There are so many amazing colouring supplies to choose from but colouring pencils will always have a soft spot for us! They are perhaps the most versatile supply of choice and an incredible tool for blending, creating highly pigmented colour, adding small details – we could go on all day! Discover more about the benefits of using them in our guide to coloured pencils. As there are so many options, choosing the right pencils for you is both exciting and can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we’re excited to bring you our guide to the top 10 best colouring pencils!
If you’re into colouring you’ve likely heard of the Prismacolor pencils. They are a wax based pencil with soft, thick cores. This means they are soft and perfect for delivering a strong pigment and bold colours! The colour range that this brand offers is phenomenal, with 150 colours, meaning that there is a great range of mid-tones to help you blend! They’re on the higher end of the price scale but we think that for the quality, colour range and blending capabilities they are well worth it.
For someone on a budget the Arteza pencils are a must-have! Coming in at around £30 for 72 pencils, the value for money that these pencils offer is fantastic. They are incredibly high quality, professional feeling pencils with amazing colour payoff and they perform fantastically on paper of all kinds. They aren’t available in open stock, so you do have to commit to a set of either 48 or 72 but that is hardly a con for a pencil this lovely! They are fantastic for colourists for all levels, whether you’ve just started or you’ve been colouring for years.
If you’re a keen colourist it will come as no surprise to you that the Faber Castell Polychromos are on this list. They are one of the most high-end pencils featured but this is due to the excellent quality and durability of the pencil. They are oil based, waterproof, fantastic to blend, non-smudge and come in 120 colours that are colour matched across all other Faber-Castell lines. These are a great option for an intermediate colourist looking to invest in a high quality set of pencils!
Another low-budget and high-quality option we love are the Black Widow pencils. They have a smooth, almost creamy feel to them and this leads to rich colour application. The smoothness of the pencil means that blending using these pencils is a dream. One downside of this range of pencils is the slightly limited colour range offered but for the price point they are a fantastic product for a beginner or intermediate colourist!
As the name suggests, the Derwent Inktense pencils are definitely intense! They are also an incredible watercolour pencil option. Although they are on the pricier side, the ink based lead means that when mixed with water they can create a highly pigmented and bright colour. You simply colour with normal to light pressure, add water using a brush and enjoy the beautiful colours.
A great low-budget choice is the Staedtler Ergosoft pencils. These pencils are fantastic and offer ergonomical comfort with their triangular shape. They also offer a great balance of softness, making them great for both detail and blending. Although the colour range is somewhat limited, these pencils come with a handy slotted case and the lead inside is break resistant, making these an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate colourists alike.
The Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils are a whole other level of pencil. Although they are a high budget option we believe they are most definitely worth it. With a smooth, water resistant lead these pencils can bring both strong pigmented colours and work well to blend. Where they perform best is when layering different colours over each other and blending. These are a great choice for an intermediate colourist looking to up their colouring game.
Another fantastic set to try are the Castle Arts colouring pencils. A popular choice among colourists and for good reason, these pencils have a lot going for them. They are very soft and velvety to use, creating highly pigmented colours and blending with ease. The colour range this brand offers is fantastic too coming in sets up to 120 pencils. For the professional quality of these pencils, the price is reasonable and affordable.
If you love a pencil like the Polychromos but are on a budget, Marco Raffine pencils are the choice for you! They have an oil based lead like the Polychromos and are therefore a fantastic pencil for blending. The colour range for these pencils is also fantastic with sets ranging all the way up to 72 pencils for a very reasonable price.
The Koh-I-Noor Polycolor pencils are another cheaper alternative to Polychromos or Prismacolor pencils and perform well for the price point. They are a wax based pencil with a soft lead and although their blending capabilities are not the best of all the pencils on this list, they still are pretty fantastic. They are a great pencil for detail due to their ability to retain a fine point and the lead is a perfect level of softness that it can create strong pigments but not wear down a pencil quickly. Overall, a great option.
And that concludes the Colouring Heaven guide to the top 10 best colouring pencils to try! If you’re looking for our other favourite supplies, try our guide to the top 10 must have colouring supplies. Why not head over to the Colouring Heaven Shop and treat yourself to an issue to bring to life with colour? Or even become a member and have the issues arrive to your door each month, as well as a host of other exciting benefits!