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IROJITEN Tombow Coloured Pencils

IROJITEN Tombow Coloured Pencils

IROJITEN Tombow Coloured Pencils

Are you looking for information about coloured pencils? Do you know the IROJITEN pencils from the famous Japanese brand with the dragonfly?

Are you interested in the subject? I’ll tell you all about it in the following article!  

Coloured Pencils

Coloured pencils are often confused with pencils used in schools. But there are big differences between coloured pencils for children and those for artists.

Pencils are specialised to meet the needs and requirements of the users. They are characterised by qualities such as high pigment brilliance and resistance of the lead to breakage.

Irojiten Tombow coloured pencils – Drawing/Picture Amylee

The Tombow Brand

Do you know the story of the Tombow brand and the symbolism of the little dragonfly?

In Japan, the dragonfly is a sign of good luck, it comes from the word Tonbō which means bravery and success. Two very powerful words that have always resonated with artists.

An ancient Samurai custom shows the importance of the dragonfly in Japanese culture. In battle, they often wore helmets in the shape of a dragonfly in order to be recognisable on the battlefield.

Today, the dragonfly has a completely different meaning: it represents untouched nature in which people, animals and plants live in harmony. For Tombow, the dragonfly is therefore a reminder of preserved traditions, company values and a commitment to the future. 

Irojiten Tombow coloured pencils – Drawing/Picture Amylee

IROJITEN Coloured Pencils

The word IROJITEN means “encyclopaedia or dictionary of colours” in Japanese. These pencils are not really new to the art market as the first IROJITEN colour pencil was sold in Japan in 1988.

For years, only the sets were sold in Europe, but now the individual colours are also available in our favourite artists’ shops.

IROJITEN coloured pencils are available in different shades (classic, pastel and neon). They are wax-based, and offer an ideal consistency for fine lines and precise details. 

The IROJITEN pencils are presented in nine editions in beautiful packaging reminiscent of encyclopaedic books. All pencils have an elegant wooden handle with a white lacquer finish and a coloured end of handle to match the colour of the tip.

  • Wax-based tip;
  • Large colour assortment: 100 colours;
  • Ideal for amateur, beginner and experienced artists;
  • Individual pens and sets;


The IROJITEN pencils included in the sets are already sharpened. The individual colours sold individually are not. When sharpening, I recommend that you avoid sharpening the lead too much to prevent it from breaking during use. You can find a great range of pencils in GreatArt store in Shoreditch (London) or on online shop.

Irojiten Tombow coloured pencils – Drawing/Picture Amylee

Techniques with IROJITEN pencils

  • Illustrations
  • Mandalas
  • Adults Colouring Books
  • Bullet Journal
  • Urban Sketching

Irojiten Tombow coloured pencils – Drawing/Picture Amylee

Differences between wax-based and oil-based pencils?

– Coloured pencils with a wax-based lead are softer and release the colour better. They are particularly beneficial on dark backgrounds because they are very opaque, unlike oil-based pencils which have a harder lead and less brilliant transparent pigments.

– Artists who enjoy creating beautiful colour transitions with Tombow ABT Dual Brush or ABT PRO can now do so with IROJITEN pencils.

– The only drawback of wax-based colour pencils is the famous “Wax Bloom” effect. Wax Bloom is a natural oxidation process. The wax can rise to the surface and leave a pale veil over time. The wax can be easily wiped off with a clean, dry cloth. The affected area is then re-coloured and sealed with a fixative. 

Irojiten Tombow coloured pencils – Drawing/Picture Amylee

Why do pencil tips break?

There’s nothing worse than when you’re working on a drawing and the pencil tip breaks on the paper. Aaaargh, it’s so annoying! Unsightly lead residues then spread out. They must be carefully removed without damaging the composition. To avoid the appearance of traces, it is common to blow off the residues. These marks would be much more pronounced if you tried to remove them with your fingertips.

In order to work on your drawings with complete peace of mind, the IROJITEN tips are glued to the handle along their entire length, so that they are better protected against shocks and breakage. 

Tips to remember when you’re drawing

1. Use a sharp object to mark fine grooves in the paper, which will remain white after colouring. Perfect for fine details like leaf veins, hairs or fine lines.

2. Scrape the tip of your coloured pencil onto the paper. Then spread the powder or residue in a circular motion with your finger to enrich your backgrounds and delicate shadows.

3. Use a textured background to achieve interesting effects on the paper. Place the paper on a surface such as wood, fabric or stone and draw on the paper with your coloured pencil.

4. Use a darker shade or a complementary shade to add depth to your shadows. Multiple layers or build-ups will give you richer colour results.

5. Coloured pencils cannot be completely erased, but they can be lightened! You can also draw on a darker area with a lighter coloured pencil to create accents  

Demonstration and pictures taken at Amylee’s art studio

Just some inspirations.

Irojiten Tombow coloured pencils – Drawing/Picture Amylee

Irojiten Tombow coloured pencils – Drawing/Picture Amylee

Irojiten Tombow coloured pencils – Drawing/Picture Amylee

Content provided by Amylee Paris

The passion of Amylee, fine artist and author is to share her paintings between galleries, art collectors and her community. Amylee is also recognized as one of the most influential French artist-entrepreneurs. Since 2009 she has mentored thousands of visual artists guiding them to thriving their art career.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

You can visit her colourful portfolio, her Instagram, or find all Amylee’s posts published in GreatArt online Magazineby clicking here!


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