My Marco Raffine pencils from China arrived yesterday. There isn’t much about them on the Interwebs that I can find so I thought I’d write a quick review of them for anyone interested in buying a a large set of budget priced pencils. I paid just over $28 dollars Australian for them and this included free shipping. Not bad for 72 pencils!
The package arrived much earlier than the predicted shipping date, only twelve days from order to delivery. the packaging wasn’t very impressive, though. Only a plastic wrap taped around the box. Not much protection there. (Note there are a lot of different sellers for this item so packaging is dependent on who you buy them from.)
The box is very compact. I bought the largest set of 72 but they come in a variety of amounts from 12 pencils upwards. The box is made of flimsy cardboard and won’t take much wear and tear. You’ll have to quickly find an alternate way to store them if you want to use them regularly. I don’t like using pencils from boxes, too hard and time consuming to keep getting them in and out, especially when they start to shrink with use.
This is how they look inside the box. Squished in like little pencil sardines. I have liberated the poor little things and they’ve found a new home nested in the pot on my desk, as shown in the top photo, where I can get to them easily. Thinking of buying a zip up pencil holder for on the go colouring. Now for the colour range…
I think this might be the very first published colour chart for these pencils on the web. I created this chart on a piece of cartridge paper which has slightly more tooth than printer paper thus you can see a bit of paper texture through the tooth. The colours go down nice and smooth on printer paper and all the colouring book papers I’ve tried so far. As you can see there is quite a good range of colours. Some are very close in colour to another pencil but not many and all are different. And there is a BOAT LOAD of different greens for all of you that draw and colour foliage! I especially like the three different skin tones I have in the orange column… great for light skinned faces and a fairly good palette of browns for darker skinned faces. All the pencils go down smoothly with rich, dense colour. Shading and blending seems pretty good, no complaints. The pencils sharpen well and keep a nice fine point although the cores are fairly soft… around Polychromos soft although some colours will vary slightly. I have had no issues with core breakage so far and I’ve sharpened just under a dozen of them. Below is a picture I’m working on using both Faber Castell Polychromos and Marco Raffine pencils… can you tell which is which?
Answer: The red leaves and the peppermint stripes on the tree are the Marco Raffine pencils.
In conclusion.. if you are on a budget and you’re after a large set of pencils with lots of colour choices then I can recommend Marco Raffine pencils. If you’re interested you can purchase them off Ebay and Amazon and there seems to be a large amount of sellers offering these, so shop around for the best price. Happy colouring.