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The Best Pencils for Artists: Coloring, Drawing, and Sketching

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Many artists’ earliest drawing experiences were with pencils, and they fell in love with this medium of expression. You may have had a similar attraction to pencil drawing and sketching.

Graphite, charcoal, colored, and even mechanical pencils may all help you unlock your inner artist and produce intricate and eye-catching fine art and even more modern design projects, whether you’re a complete newbie or an experienced artist.

There is such a large selection of pencils to choose from that it might be overwhelming. This article will help you sort through the confusion and determine which pencils are ideal for coloring, drawing, sketching.

Best Pencils for Coloring

1. Derwent Procolour

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Derwent Procolour was first introduced in 2017. The pencils themselves have a robust circular shaft and feel substantial. The leads aren’t overly waxy or brittle, and they have a high pigment content that allows for fantastic color gradation even with a light touch.

2. Derwent Lightfast

best pencils artists coloring drawing sketching derwent lightfast

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Derwent’s Lightfast colored pencils were a huge hit when they first came out in 2018. The line was also increased in July 2019 to include 48 and 72 box assortments. The first oil-based pencil in the Derwent family, the colors are super-intense but adaptable, depending on how hard you push. The maple casing looks and feels amazing, and they layer and build up beautifully.

3. Prismacolor Premier

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These Sanford Prismacolor Premier colored pencils are excellent for students and beginning artists. They feature large, soft cores that lay down smooth color for better shading and mixing. Smooth, water-resistant, and lightfast, the bright permanent pigments are a must-have.

Colors may be blended effortlessly on any art surface to create an infinite number of hues and tints. Because the thick leads are very hard to break, you can be as dramatic as you want.

4. BIC Conté

best pencils artists coloring drawing sketching bic conte

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This pack of BIC Conté colored pencils is a great deal for a much more affordable option. These high-quality colored pencils are composed of synthetic resin rather than wood, so if they break, they will not splinter. They have a 3.2mm pigment-based lead that gives artists of all types smooth, even, and consistent covering. Although the color intensity isn’t as intense as some of the previous sets, you can’t go wrong with this coloring set for the price.

Best Pencils for Drawing and Sketching

1. Caran D’ache Graphite Line

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At a price that would make even Jeff Bezos blink, the Caran D’ache Graphite Line gift box contains fewer than 20 pencils, as well as graphite sticks and accessories. The graphite you’re paying for is of the highest grade.

In Caran d’Ache’s Geneva workshops, the Graphite Line series was meticulously developed and perfected to explore many shades of black and produce thick and thin lines, gradation, flat-wash, blurring, and watercolour effects. Yes, it’s outrageously pricey for a set of pencils, but we’re confident that after you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back.

2. Palomino Blackwing

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In the world of pencils, Blackwing has a long and illustrious history. Before being discontinued in 1998, it had a cult following, but Palomino purchased the trademark in 2010. The end result is well-deserving of the Blackwing moniker.

Palomino offers three different Blackwing pencils: the Blackwing (which is close to a 5B), the Blackwing Pearl (4B), and the Blackwing 602. (3B). Wax has been applied to the leads, which makes them super-smooth to use and produces velvety dark markings. In our Palomino Blackwing pencils review, we gave them five stars. The pricing you see here is for a 12-pack of pencils, which isn’t bad at all for such high-quality pencils.

3. Derwent Graphic Medium

best pencils artists coloring drawing sketching derwent graphic medium

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Since 1832, the Cumberland Pencil Company has been producing some of the greatest pencils on the market, and the quality of its Derwent brand reflects that experience. Derwent Graphic Medium pencils are available in singles and sets. They produce smooth, effortless lines on paper, making them perfect for both bold line drawings and freestyle sketches. You can select the set that most closely resembles your personal artistic style.

4. Lyra Rembrandt Art Design

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This pack of Lyra Rembrandt hexagonal design pencils should be great for developing your shading skills at a much more affordable price. This smaller selection includes a good, representative sample with enough options to allow you to get creative with your shading.

The full Rembrandt Art Design set covers 17 grades from 9B to 6H, and this smaller selection includes a good, representative sample with enough options to allow you to get creative with your shading. Each pencil is made of 100% cedar wood and features an ultra-fine graphite lead that may be used for more rigorous technical drawing skills.

5. Cretacolor Charcoal Powder

best pencils artists coloring drawing sketching cretacolor charcoal powder

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If you’re looking for a different way to sketch and draw than with a pencil, you might want to try experimenting with graphite powder. Cretacolor Charcoal Powder is produced utilizing a unique deep-firing procedure that results in a dense, rich charcoal.

The graphite powder creates a brilliant light and dark grey hue. Like chalk, it smudges, mixes, and wipes off readily. Fixative is for wet or dry techniques on paper or canvas and must be used on the finished artwork.

Do Beginners Need Expensive Pencils?

Don’t fall into the mistake of thinking that as a beginner, you can get away with using cheap pencils to see how things go. Low-quality materials and tools may lead to dissatisfaction and the abandonment of a new hobby. The success of your drawing will be limited if you use low-cost tools. When you start with good pencils, you’ll get the best results, which will motivate you to keep going.

When it comes to choosing the best pencils for drawing and sketching, our recommendation is to go for the highest quality you can afford. It’s preferable to buy a few high-quality pencils rather than an entire set of inexpensive pencils, most of which you’ll never use!

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