Saturday, November 5, 2016

Irojiten autumn tryout is my first use of my new Irojiten colored pencils. It took me a while to set up the boxes where I wanted to have them, but after that (and a little help from the printed guide) I could pick just which one I wanted from the stacked boxes. The boxes are held secure with an elastic band (like the one on a Moleskine sketchbook) and you pull it off when you want to set it up.

The pencils feel lovely in the hand, and the color is reproduced, not always accurately, on the back end. The important thing you notice right away is that the pencil's wax lead is not rich and thick like a Prismacolor, but harder which makes a more transparent color overlay. They don't even bother including a white pencil for blending or drawing on dark paper. You can blend quite nicely with the rest of them. The line is true when using a ruler as I did here. It's also great for "adult coloring" because the pencil mark does not obscure the lines on the paper.

The best thing about these Irojiten pencils is the color range. It is aimed at landscape and nature art fans, with the boxes named "Rainforest," Seascape," and "Woodlands." My little improvisation above was done with "Woodlands" and a burnt siena pencil conveniently titled "Autumn Leaf." There were lots more autumn colors in the "dark tone" box. Their set of sky and cloud tones are what sold me on this set. Three sky blue colors and another 5 cloud colors, which are not specified as clouds but fit perfectly. I've got all 3 of the purplish sky color on the drawing. I haven't used the "seascape" set yet.

There is a box of fluorescent colors, which are fun for playing around with but have limited uses in on-site or scenic drawing. Also, the fluorescent pigments do not scan in my scanner, leaving a rather dim shadow instead of a bright accent. The little triangle on top to the right is really a neon red-orange. I don't know whether these pencils' colors fade in bright light.

So my fellow artists, if you want sensitive and elegant transparency effects in colored pencil, Irojitens are ones to buy. All three sets together, when Blick Studio has a sale, are about $150, so you do have to have a real commitment to the colored pencil medium, as I have. I'll be trying more Irojiten drawing soon enough. 

"Irojiten" colored pencils on sketchbook page, 7" x 3 1/2", November 5, 2016.

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