Best Colored Pencils For Realistic Drawing

Best Colored Pencils For Realistic Drawing UK

Ease your search for the best colored pencils for realistic drawing. Check out these top 5 picks to choose from

Colored pencils are a fantastic medium – they are easy to use, the cleanup time is minimal and you get exposure to the wonderful world of color for fine artists.

Most colored pencils for art projects are made with wax or oils and are fade-resistant, but with so many great pencil set brands of colored pencils available, it can be confusing to determine which colored pencils you should go with.

The best colored pencils are a must-buy for any artist, whether you’re working professionally or drawing for fun. They’re also a great present for children to help them develop their creative skills.

With the high-quality results, you get from the best colored pencils, you’ll be able to layer up and blend colours precisely, improving the quality of your work. You’ll find increased enjoyment when doing tasks like shading, hatching, cross-hatching, as well as more advanced techniques like rubbings and burnishing paper.

The best colored pencil for coloring books are a mix of hard and soft pencils, but in this article, we’ll be focusing on finding the best colored pencils for realistic drawing with superior quality.

01) Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil Set 24/Tin

Soft, thick cores. Perfect for realistic shading and shadows

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil main immage

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils are made in the USA, and these artist-quality pencils come with high-quality pigments and a smooth colour laydown. They come with soft leads, so they’re not the obvious choice for fine detail work. But they’re really great for blending and shading, giving strong, professional-looking results. 

Each colour is named and numbered on the pencil itself, and the leads are breakage-resistant. Prismacolor Premier Colored-Pencils come in a high-quality case measuring around 21 x 21cm, which doesn’t open up when in a bag. 


  • Soft, thick cores are perfect for shading and shadows
  • Ultra-smooth, even color laydown
  • Lightfast, richly saturated pigments
  • Thick, robust leads resist cracking and chipping making them perfect for adult coloring books
  • 48 premium colored pencils


Prismacolor pencils bring your artistic vision to life with Prismacolor Artist Quality Colored Pencils. With a range of 48 vibrant colors, your masterpiece will be off to a vivid start. Inside the box, you’ll find colored pencils featuring soft cores that are the artist’s choice for blending, shading and layering.

At the same time, Prismacolor art pencils feature pigments of unparalleled quality and leads that are thick and durable. This empowers you to effortlessly transition between forceful lines, delicate blends and smooth shadows.

  • Breakage resistant
  • Water-soluble pencils
  • Comes with pencil case
  • Less good for fine detail


Great color Pencils. They are at number 2 on my favorite colour pencil list after Prismacolor Premier. The texture of these pencils is better than premier but they do create wax bloom which causes a lot of glare.

Blends well without any blenders; also good range of colors in 72 set

02) AGPtEK 76-Piece Drawing Pencils Set

Add some depth to your masterpiece by layering, blending and creating realistic special effects

AGPtEK 76-Piece Drawing Pencils main image


  • Bright & Clear Color
  • Don’t fade easily
  • Practical Canvas Zipper Bag
  • Ideal Choice for artists on the move
  • Special & Unique Sketch Book


This drawing pencils set involves bright and vivid colors, thus, an excellent effect can be achieved in painting, drawing and sketching etc. The essence of water colored pencils becomes an ideal option for layering and blending. With a gentle brush of a wet pen or a quick stroke, you can either layer or blend to create a stunning effect to add depth to your masterpiece.

You can obtain a bright and colorful picture by using these colored pencils because these colored pencils are rich and uniform in color, fluent and create dense lines. They are don’t fade easily. As a consequence, these art supplies are suitable for various artists at all different levels.

Compared with paper tubes or iron boxes, they provide you with a zipper bag made of canvas material that can easily house all the pencils. It is convenient and easy-to-carry. It can successfully prevent the pencils from shaking in transit so, you don’t have to worry about the pencils being damaged after receiving the package.

This type of color drawing pencil set is definitely applicable to schools, classrooms and daily use. These are student grade pencils but there is no doubt that it is a perfect gift for students, teachers, friends or family members during Christmas, birthday or New Year’s Eve.

As well as the whole set of drawing and sketching colored pencil sets, it also comes with a sketch book of 50 pages. Of which, the paper specification used is 100GSM at A4 size.

This kind of sketchbook can be used in sketching, drawing and creative work.

  • Colour range is fabulous.
  • They color very smooth and have rich pigments.
  • No sharpening problems.
  • The lead is so soft that you need to give additional care
  • More expensive than the very similar Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencil.


Great packaging, it’s nice and compact without being too dense. It has a zipper that opens so smoothly and the inside is well placed and organized. Comes with a sharpener and holder which makes consistency easier. Worth the price and is a great value without being either too cheap or too pricey.

Soft, highly pigmented, budget pencils PLUS lightfastness! Great color selection which includes gold, silver and flesh tones.

03) ZZONEART 120 Colouring Pencils Set

With Accessories and Large Pencil Case, 120 Unique Coloured Pencil

ZZONEART 120 Colouring Pencils main image


  • The set of 120 coloured pencils contains 120 bright colours. With vibrant colour pigments, you can rely on a strong colour transfer. Create clear lines with a soft oil-based lead that easily sharpens to the finest point. Soft and thick oil-based leads provide a seamless transition that makes shading and mixing effortless.
  • High quality and thick lead core protection against frustrating breakages during general use and sharpening, ensuring a long service life. A sturdy wooden construction and a matt finish make them durable and easy to grip.
  • With a carefully thought-out zippered storage case, you can easily put pencils and erasers into place. You don’t have to worry about losing any part of the kit.
  • Pens are great for children and adults. A non-toxic formula makes them safe for children who can enjoy art without being exposed to harmful chemicals.
  • A drawing kit with different types of pens and a high-quality sketchbook is an ideal gift for beginners and professional users.


Let your imagination run wild and create vivid images with the best colored pencils. These artist-quality pencils are made from high-quality materials that make them ideal for any project. With 120 vibrant colors, you can draw, shade, mix and colour amazing artwork. Regardless of your art project, this set offers you any colour you need.

Box contents:
120 colour pencils.
1 x double-headed pencil extender.
1 adult colouring book.
1 pencil box.

  • Easy to carry
  • Non-toxic
  • Durable and useful gift
  • A little expensive


Fantastic range of colours, beautiful soft leads that are thick enabling you to sharpen to a beautiful point perfect for detailed work and with no effort required to lay down colour (unlike many others I have tried that are so hard that the colours are faint!)

Both the colored pencils and the water-soluble colored pencils require no effort to use and are a fantastic choice for adults, children, budding artists or beginners alike.

The extra added mini colouring book included are brilliant and different each time you order.

04) Artworx Premium Artists Colouring Art Pencils Set

120 Colored Pencils For Artists – Perfect for Real-life Sketching or Adult Colouring Books – Professional Quality Art Supplies for Artists

Artworx Premium Artists Colouring Art Pencils main image


  • 120 premium colored pencils with rich, vibrant, highly pigmented colours that rival leading brands.
  • Perfect for blending, shading and layering, Artworx Premium colored pencils are extra smooth for improved performance.
  • With 120 vibrant colours and handy storage tin box, they are ideal for budding artists at school or college and more advanced artists.
  • The lead core guards against frustrating breakages during general use and sharpening so that you can colour with confidence.
  • All Artworx products are covered by No Hassle Money Back & Satisfaction Guarantee, ensuring that you have a great buying experience.


These Artworx hard pencils are a new high-quality product range that rivals leading brands created for every level of expertise, whether you are a budding artist at school or college or a more advanced artist.

This Artworx set includes 120 brilliant regular colored pencils that contain vibrant pigments for rich colour saturation.

The 120 best colored pencils contain soft lead and create an extra smooth colour lay-down for improved performance and superior blending and shading. It features thick lead cores to guard against frustrating breakages during general use and sharpening so that you can colour with confidence.

All pencils have colour coded wood casings for easy identification and come packaged within a convenient tin case for storage.

  • Nice range of colours
  • Strong enough to keep their point
  • Hardly any breakage
  • Quite oily
  • Relatively expensive pencils
  • Thin core


The set itself has a very nice range of colours, maybe lacking a few orange tones but the rest is fine.

The pencils sharpen well to a sharp point and it seems it’s strong enough to keep their point and there is hardly any breakage so far.

The pigments are good but if I compare it with Castle Art colouring pencils, the pigmentation is not as strong, the core is thinner and also harder.

05) Castle Arts Themed 24 Coloured Pencil Set

Complete with Tin Box, perfect colours for ‘Portraits’. Featuring, smooth coloured cores, blending & layering – Ideal for Drawing, Sketching and Colouring

Castle Arts Themed 24 Coloured Pencil main image


  • This lightweight and compact set of 24 top quality pencils travel perfectly giving artists the convenience to capture nature whenever and wherever they desire.
  • This enviable selection of premium quality hard colored pencils is beautifully presented in a Special Edition Tin Box featuring an original Illustration of a Female Study. A must for ‘budding’ artists inspired to try this style for the first time.
  • Suitable for Botanical illustrations and artwork.
  • The vivid colors can strongly resist fading.


These are soft wax-based pencils that will never have the lightfastness that oil-based do. Even high-end brands like wax-based Prismacolor Premier don’t have the lightfast longevity. However, Faber-Castell Polychromos (my favorite colored pencils) do, but only because they are oil-based colored pencils.

  • Smooth coloring pencils.
  • Rich pigment concentration.
  • High quality hard colored pencils.
  • Waxyness is a bit less
  • Trouble sharpening


In my opinion, they’re lovely to use, lay down strong pigment smoothly, blend well and sharpen to a good point that holds well. They compare favourably to Polychromos, and in fact, the set of 120 is in place of the larger Polychromos set I intended saving up for!

General Information About The Best Colored Pencils For Realistic Drawing

The best colored pencil for realistic drawing are those with a wide range of colors, the finest points, and a soft lead. They should also be wax-based so that they can be blended easily. Some of the best brands of colored pencil for realistic drawing include Caran d’Ache, Crayola colored pencils, Faber-Castell and Prismacolor.

When shopping for high-quality pencils, it is important to keep in mind the type of paper you will be using them on. If you are using smooth paper, then you will want a pencil with a softer lead so that it can glide over the surface easily. If you are using textured paper, then you will want a pencil with a harder lead so that it can grip the paper better.

As with any other type of drawing, it is important to experiment with different colors and techniques to see what works best for you. There is no one right way to draw, so feel free to mix and match different colors and techniques until you find what works best for you. Happy drawing!

Conclusion / Roundup

There are a lot of factors that you need to consider when choosing the best colored pencils for realistic drawing. The brand, the type of lead, and the quality of the pencil are all important factors to consider.

The best colored pencils for realistic drawing are those that have a fine lead. This will allow you to create smooth, consistent lines. The lead should also be soft enough to create rich, saturated colors.

The brand of colored pencils is also important. Some brands use higher quality materials than others. These pencils will usually be more expensive, but they will also perform better.

When it comes to choosing the best colored pencils for realistic drawing, the quality of the pencil is just as important as the brand. Some pencils are made with better quality materials than others. These pencils will usually cost more, but they will also produce better results.

The best way to find the best colored pencils for realistic drawing is to read reviews online like this. ..and remember to keep checking regularly as we post weekly reviews that will hopefully help you make an informed decision about which other art materials are the best for your needs.


How long do colored pencils last?

Artist grade colored pencils, typically last for at least two to five years, based on if used sparingly or not at all. Store them carefully in a cool, dark place and they may last much longer.

Conversely, the more that colored pencils are exposed to heat or sunlight, the faster they will absorb moisture and dry out. This will make the lead brittle and difficult to use. 

How do you sharpen a colored pencils?

Colored artist grade pencils, with soft leads should never be sharpened to a long point because they are more likely to break. Instead, use a mechanical pencil sharpener (never an electric one) and sharpen to a short point.

Test out different sharpeners to find the one that works best for you and your colored pencil.

What are colored pencils made of?

Colored pencils with mixed colours whether they be watercolor pencils or pastel pencils are made of a wood casing with wax-based colored pencils, oil-based colored pencils, or water-soluble binder and a pigment that creates the art medium color.

What’s the best kind of paper to use with colored pencils?

The best type of paper for colored pencils varies by preference, drawing style, paper surfaces, skill level and personal preference.

And just one last top tip when looking for professional colored pencils

When looking to practice your colored pencil skills look to select professional-grade colored pencils. I favor soft colored pencils with a fine point which allows me to concentrate on achieving high levels of multiple layers and detail.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.