Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review of the Stabilo Point 88 Colorkilla Erasable Fineliner Marker Pen -10 Color Set & Wallet

Thanks to David at Jetpens, I'm bringing you a review of the Stabilo Point 88 Colorkilla Erasable Fineliner Marker 10 Color Pen  Set & Wallet.

While I'm very familiar with Stabilo Point 88 pens I had never used the erasable ones, and had never heard of the Colorkilla 'white' pen, so I was very excited to try these out.

0.4 mm/0.015748 in Point Size
Water-based ink
Metal-cased pen tip
Hexagonal design

Look and Feel
The wallet is a flexible plastic blister pack that will be very handy for sliding into a purse or folder.  It seems sturdy, but I suspect it might crack with heavy use.

The pens come in blue, green, red and black--one set of erasable and one set of 'overwrite' colors.  I'm not sure if the Overwrite pens are the same as the original Point 88 pens, but I think they are. There are also two 'white' Colorkilla pens included.

As with all Point 88's, the bodies are hexagonal-sided, which means they won't roll. Very nice.  The ink will dry out eventually if the cap is left off, but I've left them off for an hour or so with no problem.  The metal casing around the pen tip makes them easier to use with rulers and stencils.  They are fineliners, so...fine point tip, fine lines! 

Before I start describing the Stabilo Point 88 pens, I'm going to explain that I break art pens down into two rough groups.

Some pens give a line that holds the pretty much the same width and darkness no matter the paper used or pressure you apply.  Other pens give a line that varies according to paper texture or pressure or even the angle at which you hold the pen.  One allows bold contrast and it's easy to control your linework.  The other allows special effects, and a variety of tones, but often requires more experience to use well.

Neitther of these is better than the other.  The artist must choose the pen that will give the results they want.

The Stabilo Point 88 is a pen I use for consistent bold lines and coverage.  I can vary my tones somewhat, but must be very careful in trying to do so.  I've had some success in coloring over gel pens and colored pencils without the tips clogging (but I don't overdo it-they will clog eventually).  Some pens develop a 'bad' spot if you apply too much pressure, and the ink won't flow from that spot--I've never had that happen with a Stabilo Point 88.

It's a good pen for a beginner yet still useful for an old hand at sketching or tangling.

What makes the Colorkilla set different?  If you draw with the 'erasable' pens you can correct a mistake with the Colorkilla pen, which acts more like a 'white-out' pen than an eraser.  Once you use the Colorkilla, you can redraw the colored line using the 'overwrite' pens.

This isn't a perfect system.  The Colorkilla effect doesn't show immediately.  The line doesn't feather--it blossoms!  You have little control over how much gets erased. After some trial and error, I got better at it, but you should plan to redo more than just the mistake.

That said, I like these.  Instead of looking at them as a way to 'erase', I used them as a means of reduction drawing.  Reduction drawing is a common method used with pencils or graphite.  You cover an area with the pencil, then erase to get the detail you want, re-touching with more pencil as needed.

My elephant was colored in solid using the black erasable pen.  Using the Colorkilla pen, I 'reducted' the areas that I wanted  lighter, and used the overwrite color pens to finish.

I layered the erasable colors, leaving some of the paper white.  When I 'reducted' with the Colorkilla I got some interesting effects.  Unfortunately, I decided to add using the overwrite blue.  Oops.  I didn't like that effect, but you can't 'erase' the overwrite color.  Too bad.  I liked where this was going before that.

You don't have to use the Colorkilla (or the erasable pens, for that matter).  This was done entirely with the Overwrite pens.

Since I did one work entirely with the Overwrite pens, I did this one with the erasable pens.  But I drew over an alcohol marker background.  When I used the Colorkilla (the 'plain' stripe down the column to the right) it came out the color of the underlying alcohol marker, not white.

Notice that the Colorkilla stripe is fairly even without too much feathering.  I'm not sure if I have better control,if the ink is just not as fresh--thus less potent, or possibly the alcohol marker changed how it works.  I will have to do more research!  Yay!

I tried the Colorkilla on other pens and it does white-out the color on some, but the Colorkilla tip gets muddied, so I stopped experimenting this way.  

I wouldn't buy these because I can correct mistakes.  I'd buy them because they're cool and you can 'reduct' with them.  My only real complaint is that there is no yellow color.  With yellow you could really vary your palette.  

Thank you David!

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