Ironlak Watercolour Pencils Review

Ironlak Watercolour Pencils Series 2

I was recently given the opportunity to try out Ironlak Watercolour Pencils for the very first time! I was excited to get my hands on these and see how they perform...The gorgeous matt black tin contains 24 watercolour pencils, each of which is loaded with pigment rich break resistant lead surrounded with sustainably sourced timber.

There is reference to a brush being included, but mine seemed to be MIA, so unfortuatley I am unable to test out the quality of the brush. The cardboard sleeve displays a handy swatch reference of each colour included, giving you a clear idea of the colour range you are purchasing.

Creative Colours

I REALLY love that Ironlak come up with their own creative names for each colour, to enforce the creative spirit and products of the company. Shades like Afterburn, Bonggg! and Violence are included in the Series 2 set.

Dry on Art Spectrum Draw & Wash

To get started, I sketched down a swatch of each colour on a sheet of Art Spectrum 210gsm Draw & Wash Paper. I love this stuff - it is acid free, has a fine tooth for dry media and is specially sized for wet media. I find generally it performs well and comes with a reasonable price tag.

Using the pencils dry I was able to produce hue variations easily and blend colours into each other to create new shades. The lead is nice and soft, but can still be sharpened to a good point for fine lines.

Wet on Art Spectrum Draw & Wash

After getting the initial swatches down, I grabbed and brush and applied some light washes. The water-soluble colours wet and blended easily, forming some nice blooms and a variance of intensity.

The Verdict

Ironlak Watercolour Pencils were great fun to use, and I would recommend them for students and professionals alike. I love the range of colours in Series 2, and would be keen to have a play with Series 1 and compare them. The pencils performed well both dry and wet and contained a good amount of pigment as promised. As a bonus, Ironlak products are both high quality and competitively priced.

The only issues I had with the Ironlak Watercolours Pencils Series 2 set are very minor;

  1. I found two of the pencils - Oink and Fantasia - to be almost completely identical in colour. Most people would be hard pressed to spot the difference between the two shades. This may have just been a problem with a certain batch produced, but I can't be sure. Going by the colour swatch on the front of the tin, it looks as though Fantasia should have more of a purple tint to it.
  2. The colour labeled Blood seemed like a poor choice of a descriptive name as it was more orange than red in appearance (still a great colour though).
  3. The missing brush - not too sure what happened there! I have plenty of others, but not everyone would have necessarily been in the same boat.

Get yours direct from Ironlak for FREE domestic shipping over $30! (Australian shoppers). Both Series 1 and Series 2 sets are available, as is the opportunity to purchase individual pencils. My friends in America can snaffle some from the Ironlak US Store. Alternatively, Spotlight Stores are now stocking Ironlak products - such great news! So if you have a store nearby, you can pick some up in person.

If you'd like to try out the Art Spectrum Draw & Wash Paper it is available in pads of different sizes and weights from

Rachel Weaver

Rachel Weaver

View posts by Rachel Weaver
Rachel began her upbringing in the tiny mining towns of Cue and Leinster where isolation provided ample room for a rapidly growing imagination. A passion for learning and the experimentation of media has led her to become a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on illustration, design, art and photography. She resides in her hometown of Geraldton, Western Australia with her partner, two dogs, two cats and billion plants.
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Debbie Crothers
Debbie Crothers
2 years ago

Great review Rachel, these pencils looks fantastic.

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