Complete Guide to Choose the Best Colored Pencils

Colors tell stories of their own. From the Montessori child, teacher, psychologist, artist to a regular Tom, Dick, and Harry. Anyone can use colored pencils. How best can you express yourself on paper other than using the best colored pencils?

What You Must Know about Colored Pencils

Colored pencils are narrow with a pigmented core encased in a wooden cylindrical case. They are wax-based and have varying proportions of pigments, additives and binding agents. Since colored pencils have pigment, lightfastness determines quality as this is how resistant the color is to fading when it is exposed to light. When light hits a painted or colored area, the chemical pigment bonds, in a process called photodegradation, can be altered or broken causing a change in color or resulting in the area being bleached.

A quality colored pencil is rich in pigmentation and is greatly lightfast, easily layered, easy to burnish, and has a strong core with consistent quality. The lead does not break often or easily.

Types of Colored Pencils

Faber-Castell Polychromos

Faber-Castell Polychromos

Do you want to have a coloring experience that is rewarding? Try the Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencil. These pencils are soft with a smooth and lush pigment, and as a result, they layer beautifully on paper without leaving crumbs behind. The casing and production are consistent, making it easy to handle. You may cough a bit more for them but they give your money’s worth.

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

You can purchase these colored pencils as a dozen or as loose stock for a variety of colors. They do not give the sensation of dryness. They are not scratchy, instead, they layer and blend easily and give quality pigment.


Derwent Studio Colored Pencils

Derwent Studio Colored Pencils

When your child graduates from Crayola, Derwent Studio Colored Pencils is one of the best-colored pencils for them to start off on. It is a finer, harder pencil that gives a crisp line with precise handling. It also depends on tastes and preferences. If you prefer a softer and richly pigmented colored pencil, then the Faber-Castell is your best bet. The Derwent is a favorite among artists who would die for the dry, waxy feel accompanied with its robust handling.

Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils

These colored pencils will layer beautiful colors that blend beautifully but being water-soluble, you will not get that waterproof security that a waxy colored pencil offers. However, if you are working with water as a base, you cannot go wrong with the Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Pencils.

Caran d’Ache Luminance Colored Pencils

You can use these colored pencils in combination with another type. The Caran d’Ache have a waxy consistency that may feel crumbly and scratchy on paper. They can, however, be layered almost like an oil pastel and can be used as a top coat and for the under layer, you can use a less waxy colored pencil. You can check if lightfastness matters to you since it varies with this pigment.

What to Look For When Buying Colored Pencils

Colored pencils vary in quality, usability, and pigment concentration, lightfastness of pigments, durability, and softness of lead. These factors influence the pencil’s quality and ultimately the market value.


The production process of a colored pencil is significant since you may want an exact replacement of the color and quality of the previous set. This is where the bar is raised by consistent manufacturers and those who produce poor quality after having great quality in the market lose out.


Your budget is vital in getting a colored pencil since with these products, what you pay for is exactly what you get. In acquiring the best colored pencil, you necessarily will not pay a hefty price but it may not be too cheap either.


This is the material holding the pigment together in the lead. The binder influences the strokes, how the pencil interacts with paper or whatever canvas you are using. It also influences the tip of the pencil and how hard or soft it feels when you apply pressure. Most pencils have wax that enables layering.

Wax-based binders cause bloom which happens when a drawing loses its color and white spots emerge. The good news is that you can remove bloom or avoid it by using a fixative. Oil based binders use oil as the binding agent. They are rich in color and are a solution to the wax bloom.

Woodless Colored Pencils

Are you tired of sharpening your colored pencil only to have that lead break and you have to start the process all over again, only this time what you are working with is shorter due to the shaving?

What You Must Know About Wooden Colored Pencils?

Woodless Colored Pencils

These pencils have a smooth feel and layer well, leading to them being preferred by artists. They are weighty, draw, color, and illustrate beautifully. When sharpened their lead does not break yet they have five times more lead as compared to a regular pencil. The lead has special oils with binders for that dense, even stroke without using heavy pressure.

They come with a lacquered coating and are pre-sharpened using any form of a sharpener. You do not need to sharpen them regularly. They come in a set of 12 and 24 colors giving a wide variety to play around with. They maintain permanency for vibrant long-lasting masterpieces. It is non-toxic, water-resistant and suitable for any drawing job.

Neon Colored Pencils

To sate that coloring book craze, look no further than the neon colored pencils whose hues offer a fun and special feel to the process.  These pencils at 3.8 mm last longer than the thinner-cored pencils.  They have preservative-free, easy to sharpen wood casings, making it relatively safe for children.

Colored Pencil Sharpener

You may have the best-colored pencil but without a good colored pencil sharpener, you may not get that sharp point that you need for intricate details. Quality colored pencil sharpeners leave the casing and lead intact with minimal shaving for that sharp point. Colored pencils have hard lead to soft lead, hard wax or malleable oils or even thick cores as opposed to having thin cores. These are some factors to consider in choosing a pencil sharpener.

There is a myriad of pencil sharpener brands in the market. Choosing one that suits your colored pencil will save you both time and energy.

Crayola Sets

Excite your little one with Crayola sets. This selection containing oil pastels, colored pencils, crayons and super tip markers will excite to no end. Children can allow their creative streak to run wild with the right tools for drawings, paintings, and illustrations. The Montessori children can develop their spacial reasoning and thinking with these tools within the set. Let them give you their worldview using their drawings and colorings.

Crayola Art Kit

Crayola products are the to-go-to products in school and at home since when the walls and carpets are turned into a canvas, you are sure to have them mess-free as Crayola products clean effortlessly and fast. This Crayola art kit contains a 200 piece Crayola set, 140 art tools, including; 64 crayons, 22 short colored pencils, 40 washable markers, 30 sheets of paper, double-sided easels, glitter markers, crayons, paint pens, paper, case and even an interactive application that lets your children’s vivid imagination reach amazing heights.  It is the epitome of arts and crafts coming with a storage case for easy portability.

The Three Best Colored Pencils

Faber-Castell Polychromos


These colored pencils can hold their own with a strong point while still maintaining their tenderness. They, therefore, layer easily and evenly. With a solid core, you are assured that they do not break easily. They are color coded so you are aware of the color you are getting.
The quality is reliable even if you buy them for the umpteenth time. You can get a variety of up to 120 colors that is oil based lead. You can buy and use since they come already pre-sharpened.


Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

If you are a beginner in coloring, this is one of the best colored pencils you can acquire. It layers soft and smoothly with the colors blending together for a rich marriage of value and tone. You will have a field day choosing from the myriad of colors and hues available – up to 120 colors. Holding them is a dream since it is not dry to the touch.

Their quality is reliable; they are color coded and come pre-sharpened. It may have wax bloom and the lead may break if you use too much pressure.

Prang Colored Pencils

Prang Colored Pencils

These are the best-colored pencils for children and beginners if you are cash strapped. You can choose from 24 colors with up to 288 pencils that are pre-sharpened, non-toxic and affordable. The core is just right without being too soft or hard. They may not blend or layer easily but still serve the purpose of coloring, considering their price and their non-toxicity which renders them the best for children.


When you are looking to create those dazzling masterpieces, the colored pencils will sort you out, depending on what you need. You can illustrate, draw and color to your heart’s content.