Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: Colleen Double Ended Colored Pencils

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Pencils are one of my least favorite forms of media in that I don't like using something where the nib is constantly changing. I want to be able to lean on a nib or brush etc. and know what it can do time and again. I use a pencil, get in the zone, go to use it and the point isn't sharp enough and I make a mess. That being said, I recently wrote a post on a blue/red combination pencil that I had bought. (And hated, too waxy.) I didn't like how the pencil worked, but I liked the idea of 2 colors in one. With a small house, I love art supplies that are multi-functional. (Though I love my Albrecht Durer Watercolor pencils for this purpose but prefer to use them w/ water only due to their cost.)

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Searching the web for other brands of double ended colored pencils, I found this blog post over on Pencil Talk about how this former Japanese company had been revived and is doing well in Thailand. Since I've had good luck with other Asian art supplies, (especially the calligraphy markers I buy at JetPens) I decided to give them a try. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any American retailers selling these, so I ended up tracking these down to a seller on eBay and paid $13.50 for a box of 24 to be shipped direct from Thailand.

It's funny... I paid so much for my Prismacolor pencils that I can't stand. Half are waxy & the leads break so easily. These Colleen pencils are NOTHING like the Prismacolors. They sharpen easily (came unsharpened) and I've only had one tip break- probably due to my needing to empty the sharpener. The leads are soft and the colors go down like butter.

Mandala Ink Doodle

If you are familiar with my mandala art, you probably know that many, many of them are completed with only one color. I work like this and then I move on, typically never to come back....

Lilac & Blue mandala

Until now.

Ink Mandala

Ink mandala that I didn't like because the paper wasn't friendly to water based fountain pen inks.

Colored pencil mandala

But now I love it.

6 pointed mandala

I love these pencils so much that I'm actually taking the time to color.

Colored Pencil Mandala

And also creating art with the pencils alone....

Highly recommended. Note that the shipping from Thailand did take about 2 weeks, but it was certainly worth it!


Eden said...

Your mandalas are Beautiful!! I love how you've colored them....they just pop now!! I recently bought some regular colored pencils, but I'm kinda clueless on how to use them....Love my watercolor pencils. Do you ever use them both together?

Julie (Okami) said...

Lovely! Well I have eBay Bucks I need to use, so off to buy MORE pencils LOL

Sojourner Design said...

Thank you for your color pencil suggestion. I have to say... the Prisma color pencils are not as fantastic as I had expected. Of course the fact that I can use a waterbrush with them is nice. But I still might give yours a try.


kayness said...

You know what, it's kind of funny because I'm from Thailand and I used to use EXACTLY this brand of coloured pencils when I was a kid living in Thailand and in school. Then I moved out of the country and lived overseas ever since and eventually forgot about it until I read your review. It inspired me to buy a box, and oh my you're right! The colours laydown is so smooth and the colours are so crazy intense! I don't live in the US and we don't have Prismacolor over here, so I used Faber Castell Classic Colour (FC's kiddie colour pencils) and Derwent Studio. Derwent is pretty terrible because it's so streaky and scratchy and the colours are so light and I thought FC CC was pretty decent...until I rediscovered this!

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