Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Review: Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect

I'm a bit nervous to review this pencil because I am not a real pencil user. I don't know what real pencil users do with their pencils. Therefore, I will just show you what I have done with these pencils. It may not be real pencil standard, but it's my pencil standard. I'll learn as I do this more.
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (3)
ABOUT

Price: £24.95 box of 12
Where to buy: Bureau Direct
Bureau Direct

PACKAGING
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (1)
Since this is a box of 12 pencils, it actually comes, uhhh... in a box. The box is super cool, just like the pencils are. It's thin and firm, with a matte black exterior and an image of the pencil you can expect on it. It's really cool, it doesn't just flop open, and it keeps your unsharpened pencils protected. Also, the inside pattern is fun. I am a fan.
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (2)
APPEARANCE

These pencils have six sides with rounded edges. The wood looks a little pink once sharpened. The body is matte black, with a gold colored eraser section that flattens out. The eraser is white, but there are more fun replacement eraser colors (like orange!). There is a gold band near the top of the pencil and along one facet, there is the Palomino horse logo, Palomino, and Blackwing engraved into the wood, and filled with gold. Not real gold, silly. Gold color! The black and gold effect is quite sleek and elegant.

I feel like this is a sexy pencil. Correct assessment so far, yes?

PERFORMANCE & FEEL
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (5)
I have used the Palomino pencil sharpener that Bureau Direct also sent for me to test. It has a red body, a clear lid, and two holes for sharpening. This is the KUM Automatic Long Point. The instructions on the box are: 1. Shape the wood 2. Then the lead. It works well, producing pretty, sharp points, but not very long points. Pay attention to not shape the wood too much. If the lid is closed and the container is full of shavings, you can't see how far you're sharpening, so either empty often, or sharpen and check regularly.
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (4)
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (6)
The lead, for someone who is fairly new to pencils, is a lot of fun. it is the soft graphite version, and it feels fairly soft as it glides on to the paper. The sharp points wear down quickly because they are soft, but can also be reshaped by shading the edges to grind the lead into a point. The lead allows for fine, sharp, dark lines, flat, light shading, and some variation in between, depending on your pressure, angle, and paper.

I found this lead most pleasant to use on paper that has a little bit of tooth, rather than on very smooth paper. Not that it was unpleasant in that regard. For example, I prefer the Clairefontaine Graf It SketchPad over the Rhodia/Clairefontaine vellum paper. I suppose that's why sketchbooks exist. I can't draw, ok? I'm new to this.
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (16)
The eraser isn't too bad. The small, flat size makes it easier to erase more accurately. I suppose Palomino thought of that when it was designed. It is a refillable eraser as well, which takes all the stress out of using it. I used to hate using my pencil eraser when I was younger because once it was gone, it was gone forever. And then the sharp edges of the metal would scratch me. These erasers remove light lines better than dark, intense lines. It also erasers better on smooth paper rather than toothy paper. It functions well for quick erasing jobs, although I carry a second eraser for bigger areas.
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (7)
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (8)
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (10)
I thoroughly enjoy using these pencils. I don't have extensive wood case pencil experience, but I am exploring them. I have dabbled in sketching before and out of sketch pencil sets, I always liked the 6B leads over the H leads. I have been using these to (try to) draw and sketch, take notes that I may want to erase, and my favorite - hand lettering.
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (17)
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (18)
Trying to hand letter. I'm not very good at it, but I use a clean, sharp point to outline my letters in a bold line, then I fill them in by shading to varying degrees. My favorite paper to do this on so far is still the Clairefontaine Graf It pad.
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (12)
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (13)
Since the lead is so soft, and I seem to use a lot of pressure with it most of the time, I sharpen it a lot. It has run down pretty quickly. Not the most economical, and at some point, it's too small to hold. (Maybe I need a bullet holder thingie.) It's not a heavy pencil, but once it's new, it is quite long. At no point did I find it uncomfortable to hold, except for when it got too small.
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (15)
PROS & CONS
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (11)
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (14)
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (19)
OVERALL
Review Palomino Classic Blackwing Pencils @BureauDirect (9)
I'm definitely a fan of these pencils. I love how they look, I really appreciate that they have refillable erasers, and I love the soft lead. It's not too soft that it's messy, but it's soft enough to be fun, useful, and versatile. A very positive Palomino experience, and now I'm all excited about pencils. Another dangerous rabbit hole, I suspect.

I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. 

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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