A few weeks ago Mark Evanier wrote in his blog about the Blackwing Palamino Pencil, which was the weapon of choice for people like Chuck Jones, Stephen Sondheirm and John Steinbeck.

Blackwing pencils were originally introduced by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company in the 1930s. Their cult following included several insanely talented artists and writers.

Despite this following, they fell victim to cost cutting measures in the 1990s and were discontinued. But, that didn’t stop devotees from paying as much as $40 per pencil to seize unused stock. In 2010, a new company drew from nearly a century of experience in the pencil business to access the best materials in the world and bring Blackwing back for a new generation of writers, musicians, and others seeking a more natural existence.

Today, a portion of every Blackwing sale benefits music and arts education at the K-12 level.

As an artist who is in the midst of transitioning back from digital art to real physical art after dealing with hand paralysis for a few years, I decided to order some and try them out.

I was very impressed by the quality of this pencil, and how easy it is on my hands. You can see work I created with their basic soft-graphite pencil HERE and HERE, so I’m recommending a cool starter set that you can order directly from the new Blackwing company. These pencils are not cheap. The ones I got ran around two bucks a pop, but they are worth every penny. The Blackwing Starting Point Set is the perfect way to introduce the artist or maker in your life to the world of Blackwing.

4 Blackwing pencils with a range of Soft, Balanced, Firm and Extra-firm graphite
2 Point Guards that keep your pencil from breaking on the go
1 Black Long Point Sharpener that uses a two-step process to first sharpen the wood before precision sharpening the graphite
2 packs of our Replacement Erasers to ensure your pencil is always functional

You can order this set for just under $35, direct from Blackwing, and you can browse their store for other pencils, accesories and limited edition sets. Their pencils can also be found at Amazon and Dick Blick.

If the person on your holiday shopping list becomes a fan, you can give them new Blackwing Palamino pencils every year! Recommended for artists, writers and musicians.