Best Colored Pencils For Coloring Books

Best Colored Pencils For Coloring Books

Coloring books are not just playtime for kids anymore…

Nowadays, many adults are finding coloring books to be a therapeutic pastime or hobby.

To color books, the first thing you need is colored pencils. As there are a lot of options nowadays for adult colored pencils, it can be confusing to choose the best colored pencils for coloring books, especially for the new beginners.

Colored pencils for an adult come in a wide range as they are very popular among beginners as well as professionals and as such, they differ in both price range and quality.

The best colored pencils for coloring books are lightfast, long-lasting, easy to blend and have vibrant colors and fine point.

With that said, amongst so many options and categories, finding the best colored pencils for coloring books can be pretty difficult.

Hence, here’s why I’m writing this detailed review on the best colored pencils for coloring books based on their features, pros and cons so that you can select the best colored pencils for you considering your needs and wants.

Let’s get started…

01) Faber-Castell Polychromos Artist Colored Pencils Set

Premium Quality Polychromos Colored Pencils 120 Tin Gift Set Includes Pencil Sharpener

Faber-Castell Polychromos Artist Colored Pencils Set ain image


  • Tin Gift Set of 120 colored pencils
  • Professional grade pencils
  • Vegetable oil-based colored pencil
  • SV Bonded Lead; 3.8 mm diameter
  • 2-Hole Magnesium Pencil Sharpener is included


The Faber-Castell Polychromos Artist Colored Pencils Set is one of the best colored pencil sets made for professionals and this set of 120 colored pencils consists of very interesting vibrant colors.

These vegetable oil-based colored pencils are very creamy and easy to blend. They also have high lightfastness, SV bonded leads that ensures water resistance and no smudges. This gift set is also accompanied by a 2-Hole Magnesium Pencil Sharpener that has two blades for a smooth sharpening experience.

  • Excellent lightfastness
  • Smudge-proof
  • Breakage resistant lead
  • Almost no wax-bloom
  • Expensive


I found the Faber-Castell Polychromos Artist Colored Pencils Set to be one of the best professional-grade art supplies available. These premium coloring pencils for adult coloring are everything anyone could want. However, the price for this premium experience is also premium.

So, if you’re someone who has a great interest in coloring books and takes their hobby really seriously or is simply a professional looking for the best on the market, these could well be the perfect coloring pencils match for you!

02) Caran d’Ache Pablo Colored Pencil Set Of 120

Ideal for shading and mixed media. Metal Box

Caran d'Ache Pablo Colored Pencil Set main image


  • Metal Box Set of 120
  • Perfect for shading and mixed media
  • Excellent coverage
  • 3.7 mm diameter lead


The set of 120 Caran d’Ache Pablo colored pencils are benevolent for coloring books. Their soft and creamy texture is the reason behind the rich pigment quality.

The incredibly vibrant pigment are great for the professional artist. These pencils are compatible for most of the coloring book paper.

  • Most lightfast colored pencils
  • Vibrant colors
  • Smooth coloring pencils
  • 3.7mm leads
  • Water-resistant
  • Oil-based color pencils
  • Best adult coloring pencil
  • On the pricier end


For a wonderfully smooth coloring experience, I found Caran d’Ache Pablo colored pencils to be one of the best out of the many colored pencil sets out there.

They are a little expensive in accordance with the quality but I felt they’re worth the price.

03) KOHINOOR set of artists´ coloured pencils

Set of 144

KOHINOOR set of 144 artists´ c main imageoloured pencils


  • Set of 144 assorted colored pencils
  • Oil-based pencils
  • Professional grade colored pencils
  • Lead thickness 3.8 mm


Kohinoor, set of artists’ coloured pencils are made of 100% FSC wood. These oil-based coloring pencils are ideal for sketching, drawing and adult coloring books. The fine points make them perfect for detailed work.

And even though they are professional-grade, everyone can get a fun coloring experience with these pencils.

  • Artist-grade art supplies
  • Oil-based pencil colors
  • Water-resistant
  • Slightly crumbling point
  • Not so pleasant smell
  • Doesn’t come with open stock


After trying these out I felt they’d be perfect for beginners as Kohinoor coloured pencils are great mid-ranged artist grade pencils.

If you’re someone who wants to try quality pencils at a reasonable price, you can easily justify getting this set.

04) Derwent Lightfast Coloured Pencils

Metal Tin, 72 Count

Derwent Lightfast Coloured Pencils main image


  • Metal tin set of 72 colored pencils
  • Oil-based pencils
  • Rich color selection
  • Highly blendable.
  • Comply with ASTM D6901 and blue wool scale ISO 105


Derwent lightfast pencils are excellent for blending with a rich, creamy texture. They claim to have a revolutionary core that resists color change.

Complying with ASTM D6901 and blue wool scale ISO 105, these professional pencils blend beautifully. They have top-class, opaque colors which bring out fantastic levels of boldness in your drawings.

  • Oil-based pencils
  • 100% lightfast
  • Very fine point
  • Long-lasting color
  • Shades incredibly vibrant
  • Colors can be mixed for a paint-like effect
  • Expensive


After trying these Derwent lightfast pencils I was quick to conclude, they’re simply amazing for still-life drawings and abstract shapes as these high-quality colored pencils glide smoothly and their rich pigmentation provides the desired color in just a few strokes.

Should you buy them? Personally, I’d go for it and I’d happily label them as one of the best adult coloring pencils without a doubt.

05) Prismacolor Colored Pencils Art Kit

Artist Premier Wooden Soft Core Pencils 150 ct. with Pencil Sharpener

Prismacolor Colored Pencils main image


  • Set of 150 artist-grade colored pencils
  • Soft core
  • Lightfast
  • Ultra-smooth
  • Comes with a KUM Magnesium Pencil Sharpener


Prismacolor Pencils Art Kit is made keeping professionals in mind yet these easy to use pencils can be a very good choice for beginners too. These lightfast and vibrant colored pencils have a very smooth, creamy texture that is perfect for layering colors and shading.

Prismacolor premier colored pencils Art Kit also contains a KUM Magnesium Pencil Sharpener that is lightweight and eco-friendly. This double-bladed sharpener ensures a smooth, clean cut every time.

  • Easy to use
  • Vibrant shades
  • Smooth application
  • Can fade off a little
  • Relatively expensive


I found the Prismacolor Art Kit to be a great choice for a smooth layering experience although some of the colors can wear away relatively easily if you’re not careful, especially compared to other brands and/or mediums.

These highly lightfast colors come in many vibrant shades that are so pleasing to work with. However, some may find them relatively pricey. If they are in budget, however, and you end up making the purchase they are more than worth it as I’ve always had a great experience coloring with Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.

General Information About Colored Pencils For Coloring Books

What is a colored pencil?

A colored pencil is a pencil that contains different shades of colors to draw with it. Colored pencils are the simplest forms of colors that are easy to use. Starting from kids to seasoned artists, almost everyone has used coloring pencils at some point in their lives.

Just like pencils, coloring pencils also have a barrel shape, cylindrical wooden case. Sometimes, the shape of the wooden case is hexagonal, sometimes round. Unlike the charcoal or graphite pencils, the colored pencil cores of the coloring pencils are mostly wax or oil-based in many different shades and colors.

Different colored pencils

There are many different coloring pencils available in the market and all differ in their lead material. The major types of colored pencil are wax-based, oil-based and water-soluble (watercolor pencils). All of these types have their own usability, pros and cons.

How to use colored pencil for coloring book

Using coloring pencils to color books is something that more or less everyone has done in their childhood. But it’s not only for the kids. Nowadays, adult coloring books are very popular as a hobby that helps people to relax greatly.

Colored pencils are the first thing that come to mind whenever we think of a coloring book as it is the primary tool to color books with. Coloring pencils are most feasible for adult coloring books because of their sharp point, excellent layering, blending capacity and wide range of strong colors.

Color range of colored pencils

To color books, you need to have a wide range of color options available to let your creativity bloom. Especially for adult coloring book beginners, it’s very important to work with as many different shades as possible to help them explore and learn. So, make sure to buy a set of colored pencils that are rich in different vibrant colors.

Conclusion / Roundup

To conclude my discussion about the best colored pencils for adult coloring books, I would say that there are many sets and directions available for finding the best coloring pencil; so many that at times it can get puzzling. Hence, follow the path you feel comfortable with that matches your vision and preferences.

After you’ve spent a few hours working with your selected choice of coloring pencils for adult coloring, you’ll find the best pencil for you although it always makes sense to take help from the professionals along the way.

Use your own instinct and preferences but listen to the expert’s experiences and learn from them too.

I’ve tried to portray some general ideas about coloring pencils and to share my experience of using some of the coloring pencils that I found to be the best ones…

…hope my article to help you discover the best colored pencils for adult coloring books comes in handy 😉


Are pens or pencils better for coloring book?

Pens or pencils? It totally depends on the colorist’s preference whether a pen is better to color books or a pencil.

It’s true that the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the words, ‘coloring book’ is coloring pencils as they are the primary tool that is heavily used by most people to color books starting from beginners to professionals.

On the other hand, there are many good quality pens that are specially made for coloring books and these work great too.

What are the best colouring pencils for colouring books?

Apart from the 5 colored pencil brands I have discussed above as the best ones, some of the other best colouring pencils for colouring books are Ergosoft colored pencils, Derwent inktense pencils, Caran d’ache luminance pencils, Arteza professional colored pencils, Derwent coloursoft colored pencils, Castle art colored pencils, Raffine colored pencils, Black Widow’s colored pencils and Crayola colored pencils.

What kind of pencils do you use for adult coloring books?

For adult coloring books, the main two types of coloring pencils that are mostly used are oil based and wax based colored pencils as they have the perfect texture and consistency that is needed to color such books.

What colored pencils do artists use?

Professional grade coloring pencils are very high quality pencils that are needless to say, often pricier. There are many top notch coloring pencil brands that make professional quality coloring pencils for expert artists. Some of these coloring pencil brands are Caran d’Ache, Derwent, Faber-Castell, Holbein, Lyra, Prismacolor, and Tombow.

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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.