The final pencil I’ll review from the Pencils.com Palomino pack is the Blackwing Pearl. It is by far my favorite of all the Blackwing pencils. It’s in the middle of the Blackwing pack in terms of darkness and hardness. It’s slightly darker than the 602 and slightly lighter than the “original” Blackwing. The writing experience is just as smooth as any other Blackwing pencil. It glides across the page like a high end fountain pen. For sketching it’s just fantastic. While it won’t produce deep dark blacks on the page, it does give a great range of shades, but for deep darks you’ll need a 4B or 6B pencil.
The pencil looks great. The creamy white finish is ever so slightly pearlized, which cannot be picked up by camera. The imprint is sharp and black. Unlike my other Blackwings, the imprint doesn’t wear off through use. It has stayed sharp and doesn’t show any flaking. The ferrule has stayed tight to the pencil through repeated use. The included black Palomino eraser is sub par for cleaning up sketches, is okay for cleaning up writing, but for real clean up a good stick or block eraser is needed to do the job.*
As for sharpening, the pencil is made of incense cedar and sharpens well with my KUM long point sharpener or the KUM ellipse or my no name wedge. Because it is soft it does need to be sharpened pretty often while writing. But when drawing I found I sharpened it less, mainly because I was able to switch up grips and how the point was used.
Anyway, this is a great pencil for sketching or writing, and has secured a spot in my pencil arsenal. To really get a feel for how great this pencil looks, you have to hold one.
So far, this is the only pencil of the Blackwing series that I’ve actually been so enamored with that I’ve bought a dozen of them. For my use, it’s the perfect pencil for writing and sketching. If I’m heading out of the house with only one pencil, it’s a Blackwing Pearl.
*You can also cut a chunk of block eraser to fit the ferrule, which works remarkably well.