Our Guide to the Best Coloured Pencils
September 17, 2021
|

Everyone has used coloured pencils at some point in their life. It could have been when you were in school or you may continue to use them now as a fully-fledged artist or hobbyist. Regardless of your experience, coloured pencils are so much fun to use. They allow you to create amazing works of art and express yourself in a whole rainbow of colours. But did you know there are different types of coloured pencils? There are so many to choose from it can often be hard to know where to start. Not to worry, here at Ryman we’ve curated a list of the best coloured pencils for people of all skill levels. You’ll definitely find the colouring pencils to suit you.

What Are The Different Types of Pencils Available?

A selection of BiC eco-friendly colouring pencils lay on top of a colouring in bookA selection of BiC eco-friendly colouring pencils lay on top of a colouring in book

Although coloured pencils may all look the same, they do have their differences. There are three main types of colouring pencils, wax-based, oil-based and watercolour pencils.

Wax-based Coloured Pencils

The majority of coloured pencils are wax-based. Having the right amount of wax gives the pencil a smooth texture which helps the pigment flow across your drawing surface. The wax in the pencil helps marks adhere to the drawing surface, or other layers of pencil, so multiple layers of colour can be applied without it smearing. Waxed-based coloured pencils come in a wide range of consistencies, hard for beginners and soft for professionals.

Oil-based Coloured Pencils

Oil is used to bind the pigment and distribute it in these pencils. It has a slightly different consistency to wax-based colouring pencils as a result. Most oil-based colouring pencils have a soft to medium consistency. They’re firmer than many waxed-based coloured pencils but a little softer than the beginner pencils currently available. The firmer lead in the oil-based colouring pencils means they’re less likely to break and won’t need to be sharpened as often.

Watercolour Pencils

Watercolour pencils can be used dry, but they contain a water-soluble binder that allows the pigment to be thinned out by water. They’re fully capable of producing watercolour paintings by combining them with water and a brush to blend and create washes and works of art. They can be used by beginners and professionals alike.

The Best Colouring Pencils for Beginner Artists

A selection of blue, purple and green shaded colouring pencils all arranged in a line next to each other.A selection of blue, purple and green shaded colouring pencils all arranged in a line next to each other.

If you’re just starting out using colouring pencils, you’ll want some that are hard to reduce smudging. You don’t want to get a set of coloured pencils that are better suited for seasoned artists, or you may risk putting yourself off using them if your work doesn’t turn out how you wanted. If you stick to this list, you’ll have the perfect set of colouring pencils for your beginner pieces of work.

The Staedtler Noris Colouring Pencils are ideal for beginner artists. They come in a pack of 24 so you have a great variety of colours to choose from. With these pencils, you can sketch, colour and draw as many pieces of art as you wish! Not only that, these pencils have an innovative Anti Break System (A.B.S) coating which is hard and protects the lead, making the pencils 50% stronger.

For the eco-friendly beginner artists, the STABILO GREENcolours ARTY pack of 12 colouring pencils are a great option. Having 12 colours to choose from means you have a good variety to create many pieces of art without feeling overwhelmed by so many colour options. Made from 100% FSC certified wood, these high quality pencils are perfect for the eco-friendly beginner artists who want to combine creativity with sustainability.

If you want to experiment with watercolour pencils as a beginner, the STABILO Aquacolor ARTY wallet of 12 pencils will be perfect for you. These watercolour pencils are of premium quality but are easy enough for beginners to use. With these, you can use them dry or add water to them to give your art a pop of something extra. You can create beautiful landscapes, portraits or still life pieces with these. Get creating!

The Best Colouring Pencils for More Seasoned Artists

A butterfly drawn by artist @vryeon_ using Derwent Watercolour pencilsA butterfly drawn by artist @vryeon_ using Derwent Watercolour pencils
Artist: @vryeon_ on Instagram

An experienced artist is going to need the best of the best when it comes to colouring pencils. The Derwent Academic Colouring Pencils come in a pack of 12 and are of very high quality. A variety of colours are included, all with high-quality pigments so your work will be looking especially vibrant. Ideal for long periods of use, these pencils are easy to sharpen and break-resistant. You won’t have to worry about your drawing being disrupted by a broken pencil if you opt for these coloured pencils.

Detail is an important aspect of many artworks, so you’ll need coloured pencils that are up for the job. Derwent Studio Colour Pencils are excellent for detailed work. This pack of 12 coloured pencils contain a slimmer colour strip, allowing detail to be added to your art. They are particularly well suited for illustration and technical drawing, because of the fine colour strip which also allows for colour building and blending.

If you’re searching for the best watercolour pencils for artists, then look no further than the BiC Conte Watercolour Pencils. Included in this set are 12 beautifully pigmented watercolour pencils and a paintbrush. These are very high quality and easy to sharpen pencils that every artist should have in their possession. You can dip your chosen pencil in some water and start creating your art straightaway! What are you waiting for?

If you’ve not found what you’re looking for here, we have even more colouring pencils available on our website. At Ryman, we have a whole range of colouring products available, take a look!