested on Rhodia Uni Blank No. 18 with Kaweco Dip Pen and Zebra G Titanium nib, and watercolor paintbrush. I purchased the Ink Crate with my own money.

Ink Review: J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre header

J. Herbin has introduced another ink to the 1670 line, Caroube de Chypre which is a lovely deep chocolately brown with gold flecks. I love the look of the 1670 bottles despite being difficult to use with large nibbed fountain pens or for getting ink out beyond the first few fills. I like the gold cord, the waax seal and the wax around the cap. They are beautiful, fancy treats and the only bottles that often sit out on my table for months.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre gold particles in the bottle

The gold flecks do settle so be sure to roll or shake the bottle before filling your pens in order to distribute the  flecks evenly.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre close-up

I tested the ink with both a dip pen and in my Lamy Safari Joy with a 1.1mm nib. The color appears much darker with the dip nib where in the stub 1.1mm, the color is a warmer, lighter shade of brown. Almost like dark chocolate and milk chocolate depending on which tool I chose.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre writing sample close-up

The ink dried pretty quickly in the Lamy but took quite awhile to dry when I used a dip pen, especially on the Rhodia paper.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre in the sunlight 2

I took my ink samples out into the sunlight to best capture the gold. I took two different shots. Depending on how much I turned the swatch in the light, you can get a better impression of the ink catching the light, both in the swab and even in the writing. I hope it is easier to see the greenish halo as well. There’s such a variety of depth to the color. I’m not normally a fan of brown inks because I find them rather flat and dull. They don’t have the variety and sheens and shading that blues and purples and reds often get but Caroube de Chypre is the exception to that. Thank you, sparkle, shimmer and shine!

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre in the sunlight

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre swatch comparison

Back inside, under more sedate lighting conditions, you can see the brown in comparison with some of the few brown inks in my collection. Caroube de Chypre is a bit more of a neutral brown than Kaweco Caramel Brown which has a bit more red in it. I put in the swatches of KWZ Honey and Callifolio Heure d’Oree knowing those are both quite popular colors at the moment and every other brown or sepia color I had was much darker, or cooler in tone. These were the closest in hue, all feeling the most candy-like.

I know that, of the 1670 colors, Emerald of Chivor has been one of the most popular colors but I actually quite like Caroube de Chypre and I think moving into fall and winter, this is the perfect hot cocoa color. I do find that the gold particles seem to settle even faster in Caroube de Chypre but I also think that means that they are smaller and lighter and less likely to clog overall. It does mean that you’ll want to roll your pen regularly to redistribute the gold as you use it though. My best recommendation is to put this ink in a demonstrator pen like a TWSBI 580 or a Lamy Safari with a wide nib so you can see when the gold flecks start to settle. Then gentle roll the pen on the table a couple times to redistribute the gold in the ink.

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

I purchased my bottle of Caroube de Chypre at the DC Pen Show from Federalist Pens.

The Giveaway:

The fine folks at Exaclair kindly sent me a bottle of J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre so that I could spread the love of chocolate gold dust around. So, one lucky reader can win a bottle of Caroube de Chypre of their very own.

All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what Caroube de Chypre reminds you of.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Sunday, September 25, 2016. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Monday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please use your REAL email address (not some crappy Hotmail account you never check) in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If the winner does not respond within 14 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US residents & APO only. Sorry international folks… but hey, your croissants are better!

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Exaclair for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Robert Oster Torquay

Robert Oster Torquay

I confess I had to look up what exactly Torquay was in the dictionary and it turns out to be the name of a resort town in Devon, England, considered to the English Rivera. Its also the name of strip of coastline in Victoria, Australia, home to Bells Beach where iconic surf brands like Quicksilver and Rip Curl got their start. That explains why Robert Oster Inks chose this name for this exquisitely turquoise blue-green ink shade so reminiscent of seas, surf and ocean waves.

Robert Oster Torquay writing sample

In a very fine nib pen, tested specifically because I’d read elsewhere that folks found Oster inks to be a bit dry, resulted in a lovely light turquoise shade. And no, I did not find the ink to be a hard starting ink at all. Not even in an extra fine, budget-priced fountain pen. With a dip pen, like the Kaweco Special Dip Pen, I found it well behaved and a much deeper ocean blue. There was lots of shading and a hit of red/purple edging in some places.

Robert Oster Torquay writing sample close-up

I must admit that the color is so vivid that it was very difficult to capture it on camera. It glows.

Robert Oster Torquay Swatch Comparison

Compared with other aqua and turquoise shades, it has a bit more green to it. Diamine Aqua Lagoon being the closest in color to it that I had in my collection. All the other shades were much more blue turquoise shades and the reddish halo around the Torquay made it a very unique color.

The Oster inks come in recyclable plastic bottles which are nice in that you don’t have to worry about breakage in shipping and their slender shape make them easy to store. However, they will become challenging to fill pens with them after awhile because they are so tall and skinny. The inks really will need to be transferred into more user-friendly containers over time, something lower and wider, or syringe or pipettes will need to be used to transfer inks into pens. Just a warning. Overall though, I think there are some really great colors at very reasonable prices so when the time comes, I am prepared to transfer my inks into other containers.

A 50ml bottle of Torquay is available from Anderson Pens for $16 or a 3ml sample for $1.25.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Robert Oster Inks for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Pencil Review: Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Colored Pencils

Pilot Color Eno Colored PencilsPilot Color Eno Colored Pencils Title

I was very curious about the Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencils ($2.75 each) so I bought all eight colors. The are 0.7mm colored pencils in mechanical pencil form and they are supposed to be erasable in the same vein as the Col-Erase but in mechanical pencils which means that pencil sharpeners would not be needed. So, I thought these would be worth a try. Each pencil is $2.75 each and there are replacement colored leads ($1.65 per tube) in the original formula and newer Neox leads ($3.30 per tube) as well and there are replaceable erasers too. ($1.65 per pack of 5)


Because the leads are 0.7mm, you can get a fine line but there are some sacrifices.  If you press too hard on the fine 0.7mm lead, it will snap. But with some of the lighter colors like the yellow, you can’t really see the color unless you bear down on it. Some of the other colors, like the blue, is just too hard and scratchy. You can’t get a rich, creamy color like you can with other colored pencils because the lead had to be formulated such to hold together in such a fine diameter. So, yeah… sacrifices.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils: Good Colors

Based on my experiments, I wouldn’t recommend getting ALL the colors. I’d recommend getting the “animator’s friends” which would be the soft blue (AKA non-photo or non-repro blue) and red (which is similar to the beloved Col-Erase Vermillion or Carmine Red favored by animators). I would recommend, if you like thes ecolors, to then upgrade to the Neox leads though.

I also like the violet and pink pencils for sketching. The violet is actually quite dark and smooth and, conversely, the pink is pretty light. I liked the pink so much, I actually upgraded the lead to the Neox which doesn’t seem to wear down quite as fast. I burned through three of the standard pink leads in about a week.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils Pink Jelly Fish

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils Cyan Dragonfly

Above are some quick sketches using the Pink Neox and the standard soft blue leads.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils: Not So Good Colors

The colors I wouldn’t recommend are the yellow and the blue. The yellow was just too light to be useful and the blue was the hardest lead of the lot. Maybe I got a dud lead but it was super scratchy and uncooperative. I just couldn’t get it to lay down any color. I might try the Neox lead for the blue pencil to see if I have better luck because the stock lead did not do me any favors. I found the orange and green to be acceptable but not colors I’d race out to buy again.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils: Worst Color

As for the erasability, I’d not recommend the erasers anymore than I do the erasers on Col-Erase. They do erase a bit but its by no means a complete success. They are just OK. I would recommend trying other erasers like a foam or plastic eraser for better success. The nice thing is that the pencils are not super smudgey like graphite and that their erasable tendencies mean that if you use these as part of a base drawing for a painting or inked artwork, you can choose a color that might coordinate with your overall color palette so that it will blend in and disappear as color is added where graphite might gray your colors.

For sketching in meetings, the Pilot Color ENO mechanical pencils are a lot less intrusive to use rather than being the d-bag who brings in the handheld sharpener and leaves a pile of shavings on the table. They also make it easier to have a good portable kit for travel as the pipe for the lead is fully retractable into the plastic barrel so it will not be damaged in transport.

Note: These pencils were tested on the Block Bitacora spiral-top 90gsm bond paper made by Minerva from Peru. Acquired in one of the many kits received from Rad + Hungry.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by JetPens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Pilot Color Eno Colored Pencils