When I started researching, I knew I wanted a nice set of pencils, the problem is which one. In the process I found Marco Raffine pencils, they are fairly new on the market and made in China. For the price I couldn’t beat it and while I was researching which artist grade pencil I wanted I figured it was a good start to have. Unfortunately my set came broken, and the pencils broken continued to break. I followed instructions on how to sharpen and sharpening them first before use because they are coated with a wax to protect them in shipment because they are an oil based pencil. Pencils are mad of different binders and combination of binders, wax, oil, and clay. Artist grade pencils are expensive for a few reasons, the grade of wax or other binder, the quality and quantity of pigments, and the size of the core. Marco Raffine are a budget pencil and as far as I can tell the only budget pencil that is oil based. I could be wrong but I haven’t seen a student grade/budget grade oil pencil other than there. They cores are very thin, so great for small areas. I found mine to be scratchy and really don’t blend well. What I did discover through my use is when I use them in the Color Me My Way books, they layer very interestingly, because I don’t get a great blend when I use them on wood it gives a very nice effect to bark. They have become my go to pencil for that effect. I did eventually get a set of Marco Raffine pencils for my Mother, and two daughters and they have not had the problems I had. It was probably the supplier from Amazon and I did get a refund. I used that refund on another set of pencils that I will discuss tomorrow. If you do get a set it is wise to sharpen them before use since they put a coating on it to protect them during shipment. I also purchased a set of 24 Koor-i-Noor tricolor pencils at Michael’s with a 50% coupon that doesn’t come around too often. They give an interesting effect and since I am not a true trained artist I am sure I don’t use them the way I should. My least favorite are the pencils that have black as one of the three. The black overwhelms the other colors and makes it very muddy.
I colored my next picture from Color Me 2, the squirrel, Chipmunk and Jay, using both the tricolor and the Marco raffine pencils. The background I did with pebbles chalk and a chalk blender that I got from my Aunt’s stash when she died. The blender is a fixative so I didn’t have to spray it after I used it. Unfortunately I can’t see where that blender is available, so I am teaching myself to not be afraid of using a spray fixative that I also purchased at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Be sure to get one that is workable after spraying that is important. Some people use an inexpensive hair spray like AquaNet. If you go that route know that it can cause discoloration of the picture over time, if you don’t care then don’t worry about it.
Squirrel, Chipmunk and Jay from Color Me 2 by PJC Smart
I also did a few more from Flower Fashion Fantasies From Creative Haven, Artist Ming-Ju Sun, both colored with crayola pencils.