The 10 Best Colored Pencils For Professional Artists

Sara Mandeed
Written by
Last update:

The best colored pencils are the Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils.

The price is a bit steep but these pencils are absolutely worth the expense.

For starters, the colors are absolutely gorgeous.

Furthermore, the colors are not readily apparent upon first look. The true vibrancy of these pencils only emerges when you view the work up close.

Due to the high pigment concentration in the core, these colored pencils apply smoothly and are more capable of creating deep, rich shades than most other colored pencils. One caveat about these pencils is that they’re translucent, so work can be a bit more difficult, but the final result is well worth the effort.

So if you’re an artist, you can’t go wrong with the Faber-Castell Polychromos.

NameCategoryProduct
Prismacolor Premier Colored PencilsBest Overall
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
NIL TECH Electric Pencil SharpenerBudget Pick
NIL TECH Electric Pencil Sharpener
Faber-Castell 120 Albrecht Dürer Artists' Watercolour Pencils in WengeUpgrade Pick
Faber-Castell 120 Albrecht Dürer Artists' Watercolour Pencils in Wenge

1. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Our rating: 9 / 10


Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Professional quality
  • Softcore, so the leads don’t break easily, which makes them easier to work with
  • Available in an array of different colors
  • Reasonable price-point

Cons:

  • Not ideal for beginners
  • Design might get a little uncomfortable over time

Colored pencils are something that any budding artist can use effectively. However, finding the best colored pencils is tougher than it seems. You need quality colored pencils at a reasonable price-point.

2. Caran D'ache Luminance Colored Pencil Set of 40

Our rating: 9 / 10


Caran D'ache Luminance Colored Pencil Set of 40

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Smooth graphite core (high density)
  • Durable and won't break easily
  • Lightfast colors (won't fade)
  • Comes with a storage pouch
  • Long-lasting and extremely easy to blend
  • Very smooth application
  • Doesn’t tend to break or peel off
  • Lightfast pigment

These pencils are highly suitable for the serious artist and professional designer. If you are just starting out or aren’t serious about drawing, it’s advisable to select a different product.

Caran D’ache Luminance colored pencils are highly versatile as they can be used for a variety of artwork. They feature a high-density core with a lead that is extremely easy to use and blend. Its waxy texture produces soft strokes that are ideal in creating artistic shades and textures. And because the graphite core is both hard and render intense pigments and tones, you can be sure that you’ll get the value you paid for with this product.

3. ARTEZA Colored Pencils

Our rating: 9 / 10


ARTEZA Colored Pencils

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Good variety of colors
  • Strong cores that can be sharpened easily
  • Great for professional artists and drawing enthusiasts
  • Various color shades are bright and true to what you see

Cons:

  • Colored pencils come in plastic, not metal parts
  • High price point compared to other pencils

Bottom line:

Are you looking for the best colored pencils for art? These colored pencils from ArtEZ® have excellent designs and a variety of colors to choose from. While the price tag is high, the pencils are great for artists and drawing enthusiasts who want to add depth to their styles.

The ArtEZ® pencils are made with premium-quality natural pigments to ensure a smooth and easy shade distribution, along with a non-dusty wax-based core. The core produces bright and brilliant colors, thanks to the high density of pigments and wax, which means that they are super rich and vibrant.

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

Our rating: 9 / 10


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

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Quality core made of solid clays
  • Various levels of saturation
  • Excellent and smooth lead break-resistant quality
  • Great for large drawings and illustrations

Cons:

  • Affordable pencils but has premium performance
  • Use for larger works of art

Caran d’Ache is a world-renowned company that sells pencils, pens, and many other art supplies. These colored pencils are world-class in terms of quality, and they’re great for professional artists and for small children alike. If you’re looking for quality colored pencils, these should be at the top of your list.

These pencils are fantastic for drawing and coloring in larger-than-life works of art. They’re virtually indestructible, and they’re extremely easy to blend, which means that you can use them almost anywhere for different kinds of art projects. They’re great for both drawing and coloring, which means that they can be used by artists of all ages and experience levels.

5. Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencil

Our rating: 9 / 10


Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencil

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Very affordable pencil set
  • Good quality pastel pencils
  • Includes an eraser
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Good variety of colors
  • Features a wooden storage case
  • Designed specifically for drawing and painting
  • The lead is soft enough to blend easily

Cons:

  • More expensive than other colored pencils
  • Soldering issues
  • Storing the set might be a problem

This 60-color set of art pencils designed and built by Stabilo is a great option for an artist looking for the best colored pencils for the money. These colored pencils are not only colorful, but they are also very soft, enabling one to blend and smudge with ease. This pencil set is also very affordable, making it one of the best inexpensive colored pencils available on the market today.

The colored pencils feature a blendable lead that’s soft enough to allow for even, smooth tones across your paper. They’re made with wood-derived harvested materials with an incredibly high chalk content. This allows for the finest color application, enabling you to create some of the deepest, darkest colors you could imagine.

The pencils are made with high-quality materials, and it’s recommended that you unravel them and sharpen them prior to using them for the first time.

6. Faber-Castell 120 Albrecht Dürer Artists' Watercolour Pencils in Wenge

Our rating: 9 / 10


Faber-Castell 120 Albrecht Dürer Artists' Watercolour Pencils in Wenge

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • German-made
  • Ergonomic colors and soft, thin leads
  • 0.7 millimeter leads are easy to shade with
  • Colors are muted and not neon
  • Many experienced artists recommend
  • Available in individual tins
  • Available in soft or hard leads
  • The ideal pencils for beginners
  • Perfect for adding details in artwork
  • Last for a long time

Cons:

  • Some artists find the pencils too hard
  • Harder lead can lead to scratches on paper
  • Hard lead wears down faster
  • The color set is limited to just 12 shades

When considering pencils that are not for artists, it’s easy to go for the flashy, brightly colored options that can draw the attention of your kids. But when it comes to colored pencils and art pencils in particular, one should look beyond the brighter shades and focus on the finer details.

The Faber-Castell 120 Albrecht Dürer Artists' Watercolour Pencils in Wenge – Stained Wooden Case is one of the most popular brand names when it comes to colored pencils for professionals in the art industry. They’re especially ideal for painterly effects and works of art.

7. Faber Castell Polychromos Color Pencils Finest Artists Quality,Metal tin Set of 72

Our rating: 8 / 10


Faber Castell Polychromos Color Pencils Finest Artists Quality,Metal tin Set of 72

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • High quality
  • Soft lead, no crumbling or cracking
  • Colors lay down smooth
  • Good for blending
  • Comes complete with a set of 24 sharpener
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Color selection is not good for beginners
  • Packaging could use some work

You thought your crayons were good? You haven’t tried coloring pencils. You see, it’s not about the color you put down. It’s about the color you take away.

Coloring pencils are different from regular pencils. For one, they’re round, not ong, to optimize color storage. Each color comes in a wide range between light and dark.

You don’t need to sharpen them – after drawing, you just remove the part you don’t want to use. The interface layer between the wood body and the layer of color sticks appear like a metal barrel.

8. NIL TECH Electric Pencil Sharpener

Our rating: 8 / 10


NIL TECH Electric Pencil Sharpener

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Withstands up to 200 watts of power
  • Comes with two optional modes
  • Built-in automatic sleep mode
  • Motor-powered blades for sharpness
  • Beautiful, single-color design
  • Can be used for a variety of surfaces (paper, wood, plastic, etc.)
  • Includes a 0.7mm pencil for testing the sharpener
  • Can be used on colored pencils to sharpness
  • Overheat protection

Cons:

  • Does not have a case
  • Not best for colored pencils
  • Does not appear to be WIFI enabled

Sketches.

When it comes to purchasing colored pencils, there are so many different types, sizes, brands, and designs to choose from, and it can be confusing and overwhelming! But luckily, we’ve made this overview a lot easier with this simple guide. This is an updated review.

When using colored pencils, there are a few techniques you can use to practice to make your drawings or sketches look better. First, you can use a blending stump to rub out the lines, smudging them a little bit. This can make the colors smooth out a little bit.

9. Prismacolor Premier Art Stix Woodless Colored Pencils

Our rating: 8 / 10


Prismacolor Premier Art Stix Woodless Colored Pencils

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Quality woodless colored pencil
  • Very smooth and gives solid coverage colors
  • Good value for money
  • Different varieties available

Cons:

  • Break too easily under pressure
  • Not ideal for detailed drawing
  • Not suitable if you need to shade

Colored pencils for artists are best suited for use on printed images or if you are using it for basic papers. The pencil gives you a smooth, color-rich finish and hence is ideal for use in your home as you can just choose one pencil and draw. The woodless pencils are the best choice for colored pencils for artists.

When looking for the best colored pencils for artists, we take into account its value for money. This pencil from Prismacolor pencils comes at a great price. It gives you a solid coverage of colors and is available in different varieties.

This pencil also comes with free replacement program from the manufacturer. If you find that you have received a pencil that has a problem, the manufacturer promises to replace the pencils without question.

10. Castle Art Supplies 120 Colored Pencil Set

Our rating: 8 / 10


Castle Art Supplies 120 Colored Pencil Set

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Ideal for experienced artists
  • High-quality product
  • Pocket-friendly price point
  • Variety of different colors

Cons:

  • Some reviewers report breakage issues
  • Pencils are hard to remove from the box
  • These pencils are of a great quality. They are extremely vibrant in color and go on easily. I am a beginner at drawing and these pencils seem to layer well. The box includes various colors with a good variety including bright, light yellow and green hues. However, you may have issues if you want to take all of the pencils out of the box to use them at once. This is because they’re very hard to remove from the packaging.

Bottom line : These are great for the price. They work great in adult coloring books. Everyone needs to do coloring to relax. I would recommend purchasing these colored pencils.

11. Derwent Colored Pencils

Our rating: 7 / 10


Derwent Colored Pencils

Check Price on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best colored pencils for artists?

An artist’s colored pencil portfolio should always start with a set of the basic colors, and then be supplemented with specialty colors as needed.

Blending with colored pencils on a paper surface is a far more time-consuming process than blending with paints or markers, so it’s important to have only the necessary colors in your palette.

For those users who are seeking ease of assembly, the Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencils and Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils are both excellent choices.

Both are available in sets from 48 to 192 pencils, depending on your specific needs. The Prismacolors, for example, are available individually or in a 72-pencil set, while the Derwent pencils allow you to build your own set with a minimum of 12 pencils and a maximum of 188 pencils.

What are the best colored pencils for adults?

Finding the best set of colored pencils for adults may seem like a tall order for anyone who is looking to buy one as a gift or looking for their first set of colored pencils. What separates these pencils from each other and makes each set unique? Without much experience in the field of colored pencils, it would be hard to answer this without a lot of research that would take hours to complete.

So, we went out and got our hands on some of the best colored pencils we could find on the market and made a list of our favorites. We created a list that was not only highly informative but also covered a range of budgets for the best colored pencils for adults.

I hope this list will help anyone looking to buy colored pencils for themselves or a loved one to find the perfect option. I also hope that this list will help armed with some valuable information to make a decision that you won’t regret.

How do professionals use colored pencils?

Colored pencils are used for many purposes, from simple doodles to advanced art. With over 2,500 pencils on the market, it can be hard to choose which one is best suited for your specific task.

We designed this guide to help you find the appropriate pencil for your desired use. We hope it helps equip you to find better results in your work.

Are Castell colored pencils good?

In my opinion, yes. When I was young, I tended to use colour pencils for my drawings rather than regular pencils because of their convenience. The thought of sharpening pencils continually seemed like a waste of time and effort and I really liked how the colour pencils had the lead built in to the pencil rather than inside its own casing. They’ve always been a favorite of mine because of this. Within the past year, I have gathered quite an expansive colored pencil collection. I have numerous brands of pencils and have tried them all. I have come up with this list of my top five colored pencils that I believe are the best out there on the market today.

Conclusion

As with any art-form, colored pencil artistry is most often self-taught and unless you are lucky enough to know someone who is an expert, you will have to do your own research. Let’s face it, there are a lot of blogs and forums with advice on colored pencil artistry. At Art Tutorial, we don’t believe you should spend hours sorting through the various claims and opinions that can be found on those websites. Instead, we have taken the time to compile a list of the best colored pencils and have put them to the test for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Prismacolor Premier Colored PencilsBest Overall
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
NIL TECH Electric Pencil SharpenerBudget Pick
NIL TECH Electric Pencil Sharpener
Faber-Castell 120 Albrecht Dürer Artists' Watercolour Pencils in WengeUpgrade Pick
Faber-Castell 120 Albrecht Dürer Artists' Watercolour Pencils in Wenge