|This set of 20 Kokuyo Dual Color Pencils came in a plastic case.|
I may now have a new favorite – not necessarily to replace the Camel but to use in a different way: Kokuyo Dual Color Pencils. Made in Japan, the Kokuyo set includes 20 pencils (an alternate set includes 20 mini-size pencils). Each core is made of two hues mixed in a checkerboard fashion revealed by the unfinished end. (I’m not ashamed to admit that I squealed with delight when I discovered the ends!).
|Thick, soft cores|
|A half-painted, natural wood barrel.|
The Dual Colors call to mind two other rainbow pencils in my collection, both Czech-made by Koh-i-Noor: the Tri-Tone and the Magic. With three hues in the Tri-Tones and two or more hues in the Magic pencils, each core swirls the colors together. The Kokuyo Dual Colors, however, are much softer than either.
|Kokuyo Dual Color, Koh-i-Noor Tri-Tone and Koh-i-Noor Magic pencils|
In making my scribbled swatches (made in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon sketchbook), it was easy to reveal the two tones by rotating the pencil as I scribbled. I wouldn’t bother trying to isolate the individual hues; these are meant to be used together. Pencils containing analogous hues or two shades of the same hue work best; complementary pairs are less appealing. And I don’t have much need for the one containing two shades of similar grays.
|Swatches made in S&B Epsilon sketchbook|
Although these pencils are fun to use in the typical unicorn-rainbowy fashion (by that I mean gleefully and without regard for precise color application), they can also be used in another way: allowing the dual tones to work together harmoniously to add richness. When I saw this potential, I picked out three pencils that came closest to the CMYK primary triad that I have been exploring lately – a yellow/orange, a magenta/yellow, and a blue/violet – and sketched a peach. I’m not sure the triadic part of the experiment worked as it typically might, but if I were choosing colors in a more conventional manner, I could easily see using six or seven pencils to capture this peach with a range from yellow to violet. Here, I’ve done it with three; I probably could have done it without the yellow/orange. The soft cores layered beautifully in a Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook. And somehow it’s more fun to use two colors in one stick that mix without effort.
|8/7/21 Kokuyo Dual Color in Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook|
I repeat: I love rainbow pencils. And I especially love these.
|8/14/21 The hand is baaaack!|