Monday, September 17, 2012

Tombow Irojiten Review, Colored Pencil Tip of the Week & Art Resource of the Week


*News I am now licensed with PSP Tube Stop

So I had a pretty busy weekend and I didn't get much time in to draw, but I do have two new colored pencil works to share.

The first is a rough sketch of a couple I am doing a commission portrait for. I will be doing this probably all in colored pencil. I might use watercolor pencil or graphite for the background. I am not sure yet. Still playing around with ideas.

The second piece I am working on is the beginning of a donation piece.
Colored pencil on Canson Mi Tientes.

Reference photo courtesy of Karine Aigner Photography

Irojiten Colored Pencil Review

So I got the Tombow Irojiten Colored pencils a few days ago. I only ordered 4 colors, because using the 4 colors gives me a chance to explore and to decide if I like the brand or not. I chose 4 colors that I would normally use a lot in my works. But before I go into detail in what I discovered in my explorations, I would like to share a bit about what I have learned about this brand of pencil.
Tombow pencil company was established in Japan in 1913. Irojiten is Japanese and means "color encyclopedia". Irojiten is a beautiful white enamel pencil that comes in 90 colors. At Dick Blick, they are available in open stock, they are priced $2.39 each . They are also available in three 30-pack volume sets - Rainforest 30-Pack, Woodland, 30-Pack, and Seascape, 30-Pack. And available in 5 pack pencil sets - Primary, Soft Primary, Fluorescent, Cool Gray, and Sepia . The prices for the sets range online from $8.54 - $53.99 per set. The pencils are wax based. No information yet on lightfastness test.

Now for my own explorations of this pencil. I have to say first, I love the range of soft to vivid colors that are available in their palette. Their palette of soft colors available is what caught my eye, as I tend to use a lot of soft colors in my colored pencil works. 
The lead is neither soft nor hard. If I were to compare them to a particular brand of pencils I would say they are similar to Prismacolors' Verithins, Prismacolors' Artist Grade, and Derwents' Coloursoft pencils. I would place them in the semi-hard category. They are definitely not as hard as Prismacolor Verithins, but they are not as soft and creamy as Prismacolors' Artist Grade pencils or Derwent Coloursoft pencils. They have more of a color selection compared to the Verithins. In addition, a handheld sharpener works great in sharpening these pencils to a point.

Applying light pressure, I applied one layer, then 2 layers and then 3 layers of color. I then applied a Copic colorless blender marker to see how the colors would blend. The single color did not blend as smoothly as the multiple layers of color. Next I applied a colorless blender pencil to the layers and then used a blending stump. I discovered some of the colors needed more layers in order to stand out well. I didn't have to constantly brush away pencil debris like I do with Prismacolors pencils. The Irojitens blended well with other colored pencil brands and they work great for small details. I will be ordering more. I love the color palettes. I think these will be great for working on my small miniature works and small details.

Art Resource of the Week

As I love to take photos but I haven't since my camera went on the fritz over a year ago :(, I have to share this photographer's community. Some amazing beautiful photography.

I hope you all have a great week!
Take Care!
Keep on Creating!
Carol Moore


  1. dear carol cant remember if i posted about this but wanted to congratulate you joining congratulations!! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Kat! I am happy to be a part of such an amazing group of artists, including you :) xoxo