Best Colored Pencils
On the lookout for the best-colored pencils?
Here are my highly recommended top 5:
Colored pencils are a medium of drawing that you have most likely have used somewhere along the lines of your childhood or even into adulthood. This suggests that to some degree you may know of what a good quality colored pencil feels like.
Perhaps what you may not know is that it can get better, it always can. This review guide will talk about some of the best colored pencils you can find on the market.
From artist-grade colored pencils for artists to pencils for beginners, we will color you in on what are the best colored pencils you can get your hands on.
Listed below are my top 5 best colored pencils that I believe are tried and tested to be top of the line for artists of all calibre.
Disclaimer – This website contains affiliate links. If you find the information useful and click on a product link and make a purchase, a small commission will be earned by Big Red Illustration
01) Caran d’Ache Colored Pencil & Wooden Gift Box
With 84 Pastel Pencils, Multi-Coloured
- Set of 84
- Comes in a wooden gift box
- Pastel pencils
- Soft leads / soft colored pencils
This set of Caran D’Ache is a wonderful collection of 84 pastel pencils. Each colored pencil features a soft lead that is easily smudgeable and blendable making them extremely compatible with other colors within the set.
Professional artists may find this more preferential as soft-core coloring pencils are easily blended and smudged. Getting them in a pencil format is yet another win for artists.
The set considering the features is great. If you are looking for a colored pencil that is smooth and creamy and has a soft core, this is one of the best options for you. You can use these colored pencils for coloring books or colored pencil art of your very own with a soft wax based pencils feel.
Overall, a great purchase for your art supplies and it will ensure you have the best time spent coloring with no wax bloom problems or problems in general.
02) Faber-Castell Artist’s Coloured Pencils
Polychromos Tin Of 24
- Set of 24
- Vibrant colored pencil set
- High quality professional colored pencils
- Versatile color selection
Faber Castell is known for providing amazing quality pencils for artists since… always. They have become a household name for most artists. Even though Faber Castell offers something of an increased price mark up, it is assured that is for good reason as they never skip out on the premium details.
From wax-based pencils to watercolor pencils, Faber Castell always delivers with premium quality; professional pencils for artists with practically no compromises.
If you dabble in adult coloring books or general coloring and are looking to enter the premium colored pencils world, Faber Castell is your safest bet when it comes to this and depending on your personal preference I can almost guarantee you will love these.
Overall, this set of Faber Castell polychromos colored pencils are a great purchase for anyone looking to purchase great quality colored pencils for their art arsenal.
03) Sanford Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
150 Count (Pack of 1)
- Set of 150
- Soft coloured pencil selection
- Ideal pencils for adult coloring books
The Sanford Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils are a great and versatile set of colored pencils that are ideal for almost all purposes and a great set of pencils for artists. Prismacolor pencils have a wide selection of colored pencils and they are easily one of the most affordable options on the market.
The Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils are one of the best colored pencils brands for any artist for coloring. Despite being wax-based the Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils are seen to have no issues of wax bloom ensuring you have optimal results for your art projects.
The Prismacolor pencils are one of the best wax-based colored pencils on the market for the value for price option. If you are limited on budget and you want an affordable and reliable solution for a large set of colored pencils, Prismacolor pencils will always have you covered.
Overall, a great colored pencils set for an even better budget. Definitely worth every penny of your money.
04) Derwent Lightfast Coloured Pencil Set of 36
Additional Colors, Supplied in a 72 Tin
- Colored pencil sets of 36
- Comes in a nice tin box
- Oil-based colored pencils
- Smooth and creamy application
The Derwent Lightfast colored pencil sets of 36 is one of the best colored pencils set in terms of build quality. The tin box actually comes with space for 72 colored pencils though which allows storage for additional colored pencils which is a great idea.
The core is oil-based and gives an amazing finish that is super satisfying to work with and easily blendable. The colored pencils have a wooden texture on the shell and it makes for a great grip and overall aesthetic.
The Derwent colored pencils set is a limited collection of colored pencils. Optimal for anyone that just wants to do casual coloring with their purchase.
Overall, even though they are not the biggest collection, they are definitely one of the best colored pencils on a budget for any artist.
05) Castle Art Supplies Gold Standard 120 Colouring Pencils Set with Extras
Quality Oil-based Coloured Cores Stay Sharper, Tougher Against Breakage. Includes Zipper Case
- Set of 120
- Comes with a heavy-duty fabric zipper case
- Versatile color selection
Castle Art Supplies Gold Standard 120 coloring pencils set come with a decent amount of extras and pencils. This gives you an immediate headstart allowing you to instantly start work with your supplies as soon as they arrive. No need to source other materials like synthetic materials or paper to draw or color on – just open your order and you’re good to go.
The set has it all in a very compact collection, something that most people appreciate.
Overall, Castle Art collection of colored pencils is brilliant if you are looking for maximum comfort in terms of usage and supplies.
This set contains all the colors you’ll need with a great selection of paper. A great all in one gift.
General Information About Colored Pencils
Why are colored pencils so popular?
Colored pencils are very popular simply because of their ease of use and accessibility. There is not much to learn or discuss and most of the time it depends on your own intuition when it comes to drawing or coloring. You probably have used them in your early teen years or adolescent life as well.
Differences in quality
The difference in quality is imperative between cheap products, budgeted products and high-end products. Keep in mind there is a difference between cheap and affordable products and the key difference is budget deals offer decent usability and cares about what sort of experience you have while working with the products, but if you do have an uncapped budget you are able to then look at sourcing the higher standard products which ultimately give better results.
Soft pencils vs hard pencils
The key difference between the two is the super sharp pinpoint that you would or would not prefer for your coloring. In the event you want that sharp tip to retain without instantly breaking, you would go for a hard pencil. Soft pencils on the other hand are used for coloring in and blending and so forth.
The different types of colored pencils:
– Wax-based colored pencils
It has a waxy consistency and is generally lightfast and easy to blend. They are soft and creamy in texture and are an absolute delight to apply on surfaces.
– Oil-based colored pencils
Oil-based pencils are less popular than wax in terms of colored pencils. They are harder than wax-based colored pencils thus retaining sharp points better without breaking them as easily.
– Watercolor pencils (also known as water-soluble pencils)
Well, the name itself is self-explanatory. You have graphite-like discharge on a surface and you can easily use water to blend and mix your colors.
– Woodless pencils and color sticks
They are without the wooden encasing and have a similar feel to crayons. Maybe the best coverage you may get is a piece of paper around the stick so you don’t get all messy when you hold them.
– Pastel pencils
Pastel pencils are basically pastel instead of lead and are enclosed in wood as a normal colored pencil would. The application of it is as you would expect pastels to be like. With the binder chalk and pigment present, you are greeted with vibrant color, unlike any other colored pencil.
Conclusion / Roundup
In conclusion, as mentioned before, your preference may depend on intuition and feeling. Maybe you would instantly fall in love with Faber Castell’s products as I have or you would have an affinity for Arteza colored pencils or Crayola colored pencils if you are more into coloring for fun and relaxing.
Something that you may not do that often.
In various scenarios, it’s important to keep in mind why you are purchasing the mentioned products. The reasoning behind your purchase will hopefully then lead you to what sort of coloring pencils you are going to settle for (and please remember – don’t forget to invest in a good pencil sharpener too !)
What is the best color pencil brand?
It is quite difficult to make that call and pick ONE best color pencil brand rather than a few carefully curated best mentions. Some of the best brands are mentioned in this review guide such as Faber Castell and Castel Art.
Is Prismacolor or Faber Castell better?
It is purely subjective as preference can simply not be objective. But popular demands still exist and are evaluated by the pros for you. Prismacolor pencils have wax as their binder and that is the most popular in colored pencils. Fabercastel instead uses wax-based binding which is not as popular but still considered better.
What is wax bloom?
Wax bloom is a natural oxidation process that occurs while working with wax-based soft pencils. This is a genuine concern for many artists as it is akin to the result of rust but instead, it’s on paper. You clearly do not want this white stain to affect your beautiful masterpiece and would like to retain the structure and look for as long as possible.
Always keep an eye out for products that do cause this effect and avoid purchasing them.
In compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about all links, posts, photos and other material on this website: Any/all of the links on this website are affiliate links of which The Big Red Illustration Agency receives a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. www.bigredillustrationagency.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk. Pages on this site may include links to Amazon and its affiliate sites on which the owner of this website will make a referral commission.
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.