Bananas & Rattan- Review of the Pilot FriXion Erasable Color Pencil Like Gel Pen

Pilot Frixion Erasable Color-Pencil-Like Gel Pen

Erasable Gel Ink
Point size-0.7 mm
Stick body (reminiscent of wooden pencil) with cap
Eraser on cap
Available in 24 colors
Sensitive to heat-not suitable for sitting in cars or mailing during hot weather
Erased areas will reappear in temperatures below -10C/14 Fahrenheit
Shorter lifespan than regular FriXion

When I saw these pens on the Jetpens blog, I was intrigued by the comparison to color pencils.  I had to try them out.  I was tempted to buy the set of 24, but decided I wanted to try a few of them first, so I bought what I felt were the basic colors.  I wish I'd gone ahead and bought the set of 24, lol.

I recently did a review that included a Pilot FriXion Gel Ink Pen, but these differ in body and pen tip.  It could be my imagination but the ink itself seemed different as well, more chalk-like in appearance.

The name of this pen compares it to color pencil, but it didn't take me long to realize I would have to accept these pens for what they are, and not try to use them like other pens or color pencils.  Not that they are difficult, just that they have their own features.

The distinction isn't as important if you use the pens for writing.  The ink isn't very dark, having a chalky texture.  That's kind of cool--you can get a chalkboard effect.

The pens write smoothly, but like other gel ink pens I've used lately there is a 'feel' to them that is hard to explain.  There isn't any dragging, but it feels like a resistance to me, as though the pen is trying to stick to paper.  I notice it at first, but tend to forget it about it as I write on.

Also, like other gel pens, if you try to layer over the ink before it dries, you actually remove some of the ink already laid down.  This isn't a problem if you layer over ink that has dried.  I believe this is a feature of gel ink pens in general, and this is more of a problem if you are drawing than if you are writing.

The ink will smear in the first few seconds, so a little care is needed.

The ink erases very well, some colors more so than others.

So far, I've only used the pens on Clairefontaine paper (Rhodia dotWebbie and the Clairefontaine Vintage 1950 Pocket Size Notebook), but I'll be posting more drawings as time goes on.

I took advantage of the smearing for shading purposes (I prefer a pen that smears a little as long as it dries within a few seconds).  

The colors can be blended two ways.  You can simply layer one color over another or after layering you can erase lightly to show colors underneath. 

I like the chalk-like appearance of the color, but found if you layer colors too darkly they turn muddy. I had more success in dotting on a dark color over lighter and smearing, or using the erasing method if I wanted a streaky rather than a smooth appearance.

If you want to write something that looks a little different, this is your pen.  I think it would be better used for writing quotes or highlighting areas of text, than for long letters or journal entries.

For drawing, they're excellent--IF--you accept them for what they are.  If you try to use them like ballpoints or colored pencils, you'll be fighting them.  If you are willing to use them as gel pens that give you a chalkboard appearance, you'll produce some fantastic work.

For further review detailing how these FriXion pens do on a rough surface paper please see this post and this post.

You can buy the Pilot Frixion Erasable Color-Pencil-Like Gel Pen at Jetpens, along with many other fantastic items!

I bought these pens myself, so this review is just because I wanted to share information about a cool product.