The Best Colored Pencils for Beginners: A Guide to Choosing the Right Set

Colored pencils can be a great way to express your creativity, no matter your artistic level or experience. Whether you’re a beginner looking for an easy and fun way to get started or a professional artist interested in adding to your existing set of tools, a reliable set of colored pencils is an absolute must.

But, with so many brands and options out there, how do you know which colored pencils are best? We’ve done the research and rounded up the top-rated colored pencils of 2023—and they were chosen by artists and experts just like you. From basic sets to specialized ones, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn more about the best colored pencils and find the right one for your needs.

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Product Name

Rating on Amazon


Crayola Best Colored Pencils Set

Amazon Basics Premium Colored Pencils

Soucolor 72-Color Colored Pencils

Crayola Adult Colored Pencils (100ct)

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Crayola Best Colored Pencils Set

The Crayola Colored Pencil Set is the perfect school supply for any young artist. With 36 vibrant, creamy pencils in a range of colors, hours of creative fun can be had! The pencils are pre-sharpened and feature soft cores that won’t break easily, making them especially durable. Not only are they great for creative art projects, but they can also be used for homework assignments. Never worry about their safety either – they’re non-toxic and safe to use even by children ages 5 and up!

The range of colors in this set is simply stunning. From light pastels to bright primaries and all the shades in between, you’ll find all the colors you need to complete any masterpiece. These pencils are both reliable and easy to use which is why they’re great for both professional and school artwork alike. Whether sketching a still life or drawing a masterful landscape, this set lets you unleash your imagination without hindrance.

The Crayola Colored Pencil Set is the perfect way to allow both children and adults alike to express themselves through art. With a range of beautiful colors, these pencils will make a great addition to any classroom or art studio. Plus, thanks to their sturdy build, you can be sure that their quality won’t diminish over time – allowing creations to be created with ease. Get ready to color your world with Crayola!

Amazon Basics Premium Colored Pencils

Best Colored Pencils

The Amazon Basics Premium Colored Pencils are a great way to express your creativity. With 24 pencils in a range of vibrant colors, these soft-core pencils provide the perfect artistic tool for fine detail drawing, shading, and layering. The soft lead ensures rich pigment and smooth application, while the stylish tin container with a built-in tray will keep your pencils organized and protected. The set conforms to ASTM D4236, a Safety Specification for Art Materials.

For art enthusiasts who are looking for best color pencils, the Amazon Basics Premium Colored Pencils are the perfect option. Featuring 24 vivid colors, these premium pencils provide maximum pigment with a smooth and even application. For easier storage, each purchase includes a convenient tin case with an integrated tray that keeps the pencils organized and protected when not in use. The soft lead is perfect for fine detail drawing as well as shading and layering, allowing users to bring their artistic vision to life. All items also conform to safety specifications outlined by ASTM D4236 for added peace of mind.

Overall, the Amazon Basics Premium best Color Pencils offer a great way to explore your creativity with high-quality materials and easy storage features. With 24 vibrant colors available in one convenient set, you’ll have everything you need to create beautiful works of art in no time at all. Whether it’s fine details or large paintings, these soft-core pencils ensure that your artwork looks both professional and aesthetically pleasing.

Soucolor 72-Color Colored Pencils

Best Colored Pencils


The Soucolor 72-Color Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring Books are perfect for those looking to get creative. This set of pencils comes in a variety of colors and features soft lead, making them easy to blend and shade. They are also easy to sharpen and unlikely to break, crack, or crumble during use.

This colored pencils set contains 72 individual colors, allowing you to draw whatever you have your heart set on. You won’t be disappointed in the vibrant range of colors that this set offers. You’ll have the perfect shade for any project you have in mind. And with the eco-friendly tube included, you can store your pencils without any trouble.

Budding artists and professionals alike can all benefit from this set of colored pencils, as they are great for drawing, sketching, and adult coloring books. The pencils have passed multiple safety certifications, including EN71 standards, ensuring that they are safe for use for everyone – even children over the age of three.

Overall, the Soucolor 72-Color Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring Books is an ideal setting for those looking to express their creative side. With its diverse range of colors and its soft lead, these pencils will ensure that you can craft a masterpiece in no time!

Crayola Adult Colored Pencils (100ct)

Best Colored Pencils

The Crayola Adult Colored Pencils are a great addition to the craft room, studio, or adult coloring books. This set of 100 colored pencils offers a wide variety of colors, including exclusive Amazon colors. The pencils come pre-sharpened and ready to use right out of the box. They are of high quality, and sustainably produced with wood from well-managed forests. These non-toxic and safe colored pencils make an excellent gift idea for kids and adults alike.

The coloring enthusiasts will appreciate a wide variety of colors and the vibrant shades in each pencil. The pre-sharpened tips provide a precise and even texture when coloring, making it easy to fill in even the most intricate details. The pencils are the perfect length for grown-ups, making it easier to control when shading or blending colors.

The Crayola Adult Colored Pencils are suitable for use in adult coloring books or for any creative project. They have a smooth texture that is easy to layer and blend colors, making it possible to create more complex pieces of art. Whether used for doodles or larger-scale works of art, these pencils help bring ideas to life with bold and beautiful colors.

A great choice for those of all ages who love to color, the Crayola Adult Colored Pencils provide a selection of colors that make even the most seasoned artists happy. Their long-lasting quality ensures they can be used time and again without having to buy new ones constantly. With their broad color range, they are the perfect tool for any coloring enthusiast!

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Best Colored Pencils

The Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core, 36 Pack is a great option for consumers looking to get the highest quality art supplies. These pencils have soft, thick cores that provide excellent shading and shadows. Their ultra-smooth laydown is ideal for creating detailed line work and vibrant color blending. The richly saturated pigments are lightfast, ensuring your artwork will last for generations to come. The thick, robust leads also resist cracking and chipping, making it great for creating intricate designs in adult coloring books.

No matter your skill level, the Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils have something for everyone who loves to get creative with their art. Perfect for beginner artists who are just starting out or even more experienced ones who need a quality product to work with. Each pack contains 36 premium colored pencils in various shades so you can pick the perfect palette, no matter what you’re working on.

These pencils are also some of the most reliable products out there, and even if you don’t have any experience drawing or painting, they make it easy to create beautiful pieces of artwork with ease. They come with a variety of tips and sizes which means you can create whatever sort of art you need without worrying about breaking or smudging the leads.

The Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core, 36 Pack is an excellent product that is sure to stand up to all types of art projects. With its thick core and superior lightfast pigments, you can trust that your art will last through the ages and look beautiful doing it. No matter your skill level or type of project, these colored pencils make creating art easy and enjoyable, allowing you to unleash your creativity in all sorts of ways.

Buyer’s Guide

When selecting the best colored pencils, it is important to consider the quality of several features in order to make the smartest purchase. This buyer’s guide will provide an overview of the crucial aspects to look for when selecting colored pencils, as well as an in-depth review of each product feature.

Quality of Wood Used for Pencil Barrel

The type and quality of wood used in the barrel of a colored pencil greatly impact its performance. Look for wooden pencils that are made of high-quality cedar wood, which is lightweight yet offers great strength and durability. Also, consider the shape of the barrel – round barrels may be easier to grip while hexagonal barrels offer more stability.

Softness of Lead

The softness or hardness of a colored pencil’s lead will determine how smooth it writes on paper, as well as how easily it can be erased or blended with other colors. Soft leads require less pressure when writing and provide more vibrant colors compared to harder leads, which produce a bolder but drier look. As a result, choose a brand of colored pencils with a variety of lead hardnesses depending on your needs.


It is important to pick colored pencils with lightfastness ratings that indicate they will not fade over time even when exposed to UV light from the sun. Look for pencils with a score of 4 or 5 on the International Blue Wool Scale (BWS) for long-lasting colors that won’t fade quickly even when exposed to light.

Color Vibrancy

Colored pencils with high-quality pigments produce more vibrant colors than those with lesser pigment concentrations. Check the labels for indications of pigment concentration, such as ‘Intense Color’ or ‘Rich Vibrant Colors’ to make sure you’re getting the most powerful hues possible.

Selection of Colors

When buying colored pencils, consider the selection of colors they offer. Look for brands that provide a wide range of colors so you can mix and match different shades and create unique pieces. Be mindful that some brands may include duplicate colors in their set so be sure to check before you buy if you need a certain color to complete a project.

Pigment Concentration/Binder Ratio

The relationship between pigment concentration and binder ratio can dictate how strong and vibrant the colors appear on paper. Look for brands that have a higher pigment concentration than binder ratio which ensures that more color will remain on the paper for better results.

Shade Range

When looking for colored pencils, it is important to select ones with a good shade range so you can play around with shadows and lights in your drawings and paintings. Look for brands that offer both bright and dark shades along with mid tones so you can achieve realistic shading effects in your artwork.


Price should always be taken into consideration when shopping for colored pencils – some brands are much more expensive than others but may provide higher quality results due to their superior materials and manufacturing process. Consider your budget before selecting your ideal brand but remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to art supplies so don’t sacrifice quality just because something is cheaper.

Ergonomics (Comfortability to Hold)

It is important to consider how comfortable the colored pencils are to hold while drawing – if they are too large or too small they can cause hand fatigue or even physical pain over time. Many brands offer ergonomic designs that conform to your grip while drawing, making them easier and more comfortable to use over an extended period of time compared to non-ergonomic designs.

Weight of Pencils

Heavy colored pencils can tire out your hands during longer drawing sessions so look for those made from lightweight materials such as cedar wood instead. Also, consider if you prefer thicker barreled pencils which tend to have heavier weights, or thinner barreled ones which are often lighter but may lack stability when writing or coloring in larger areas.

Ability to Sharpen Evenly

High-quality colored pencils should be able to be sharpened evenly without breaking or crumbling away during sharpening so make sure you pick those which offer this feature. Some brands also offer pre-sharpened versions if you don’t have time or energy to sharpen them yourself – just make sure these pre-sharpened options still ensure uniformity in point shape, size, and sharpness after sharpening them manually at home first before use if needed.

Break Resistance

Look for colored pencils that offer break resistance, meaning they won’t easily snap off while drawing even under pressure which could interfere with your artwork’s appearance and impact its overall outcome negatively. Test out different brands by applying pressure when coloring on paper – those which don’t break easily are likely more resistant than those which do break off quickly while coloring/drawing under pressure.

Refill Availability

Some brands may offer refillable options where one pen body can fit multiple lead types so you don’t have to purchase an entirely new set every time you run out of one particular color or lead type. This can help save costs over time as well as reduce waste since these refillable sets often come in less packaging compared to disposable sets.

Availability of Replacement Leads

Check if your selected brand offers replacement leads so if any break off during use or become worn down from constant sharpening, you can replace them with new ones without having to buy an entirely new set each time – this can help save money and also help prevent unnecessary waste from disposal sets.

Pre-Sharpened or Un-Sharpened Convenience

If convenience is key when buying colored pencils, then pre-sharpened versions may be your best bet – simply open the box and start drawing right away without any hassle! If portability is important too however then un-sharpened versions are usually best since their protective casing can protect them from damage during travel or storage compared to pre-sharpened versions whose tips may break off during transit due to lack of protection from transport cases like zippered pen wraps or cases.

Reputation of Manufacturer

Always keep an eye out on manufacturer reputation when buying art supplies – reputable ones often produce higher quality products that remain consistent across all their offerings so look out for customer reviews both online and offline before making your purchase decision!

Environmental Impact

When purchasing art supplies, try looking out for eco-friendly products made from sustainable materials like recycled plastics or bamboo instead – not only do these help lower environmental impact but they also often perform better due to the better manufacturing processes associated with eco-friendly production methods!

FAQs About Best Colored Pencils

What are the best colored pencil brands?

The best colored pencils brands include Prismacolor, Faber-Castell, Staedtler, Caran d’Ache, Derwent, and Koh-I-Noor.

What are the best features to look for when buying colored pencils?

When buying best color pencils, look for features such as lightfastness, color and pigment density, bendability, comfort, and solubility. Additionally, consider the number of colors available in the set and their cost.

What types of surfaces are best for using colored pencils?

The best surfaces for using colored pencils are smooth surfaces like paper or cardstock. Colored pencils can also be used on other surfaces such as wood, clay, canvas, and metal, but these require a more specialized technique and may require different types of colored pencils.

Are more expensive colored pencils always better?

Not necessarily. It is important to consider the quality of the colored pencil rather than just its price tag. Some less expensive brands may produce good-quality pencils that provide great results once the techniques are perfected.

Are there any differences between oil-based and water-soluble colored pencils?

Oil-based and water-soluble colored pencils have different characteristics. Oil-based colored pencils typically have a waxy texture which makes them easier to blend and create bright colors while water-soluble ones tend to be softer and easier to apply with a wet brush or watercolor technique. Additionally, water-soluble coloring pencils can yield different effects in comparison to oil-based ones.

What techniques are best for blending colored pencils?

Blending is an important part of creating great drawings with colored pencils. The best techniques include layering colors to build up the color intensity, burnishing (which involves using heavy pressure on the color), and using solvents such as mineral spirits or thinner for a more subtle effect.

Can you sharpen colored pencils with electric sharpeners?

Yes! Electric sharpeners are designed specifically for sharpening colored pencils. Make sure that the sharpener is compatible with wax-based or oil-based pencils depending on what type you are using.

How should you store colored pencils to prevent them from drying out?

It is important to store your colored pencils in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources to prevent them from drying out or becoming brittle over time. Many artists prefer storing their collections in plastic cases or containers with tight lids to maintain their quality over time.

How do you fix indentations caused by colored pencils?

Indentations caused by coloring too hard can be filled in with synthetic polymer erasers or rubber erasers that are specifically designed for this purpose. Simply press the eraser into the indentation lightly until it is filled in then use a clean paper towel to wipe away any residue before continuing your work.

Are there any special tools or accessories that I need when using colored pencils?

Special tools such as handheld sharpeners or electric sharpeners, blending stumps and tortillons (both are made of rolled paper material), various types of erasers (such as white vinyl erasers), mineral spirits/turpentine/odorless thinner (for oil-based colors), watercolor brushes (for water-soluble colors), kneaded erasers (for lifting colors) can all be helpful when working with best color pencils but they are not necessary if you do not desire them!

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