The Art Gear Guide  

The Art Gear Guide is your one stop shop for the most recent, up to date, honest reviews on all your favourite art supply products. 

 

Black Widow Pencils

Black Widow Pencils

Black Widow Pencils 

A little while back, I was contacted by a gentleman called Albert, after a bit of dialogue, Albert explained to me that he had branched out into colored pencils, a kind of subsidiary from his main business. Now, it is his main business and the connection to these pencils that I personally think make them a story in their own right.

Albert runs a business called MediHealth1 out in Australia, supplying health care related products to the US, Canada and branching out to  Europe. It was during this period of expanding that Albert became aware of the growing adult coloring book phenomena. After careful research into the new art craze and the benefits to mental health, Albert decided to compliment his current business line with colored pencils and came up with Black Widow Pencils.

This is something incredibly close to my heart, given my own personal struggle with chronic pain, clinical depression and PTSD from my days serving in the British Army. When Albert asked me to take a look at the pencils and after I learned of their significance to the mental health issues so many of us encounter on a daily basis whether it is us or the ones we love, I was incredibly happy to do so.

The Pencils

The first thing I would like to make clear, these pencils are primarily aimed at the adult coloring book community, that is not to say that colored pencil artists can't or shouldn't use them, but given their target audience, their lightfast ratings are about average, which is not beneficial for a commissioned piece.

The pencils themselves are made from a striking black wood and when you see them laid out or contained within a jar, their colorful cores are all the more vivid against the darkness of their black wood holders. They are hexagonal in shape, which I know will please some artists as this helps prevent the pencils from escaping desks.

However, this beautiful dark wood does have a slight downside in that the darker colored cores, with the absence of a color name on the shaft, are difficult to identify. Were the lighter colors radiate from the dark wood, the darker colors are slightly lost, nothing the printing of the core color on the shaft wouldn't solve. 

Along the shaft of the pencil, the only information available is the name of the pencil, Black Widow and the logo. I personally would like to see the name of the colors printed along the side of the pencil also and perhaps with the next instalment of this unique pencil, we may see such an addition.

The pencil is of relatively slender structure, with a very detailed 2.5mm core and a 7.5mm overall shaft. The core comprises of wax and oil, but primarily wax, including a variety of binding agents giving the core its form. 

Available Sets

As of the date of writing this review, there is only a 24 set of pencils, however, Albert is definitely looking into expanding the range to 36 or 48 or both. I personally think this would be a welcomed addition to the line as colored pencils do not act in the same way paints do, in that creating additional colors via mixing is not as simple for colored pencil artists. So the more colors available, the better for the artist or in this case, coloring book enthusiast.

Black Widow Performance

As I previously mentioned, the core is of a primarily wax composition, allowing for its smooth consistency when laying down color. Given that the Black Widow Pencil would be considered budget range in their pricing, the core is really pleasant to work with. 

I tested the Black Widow Pencils out on the adult coloring book I have and I experienced no issues at all. I would like to just state at this juncture that there are many varieties of adult coloring books of which I am unable to test them all. The adult coloring book that I use for testing is a relatively high quality book.

Blending of the pencils was easy, using lighter colors to blend with or a conventional blender. Regarding layering, with this test I normally like to apply five light layers, due to the high end colored pencil artists recommending approximately this number of layers before turning to solvents to blend. With the Black Widow Pencils, I got to about the fourth layer and developed a slight tacky resistance. The pencil did take the five layers with a little persuasion, but there was a slight bit of blooming.

The pencils sharpened incredibly well and I experienced no issues whatsoever with breaking or shattering. Erasing also was a pleasant experience, although the core is soft and creamy, the pigment lifted of the paper with ease. 

Conclusion

Overall I really enjoyed using these pencils, in the context in which they are intended, they are a fabulous addition to any adult coloring book enthusiast. I think if the range is extended to 36 or 48 they would become even more appealing, although the color selection in the 24 set is an excellent all round palette, not too many of one color of too little of another. The primary colors are covered in three hues, allowing for a seamless blending experience. 

However as previously mentioned, printing of the color names on the shaft would be incredibly beneficial. Although, a practise I have got into which would combat this is creating a color swatch of all the colors, helping to indicate the core pigments. 

GIVEAWAY 

Albert has very generously given me four boxes of the Black Widow Colored Pencils to giveaway to my readers or viewers of my YouTube channel. To be included in the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on my YouTube video review of this pencil, it is just easier keeping the comments in one place. In the comment, just let me know you are interested in getting a set of these pencils by starting or ending your comment with the word Giveaway. 

It does not matter where in the world you are, I will ship them to you, or rather my wife will lol. So please don't let your location in this wonderful world put you off entering the competition. I will ship anywhere. 

 

 

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