Review – 12 pack of Crayola Colored Pencils

Colored pencils, or map colors as they forced you to call them if you went to school in Texas. While they don’t give the most professional look they are still a widely used and a good tool. The variety I will be talking about is the simple 12 pack of Crayola colored pencils.

Most people know them, but for those who don’t, they come in a simple assortment of colors. The bodies are slick but grip-able as with most art utensils. The wood is splintery but easy to sharpen. And the “lead” is suitable, if a bit brittle and break prone.

The color of the pencils itself is nothing special. It is the standard bright and varied set of colors that comes in every school supply-esque box of colors. The mark is about that of a number two pencil and requires a good amount of force to be applied heavily. It leaves a waxy finish on the surface, preventing blending. Using them to color big blocks of the same color as is done in school is probably the best use for them. They have no where near the range of more expensive “art” colored pencils, and none of the blending or covering capabilities. That being said they are good for practicing and less “formal” images, working well in mixed media because of the waxy finish.

Overall, if you are looking for a good art colored pencil this is most likely not for you, and you probably didn’t even consider these. But they are still a useful tool for seeing what things will look like (drafting) or practicing technique. If you already have a set of art colored pencils you could also use these instead so you don’t use up your ludicrously priced coloring utensils.

Review – Paper:Mate Write Bros Medium Ballpoint Pen

Pens, they’re important. Not a lot of them are very useful for the inking process, but they can be useful for simply starting an image, or many other art-things. This one is the Paper:mate Write Bros. medium ballpoint pen.

Ballpoint pens are one of the aforementioned types:  not particularly useful for finished works, especially smaller ones, but good for seeing what things look like in ink, and making sketches or notes that you don’t want to be erased. A fun exercise is always to draw with a cheap pen on scratch paper, preventing erasing, forcing one to improve their ability to create an image on the first try.

Ballpoints make a fairly fine line but they have rough edges, as there is some bleeding. A medium point is good for writing and most other uses, but as mentioned before is not good at detail. The ink is good, it does bleed with water, but is fairly sturdy as far as that goes. It is a deep black that does require a little drying time, but usually no more then a couple seconds. It takes to paper well. I’ve had no problems with the amount of ink in the pen either, I believe it lasts longer then most other ballpoint pens I’ve used, but I haven’t taken detailed records either so take that with a grain of salt.

The pen itself is easy to hold, if a bit slippery and shows all the necessary info (although that does rub off after continued use). It obviously has a cap and clips to a notebook or shirt pocket, which is always handy.

Overall if you are looking for a cheap pen that can be used for a myriad of things around your workspace, this in one I would consider. However I would recommend buying a couple of packages of different types of pens to figure out which one works for you. But it is at least a nice house or office pen, which is what it was designed for.