Rainbow Swirl Pencils by RoseArt

Reported by Heather Strenzwilk

Rainbow Swirl Pencils by RoseArt jumped into my hand when I first saw them. I was immediately attracted to the marble looking pencils with their multi-colored lead. Their jumbo size and 5.5mm lead make them good for artists of all ages. The pencil barrels are made of real wood and can be sharpened with a large pencil sharpener (or a jumbo make-up pencil sharpener).

Notice the color variations in writing or in doodling.

The 3 lead colors (the product labeling says 4) are in a checkerboard style pattern. This allows multiple colors to write simultaneously. I watched my hand while writing; I (and probably others) adjust the angle of the pencil as I write. This natural adjustment creates some of the color variation on the paper. Other fun variations were drawing a circular or elliptical pattern without removing the pencil from the paper, and using them with a Spirograph.

One pencil was used for this lettering

The Rainbow Swirls are fun for ordinary doodling or journaling. They offer a softer and more colorful look than markers. Another benefit over markers is that you can erase mistakes (I used a white Magic Rub eraser). I did not like the pencils for general coloring because I found my results too muddy, but depending on the project- this could be a plus.

(The blossoms (Squigglefly) were each colored with a different pencil. I think the colors look muddy).

These pencils are very sturdy; I have owned my first set for over two years and even with frequent use they are about half their original length. The pencils sharpen smoothly in a manual sharpener and I don’t have problems with broken tips. I don’t sharpen them to an extremely pointy tip because a slightly blunter tip works better for the colors to meld.

This is a close-up of the tri-colored tip. I trimmed the sleeve so it won’t slip during use.

My only issue is that the plastic sleeve around the barrel of the pencil sometimes comes loose and tends to slip while I am writing. I have solved this either by trimming the sleeve so that it does not cover my hand hold area, or by removing the sleeve completely during use (it slips off).

This journal page uses all 5 pencils from the set.

I also own Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth Magic pencils which are very similar to the Rainbow Swirls. Both have the same size barrel and checkerboard style lead. Neither pencil smeared on white matte cardstock. I found the Koh-I-Noor’s to have a harder lead, resulting in more dust when writing; the leads also tended to chip and break more often. The Koh-I-Noor’s are semi-erasable with a regular (pink) pencil eraser. Koh-I-Noor’s are more difficult to find, but are available individually and have a wider color selection including neon and Americana (red/white/blue). I use both brands but prefer the Rainbow Swirls.

This study of texture shows color variations when the pencil is rubbed on paper over a texture plate.


  • Jumbo size makes them easy to hold
  • Smooth writing, leads don’t break
  • Erasable yet non-smearing


  • Somewhat limited color range- pink, purple or neon colors would be a good addition
  • Plastic sleeve around the pencil may slip during use

Rainbow Swirl pencils by RoseArt are an easy and inexpensive way to add unique color combinations to your projects. The jumbo size pencils are long lasting, easy to use, non-toxic, erasable and non-smearing. I have been using them for over two years and they are a favorite at my craft table or for casual doodling. I rate Rainbow Swirl pencils a 9/10.

Do you use the Rainbow Swirl pencils, or do you have another favorite multi-colored pencil? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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6 Responses to Rainbow Swirl Pencils by RoseArt

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    Donna VW February 25, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    I have bought these for my kids, but I never thought to use them the ways you have. I love the embossing idea.

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    RosieP February 25, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Like Donna VW, I bought these pencils years ago for my DD, whose 22 yrs.old now. Thanks for reminding me these exist.

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    Rachel February 25, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    I love swirl pencils, but I am so frustrated that no one makes colored (and swirled) mechanical pencil lead any more! I used to have tri-color 0.9mm mechanical pencil lead – and I believe it was by Roseart too. Boy, I wish they still made that. Swirled pencil leads are so fun! (And yet I too have a hard time figuring out what to do with them, other than just having fun drawing swirled colors.)

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    nopinkhere February 25, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Thanks! I think my son would get a kick out of these, and I could steal them for myself occasionally, too.

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    FILIGREE MOON February 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Have not seen these. Thank you for the information. Looks like something worth checking out! ~ Angela

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    Vina March 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Wow..this looks like a fun media to use on my card projects! Thanks for sharing this review..I’ll be on the hunt for them tomorrow!