Coloured pencils are cheap yet fantastic art mediums, allowing users to freely explore their imagination and express their thoughts and feelings. It is not exaggerating to say that the best coloured pencils are among the most popular and beloved tools among beginners and professionals for offering a wide range of hues!
However, picking up the best coloured pencils is always an uphill struggle, especially for beginners. If you are new to drawing and colouring, you are lucky not to miss out on our article! Keep reading to find out the ideal products!
- Best Selling Coloured Pencils
- Types Of Coloured Pencils
- Top 10 Best Coloured Pencils To Buy Online In The UK
- #1. Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils – Best Overall
- #2. Faber-Castell 120148 Environmentally – Best For Breakage Resistance
- #3. Staedtler Ergosoft Coloured Pencils – Best For Comfort And Convenience
- #4. LYRA Rembrandt Polycolor Art Pencils – Best For Durability
- #5. Caran D’ache Luminance Colored Pencil Set – Best For High-quality Lead
- #6. Arteza Professional Wax-based Core Pencils – Best For Budget-Consciousness
- #7. Derwent 0701029 Coloursoft Colouring Pencils – Best For Colour Richness
- #8. Chameleon Colour Tones Coloured Pencils – Best For Blend Ability
- #9. Koh-I-Noor’s Progresso Woodless Coloured Pencils – Best For High Quality
- #10. Prismacolor 2163 Premier Art Stix – Best For All Painting Purposes
- How To Buy The Best Coloured Pencils
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Selling Coloured Pencils
- Improved colouring pencil from Staedtler
- Coloured pencil made from wopex material, a useful production process
- Easy grip barrel with a non-slip rubberised surface
- Wood-free coloured pencil
- Classic hexagonal shape
- Easy to sharpen
- Artist Quality - 72 Premium colouring pencils with rich, vibrant, highly...
- Soft Lead Series - Perfect for blending, shading and layering, Artworx Premium...
- Suitable For All Skill Levels - With 72 vibrant colours and handy storage tin...
Types Of Coloured Pencils
The wide range of coloured pencils on the market may overwhelm you sometimes and make it challenging to distinguish among them. However, there are only three main types of pencils in general, each showing its unique pros and cons.
Wax-based coloured pencils
If you are a frequent painter, you will surely find out that wax-based coloured pencils are the most common type nowadays. This good reputation is mainly because of the right amount of wax, offering users a smooth texture while allowing the pigment to flow smoothly on the surface.
Another plus point of wax-based pencils is their adherence to the surface and other paint layers, meaning that there is little chance of smearing or adhesion when applying multiple paint layers.
Overall, wax-based pencils are available in various consistencies, ideal for any user with different painting purposes. For example, hard pencils are designed for student grade, while professional artists choose the softer ones.
Oil-based coloured pencils
What sets oil-based pencils apart from wax-based ones is that there is less chance of wax bloom, leaving a pale haze. This advantage is achieved only because oil-based products use oil to bind the pigment and then disperse it on the surface.
Normally, you come across medium-soft oil-based pencils more often. They are harder than wax-based coloured ones, yet softer than students’ pencils. Compared to their counterparts, those pencils give painters more control over their drawing lines; thus, they are especially favoured among professionals.
Water-soluble coloured pencils
Unlike other coloured pencils, water-soluble pencils can be used dry, but the pigments can also be thinned out with water, thanks to a water-soluble gum in the binder. This feature largely contributes to a lively and animated drawing that most coloured pencil artists always desire.
Besides, if you are into watercolour paintings, water-soluble coloured pencils are surely your ideal choice. Those pencils can easily combine with water and a sponge, allowing you to create your masterpiece.
Nevertheless, mastering water-soluble coloured pencils is not always a piece of cake; therefore, it’s vital to have a lot of practice to get used to those painting tools.
Colour sticks and woodless pencils
Interestingly, colour sticks and woodless pencils include the cores just like any other wood-cased coloured pencils. Despite having no case, those painting tools still work well along with other art media.
Let’s take Prismacolor Art Stix and Koh-I-Noor’s Progresso Woodless Coloured Pencils as the two prime examples. Looking exactly like crayons, Prismacolor Art Stix offers 48 pigments to conveniently lay down more colours with broader strokes. Besides, the sharp edges are especially designed to draw lines and details.
Koh-I-Noor’s Progresso Woodless Coloured Pencils look like regular coloured pencils and can be sharpened in the same way. What sets this type of pencils apart from other regular ones is the lacquer coating barrel. This feature makes it available as colour sticks while allowing more easy pigment application than other products.
Just like regular coloured pencils, pastel pencils are also wrapped in a wooden casing with a lead of wax and pigment. However, the only difference between those two is that pastel pencils’ core is much harder than its counterpart. Therefore, it is not easy to crumble or break.
Top 10 Best Coloured Pencils To Buy Online In The UK
#1. Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils – Best Overall
The first set of coloured pencils that you should never miss out on is a Prismacolor Premier set of 72 pencils, one of the most popular art supplies.
As mentioned above, containing up to 72 pencils, this set of coloured pencils allows users to choose among an amazing variety of colours and hues, especially suitable for those interested in decorating their books or making lovely little Mandalas.
Besides, you are surely surprised to feel the soft and smooth layer of each coloured pencil, eliminating all the annoying dryness feeling you may get from a lesser brand. In terms of pigmentation, the colours perfectly weave with each other and blend thoroughly to create a rich colour combination!
However, this Prismacolor product can lead to wax bloom, which unfortunately damages your artwork. Therefore, be careful with your hands when using Prismacolor pencils!
- Product dimensions: 20.7 x 2.92 x 26.04 cm
- Item weight: 700 grams
#2. Faber-Castell 120148 Environmentally – Best For Breakage Resistance
- Hexagonal shape colour pencils
- SV bonded lead - prevents breakage
- water-based eco paint
Faber-Castell is well-known for being environmentally-friendly, made 100% of reforested wood, recyclable, and not harmful to the surrounding environment.
Besides, thanks to the wood, Faber-Castell polychromos pencils can be sharpened by any quality sharpener without degrading their performance.
In addition to the brilliant range of colours, Faber-Castell pencils have gone through such a special bonding process, contributing to the unprecedentedly rigid cores. Thanks to this, you are less likely to receive a weak and breakable pencil that interrupts your imagination flow.
One drawback of this product is its price. A set of Faber-Castell colouring pencils may cost you a fortune, and this price might not justify for beginners.
- Product dimensions: 0.6 x 21.4 x 19.2 cm
- Item weight: 218 grams
#3. Staedtler Ergosoft Coloured Pencils – Best For Comfort And Convenience
- Slim coloured pencil for all age groups
- Anti-Break System (ABS) for uninterrupted creativity
- Suitable ergonomics - thanks to triangular shape
Staedtler Ergosoft coloured pencils are known for their exceptional comfort and convenience thanks to their thoughtful design.
Each pencil shows a non-slip surface, offering a soft and comfortable touch to users, especially working with painting tools for hours on end. Besides, the ergonomic structure and triangular shape make it pleasant to hold while dealing with detailed projects.
Moreover, Staedtler Ergosoft is a brilliant choice for children, as those pencils with a wide array of colours ignite their creativity, yet can withstand a lot of harsh forces thanks to a white protective coating.
Nevertheless, this product seems to be more pricey than others of the same quality; therefore, don’t forget to consider your budget.
- Product dimensions: 29.2 x 18.3 x 1.1 cm
- Item weight: 442 grams
#4. LYRA Rembrandt Polycolor Art Pencils – Best For Durability
- Premium quality coloured pencils
- Oil based, highly pigmented
- Lays down smooth, no wax build-up
Suppose you are a frequent painter or have a thorough understanding of artwork. In that case, LYRA Rembrandt Polycolor pencils should not be a strange name, as they are among the most beloved painting tools among professional artists.
This popularity is mainly because those oil-based coloured pencils allow users to lay their strokes down smoothly without causing any wax bloom while creating various appealing hues and shades.
Furthermore, made from the best natural PEFC-certified cedar wood together with permanent high-pigment powders, those pencils show an unrivalled durability and strength level, withstanding any UV lights or harmful external factors!
With such beautiful features, it is not surprising that LYRA Rembrandt Polycolor pencils are much more expensive than others; therefore, they are more suitable for professional and frequent painters.
- Product dimensions: 21.49 x 19.1 x 1.5 cm
- Item weight: 321.98 grams
#5. Caran D’ache Luminance Colored Pencil Set – Best For High-quality Lead
- Caran D’Ache Luminance colour pencils feature a smooth lead, which is...
- Features a soft 3.8mm smooth and permanent lead, which is water-resistant and...
- Can be used for high requirements by both artists and creative professionals....
If you are looking for a durable and permanent set of coloured pencils specially designed for professional artists, Caran D’ache Luminance is around for you!
This premium product offers a high-quality lead, resisting any external factors and breakage. This feature enables users to freely create their artwork without any interruption.
The lightfastness is also in compliance with the highest international standards, offering smooth laying down and great paint flow. Highly concentrated pigments also show a wide range of colours that you should try at least once!
Caran D’ache Luminance pencils are great products, yet the price is quite unappealing, as they are one of the expensive brands that not all buyers can afford.
- Product dimensions: 12.7 x 2.54 x 2.54 cm
- Item weight: 500 grams
#6. Arteza Professional Wax-based Core Pencils – Best For Budget-Consciousness
- Blend & Layer Like a Pro: Go ahead. Layer it on. These expert colouring pencils...
- Vivid, Varied Colors: 48 bright pencil colours to choose from to bring your...
- Premium Construction: The sturdy, comfortable barrels protect the soft,...
Suppose you are on a tight budget yet still looking for a premium set of coloured pencils. In that case, you should never miss out on Arteza Professional Wax-based Core Pencils, a set of wax-based and softcore pencils, boasting outstanding quality yet very budget-conscious.
Compared to other high-end products, Arteza Professional Wax-based Core Pencils never seem to be overshadowed, as they offer artists 48 vivid and vibrant colours to bring their creativity to life.
Besides, each pencils allow you to blend and layer like a real artist with professional painting skills, thanks to the soft point. Let’s glide smoothly across your paper, blend beautifully, and make your best artwork!
What is discouraging about this product is that each pencil doesn’t come with a name tag, making memorising your favourite colours puzzling at first use.
- Product dimensions: 23.6 x 19.3 x 2.49 cm
- Item weight: 557.92 grams
#7. Derwent 0701029 Coloursoft Colouring Pencils – Best For Colour Richness
- Versatile, professional quality colouring pencils in a range of vibrant colours,...
- Coloursoft range: Derwent’s softest colouring pencil, Ideal for broad...
- Best used with derwent watercolor paper, also suitable for drawing on colored...
Without a shade of doubt, the Derwent brand has offered customers the softest colouring pencils ever with a total of 72 colours, devoting an unprecedentedly soft texture to the colours’ best richness.
Moreover, the nice wide colour strip allows you to build up colours and finish your artwork with ease! What is so appealing is the muted palette, including beautiful terracottas and cadmium, ideal for an artwork with a lot of shading and blending.
Nevertheless, Derwent Lightfast pencils are not designed for fine and sharp details, so bear in mind that flip side.
- Product dimensions: 35.43 x 2.59 x 19.81 cm
- Item weight: 929.86 grams
#8. Chameleon Colour Tones Coloured Pencils – Best For Blend Ability
- ARTIST QUALITY - Chameleon Color Tones Pencils are finely crafted in Austria...
- HIGHLY-PIGMENTED - The 25 pencils create 50 vibrant colors that are...
- DO MORE WITH LESS - Each double-ended pencil is specially designed to eliminate...
Chameleon Colour Tones Coloured Pencils is a set of 25 pencils with up to 50 vibrant blending colours, so rich-pigmented and intense that you are free to apply multiple colour layers with a buttery smooth consistency.
Instead of struggling to find the same shade as your previous pencil, you only have to flip the pencil’s other end and continue your blending, thanks to the two-end design.
Despite fast delivery and smooth use, Chameleon pencils are not easy to sharpen.
- Product dimensions: 32.31 x 2.36 x 2.31 cm
- Item weight: 421.84 grams
#9. Koh-I-Noor’s Progresso Woodless Coloured Pencils – Best For High Quality
- GREAT PRESENTATION PACK
- KOH-I-NOOR WORLD FAMOUS PROGRESSO RANGE
- KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH a.s. is one of the world leaders in the production and...
Established in 1790, Koh-I-Noor has gained an excellent reputation for high-quality art materials with a deep-rooted understanding of artists’ painting desires, and Progresso woodless coloured pencils are a prime example.
Despite not being encased with wood, those pencils are shaped and sharpened to use like any other regular coloured pencils. More especially, Koh-I-Noor Progresso pencils show a lacquer coating, allowing users to apply pigment more easily.
Nevertheless, due to the lacquer barrel, those pencils cannot be used from all sides as colour sticks.
- Product dimensions: 16 x 10.01 x 2.49 cm
- Item weight: 280 grams
#10. Prismacolor 2163 Premier Art Stix – Best For All Painting Purposes
- Each Art Stix is made from the same creamy, moisture-proof pigments as...
- Achieves a bold laydown of color and is especially well-suited for coverage of...
- Art Stix work best on large areas of color
If you are working on a large-scale painting project, Prismacolor 2163 Premier Art Stix will be of big help with a bold laydown of colour, thus suitable for covering large areas. Prismacolor Art Stix pencils look exactly like crayons but include the same pigment of 48 selected colours like coloured pencils.
Those pencils are so versatile, allowing users to lay down broad strokes while the sharp edges can be used to deal with lines and details.
However, those Art Stix pencils are not creamy in application, making it hard for amateurs to effectively work with them.
- Product dimensions: 29.97 x 24.13 x 16.76 cm
- Item weight: 127 grams
How To Buy The Best Coloured Pencils
Like other products on the market, shopping for the best coloured pencils is not a piece of cake, as there is a wide range of considerations that you should never ignore. Here are our recommended aspects to help you choose wisely:
Consistency level: soft and hard
One of the biggest considerations when it comes to coloured pencils is the consistency of the lead. In general, a pencil shows a long circular lead, consisting of pigment, gum binder, and wax. All the materials’ proportion varies greatly in the types and brands.
In terms of consistency, coloured pencils are divided into two categories: soft pencils and hard pencils. Soft coloured pencils are smooth and creamy, allowing painters to create bolder and more vibrant colours.
On the other hand, hard coloured pencils pose fewer possibilities of breakage or crumbling, convenient and useful for detailed artwork and textures like drawing fur or hair. In short, if you don’t have a dab at drawing, hard coloured pencils are not an ideal choice, as they take more effort to apply and blend.
Types of coloured pencils
There are three main types of pencils, each showing its advantages and disadvantages; therefore, don’t forget to check the type of your wanted pencils first.
Wax-based pencils are the most common ones, especially suitable for smooth textures and allowing great paint flow. However, one flip side of this type is wax bloom, likely to leave a pale haze, so be careful with that.
Oil-based pencils effectively deal with wax bloom and offer painters a perfect finish; nevertheless, they are prone to smearing and hard to erase.
Water-soluble pencils or watercolour pencils allow you to blend colours and water to create a lively picture. It is not easy to master water-soluble products, so if you are a newcomer, we don’t recommend this type of pencil just yet.
A set of colours
Unlike other arts, mixing coloured pencils to create different tones and hues is a real labour and causes various problems if you don’t have a dab hand. Therefore, you should choose a set of coloured pencils that are ranged logically and come with detailed recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the famous coloured pencil brands I should know?
There are a wide range of coloured pencil brands on the market, varying greatly in price, quality and colour range. It is not surprising that some brands are objectively better than others, but overall, the best coloured pencils should depend on personal tastes.
In short, there are four renowned drawing tool brands: Prismacolor, Caran d’Ache, Faber-Castell and Derwent, all showing proven track records and offering high-quality products. However, large brands may come with high prices. Thus not many users can afford it.
However, large brands don’t necessarily offer you your desired products; therefore, it is highly recommended to pick up some individual pencils from different brands to test the water and eventually decide on your favourite.
2. What is the best paper for coloured pencils?
Picking up the right paper is as difficult as coloured pencils, as the wide range of paper products on the market surely drives you mad. There is no fixed rule for the best paper; what you need to consider is which type of paper is suitable for your coloured pencils.
Drawing paper varies in quality, longevity, texture, weight and form. Therefore, your coloured pencils must work well along with your chosen paper to ensure the greatest result.
Overall, if you are a newcomer to drawing, why not pick up Strathmore 300 Bristol paper with smooth and medium textures? On the other hand, for those looking for a durable and delightful surface, Fabriano Artistico Extra White Watercolor paper would be a brilliant choice!
3. Should I use mediums with coloured pencils?
When it comes to mediums, it’s certainly not mandatory to use them. Instead, it depends more on personal preferences and painting purposes. However, if you are new to drawing, mediums can be saved for later to avoid unwanted side effects.
However, for professionals wanting to intensify the colours and create more effects, a fixative with gloss and matte varieties will allow them to prevent smudging and waxy bloom while changing the look of their artwork.
Besides, to enhance your coloured pencils, you can use such painting accessories as a pencil sharpener, erasers, blenders and more!
4. How to tell the quality of a coloured pencil?
Determining the quality of a coloured pencil is a challenging task for both amateurs and professionals, as this involves various considerations like colour range, consistency or permanence.
However, the most crucial aspect you should never ignore is the pigment’s proportion. The higher this proportion is, the richer and bolder the colours become.
Moreover, pigment makes the pencils softer and more lightfast while proving to be much easier to use and blend, consequently, your pencils can offer a wider range of colour and hues.
Overall, bear in mind that the pencils with a high proportion of pigment come at a higher price than others; therefore, consider your budget before picking one!
5. What can I do to keep coloured pencils long-lasting?
Coloured pencils are durable and long-lasting due to the harder core materials and a protective and rigid shell. For this reason, your pencils can be used longer and work effectively if given proper care, maintenance and storage.
Here are some recommended storage steps that you should not miss out:
- Avoid heat and direct sunlight: if you accidentally leave your coloured pencils exposed to direct sunlight, they are more prone to slight fading, low lightfast ratings and drying out.
- Store in a cool and dry place: like other painting accessories, coloured pencils should never be stored in humidity, as this factor can lead to working failure and damage your artwork.
- Wrap coloured pencils up: if you keep losing your pencils, why not wrap them up and keep them in a closed shoebox? This method will also help when you need to quickly grab your painting accessories!
- Avoid dropping or stepping on your coloured pencils: no matter how rigid your pencils’ shells are, dropping or stepping may make your pencils break easily and adversely affect the colour’s quality.
In short, our article above has provided you with all the needed information about coloured pencils, from types, brands to detailed buying guides. We hope that you have chosen your best coloured pencils to create your masterpiece.
Concerning all the aspects of the best coloured pencils, it seems that Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils is the best choice thanks to its reasonable price, wide range of vibrant colours and comfortable touch. So why not give it a try and let us know your experiences?