Who would have thought that what amounts to a child's stubby colouring pencil could be capable of so much? At first glance, the STABILO Woody is a short, chunky pencil that's perfectly suited to small people who need something they can grab hold of and draw all over the walls with... sorry! Paper, I meant paper. And it is. It's available in a wide range of colours - including metallics - and it's as tough as nuts, the Wolverine of pencils, if you like. It can put up with a lot of heavy-handedness as well as a fair bit of being thrown around, trodden on and eaten (don't worry - they're non-toxic; not quite as nutritional as a rusk, maybe, but probably the same consistency. Anyway, I digress). They're great. And, as it turns out, there's no need for an age restriction, because grown-ups can use them too.
But why would you? Aren't there enough, slightly more sophisticated colouring pencils out there? Of course, but they can't do what the Woody can do! (Well, some might be able to, but bear with me here). So confession time: the Woody is not strictly a colouring pencil. Well it is, but it's also a watercolour pencil and a wax crayon as well. So that means that there are some interesting things you can do with a Woody or two.
We'll breeze lightly over the colouring bit. It's fairly obvious that they're a great choice for covering large expanses in solid colour, especially when you consider the fact that the leads are so fat, one Woody contains as much lead as 8 standard colouring pencils, so they last a looooonnnnggg time! Also, to be frank, if you're an artist, you'd probably rely on something slightly more svelte to render your works. However, when it comes to art that's on the large side - murals, and the like, for example - Woodys work pretty well. Especially because of the fact that they're water-soluble. You have the ease and flexibility of a chunky pencil to produce bold, vivid colour, and then you can transform your work with water and a brush or sponge to soften and blend to produce the sort of thing you see on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Or walls of Italian restaurants anyway.
Now let's skip to its role as a wax crayon.
Its waxiness means that it'll make a mark on most surfaces, and it'll wipe off too, as long as the surface is non-porous. Glass, for example, or metal. Or plastic. That's quite useful to know, especially if you have a small person intent on decorating your patio doors. Or your wellies. But what if you want to deliberately mark up these surfaces? What if you're a car mechanic and want the apprentice to bash out a dent in the bodywork but not the intentionally-designed go-faster scoops in the door panels? Simple - draw round the dent with a Woody (and add an arrow, just to make it really obvious). What if you're blue-skying in a meeting with a load of creatives? Try unearthing a whiteboard and give everybody a Woody. And - if you've a business - what about advertising? All you need is a window or two - #woodywindows! Shout about your dish of the day or your deal of the week. Use your Woody collection to draw hearts, or Easter bunnies; Back to Skool messages or roaring fires and Christmas trees, depending on the time of year.
That's what we did. We're not actually advertising anything, or doing anything particularly profit-driven; we just wanted to express our creative side, which is - really - what colouring pencils are all about, aren't they?
6 December 2019