5 Best Colored Pencils for Professional Artists

5 Best Colored Pencils for Professional Artists

For many artists, testing out new techniques and different mediums can become a great source of inspiration. Read about Colored Pencils for Professional Artists below in detail.

Sometimes, painters find that they love working with soft pastels. Animators discover a love for sculpting with clay or carving plaster. Sketch artists develop an appreciation for painting watercolors on paper.

When it comes to making art, the possibilities are infinite. And there’s one art supply that you may want to add to your studio that a lot of artists don’t even think to use:

Colored pencils.  

If you’re looking for some fun, new supplies to take your art to the next level, here are five of the best colored pencils for professional artists.

The Many Ways to Use Colored Pencils

Colored pencils aren’t just for use with those adult coloring books (though a lot of people do enjoy coloring for stress relief). Serious artists use them as well, and they do so on a variety of different surfaces and in combination with a variety of different mediums.

You can use colored pencils on their own on printmaking papers, watercolor papers, canvas boards, wood, and a variety of other surfaces.

You can also use colored pencils to layer and enhance the look of watercolor paints, markers, and pastels.

Colored pencils are great for creating stippling effects, for shading in small areas, and for blending. You can use them to create abstract designs or incredibly realistic images. You can create intense color or less color depending on the amount of pressure you apply.

With colored pencils, you can add intricate details and give your art a whole new look and feel.

Shopping for a new set of colored pencils or considering buying your first real set? Here are some of the best colored pencils made with professional artists in mind:

1. Prismacolor Softcore Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Softcore Premier Colored Pencils are widely regarded as the best colored pencils on the market.

These Prismacolor pencils are made with a soft wax base that makes them excellent for both dry blending and wet blending with solvents. They have a smooth, buttery texture, and the 150-color assortment makes it easy to create any specific tone or shade you desire.

Prismacolor Softcore Pencils are lightfast and richly saturated with pigment, so you get intense color that goes on ultra-smooth. They have a 5mm core in an 8mm barrel, and the soft core leads are strong enough that you can sharpen them to an ultra-fine point.

The complete set of 150 colors has a retail list price of over $300, but you can start with a small set of 12 colors for about $25.

2. Holbein Artists’ Colored Pencils

Holbein Artists’ Colored Pencils are premier, top-quality pencils made in a way that most other colored pencils are not. Most professional colored pencils have a wax core. Some have an oil-based core. The core of these Holbein pencils is made from a combination of waxes, oils, and fats.

With a list price of about $600 for a complete 150-piece set, these pencils are made specifically for professional artists, not beginners. They’re super soft and buttery, offering a vibrant color output. Plus, with a 3.8mm core, you can use them in both small and large areas.

We also love that the entire barrel of each pencil is the color of its lead. That makes it super easy to grab the exact shade you want every single time.

3. Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils

Want your art to last for decades? Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils are lightfast, so it’ll take a good 100 years for your art to start fading.

An excellent choice for detail work and creating realistic drawings, these pencils are made with an oil binder. This gives them a smooth, creamy consistency but also requires a bit more skill to blend and mix properly.

Another reason to love these pencils is that they’re designed to resist breakage. They’re a great choice for artists who like to apply significant pressure. With these, you won’t have to worry that your pencil point (or entire pencil) is going to snap in half.

A complete set of 120 pencils in a tin box will set you back about $350. Those same pencils in a deluxe wooden storage box will cost you a cool $700. If you’re looking to spend far less, Faber-Castell also offers 12-count sets for about $35.

4. Derwent Studio Colored Pencils

For artists who intend to color big areas and create large-scale art, Derwent Studio Colored Pencils aren’t ideal. But they are excellent for doing fine detail work.

These Derwent pencils have a 3.4mm wax core, which is small compared to most other pencil sets. The small core makes them harder to use in large areas but perfect for penciling in delicate details, such as strands of hair and blades of grass.

We suggest using these pencils alongside wider core Derwent pencils so that you have different tools to handle large areas and fine details.

5. Arteza Colored Pencils

Just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t have top-quality art supplies. The Arteza Colored Pencils Set of 72 offers a great color selection and costs less than $40. It’s perfect for the artist that’s new to colored pencils but still wants a wide range of high-quality colors to choose from.

With a wax core, these Arteza pencils have break-resistant tips and come in a small protective case so you can create beautiful art at home or on the go.


You can do many things with colored pencils, but if you take your art seriously, be sure to buy yourself a good set.

Our suggestion?

Before spending hundreds of dollars on a full set of colors, purchase a small assortment first. Test them out to see if you like how they look. Try them on different surfaces to get a sense of how much (or how little) pressure you need to apply.

There are many brands that make high-quality, artist-grade colored pencils. Yet, instead of buying one large, expensive set, you might want to try out a few different types to find the pencils that work best for you. Hope you love reading about Colored Pencils for Professional Artists.

Author Bio

Adam Marshall is a freelance writer specializing in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Prose the Rim to help them with their online marketing.

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By Michael Caine

Michael Caine is the Owner of Amir Articles and also the founder of ANO Digital (Most Powerful Online Content Creator Company), from the USA, studied MBA in 2012, love to play games and write content in different categories.

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