What are the Best Colored Pencils: A to Z Guide

What are the Best Colored Pencils

In your elementary school, you must have had received a basic introduction to the best colored pencil. However, as you grow more serious about your art, you explore a whole new colorful world.

In order to give you repose from the dilemma of choosing what are the best colored pencils, we are here with a complete beginner’s guide. Go through the next section to understand the types of colored pencils and their applications in a simple way.

Starting with Colored Pencil for Beginners

If you are finding the answer to what are the best colored pencils, you should understand that these pencils are likely to be expensive but they have a wide palette. The bright and clean colors are a permanent medium and they do not need continuous storage or care.

Offering different shades, these colors can be soft and hard. However, for budding artists, the best-colored pencil is a watercolor pencil.  

The appeal of the colored pencils is the blend of versatility and convenience. Regardless of whether you are applying for tight or light work, the colors can be utilized for putting light strokes to tint the work and add multiple layers of shades.

Choosing the Best Colored Pencil

Coloring pencil consists of a pigmented center which remains covered in a cylindrical-shaped wood. This type of pencil differs from the regular charcoal pencil and graphite for having oil or wax-based core along with various additives, pigments, and binding agents.

Now to find the answer to what are the best-colored pencils, you should understand that the colored pencils are classified as per the usability and quality, lightfastness, durability, and concentration of the core pigments.  

Also, here are a few things to consider before understanding what are the best-colored pencils to purchase.

  • Single or Set

You can purchase the colored pencil for beginners in a set of collections or singly. If you are buying the colors individually, you can actually find the shade you are looking for.

However, the set of colors offers a huge spectrum of colors that will save your time and money.

  • Gauge

Generally, most of the pencils come with a core of ¾ inches and this gauge measure makes the material perfect for drawing. Again, some of the pencils have a larger core which can measure to 5/32 inches in diameter.

The colored pencil review indicates that the artists tend to go with thin pencils for shading because they do not need to apply many layers then. In addition to the context, the pencils with ¾ inches in diameter are productive for achieving minute details.

  • Water-based, Oil, or Wax

The brands utilize a range of pigments but modify the pigments for a productive purpose. Generally, every binder has an influence on the purpose of the pencil.

Now the wax pencils are soft yet they can offer a wide coverage on the paper. The colors are very intense but they are fragile in nature.

Also, the wax-based pencils tend to wear out only after adding a few layers of colors in your work. Moreover, the wax bloom may appear when you layer on the shade heavily and the powdered coating can touch the intensity.

The water-based pencils are not super stable but you can dry or wash them as per your need. Therefore, an artist can get a better hold of texture with them.

On the contrary, the oil-based pigments are hard in construction and they can last for a long time. There is no need to put more pigment for getting a heavy intensity like the wax-based pencils.

Colored Pencil Review: Applications and More

Colored Pencil for Beginners

Your search of ‘what are the best-colored pencils’ only comes to end when you are enlightened with the applications of the different types of color. Abstracts, cartoons, portraits, and landscapes are the common applications of these pencils.

  • Abstract

According to colored pencil reviews, you can undertake several approaches along with various ranges of shades. For example, the watercolor collection of Derwent offers an array of shades that can easily blend.

In the abstract drawing, it is important to have the colors spread quickly and this process becomes quite fun.

  • Portraits

Portraiture is a popular application that requires drawing the minute details in a careful manner. Now for this practice, a person should have a good understanding of color theory and quality detailed pencils.

For your question to what are the best-colored pencils, Faber Castell, Prismacolor, and Derwent have nice collections of blend-friendly pencils that can work impeccably for the smooth areas and skin.

Prismacolor pencils have a wax core and are good for drawing facial features like wrinkles, hair strands, and blood vessels with the fine tip. Again, colored pencil review indicates that Faber Castell makes the blending satisfactory and the fine points can be attained beautifully.

Now Derwent is recognized for the earthy color tones that can add finishing touch on the skin tones but you may have to try different material options for the eyes or other brighter areas. Portraits can be exacting pieces of work but you can achieve finesse with the right colored pencil for beginners and continuous practice.

  • Landscapes

Landscape drawing is the accumulation of diverse elements including oceans, earth, nature, and desert. For enlivening the tones, it is wise to go with large and quality sets of the best-colored pencil.

For instance, Tombow Irojiten has an amazing collection for the landscapes and the huge 100+ sets can inspire you to draw something extraordinary. Also, Polychromos can assist in capturing your imagination on the paper with high excellence.


The best-colored pencil gives immense pleasure to paint or draw making it the perfect medium for your masterpiece. Moreover, it is a dry medium; hence, the artists can pick up the work where they left off.

In the end, you can learn what are the best-colored pencils by considering various factors and then use the materials for achieving the desired look. Henceforth, choosing a suitable brand can be done when you have decided what type of method and type you want to use.

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