I saw these beautiful multi-coloured pencils at Overjoyed art store here in Singapore and had to buy them.
I was attracted by the colour swatches at the bottom of the pencils. Usually magic pencils do not come with such swatches. The colours are just random. It's great that Koh-I-Noor has these swatches, and the colours are grouped according to an analogous colour scheme. It makes more sense to group the colours that are close to the colour wheel than randomly.
The Koh-I-Noor Magic Pencils are sold in either 13 or 24-box sets. Mine's the 13-box set. The number is unusual because there's a blender pencil included.
Also included are the eraser and a pencil sharpener. These pencils are jumbo triangular size. They are larger than normal pencils so it's best to get a set that comes with the sharpener because otherwise you have to spend extra effort to search for the appropriate sized sharpener. I guess if you want to sharpen the pencils with pen knife, then you can forgo the pencil sharpener. The eraser is those rough type, not the soft elastic ones.
I recommend putting these pencils in some sort of box so that they can be laid out in a way that the colour swatches can be seen. This makes it much easier to pick the correct pencil.
The core of the Magic pencil is larger than other pencils. Koh-I-Noor also makes other normal sized magic pencils. The triangular design prevents the pencils from rolling around, and they look great too.
There's not much information on the pencil other than a number that probably represents that specific pencil. There's no info on the lightfast rating or what binder the pencils are using. Not sure whether it's oil or wax-based.
Here are some quick sketches drawn with the pencils.
It's best to use them on fine grain or smooth paper. Rough paper like coldpress watercolour paper will have a lot of white showing through.
The pencils work quite well with watercolour in the sense that they do not repel the water. Some pencils will repel water. After you overlay the pencil lines with watercolour on coldpress watercolour paper, you can still draw additional lines above because the paper is rough enough to take off pigment from the pencil. However, on fine grain paper, I find that it's much more difficult to overlay the pencils onto dried watercolour.
I like using the pencils for line art. It really shows off the multi-coloured core. And it really adds life to an otherwise plain sketch.
This was drawn with four pencils.
The pencils blend quite well. You can also use the blender pencil to burnish and remove all the paper white.
You can use different shading and hatching techniques to bring out the richly textured colours.
They are really fun to use. Whether or not you're a beginner or advanced artist, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy using them.
I'm not sure if I should consider them expensive. They cost around USD $1.50 to $2 each depending on where you buy them from.
Downside is it's difficult to get single replacement pencils.
Note again that Koh-I-Noor Magic Pencils are available in different sizes. The ones in this review are the jumbo triangular ones.