Derwent recently brought out these blender pencils for coloured pencil and graphite. For just under £4 you get a thick and a thin pen – oddly, the thick pen has a white nib and the thin has a brown nib, I am not sure why.
Anyway, I thought I would give them a try. I assume that there is a solvent in the barrel though it doesn’t state what kind. I like the idea though of a controllable solvent blender and the thin nib will allow you to get into really small detail.
I tested them out with watercolour pencil, coloured pencil and graphite. Watercolour just for a comparison because you would use water normally.
The watercolour pencil blended well and the solvent isn’t too strong. I did notice though that the nib picks up pigment and you can see how many strokes it took to clean it again. Also, I noticed that the nibs are very hard and inflexible.
The coloured pencil works quite well with the blender pen. I used Prismas on smooth board here. You can see that the blender creates dense, smooth colour. Again you will see the amount of cleaning it takes to get the nib clean again.
I am not convinced that the blender pen works well on graphite. The ‘with’ side does look a little more smooth but that effect could be easily achieved by hand. Maybe with a darker, softer graphite you may see a more successful effect.
Time will tell how long each pen will last and whether it will dry out quickly. I have considered filling it with Zest-It should it run out – if I can find a way to break in to the pen! But they are cheap and effective enough to be another addition to your blending arsenal.