What Are the Best Colored Pencils – Top Brands

To be able to create a piece of art from an empty canvas using only one’s imagination and a few tools is amazing. Whether you’re getting into drawing or have been doing for a while, here are some of the best colored pencils to help you turn that image in your mind into a physical masterpiece the whole world can enjoy.

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

This set is the best selling colored pencils on Amazon at the time of this writing and for good reason. If you want to go for quality, this is a great set to get. These pencils are made of soft lead, making blending colors a lot easier on paper. They’re wax based and will lay down gorgeous, vibrant pigment. With these pencils, you’ll want to use a soft touch.

This set comes with 48 colors and are great for artists as well as beginners and kids. It’s several times more expensive than a lot of other sets for sale but the quality of these pencils justify the price.

You can learn more about this brand here. Just to give you an idea of what sort of art you can create with these Prismacolor Premier colored pencils, check out this video:

Top Quality

Now if you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, such as a set for your kids can use without you having to worry about them breaking your wallet, then this set will be perfect. Top Quality is just their brand by the way. However, it’s one of the best selling colored pencils for kids.

This set comes with 72 different colors, plenty of different shades to help your kids create their work of art. The pencils are 7 inches long and produce very vibrant colors. It comes in a plastic carrying case, although you’ll need to be careful when opening and closing the case.

Now just because lots of parents recommend this set for kids, it doesn’t mean adults don’t use them as well. The quality, even at this price, is pretty high. If you want to give your kids the tools to help them put their imagination on paper without spending too much, then this set is just right.


This is another popular set that comes with 48 different colors. You actually have a choice of 24, 36, 48, or 72 different colors. The cores of these pencils are made of clay and graphite with a variety of chemical and organic coloring agents. The ingredients used are some of the best. The core of these pencils are completely bonded with the pencil wood that surrounds the core, preventing breakage during sharpening. These are great for artists as well as kids. They aren’t as expensive as the Prismacolor set but cost a tad more than the set above.

Crayola Colored Pencils

This is the brand that almost everyone knows, Crayola. It’s not a surprise since most crayons we see in stores like Walmart, Target, and art stores are from Crayola. These are probably the brand of coloring pencils we all started with since they were what schools usually used.

These pencils are made of reforested wood, meaning they don’t cut down trees in the rain forest if that’s something that’s important to you. This set comes with 50 bright, bold colors. They have a pretty decent laydown of color. When it comes to sharpening, it’s quite easy to do with these pencils. Although they aren’t the best, these are great for kids and beginners and at these prices, you don’t have to worry about your kids losing them.

Faber Castell Colored Pencils

This set comes with 24 polychromos pencils in a metal tin. These are oil based and produce a nice, smooth, rich color. The core of these pencils are hard enough to use for detail but at the same time, soft enough for easy blending. The colors are quite vivid. In terms of quality, these aren’t as good as Prismacolor and for the price, it’s a bit on the expensive side but some artists love them. These aren’t the most popular brand but they’re a good option.

More Info

When it comes to colored pencils, there are generally 3 types. Oil based which are similar to graphite, wax based which are similar to crayons, and watercolor which has hard leads. The type you use will depend on the type of paper you use and what sort of look you’re going after.

What sharpening your pencils, it’s best to insert the end into the sharpener and turn the sharpener and pencil in opposite directions without pushing the pencil too hard into the sharpener. This will help prevent the lead of the color pencils from breaking.

Remember to practice. Even with the best colored pencil sets at your disposable, your artwork can only go so far without practice. Sure, talent comes into play for many of the greats but most of the amazing art you see people produce came from hundreds or thousands of hours of practice.

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