Product Review: Blackwing Pearl and 602 Pencils

Hello my lovely friends, today I will be reviewing the Blackwing Pearl and 602 pencils by Palomino!

I got these pencils from two different ArtSnacks boxes, and thought it would be a good idea to review them both at the same time, as they are similar and are marketed towards the same groups of people.

These pencils are both classified as luxury pencils, aimed at visual artists and writers alike.
These pencils are both classified as luxury pencils, aimed at visual artists and writers alike.

They both have the same replaceable black eraser on the tips, and sport smooth, black graphite cores. The pearl’s looks are just that – a beautiful pearl exterior with black lettering while the 602 is a gunmetal finish with shiny gold lettering.

The front of both pencils state the Palomino logo and brand, along with the Blackwing name and the specific name of the pencil itself.
The front of both pencils state the Palomino logo and brand, along with the Blackwing name and the specific name of the pencil itself.
The back of the 602 pencil states the slogan, "Half the pressure,twice the speed", which indicates that the 602 has a darker graphite than the pearl.
The back of the 602 pencil states the slogan, “Half the pressure,twice the speed”, which indicates that the 602 has a darker graphite than the pearl.
Both pencils have the same eraser, which can be pulled out and replaced (finally a pencil with a great eraser built in!)
Both pencils have the same eraser, which can be pulled out and replaced (finally a pencil with a great eraser built in!)

They both certainly look luxurious, with their golden touches and beautiful colours, so I put them to work and here’s what I found:

First I wrote the name of each pencil out, along with a light scribble. The 602 wrote darker, and seemed to be a bit "messier" with the graphite, while the Pearl laid down clean, smooth graphite. I was impressed at the darkness of both of these pencils, they glided across the paper, leaving solid graphite behind and did not dig into the paper like some harder standard graphite pencils can.
First I wrote the name of each pencil out, along with a light scribble. The 602 wrote darker, and seemed to be a bit “messier” with the graphite, while the Pearl laid down clean, smooth graphite. I was impressed at the darkness of both of these pencils, they glided across the paper, leaving solid graphite behind and did not dig into the paper like some harder standard graphite pencils can.
I then made a gradient with both pencils.  The Pearl is on the top.  I was able to create a nice range with both, but the 602 did allow me to reach darker shades of grey than the Pearl. I was impressed at how black both pencils stayed as I used harder pressure.  Most normal graphite pencils start to get quite shiny and silver-looking, but these stayed much more matte and black-like.
I then made a gradient with both pencils. The Pearl is on the top. I was able to create a nice range with both, but the 602 did allow me to reach darker shades of grey than the Pearl. I was impressed at how black both pencils stayed as I used harder pressure. Most normal graphite pencils start to get quite shiny and silver-looking, but these stayed much more matte and black-like.
I then took the eraser from each pencil and in one smooth stroke glided it across the gradient.  It took off the lighter marks quickly and easily, and as expected dragged out the super saturated graphite parts as I pulled it. It did a great job erasing right into the darker midtones before starting to streak. This looks like a really good quality eraser to be perched on top of a pencil!
I then took the eraser from each pencil and in one smooth stroke glided it across the gradient. It took off the lighter marks quickly and easily, and as expected dragged out the super saturated graphite parts as I pulled it. It did a great job erasing right into the darker midtones before starting to streak. This looks like a really good quality eraser to be perched on top of a pencil!
Then I decided to do a comparison between the two pencils.  The left eye sketch is with the pearl, the right with the 602.  You can see with the 602 I was able to achieve darker sections, but it also was more easily smudged (which can be both a good and a bad thing).  The pearl gave a decent range of tones, went on the paper smooth, and seemed to resist smudging better than the 602.  Both performed great, with their own pros and cons.
Then I decided to do a comparison between the two pencils. The left eye sketch is with the pearl, the right with the 602. You can see with the 602 I was able to achieve darker sections, but it also was more easily smudged (which can be both a good and a bad thing). The pearl gave a decent range of tones, went on the paper smooth, and seemed to resist smudging better than the 602. Both performed great, with their own pros and cons.
I then did a comparison with my Prismacolour turquoise art pencils.  You can see the various softnesses of the pencils, along with the pearl and 602.  It was this comparison that really made me notice how creamy and silk-like the blackwings feel! The regular art pencils felt much more dry and,well, pencil-like going down, but both blackwings felt much softer and smoother.
I then did a comparison with my Prismacolour turquoise art pencils. You can see the various softnesses of the pencils, along with the pearl and 602. It was this comparison that really made me notice how creamy and silk-like the blackwings feel! The regular art pencils felt much more dry and,well, pencil-like going down, but both blackwings felt much softer and smoother.

So in conclusion of this little review, the Blackwing Pearl and 602 pencils impressed me quite a bit! The pearl gave a decent range of tones while remaining solid and smooth, while the 602 lived up to it’s slogan and gave dark, saturated graphite that remained black and matte.  It did have a higher tendancy to smudge, so I feel it is more suited to being used for laying down tone in an actual drawing and not for writing.  The pearl, however, I can see being used for sketching and laying out main lines, as well as for writing.

The Verdict

The Blackwings are marketed as luxury stationary pencils that can double as art pencils, and I have to agree with them.  I’m looking forward to using my Blackwings not only in my art, but also in my sketchbook for writing down notes and ideas.  They glide so smoothly over the page and don’t damage the paper, and actually come with a useable, replaceable eraser!  They truly are luxury pencils!

So if you’re looking for an upgrade to your pencil supply, whether you’re a writer, an artist, or both, you won’t be disappointed with the Blackwing Pearl or 602.

I really didn’t think I’d like these pencils as much as I do! Thanks for reading guys, and till next time, keep creating!

-Ashley <3

ps.  These are my honest opinions on these products.  I was not paid to write a review, nor was I given the products for free.  🙂

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