Blackwing is known for their awesome brand of graphite pencils, the Palomino Blackwing, and when I found out they had coloring pencils as well, I definitely wanted to try them. And when Mishka from Bureau Direct kindly offered this set for review I was absolutely thrilled to have that chance! Thank you again! They are absolutely a pleasure to color with. The packaging is very swanky, too. It's a beautiful sleek and classy design in heavy cardboard,soft matte black finish and a magnetic closure. You can see the pencils through the PVC window which is convenient so you can see which colors are in there.
Next to reading about Blackwing's story, you can read the basic information about the pencils from the back of the box. The Blackwing Colors set (MRSP 30£) consist of 12 smooth coloring pencils made in Japan. Crafted using Genuine Incense-cedar in a comfortable semi-hexagonal shape with a smooth Japanese wax coloring base. Also every sale benefits music & arts education in schools, which is very cool of them to do so.
When you open the box, the inside design has an elegant harlequin motive and the pencils are cushioned in soft foam. There is also a protective see through plastic cover placed over the pencils (not pictured), which is easily removable and put back into place to keep your pencils in place (or as an extra barrier) if you choose to carry the box around. I like to foam cushion because it also protects your pencil tips from bumping against the side of the box and thus blunting them if you had just sharpened your pencils. That's a nice eye for detail there!
The pencils are solid colors with a silver capped end and the name "blackwing-colors" are engraved in silver as well. The only thing lacking are the names of the colors! You do have your ROYBGIV colors in the set. The colors are red, orange, pink, yellow, dark green, light green, light blue, dark blue, brown, purple, black and a fun silver color, which sets this set apart from other standard 12 pencil color sets which often offer white. If you're coloring in a low lit room, it might be hard to tell apart the darker tones, though. When testing these out one evening on my couch I thought the purple one was a darker brown one for sure and seeing my work the next morning, I discovered the purple and brown do go together nicely as well ;) I tested them in a coloring book.
They are quite comfortable in hand. I do prefer the hexagonal shape because it prevents them rolling off my desk like the fully round pencils often do. On the subject of blending, I often use a white pencil or a colorless blender to burnish/smooth out the pencil strokes. But you can also use lighter colors in this set to get that same effect. I've done that with the color hues above. I used the lightest hues to blend the colors together to get a creamy blended effect. You can get awesome shade effects like this too, without dulling down the color which you sometimes can do if you blend with a white pencil. So the colors brightly pop out here!
The pencils are in performance quite like the Derwent artist pencils, which are also wax based and super soft in use. Though with the Derwents you do have a wider variety of colors to choose from. This is a fixed set and no open stock available but you could use wax based pencils from other brands and intermix them if you would like wider range in colors.
The set on its own has a great variety of colors you can easily and smoothly mix them together to create different hues. The unique silver color adds a bit of freshness to the mix, which I quite like!
With the pricing of 30£ for this set, it's not cheap, but you do get a nice artist grade coloring set of a well known brand in the pencil industry. It has classy packaging and sleek design. You're also supporting the arts education with purchasing this set. What's not to like?
Also when you sign up for Bureau Direct's newsletter, you will receive a 10% discount code in your inbox every month. Just FYI :)
If you are still shopping for a Christmas gift for that creative friend of yours, this would definitely make a great one!
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
(disclaimer: I got this item free of charge for review purposes and was not monetarily compensated. All opinions stated here are my own and there are no affiliate links.)