Since starting this colouring journey back in April 2015, the most common recommendation I've seen people give is for these pens & pencils, so with the release of special Johanna Basford edition packs I thought it was about time I did a proper review of them! It should be noted that there is no difference between the JB sets and the original ones, apart from the promotional packaging and inclusion of neon colours in the felt tip pack.
The best thing for me about Staedtler fineliners and felts is that they are waterbased, so they have that precious feature of not bleeding through most colouring books- something I get asked a lot about. You're pretty much safe with these pens unless your book has exceptionally thin paper, and as always testing them on an inconspicuous area is advised before you jump into coloiuring a whole picture. Of course, Miss Basford recommends you use these in her books so you know you're fine as far as her beautiful trilogy is concerned.
The pens come in a large palette of colours, expecially the fineliners, so you're getting lots of variety in one handy box. I'd love there to be more colours added to the felt tip pens, such as the pastels which are included in the fineliner pack.
The fineliners feature a tiny 0.3mm tip which will get into ANY gap with ease, and has coloured caps and ends for quick selection when colouring. The lids are mostly consistent with the ink colour apart from a few of the pastel ones which are darker than what you'd expect, so be sure to make a chart before you begin.
There are loads of unusual tones in this set, including Lavender, Carmine and French Green, which makes it an invaluable pack to have if you want a selection of mid-tones that you don't usually find in many pen sets. I found a list of the colours online but it wasn't clearly labelled, so I'm not 100% sure I've identified them under the right name- but here's a quick swatch to give you an idea.
The felt tips have a thicker 1.0mm tip for covering larger areas quickly, and coloured barrels with blue caps. This makes it easier for you to identify whether it's a fineliner or a coloured pen at a glance. Again, the ink flows really well and the pens are very juicy, not causing feathering on the paper unless you go over the same place numerous times.
As you can see there aren't as many colours, like I mentioned earlier, which I hope will be remedied in future editions. The vibrant colours are uniform across both types of pens, so you can use them together on the same picture and not worry about some parts looking different to others.
Both sets of pens are dry safe, meaning they can be left uncapped for a few days without going dry- which is great if you've got little people sharing your beloved colouring materials!
Overall these products are just a delight to use and are my 'go-to' pens when it's not possible to use heavier mediums like alcohol markers or gel pens. I hope you enjoy having a look through this slideshow of images that I've coloured with these pens over the past year :)
The Ergosoft pencils come in packs of 12, 24 & 36 and are covered in a silky-soft coating that feels really nice to the touch. Again they are triangular shaped for comfort, and the lead is surrounded by a white break-resistant core that keeps them strong and long lasting. The colour is like the name & feel: very soft and light, with very good coverage but not vivid with pigment like higher-end pencils.
It's not fair to compare different calibers of pencils but the photo above gives you some idea of the differences in pigment using the same hand pressure. Don't get me wrong, you're able to create some lovely blends with them and if you press a little harder you'll get a more vibrant result. Here is some pictures I've completed with the Ergosoft pencils.
You can find all Staedtler Triplus products with FREE UK DELIVERY at Cult Pens.