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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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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!

SRX Metallic Colorsharp Markers

Reported by Heather Strenzwilk

In September 2008, I reviewed Metallic Bright Markers by RoseArt. SRX Metallic Colorsharp markers by Mega Brands (parent company of RoseArt) are almost identical markers. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until after I purchased the SRX markers.


Both sets feature fine-tipped bullet-style markers in eight colors: gold, silver, copper, green, red (which looks pink), purple, blue and light green. The SRX markers feature a sleeker body, similar to a Sharpie Marker. The SRX packagings boasts that they are water-resistant and permanent on “porous surfaces; including paper, clothing and wood.”

The markers have been used to decorate black shrink plastic buttons.

For my last review I tested the markers on Lucky Squirrel black shrink plastic and I used it again this time. My results were very similar- the shrunken pieces held up to light handling but the ink could be scratched off with a fingernail or vigorous rubbing with a paper towel. Sealing the finished pieces with a spray sealer will help protect the designs. The SRX markers worked more like paint pens than the RoseArt markers.

Here’s how they look on white and black cardstock.

I wrote with the markers on white and black cardstock (both 90lb weight) and the results were typical. The markers wrote smoothly and did not smear (despite my attempts to do otherwise). I used the markers to color part of an image printed on cardstock; the cardstock began to shred when I had to go back to cover some missed areas. While the fine-point tips are adequate for coloring or design work, I felt they were too thick for journaling or smaller writing. In their catalog, there is a double ended SRX marker with an extra-fine tip which would be perfect for writing or detail work.

SRX Metallic Colorsharp markers write smoothly on black cardstock.

I did not test the SRX markers on fabric this time, but like the RoseArt markers, autograph afficionados name the SRX markers as some of the best for signed jerseys.

The ornaments on the digital image above were colored with SRX marker and the rest of the image with Copic markers.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive- under $5 at a national discount retailer
  • New style pen body is more comfortable to hold
  • Permanent on porous surfaces

Cons:

  • Bullet-style tip not good for detail work
  • Ink tends to accumulate around the plastic at the tip of the pen (see picture below)
Nearly every pen in the pack has ink on the collar of the marker.

One set of these metallic markers from Mega Brands was enough! The new style body is an improvement. The markers wrote smoothly on cardstock The markers are adequate for the price but nothing special. I rated them 8/10 last time and I’ll give them the same rating this time.

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