Irojiten coloured pencils by Tombow are organized in Colour Dictionaries. Rainforest, Woodlands and Seascape: 3 sets of 30 pencils, divided in colour books of 10 pencils each.

Together they make a set of 90 pencils.

I confess the first thing that attracted me to this set was the packaging. 

It’s so different and artistic, inspiring and delicate. The little “books” that open to find a colour combo of ten pencils are really beautiful, I just could not resist.

They arrived in great condition and it was really fun opening each package and discovering all those pastel tonalities that are not present in other coloured pencils sets. The choice of colours is different because some colours are not there, like magenta and dark browns. However we have great greens and blues, purples, yellows and pinks – all towards a pastel palette*.


I’ve bought this set some time ago and had a learning curve with it. In the beginning I really wanted to love them, but I was expecting a Prismacolor Premier feeling from them, and that’s not what they are.

I was colouring Enchanted Forest from Johanna Basford at the time, and also Romantic Country Series, from Eriy. I did not like Irojiten when tried to colour on those books. I’ve found them without enough colour and a bit scratchy. I was disappointed, and I forgot about them for a while.

At the time Hanna Karlzon books became more available and also Maria Trolle books. I’ve got a few and decided to try again my almost forgotten Irojiten set. Wow, what a difference! The pencil that seemed dull and boring suddenly became alive, colours became beautiful and I finally could see the tonalities I had hoped for in the beginning.

For some pencils, the paper really makes a difference! Irojiten will perform better on a paper with some texture because that helps the pigment to stand out.

Once I figured out how to use this set, I started to really enjoy it!

Irojiten Coloured Pencils have a firmer core that holds a point, but are smooth enough to be really pleasant to colour with. They are firm and soft, but not buttery. You can obtain beautiful layering effects with those pencils. The result is mostly opaque, I do like that, the finishing is elegant. The colour selection of this set and the way colours lay down create a kind of enchanted, light atmosphere.

Irojiten Coloured pencils are easy to find and affordable. Although I’m not aware of open stock availability, they are easy to replace simply by ordering one of the 3 sets. Concerning longevity, many colours in this set are not resistant to light exposure. Please check out my Irojiten Lightfastness test in this blog. 

Irojiten set is a great addition to my pencil collection. It is surely unique with its particular tonalities and a colour scheme that has an ethereal quality about it. Paired with the good choice of paper, Irojiten Coloured Pencils can offer gorgeous results and delightful moments.

TIP: Although the packaging is very attractive, I prefer to work with my pencils organized in one case. I have created a chart for my Irojiten, including all three sets. You can download it in this blog, go to Irojiten Chart.

*The term “pastel” here is used to make reference to colour, not medium. Pastels are less saturated and more muted tonalities. Soft Pastels and Oil pastels are art materials and are available in many colours.


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