This is a great alternative...
April 17, 2012
This is a great alternative to the 2mm turquoise leads, as these are more
erasable and have a greater range of contrast. The prismacolor turquoise 2mm are
pretty much what you'd expect of color pencils, and if that's your aim, don't
use this lead. But if you want to use blue 2mm as a sketch medium, these darker
blue Mars Lumochrom leads rock.
While they don't erase completely, you usually don't care because you just
sketch lightly and/or scan the finished linework into a computer and if you ink
over the blue lines, most software make it effortless to filter out the blue.
I've tried a few erasers, and kneaded works best, and you can only go about 1/2
way to the darkest value with these leads before erasing becomes a problem. That
said, I've put down a medium turquoise line next to a slightly darker (not quite
1/2 way) blue Lumochrom line, and the lumichrom easily erases away faster and
more completely than the turquoise. On post-it notes, they perform smoothly,
while on medium/normal paper they will need a couple more swipes before a nice
clean line is laid down (the lighter I press, the more grainy the line gets).
However, if you use these on well sized watercolor or... let me try out a
maruman soho here... Yeah... rougher and thicker paper or paper with sizing will
handle the lead and erasing much better, at a cost of eating the Lumochrom a bit
The darker pigment has it's disadvantages (i.e. smudginess is higher), but you
won't burn through a lead very fast if you have a light hand and a plan your
shading/layers carefully. If your hand is heavy, just get heavier paper or size
the paper (if you play with stuff like that). For the price, they more than make
up for being 3 times the cost of prismacolor's 2mm turquoise, as I could see one
of these leads lasting longer and working better than 3 turquoise leads.
As a final word, if you need to choose, and don't erase much, you can still
consider the prismacolor turquoise for pure inking. They otherwise are smoother,
less smudgy, and accept greater ranges of paper. If you like to experiment,
however, or improv a ton on your lines, or you're just a doodler in general,
these lumochroms are great and can even leave marks strong enough to add
character if you like sketchwork to show in your proofs and scans.
Hope this review helps, and understand I can't replace the prismacolor
turquoise... these just fit a separate, equally important niche.
I may update this later after I get a good sharpener, as I haven't really got
something that works well with the prismas or my Lumochrom's (most cheap or
built-in sharpeners clog and waste), so for now, best to get a sandpaper
sharpener or keep the linework loose.
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