The Best Colored Pencils in 2024

When you are an artist, one of the most important decisions that you will make is regarding the tools that you use to create your art. The colored pencils are imperative to get the final results that you are looking for. You want your art to be bright and distinguishable from the art created by other people.

With colored pencils for artists, you can set yourself apart and create unique pieces that people will be able to recognize as yours.

We have done extensive research into professional colored pencils to make this easier for you. After exploring the features and other important details, we have compiled a list of the colored pencils that will make your art stand out.

Best Colored Pencils:

1. Marco ade 72-Color Raffine Fine Art Colored Pencils

The Marco Ade Fine Art Colored Pencils give you a smooth, high print effect once you put them down on paper. This ensures that you are getting the exact color and depth that you want.

Since you get a wide variety of colors, you can use these pencils for everything from landscapes to portraits. They are easy to sharpen so you always have the tip that you need.

Many customers talked about how easy it was to get the perfect color level when using these pencils. This made it easy to get a finished product that was exactly to their specifications. Other people said that these are easy to sharpen. This makes it easy to maintain the tip that you need for fine lines.

These are among the colored pencils for professional artists, but you can also use them for adult coloring books. Since they are oil-based colored pencils, you have a lot of control over the vibrancy of the colors.


  • 72 pencils
  • Standard box


  • The colors are vibrant
  • You can vary your pressure
  • They have an oil-base


  • The tips may break with too much pressure

2. Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Drawing Colored Pencils Set

The Koh-I-Noor Polycolor Pencil Set has a 3.8-millimeter let, allowing you to create art of all sizes without exhausting yourself. They are water-resistant and have special oils that allow the pencils to glide across a wide variety of paper types.

As you are creating, shade to your exact specifications due to the broad edge. There is no waxy buildup left behind once you are done creating your piece.

According to several customers, you get every color that you could want in this set. This ensures that you can create anything. Other people remarked about how blendable these were. You can easily get the exact tone that you are looking for.

These colored pencils for shading are perfect for getting the right blend of colors. Create shadows and varying depths of color with ease when you are using these pencils.


  • 72 pencils
  • Carrying case


  • They come in a tin case so that they are protected
  • You get a diverse range of hues
  • These pencils are easy to hold


  • They have an odd smell

3. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils


The Prismacolor Premier Pencils have thick, soft cores so that the pigment comes onto the paper more easily. This makes them especially ideal for shadows and shading.

They are lightfast so that your work will last. The pigments are saturated and will come out even when you start putting them down on paper.

They come in a nice tin, according to several people. This allows you to organize and protect your pencils. Other people talked about the wide array of colors. They said that there is no limit to what you can create.

This is the brand of colored pencils for an artist. Prismacolor is known for creating products that are versatile and easy to use, ensuring durable artist-quality colored pencils.


  • 72 pencils
  • Carrying case


  • You can maintain the right point with ease
  • They are soft and glide onto paper
  • These pencils are easy to hold


  • They may reduce too quickly with frequent sharpening

4. Derwent Colored Pencils, WaterColour, Water Color Pencils


The Derwent is a viable pencil for blending. These are water-soluble pencils, making it possible to get a viable watercolor effect when you are using them.

You can layer the colors so that you can get the perfect hue for your work. If you make a mistake, add a little water so that you can move the color around until you get the look that you were seeking.

Multiple people talked about how you can create very realistic art with these pencils. The result can look like a photograph. Other people said that these are perfect when you want to shade with ease. You can ensure the right level of shadow and pigment with minimal effort.

These pencils are ideal for a variety of art, but especially watercolor work. You can shade and alter the level of pigment with ease so that you get the best hue.


  • 72 pencils
  • Carrying case


  • They come in a wooden box
  • The quality is high
  • You can shade easily


  • They may break more easily compared to similar pencils

5. LYRA Waldorf Selection Giant Triangular Colored Pencil


The LYRA Waldorf Triangular has cores that are certified as non-toxic. They are very bright and come with all of the colors that you need to create art or learn how to use colored pencils.

You can blend the pencils well so that you get seamless lines and transitions with your work. These pencils are also ideal for layering.

Several people said that they are very easy to hold due to their size. This made it easier to get exact lines. Other people talked about vibrancy. You do not need to use a lot of pressure for a high color payoff.

This set is a good choice for people of all skill levels. This means that they are also colored pencils for art students who are learning all of the different pencil art techniques.


  • 12 pencils
  • Standard box


  • They have an ideal core size
  • You can hold these pencils easily
  • The colors are bright


  • It can be hard to find a sharpener that fits them well

6. Caran D’ache Luminance Colored Pencil Set

The Caran D’ache Colored Pencil Set includes professional quality colored pencils. Use these for layering and blending so that you are getting the exact effect that you seek.

They go down smoothly so that you get a strong color with minimal effort. These pencils also have a high level of lightfastness so that your work will last once you complete it.

Many people talked about the range of colors. Since some of the colors are so close in hue, it makes it easier to add depth to what you are drawing. Other people said that the color will last once you complete your piece.

These are the top colored pencils for artists. They come in a case that allows you to organize them and is easy to use for a variety of pencil work types.


  • 40 pencils
  • Carrying case


  • They provide intense color
  • You can use them for multiple paper types
  • They are a good choice for adult coloring books


  • They are more grainy than similar pencils

7. Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Colored Pencil


The Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils are a good choice for professional and student artists. Due to the wide array of colors, you can create everything from photo recreations to portraits.

They have a 4.4-millimeter lead, making them ideal for shading and fine details. You can sharpen them easily when you need a stronger point.

Many customers said that they could shade well with these pencils. This allowed them to get a specific level of detail. Other people commented on the trueness of the colors. They look like they should when you get them down on paper.

These are good colored pencils for artists. They are versatile and have a true color payoff so that you get the exact look that you are trying to create.


  • 60 pencils
  • Carrying case


  • These work well for student artists
  • The colors blend well
  • You can get a lot of detail in your work


  • They are harder than similar pastel pencils

8. Prismacolor Col-Erase Erasable Colored Pencils

The Prismacolor Erasable Pencils lay down very vivid colors with limited effort. They have a medium point so that you have full control over the color via how much pressure you use.

The pigment is rich and easy to blend. You can use these pencils for a wide array of work, including creating portraits. When you need to adjust the point, make sure to use a sharpener designed for medium-colored pencils to make it easier.

Several people talked about how they are erasable because it makes it much easier to correct mistakes without having to scrap an entire project.

You can get a sharp or a dull point with ease, according to many customers. This is important because it allows you to get the exact type of line that you are looking for.

This is a good set of colored pencils because they are versatile. These premium pencils allow you to achieve a variety of work since the colors are vibrant and diverse.


  • 24 pencils
  • Standard box


  • You can correct your mistakes
  • There is a wide array of colors


  • They can be a little more difficult to sharpen compared to similar colored pencils

9. Black Widow Dark Skin Tone Colored Pencils for Adults


The Dark Skin Tone Portrait Set Pencils feature a wax core that will not wear down quickly, letting you get more use from your colored pencils. You can use any sharpener with these, making them easy to maintain.

The core is a standard size so that you can create large and small drawings. These pencils are easy to hold in your hands and manipulate so that you get the results that you desire.

Multiple people talked about how you can achieve any skin tone for African-American portraits due to the diversity of the colors in this set. Other people said that they blend easily. You only need to use minimal effort to get them to blend out.

These are professional artist-grade pencils that are ideal for those who create portraits. The combination of colors makes it easy to match the skin tone of anyone with a darker hue.


  • 12 pencils
  • Carrying case


  • You can do any darker skin tone
  • They apply smoothly
  • These pencils blend well


  • The color may become uneven if you work too fast

10. SUDEE STILE Colored Pencils

The SUDEE STILE Pencils are good colored pencils for drawing. You can use them for a variety of art, including sketchwork and drawing the human form. The lead is 3.3 millimeters, so you can do highly detailed art.

The case has a sharpener that is designed for these pencils so that you always have the perfect tip. The wide range of colors ensures that you get the exact hue that you need for a specific element of your work.

Multiple people talked about packaging. They said that it allows them to organize their pencils according to their preferences. Other people said that pencils feel very sturdy. This gives you greater control when you are creating.

These pencils are durable and easy to control. They allow you to create an array of art types with every color you can imagine.


  • 150 pencils
  • Carrying case


  • You can blend and shade easily
  • These pencils are easy to control
  • You get a diverse color assortment


  • The colors may not exactly match the leads

Tips on Choosing

Colored pencils come in a wide array of types and with different specifications. You must consider all of these and the art you will do so that you pick the best options.

Art Type

Are you doing intricate drawings with a lot of scales and general sketching or do you need the colored pencils for adult coloring books?

All of these have different specifications. It also depends on the type of paper that you are using.

Ideally, a harder pencil is a good choice for sketching and coloring books.

However, if you will be doing detailed work, a softer pencil can make it easier to get the right amount of pressure for the depth of a hue.

Oil vs. Wax

Colored pencils can have either an oil base or a wax base.

If you want a softer pencil that does not require a lot of pressure to lay down the color, you should consider a wax base.

However, if you want the point to hold better, an oil base is the optimal choice. You can also look at those with a water base. These allow you to get the pencil wet so that you can create art with a watercolor effect.

Hard vs. Soft

The core of the pencil can be either hard or soft.

For the most vibrant and intense colors, look at those that are softer. In general, the softer the core, the stronger the colors.

You will also usually find these easier to blend. However, you also need to sharpen the points more often.

With a hard point, you can do more detailed work since the point will hold better.

The color intensity is more difficult to achieve due to the hardness of the point.

However, you will get sharp and crisp edges. Many professional artists will collect a combination of soft and hard points.

This lets them draw just about anything with colored pencils.

What is Lightfastness?

How well can the pencil hold up against fading over time when there is sunlight beaming on it? This is lightfastness.

When you are creating professional art, you want to ensure that your results last. Because of this, a pencil with a high level of lightfastness is a good idea.


Now that you have a solid list of some of the best professional colored pencils on the market, it is time to start narrowing it down so that you pick the best option. First, look at the information about choosing a colored pencil.

Make note of the type of art that you want to do since this will have a major impact on the pencil type that will work the best. Consider the base of the core so that you are getting the right effects when you are using your colored pencils.

Ideally, you want to explore a variety of hard and soft cores since both of these have their own set of uses and benefits when you are creating. Lastly, look at the lightfastness level so that once you create a piece of art, you do not have to worry about the sun quickly fading its brightness.

The next thing you have to do is choose a set of pencils and start using them. As you use different ones, it is easier to get a feel for those that are truly the best for your needs.

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