I love new pencils. Seriously I have enough pencils to last two lifetimes. But when I was contacted by Wally of MediHealth1 asking me if I would be interested in reviewing his line of pencils PLUS host a give away I couldn’t resist. Some preliminary research of line indicated to me that these pencils were for the most part, well received by colourists and after testing them out I have to agree.
First of all… these pencils are not Artist Grade but rather a really good student or craft grade and their very modest price reflects this. As of this present time you can get the base pack of Black Widow pencils on US Amazon for under $12. I say the base pack because mid last year MediHealth 1 came out with a second series under the title Scorpion pencils giving you twice as many of these fun pencils to play with.
The original Black Widow pencils come in a set of 24 which includes black and white. This set comes tightly packed into a black cardboard box. There a a decent selection of colours to work with. All are soft and heavily pigmented and have a nice, smooth lay down. The second set, the Scorpion pencils, came in a white tin case and feature another full set of colours that are completely different from the Black Widow pencils. The Scorpian set includes 7 different greens so if you find yourself running low of greens in your pencil set then maybe this is the set to look at. This second set does not a have a black or white so this avoids duplication. If you want to purchase the Scorpion pencils and want to use a Black and a white you will have to supplement them from another brand as these pencils cannot be purchased individually.
When I unboxed the Black Widow pencils I found the cardboard sleeve very tight and, rather then try to stuff the pencils back into it, I moved both sets into one of my pencil wallets. That way I could sort out the colours in their individual groups to make it easier to work with them. As I said each of these pencils sets could be used alone but together they make a great combination of bright colours. These colours remind me a lot of the type of bright shades you see in Colleen pencils. Like Colleens The cores are also quite soft so care must be taken when sharpening them. Two issues that I do have with the original Black Widow set is the difficulty in finding the colour you are after, particularly with the darker colours. Because the pencils are all a uniform black with no colour indicator on the barrel I found that I had to scribble on scrap paper to test I had the right colour with the dark brown, blue and green. There are no colour names written on the barrel. This problem has been corrected with the Scorpion pencils where each colour name is printed in white on the barrel. The colour names are not standard names but rather fanciful, descriptive names as you can see in the blue pencil in the picture below.
The second issue was the soft cores. These pencils have cores similar to Prismacolors and need care when sharpening. I use my Staedtler grinder style sharpener so I didn’t have any problems. Be careful if you are using a hand held blade sharpener as rotating the core against the blade more cause it to torque and snap off.
I first tested these colours out in ‘Color Me Calm’ by Angela Porter. The colours were very creamy and bright but I found it a little difficult to lay down more then 3 or four layers before the paper wouldn’t take it. I know can be a problem with some pencils on the paper in these books but I still had a fun time colouring in Angela’s doodle. The colours came out lovely and bright.
Because the feel of these pencils was very similar to my collection of Colleen pencils I switched to a book I know they would work well in… and I wasn’t mistaken. The paper in Kerby Rosanes’ ‘Mythomorphia’ loved these pencils and I could get a good number of layers on my Jack-o-loupe picture to give the picture the richness and depth I was aiming for.
Would I recommend these pencils. Yes I would. Despite the draw backs mentioned above I found these pencils fun to colour with. The lovely bright colours laid down well and for people looking to buy pencils in a budget price range for their colouring books and individual art and want beautiful bursts of fun colour you can’t go wrong with these. Care must be taken with the soft cores. I haven’t experienced any core breakage with my sets but keep that in mind when sharpening them.
Now for the competition.
There are 3 sets of 24 count Black Widow pencils to be won as well as a complete set of both the Scorpion pencils and the Black Widow pencils. To be in the running to snag yourself one of these prizes all you have to do is leave a comment below this post stating which colouring book you are currently working on right now. All of the entries will go into a draw and 4 lucky winners will be picked at random. This competition will run from 22nd of January to the 28th of February 2018. Winners will be announced in this blog on Saturday March 3rd 2018 along with a message of how to go about claiming their prize. Good Luck everyone. 🙂