7 Best Colored Pencils

7 Best Colored Pencils

For many people, getting creative can be an excellent hobby, plus a way to decompress and escape stress.

But here's the kicker:

The old adage goes: a poor workman blames his tools. But when it comes to drawing, this is especially the case. If you want to elevate your art to the next level, having the right instruments is essential.

Let me explain.

While some level of artistic skill may be required, if you aren't using the right pencils for your drawing, you're highly unlikely to produce the best results.

The key is in finding the best colored pencils for you. Knowing what matters most to you in a drawing pencil purchase means you can make a more informed choice, and be much happier with the result.

Here's the deal:

There are a lot of options for art pencils on the market. We've broken down the best colored pencils by various specifications, plus spent hours researching verified customer reviews. All of this research means we can confidently bring you the best colored pencil options.

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

Best Colored Pencils

  • 7. ARTEZA Colored Pencils Set of 48 Colors
  • 6. Stabilo CarbOthello Chalk-Pastel Colored Pencil
  • 5. Zebra Zensations Mechanical Colored Pencils
  • 4. Caran d'Ache Pablo Colored Pencil Set Of 120 Metal Box
  • 3. Crayola 68-7409 Twistable Colored Pencils
  • 2. Derwent Colored WaterColour Pencils
  • 1. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core

Best Bargain Colored Pencils

#7

ARTEZA Colored Pencils Set of 48 Colors

Best Bargain Colored Pencils: ARTEZA Colored Pencils Set of 48 Colors
Type
8.5
Color Range
8.5
Ease of Use
8.5
Value
10.0
Overall
89%
89 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
29 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Great set of colored pencils for beginners
  • Extremely good value for money
  • Traingular pencil shape makes for easier grip, plus prevents pencils from rolling off the table

People love the bargainous price of this pencil set. The color selection is smart, so you won't find the smaller amount of shades too limiting. The quality of pigment and blendability is also very good, especially at this price point.

Some users find the cores of these pencils to be a little bit too stiff for their preferences. While this can make coloring more difficult, it also means the pencils will last longer. The pencils are also a little bit too broad for extremely fine details.

Expert Ratings

Type

8.5 / 10

Set of 48 triangular pencils with medium to soft wax-based cores.

Color Range

8.5 / 10

This set comes with 48 shades, which is a little fewer than other options, but perfectly adequate for the majority of needs. They're also well selected for maximum options.

Ease of Use

8.5 / 10

People find these pencils a little harder than others on our list. Some also dislike the wider tip of the pencils, which can make finer detail more tricky. Nonetheless, they're still a high quality pencil set.

Value

10.0 / 10

These pencils provide excellent value for the cost. They currently cost $15 for 48 pencils, which is a really exceptional price, especially considering the high standard of the product.

Overall Editor Score

8.9 / 10

Best Chalk Pastel Colored Pencils

#6

Stabilo CarbOthello Chalk-Pastel Colored Pencil

Best Chalk Pastel Colored Pencils: Stabilo CarbOthello Chalk-Pastel Colored Pencil
Type
9.0
Color Range
8.5
Ease of Use
8.5
Value
9.0
Overall
88%
88 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
28 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Exceptional blendability, meaning each color is highly versatile
  • Premium quality; excellent pigmentation and smoothness
  • 24 colors cleverly curated to allow for maximum creativity

People love the dramatic and beautiful results they can achieve with these chalk pastel pencils. They offer a perfect balance between pigmentation and blendability. These pencils also come at a very reasonable price.

The main problem these pencils have is their soft and blendable cores. This makes them difficult to sharpen, plus leads some to worry they're running through the pencils at an above average rate.

Expert Ratings

Type

9.0 / 10

Set of 24 chalk paste colored pencils with a 4.4 mm core diameter.

Color Range

8.5 / 10

The set of 24 is smaller than some other options, but the blendability means you can create custom shades to suit any need.

Ease of Use

8.5 / 10

These pencils have a softer core, which makes them highly blendable. The fact they can be smudged when wet or dry makes them highly versatile.

Value

9.0 / 10

This set of 24 pencils currently costs $34. This is a mid-range price in terms of colored pencils, but for the high quality product, it's a pretty good value.

Overall Editor Score

8.8 / 10

Best Mechanical Colored Pencils

#5

Zebra Zensations Mechanical Colored Pencils

Best Mechanical Colored Pencils: Zebra Zensations Mechanical Colored Pencils
Type
8.0
Color Range
7.5
Ease of Use
8.0
Value
9.0
Overall
81%
81 % Editor Score
85 % User Score
18 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Ergonomically designed grip prevents any wrist strain and is highly comfortable
  • Mechanical nature makes for quick, easy, and efficient sharpening
  • Twenty four rich and blendable shades

These pencils are the final word in convenience. They are ideal for beginners who want something quick and easy to use, but still high quality and richly pigmented. 

Some claim the color selection is slightly lacking, which could cause problems for those with more specific needs. Some users also point out some initial issues with the pencil's mechanism.

Expert Ratings

Type

8.0 / 10

Set of 24 mechanical colored pencils with a waxier core.

Color Range

7.5 / 10

Comes with just 24 shades, which some users may find too limiting. The waxier consistency can mean they don't mix as well as other options.

Ease of Use

8.0 / 10

While these aren't the most luxurious pencils on the market, users report a pleasant experience thanks to their smooth core and comfortable grip.

Value

9.0 / 10

This set of 24 pencils costs around $17, which is a reasonably good value for the money, espcially considering the quality.

Overall Editor Score

8.1 / 10

Best Luxe Colored Pencils

#4

Caran d'Ache Pablo Colored Pencil Set Of 120 Metal Box

Best Luxe Colored Pencils: Caran d'Ache Pablo Colored Pencil Set Of 120 Metal Box
Type
10.0
Color Range
10.0
Ease of Use
9.5
Value
7.5
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
88 % User Score
17 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Set of 120 pencils; truly top of the range
  • The cores are soft and creamy, but the colors are smooth and highly pigmented
  • High-quality pencils with consistency across all of the excellent shade options

These pencils are the most luxurious on the market. The shade range and quality of these pencils will blow you away. They're ideal for those who are more experienced with colored pencils, and want to try the best of the best.

The only real downside to these pencils is their high price. The set is also fairly extensive, meaning it's probably not suitable for those who are just getting started with their colored pencil usage. 

Expert Ratings

Type

10.0 / 10

120 top quality water resistant colored pencils with a medium core.

Color Range

10.0 / 10

This set comes with a whopping 120 colors, meaning there's no shade you can't find.

Ease of Use

9.5 / 10

These pencils offer a superior drawing experience, which feels super luxurious. They're smooth and pigmented, and each pencil is consistently top notch.

Value

7.5 / 10

The only real downside to these pencils is the high price tag. They currently cost an enormous $229, although that is for 120 different shades plus a durable metal case. If you're super into colored pencils, it's highly unlikely you'll be disappointed.

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10

Best Colored Pencils For Kids

#3

Crayola 68-7409 Twistable Colored Pencils

Best Colored Pencils For Kids: Crayola 68-7409 Twistable Colored Pencils
Type
8.0
Color Range
8.5
Ease of Use
8.0
Value
9.0
Overall
84%
84 % Editor Score
91 % User Score
28 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Plastic barrel design protects the core from any accidents
  • Easy to twist up without any need for a sharpener
  • Good basic color range and nice quality

These colored pencils are ideal for letting kids creativity flow. The easy twist mechanism means they can be sharpened without a tool, and the plastic cover makes them suitably hardwearing. The quality of the core and color range are fairly good, too.

The fact these pencils have to be twisted rather than sharpened means they never get a particularly fine point for detailed work. They also have a waxier core, which means they don't tend to belnd or layer particularly well.

Expert Ratings

Type

8.0 / 10

Set of thrity twist up colored pencils with a harder, waxier core.

Color Range

8.5 / 10

The set comes with thrity shades, which is more minimal, but they're well selected to offer a good amount of versatility.

Ease of Use

8.0 / 10

The pencils are a little harder and waxier, which can mean blending shades together is trickier. However, they're highly pigmented and smooth, plus the lack of need for a sharpener is a nice touch.

Value

9.0 / 10

This set costs around $10 for 30 pencils, which is very good value for money.

Overall Editor Score

8.4 / 10

Best Watercolor Pencils

#2

Derwent Colored WaterColour Pencils

Best Watercolor Pencils: Derwent Colored WaterColour Pencils
Type
9.0
Color Range
9.5
Ease of Use
8.5
Value
8.0
Overall
88%
88 % Editor Score
94 % User Score
18 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Offers the control of a pencil with the soft look of a watercolor paint
  • Blends beautifully for stunning and unusual effects
  • Can be used wet or dry for maximum versatility

These high quality pencils are water soluable, meaning you can create some beautiful effects when drawing with them. Their pigment retains intensity when used wet or dry. They also come with a wooden box, making them easier to transport and store.

Some users find the colors to be a little less saturated than other options, because of their watercolor finish. Some also expereicne some issues with sharpening certain shades, so care is advised.

Expert Ratings

Type

9.0 / 10

72 watercolor pencils.

Color Range

9.5 / 10

Comes with 72 different shades, which can be easily combined to offer possibilities which are truly endless.

Ease of Use

8.5 / 10

The pencils are sturdy and precise, but when combined with water give a soft, diffuse finish. They can be used wet or dry to create a wider range of looks.

Value

8.0 / 10

These pencils are rather pricey at $136 for 72 pencils. This price does include a high-quality wooden case, which makes the higher cost seem more reasonable.

Overall Editor Score

8.8 / 10

Best Colored Pencils Overall

#1

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core

Best Colored Pencils Overall: Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core
Type
9.0
Color Range
9.5
Ease of Use
10.0
Value
8.5
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
97 % User Score
17 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • High quality, medium to soft lead
  • Bold colors thanks to richly saturated pigments
  • Smooth application and easy blending

These pencils create drawings with a creamy, rich, even color. The set offers an excellent color selection to suit every need. The cores are soft and won't crack or chip, meaning you can get a neat and even result every time.

Some users complain there's a lack of consistency throughout this pencil set. When ordering online, some can arrive with cracked or broken cores, which can lead to issues when drawing or coloring. You need to be careful when sharpening these pencils with a sharpener specifically designed for softer leads.

Expert Ratings

Type

9.0 / 10

72 premium medium-to-soft core colored pencils.

Color Range

9.5 / 10

Comes with 72 different shades, including different saturations of grey, plus some metallic options. For the majority of artists, this will be more than enough shades.

Ease of Use

10.0 / 10

People love the way these pencils draw. They have softer leads, which gives them a rich and pigmented look with a smoother feel. The shades also blend well together to give more dimension to your work.

Value

8.5 / 10

The pencils currently cost $48.95 for 72 pencils. It's on the steeper end of the spectrum, but you truly get what you pay for with this set.

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 7 Best Colored Pencils

7 Best Colored PencilsTypeColor RangeEase of UseValueOverall
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core Thumbnail
Best Colored Pencils Overall
#1Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core
9.0
9.5
10.0
8.5
93
Derwent Colored WaterColour Pencils Thumbnail
Best Watercolor Pencils
#2Derwent Colored WaterColour Pencils
9.0
9.5
8.5
8.0
88
Crayola 68-7409 Twistable Colored Pencils Thumbnail
Best Colored Pencils For Kids
#3Crayola 68-7409 Twistable Colored Pencils
8.0
8.5
8.0
9.0
84
Caran d'Ache Pablo Colored Pencil Set Of 120 Metal Box Thumbnail
Best Luxe Colored Pencils
#4Caran d'Ache Pablo Colored Pencil Set Of 120 Metal Box
10.0
10.0
9.5
7.5
93
Zebra Zensations Mechanical Colored Pencils Thumbnail
Best Mechanical Colored Pencils
#5Zebra Zensations Mechanical Colored Pencils
8.0
7.5
8.0
9.0
81
Stabilo CarbOthello Chalk-Pastel Colored Pencil Thumbnail
Best Chalk Pastel Colored Pencils
#6Stabilo CarbOthello Chalk-Pastel Colored Pencil
9.0
8.5
8.5
9.0
88
ARTEZA Colored Pencils Set of 48 Colors Thumbnail
Best Bargain Colored Pencils
#7ARTEZA Colored Pencils Set of 48 Colors
8.5
8.5
8.5
10.0
89

How to choose the best colored pencils

 

 

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Article Staff

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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7 Best Colored Pencils

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