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.
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.
Set of 48 triangular pencils with medium to soft wax-based cores.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Set of 24 chalk paste colored pencils with a 4.4 mm core diameter.
The set of 24 is smaller than some other options, but the blendability means you can create custom shades to suit any need.
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.
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.
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.
Set of 24 mechanical colored pencils with a waxier core.
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.
While these aren't the most luxurious pencils on the market, users report a pleasant experience thanks to their smooth core and comfortable grip.
This set of 24 pencils costs around $17, which is a reasonably good value for the money, espcially considering the quality.
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.
120 top quality water resistant colored pencils with a medium core.
This set comes with a whopping 120 colors, meaning there's no shade you can't find.
These pencils offer a superior drawing experience, which feels super luxurious. They're smooth and pigmented, and each pencil is consistently top notch.
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.
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.
Set of thrity twist up colored pencils with a harder, waxier core.
The set comes with thrity shades, which is more minimal, but they're well selected to offer a good amount of versatility.
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.
This set costs around $10 for 30 pencils, which is very good value for money.
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.
72 watercolor pencils.
Comes with 72 different shades, which can be easily combined to offer possibilities which are truly endless.
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.
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.
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.
72 premium medium-to-soft core colored pencils.
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.
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.
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.