Review: Uni-ball Watercolour Pencil set

Exterior Uni-ball watercolour pencil set, series #3
Photo courtesy of Jet Pens

Interior Uni-ball watercolour pencil set, series #3
Photo courtesy of Jet Pens

On the look out for the smallest of small watercolour pencil sets, I was thrilled to discover the Uni-ball sets at Jet Pens for an extremely reasonable price. I purchased the #2 series and see that other watercolourists must have swamped the Jetters with orders and their stock is down to only one of the three (3) colour series, series #3.

Uni-ball watercolour pencil set, series #2

I tested the 12 colours in a Exaclair 9" x 6" (15.2 x 22.9cm) Esquisse sketchbook I've had around for a very long time: 90 g/m (55 lb) acid free paper, medium tooth, a good compromise weight for drawing and writing both, and an excellent sketchbook for testing various art media.

The series #2 contains the following colours: lemon yellow, canary yellow, dark orange, rose carmine, light cobalt blue, dark phthalo blue, night green, moss green, dark sepia, gold ochre, burnt ochre, pompeian red.

The watercolours are rich, work well on this lighter weight paper, take water immediately, blend easily and have vibrant colours. In searching for another source for these pencils, I stumbled on several reviews, and an excellent side by side test of the Uni-ball and Faber Castell Albert Durer watercolour pencils at this Flickr member's page. It appears the Uni-Ball pencils compare favourably with the Faber Castell Albert Durers.

And if you check out this page here, you can see a close up of the frills that come with the tiny 5-1/4" x 4-1/2" (13.3 x 11.4 cm) set: 12 coloured pencils, a pencil extender, sharpener, water brush and permanent container to hold them all together.

The upside of this set is how pocket ready it is for road trips and sketch crawls. It appears to be excellent quality something I've come to expect from Uni-ball products and Mitsubishi Pencil Co. Ltd.

The downside is I don't know if it is refillable, although I suspect not and I am already wondering how another cut down watercolour pencil would fit into the case.

And I am also concerned about the longevity of the case. It is well designed but the latch that keeps it closed is a little fussy, hard to close quickly and may not last as long as the pencils themselves.

But overall I more than got my money's worth, and if Jet Pens restocks, I recommend folks give them a try.


  1. Nice review! The case could probably be refilled with thinner diameter pencils like the Cretacolor Aqua monolith pencils which fit in the sharpener and extender (my samples are still to long to check teir lengthwise fit). The Faber Castell Albert Durer stubs probably will not fit in the case since they are too wide for the extender and sharpener already.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions for re-fills. I don't have either the Cretacolor or the Durer watercolours here, but I discovered after your comment that my favourite pencils (unfortunately discontinued) Bruynzeel might fit.

  3. Thank you for the review and the image also helped close the deal. I just ordered the series 3 set. Thanks again.


  4. Any idea where I might be able to find this watercolor pencil set to buy?