Do you love to color?
Colored pencils are the perfect way to add some life and vibrancy to your artwork.
This versatile drawing medium helps you create beautiful artwork with ease.
You're going to love the sets we'll be discussing in today's article.
These are some of the best colored pencils you will ever use.
They have a vibrant, smooth, and creamy consistency, and they glide across your paper with ease.
Plus, they come in a variety of colors so you can give all your artwork a beautiful finish!
Whether you are just starting out, looking for an upgrade, or searching for the perfect gift, we have the perfect colored pencil sets.
Keep reading to find the best options on the market and start browsing our selection of top picks so you can get to work on your next project!
How We Choose Our Selections
It can be hard to find the right set that fit your needs and skill level, especially when you're first starting out.
Not all colored pencils are created equal.
With such a wide range of prices, brands, and colors available, it can be hard to know which set is the right fit for you.
We’ve done the hard work for you, reading thousands of Amazon reviews, and found the best sets for fine artists, students, hobbyists, and everyone in between.
Our picks include products from top brands like Prismacolor and Crayola with a wide range of colors perfect for any project.
Best Colored Pencil Starter Set
Crayola Colored Pencils
Why We Love It
Looking for an excellent set to get you started?
Crayola’s got you covered with their 100 different color options.
These pencils are perfect for both coloring and drawing, and they come pre-sharpened to a fine point so you can start using them right away.
With such a wide variety of colors, you’ll be able to create any type of masterpiece you can imagine.
This set of long-lasting pencils will provide endless hours of coloring and drawing!
What You Should Know
Crayola's set is an Amazon's Choice product, and this premium set comes with Amazon exclusive colors that you won't find anywhere else.
These safe, nontoxic pencils are made from reforested wood and are ideal for coloring enthusiasts of all ages, including adults and children.
They have rich, vivid colors that are perfect for drawing and coloring.
The set includes 100 colors, so you can have plenty of fun with your coloring projects.
The colored pencils are also easy to sharpen and have thick leads that resist breaking.
With Crayola you can let your creativity shine.
Best Color Variety Colored Pencils
RAAM Refined Colored Pencils
Why We Love It
Searching for a wide color variety?
Look no further than RAAM Refined colored pencils!
This set of 180 artist-grade pencils produces richer, bolder colors than ever before.
They’re soft and lightfast, making them easy to blend and use.
Plus, each pencil has a strong lead core that resists breakage when sharpening.
The set comes in a sturdy metal box with trays to store and organize your new pencils.
They make a great gift for children, friends, or any art enthusiast.
Get ready to add some serious color to your world with RAAM Refined!
What You Should Know
These colored pencils are a great way to add a pop of color to any project.
RAAM Refined has the perfect set for any artist.
This set is safe, nontoxic, and ASTM certified.
Rest easy because they are free from most allergens, including latex, dairy, egg, gluten, peanut, tree nut, and soy.
Plus, if you're not satisfied with the set, RAAM Refined backs it with a 18-month, worry-free warranty.
So, why not try out this colored pencil set today?
Best Metallic Colored Pencils
Arteza Metallic Colored Pencils
Why We Love It
With Arteza’s metallic colored pencil set, you’ll have 50 different colors at your disposal to make your drawings and illustrations come alive.
These pencils provide the perfect level of metallic shine, adding rich details and depth to any art project.
They lay down color evenly and provide smooth coverage, so you can achieve your desired look with ease.
Whether you’re working on a coloring book or a professional project, these metallic colored pencils will help you create stunning results.
What You Should Know
These colored pencils are a great way to add a little extra something to your artwork.
They can help you achieve unique effects that are difficult or impossible to create with traditional pencils.
Arteza’s metallic colored pencils are specifically designed and created by artists, so you know you’re getting a quality product.
The pencils are easy to blend and the wax-based core provides long-lasting color.
This colored pencil set is also an Amazon’s Choice product, so rest easy knowing you have a quality set!
With such a wide range of colors, you’ll be able to find the perfect shade for any project.
Get creative with Arteza’s metallic colored pencils today!
Best Artist Grade Colored Pencils
Prismacolor Colored Pencils
Why We Love It
Looking for a top-quality colored pencil set?
Look no further than Prismacolor Premier!
These premier colored pencils come with 72 lightfast, rich, vibrant colors, perfect for all of your coloring needs.
The soft, thick cores are ideal for superior shading and blending, while the robust, thick leads resist cracking and chipping.
Whether you're a beginner or a pro, Prismacolor has the perfect artist-grade colored pencils for you!
What You Should Know
These colored pencils are a staple for artists of every experience level.
They're easy to use and extremely versatile, making them perfect for a variety of projects.
Prismacolor sets are made in the USA from high-quality materials, so you know you're getting a top-notch product.
These colored pencils provide ultra-smooth texture and blend easily, giving you the ability to create stunning works of art.
Plus, they're waterproof, so you don't have to worry about them smudging or fading over time.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned artist, Prismacolor pencils are a great choice for your next project.
Best Professional Colored Pencils
Arteza Expert Colored Pencils
Why We Love It
Want a complete set of professional, artist-grade colored pencils?
Look no further than Arteza!
This expert set comes with 72 highly-pigmented colored pencils, perfect for all of your drawing and coloring needs.
With rich, vibrant color, these pencils are ideal for sketching, illustrations, coloring books and mixed media designs.
The pencils are made with thick 3.3mm lead for smooth, precise coverage.
Plus, the ergonomic design makes them comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
If you're looking for a top-quality set of colored pencils, look no further than Arteza!
What You Should Know
These colored pencils are an excellent addition to any artist's supplies.
Arteza's colored pencils are an Amazon's Choice product and feature smooth, wax-based, break-resistant cores that make blending, layering and color mixing a breeze.
Each pencil is easy to sharpen to a fine point and works perfectly each time.
Plus, they come in a sturdy metal tin for storage.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned artist, these colored pencils are sure to help you create beautiful works of art.
Pick up your set today and see for yourself how great they are!
Colored Pencil FAQs
You want to embark on the creative journey and find some awesome colored pencils to create with, but there are so many brand and set choices that you can become a bit lost.
Buying the right colored pencils can be confusing because there are so many options out there.
Do you need the most expensive set of artist grade pencils?
What's the difference between wax and oil-based pencils?
Should you go for largest color selection?
We've got you covered.
This FAQ guide will answer some of the most common questions when it comes to choosing the perfect set of colored pencils.
How do you color smoothly with colored pencils?
Coloring with colored pencils is all about layering color.
Adding light layers of color on top of each other will produce smooth results.
It comes down to the importance of value.
You want to start with the lightest color and build up to the darkest color.
To get started, use a light pencil to sketch your outline of the object you're coloring.
Be sure to press lightly so that the indentation from your pencil is still visible after you add color.
Next, use a slightly darker pencil to fill in the majority of the area you're coloring.
Again, be sure to layer the color and build up slowly so that there are no harsh lines.
Finally, use a dark pencil to add any details or deep shadows.
Once again, be sure to layer the color and press harder so that it completely covers the lighter colors beneath it.
You can also use a white colored pencil to add highlights if desired.
By following these simple steps, you'll be able to color smoothly and achieve beautiful results.
How do you blend colored pencils?
Arguably, the most important part of any artwork is getting the perfect blend.
There are different ways to achieve a smooth transition of colors when using colored pencils.
You can create blending of different colors by layering light layers of color on top of one another.
By incorporating value and varying the amount of each color used in the layer, the colors can blend together; this is a great way to create gradients.
Another way is to simply use a colorless blender pencil to lightly go over the top of your colors.
This will help to smooth out any lines and blend the colors together.
You can also blend colors with colored pencils by using a solvent.
Solvents penetrate the wax binder and can help to blend your colors together.
The most common solvent used for colored pencils is mineral spirits, but you can also use baby oil, hair spray, or even hand sanitizer.
Just be sure to test the solvent on a scrap piece of paper before applying it to your work.
Applying too much solvent can cause your colors to run, so be sure to use a light hand.
You could also try layer mapping.
Layer mapping is essentially coloring in small sections at a time and then going back over those sections with a lighter touch to create a softer look.
Layer mapping is great for creating very precise blends, but it can be time-consuming.
Experiment with different techniques and see what works best for you!
Can you blend colored pencils with water?
The short answer is yes, you can blend colored pencils with water.
At least, as long as they're water soluble pencils.
If your set doesn't contain water soluble pencils, you'll have to look for another method for blending.
If your colored pencils are water soluble, like watercolor pencils, you're all set!
Whether you're hoping to create a soft, dreamy look or add a touch of realism to your artwork, blending with water is a great way to turn watercolor pencils into magical paintbrushes.
Here's how it's done:
Firstly, you'll need to gather your supplies.
In addition to your colored pencils and a cup of water, you'll also need a paintbrush (any size will do) and a few sheets of paper toweling or an old clothes.
Once you have everything assembled, set up your workspace in an area where spillage won't matter too much; the kitchen table is probably not the best place for this project.
Now that you're all set up, it's time to start!
Begin by lightly sketching your subject with a pencil on your chosen piece of paper.
Once you have your sketch, it's time to start adding color.
Start with the lightest colors and work your way up to the darker shades.
Use a very light touch when coloring, as you can always add more color later on.
Once you're satisfied with the amount of color you've added, it's time to start blending.
Pick up your paintbrush and dip it into the cup of water.
Gently brush the colored areas, being careful not to add too much water at once as this will cause the colors to run.
You can also use a spray bottle for this step if you prefer.
Once you've added enough water, use the paper towel or old cloth to blot the colored areas and remove any excess water.
And that's it!
You've now successfully blended your colored pencils with water.
Now go forth and experiment with different techniques to see what kinds of effects you can create!
Should you use a tortillion or blending stump with colored pencils?
A tortillion is a type of paper stump that is typically used for blending graphite pencils.
The tortillion can be used to create smooth, even blends when you are coloring with colored pencils.
It works by sucking the color up into its fibers, which then allows you to blend the colors together more easily.
A blending stump is a type of paper stump that is used for blending colored pencils.
The main difference between the two tools is that a tortillion is more pointed, while a blending stump has a more rounded edge.
Some people find that using a tortillion gives them more control over the blending process, while others find that using a blending stump produces smoother results.
You don't have to use either with colored pencils, but you might find them to be useful resources to have on hand.
Experiment with different ways to blend, practicing your colored pencil skills, to find what works best for you!
Are oil-based colored pencils or wax-based colored pencils better?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on personal preference.
Some people find that wax-based colored pencils are easier to use and produce smoother results, while others prefer oil-based pencils for their richer colors and longer lasting gradients.
The main difference between wax and oil-based pencils is the type of core material used in the manufacturing process.
Wax colored pencils use a mineral oil, whereas oil colored pencils use a plant-based oil.
The other difference between wax-based and oil-based colored pencils is their consistency.
Wax-based pencils are hard pencils that are more brittle than oil-based colored pencils.
This makes them less prone to breaking when using a pencil sharpener, which is great for getting a sharp point, but they can also be more difficult to blend.
Oil-based colored pencils have soft leads and are more blendable than wax-based pencils, but they are also more likely to break.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual artist to decide which type best suits their needs.
Are expensive colored pencils worth it?
When it comes to colored pencils, there are definitely some differences between the higher-end and lower-end options out there.
The biggest and most obvious difference is going to be the price tag.
High quality colored pencils can cost several times as much as their cheaper counterparts.
So, are they really worth it?
If you're a professional artist who relies on colored pencils for your livelihood, then investing in a reliable set of colored pencils for artists would definitely be worth it.
Going for artist grade pencils will prove beneficial.
The higher quality and pigmentation of these pencils can make a big difference in your final artwork.
Going for soft colored pencils could also help with blending.
For individuals who are simply hobbyists or enjoy using colored pencils for occasional projects, however, the more affordable pencils will likely suffice.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and what you're looking to get out of your colored pencils.
How many colored pencils do I need?
There is no definitive answer to this question since the number of colored pencils you need will ultimately depend on how often you plan to use them and what sorts of projects you plan to tackle.
If you plan on using them rather sparingly, a small set of 12 or 24 pencils may suffice.
However, if you're the type of person who likes to have every color at their disposal or regularly goes through multiple coloring projects, then a larger set with a color range of 48, 72, or more colors would be ideal.
You might consider buying sets of both wax-based and oil-based pencils to experiment with, seeing the differences between soft core pencils and harder pencils.
You can also consider buying watercolor pencils and pastel pencils to add to your collection.
There are a lot of different pencil set types with some sets specifically including pencils for artists.
Most pencils will work find for those looking to dabble or color for a hobby, but if you're serious about your art, then it'd be best to consider going for professional quality that offers a nice color range of soft colored pencils.
Ultimately, it's important to think about your needs before making a purchase so that you don't wind up with too many (or too few) colored pencils.
How do artists use colored pencils?
There are a few different ways that artists use this medium.
One way is to use them as a drawing medium.
This is done by layering the colors on top of each other to create different hues and shades.
Another way to use them is by adding color to already drawn images.
This can be done by either adding small amounts of color or by layering the colors on top of each other just as you would when drawing with them.
Some artists even use colored pencils as a means of painting.
In this case, the artist will apply a layer of paint to their canvas and then use the colored pencils to add details and highlights.
This can create a unique and interesting effect.
No matter what your preferred method is, colored pencils can be a great addition to any artist's toolkit.
What's the best paper for colored pencils?
There is no definitive answer to this question since everyone has different preferences for paper.
Some people prefer heavier papers that don't allow the pencils to show through, while others prefer a lighter weight paper so that they can see the colors more clearly.
There are also a variety of textures and finishes that people might like, so it really comes down to personal preference.
That said, there are a few papers that tend to be popular among fine artists.
Bristol paper is one option because it has a relatively heavy weight and a smooth finish, which some people find preferable.
Another option is toned paper, which is often used by artists who want to add a bit of extra dimension to their work.
No matter what your preference is, be sure to experiment with different types of paper until you find one that you like.
What drawing surfaces can you use colored pencils on?
You can use colored pencils on pretty much any drawing surface that you like.
Some surfaces work better than others, but it really depends on your personal preference.
Some popular drawing surfaces include: paper, cardstock, canvas, and wood.
Each surface has its own unique texture and appearance that can affect the way the colors look when applied.
Experiment with different surfaces to see which ones you like best!
The Best Colored Pencils for You
So, what are the best colored pencil sets?
After hours of research, reading thousands of Amazon reviews, these are the top color pencil picks available today.
Whether your a newbie, a coloring book enthusiast, or a professional artists, these sets will fit your needs!
We hope you find our findings helpful as you search for your perfect art supplies.
Whichever set you choose, we hope you have fun exploring the colorful world of colored pencils!
Don't forget to tap the button to check Amazon for the best prices for colored pencil sets!
Thanks for reading and here's to your beautiful, new creations!
Want tips for drawing with colored pencils? Check out Kirsty Partridge Art's beginner guide!
If you'd like to see artwork I've made, you can find some at Redbubble, TeePublic, and TeeSpring.
And if you'd like to listen while coloring like I do, you can get a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime Music or Two Free Audiobooks from Audible Plus!
I love listening to a great book and great music while getting creative!
Plus, if you want to take advantage of 2-day shipping, get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, or if you want to take advantage of down time, get a free 30-day trial of Prime Video!
Looking for the perfect colored pencil supplies?
Check out some of our other articles:
Looking for other coloring supplies to use with coloring books?
Check out these other coloring supply articles: