Monday, June 21, 2021

Review: Cretacolor MegaQuattro Multi-Color Pencil


The MegaQuattro water-soluble rainbow pencil

It’s no secret that I love rainbow pencils. Though I don’t use them regularly to draw with, I doodle and scribble with them frequently just because they make me happy.

While I have a reasonably large collection of rainbow pencils, none are water-soluble. Given my fondness for watercolor pencils, I have often wondered why I have never seen any water-soluble rainbow pencils. Then I respond to my own musings by speculating that it may be because all those mixed colors, which look magical when applied dry, would dissolve into mud if activated with water.

I can’t recall now what I was actually searching for, but browsing through the Internet one day brought me to Hull’s Art Supply and Framing in Connecticut. Although most of their wares were not new to me, one thing got my attention: the Cretacolor MegaQuattro Multi-Color Pencil. At first glance, its jumbo-sized, marbled barrel looked suspiciously similar to the Koh-i-Noor Magic Pencil. What caught my eye, though, was the telltale brush on the barrel – the universal symbol of water-solubility!

Colorful core visible on the end.

With red, blue, green and yellow, the colors are not swirled together in the core, so it is somewhat possible (though not easy) to use one color at a time. I prefer to let the colors mix anyway, but I made a sketch of a lemon with some attempt to keep the colors separate. The yellow seemed the hardest to apply independently, so the lemon came out a bit blue-greenish – which I like! Rainbow pencils keep me from being too literal with color (which I have a bad habit of being).

The downside is that the MegaQuattro’s core is relatively hard, though that’s not unusual for most rainbow pencils. (The exception is my favorite seven-color pencil by Camel, which is now available with the CW Pencils name.) When activated together, the four colors do become muddy. Still, I’m happy that a water-soluble rainbow pencil exists.

6/10/21 Cretacolor MegaQuattro in Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook


  1. You have the knack of finding some unusual items. I've never had any success sketching with my rainbow pencils. They never show up dark enough to make me happy.


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