Best Colored Pencils for Artists

According to John Ruskin as per his work in The Stones of Venice, the best minds that are the most compassionate and untainted are those which indulge in the beauty of colors. Those who are the best artists attempt to capture the beauty and the significance of this world precisely through their art. This is why colors, tones and their ability to comply with various artistic styles play a major role in an artist’s quality of work.

This is why the quality of the colors applied onto an artist’s work matters highly. The colors must be vibrant and in a large variety of hues. The colors must be able to blend together immaculately so that the visual aesthetics of an image can be accurately displayed. Artists can vary from professional and novice to simple hobbyists. Here are 10 of the best colored pencils for artists to help you select the brand of colored pencils that fit your personal style and motive.

Top 10 Colored Pencils for Artists Reviews

1. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

The Premier Colored Pencils manufactured by the prominent company, Prismacolor is one of the sets of the best colored pencils for artists within the present market. It is one of the highest selling packs of colored pencils at present because of its beautiful release of colors whilst coloring. Some of the professors from the nation’s reputed art schools tested these colored pencils out and were largely impressed.
The art teachers were highly impressed with the texture of the colored pencils. The colored pencil tips are super smooth and creamy because of their soft and thick cores. Therefore, the art teachers found the colored pencils to be top class for blending. They were delighted that the colored pencils were great for shading and replicating three-dimensional features of any object through well produced shadows. Layering the colors from the pencils on top of each other before blending, allowed several shades of colors to be produced desirably. It was even fantastic for them to realize that the colors produced from the pencils are rich and vibrant. The colored pencils all have saturated, lightfast pigments that give all images an appealing look.

Some of the art professors were a little irritated with the ultra-smooth and creamy texture of the colored pencils. The reason for this was that it appeared to have been used up quite rapidly whilst coloring. Therefore, it was irritating for them to sharpen the tips after every couple of minutes. For some of the users, the tips were breaking frequently when sharpened extensively. It was also a little difficult to control the tips of the colored pencils because of the ultra-creamy texture. Some of the professors had met with wax blooms that were very difficult to remove from the images.     


  • 24 different colored pencils
  • Ultra-smooth, soft and thick tips
  • Rich, radiant and saturated pigments
  • Even color distribution
  • Suitable for coloring, shading and shadowing
  • Ideal for layering and blending colors
  • Arrives in a tin for storage and carrying
  • Priced reasonably


  •  True tones not included
  •  Tips are fragile
  •  Depletes rapidly
  •  Difficult to control while coloring
  •  Hard-to-remove wax blooms appear

2. Artist’s Choice 120-Pack Colored Pencils

The 120-Pack Colored Pencils Set from Artist’s Choice is one of the most popular sets of colored pencils for artists. This is because the colored pencils set includes a vast variety of hues that are able to beautify all art images. Some of my old classmates from my art institute agreed to review these colored pencils. They were largely satisfied by the colors and the textures produced by these colored pencils.  

My classmates highly appreciated the Artist’s Choice 120-Pack Colored Pencils Set because it includes 120 unique shades of colors. They were glad to have many true tones within the set. Therefore, almost all 120 colored pencils are usable. These colored pencils appeared to be very easy to work with for most of the artists. The reason for this was that the colors produced are blendable and can be effortlessly used for color layovers. The colors did not appear to be excessively waxy at all. This made the chances of any image being distorted very low. Since the tips of these colored pencils are not overly smooth and creamy, this makes the tips sturdier and reduces the chances of frequent breaking.

One of the major flaws with this product is that the wood on the pencils are of low quality. This made many of the artists trying out this product frustrated. They were slowed down by the inability to make full use of the tips of some of these colored pencils. The poor quality wood made it a little difficult to sharpen the colored pencils up to a desirable fine, sharp point. We ended up figuring out a way to increase the effectiveness of sharpening. For the colored pencils that arrived pre-sharpened with a layer of wood partially covering a region of their tips, we used a sharp blade to remove the excess wood. Removing the excess wood before sharpening the tip individually for the first time, appeared to increase the effectiveness of sharpening the Artist’s Choice 120-Pack Colored Pencils.


  • 120 exceptional colors with unique shades and true tones
  • Almost all usable colors
  • Top grade sturdy tip, resistant to easy breaking
  • Perfectly smooth and soft texture
  • Easy to blend and lay over all colors
  • Designed and approved by renowned artists
  • Easy to use
  • Not excessively waxy
  • Not too easy to distort artwork
  • Does not break easily due to sturdy tip
  • 100% money-back guarantee


  • Manufactured using low quality wood
  • Cannot be used efficiently
  • Difficult to sharpen the pencils desirably to a sharp, fine point
  • Colors are not labeled
  • Inconsistency in quality

3. Artlicious 50 Premium Distinct Colored Pencils

The 50 Premium Distinct Colored Pencils in offer by Artlicious are one of the most favored sets of colored pencils for artists. The reason for this is that the colored pencils release some of the brightest and most attractive colors within the current market. The members of my art club and I decided to try out these colored pencils. We found this product to be of true value at a significantly low price.

We were pleased to have 50 different colored pencils of varying shades and tones. One of the artists within my club found a rare shade of grey that he was not able to find anywhere else. Apart from the original grey tone and a dark grey tone, there is also a dim grey color within the pack. Additionally, using these colored pencils was effortless because of their smooth tip. The high vibrancy of the colors makes pictures sufficiently bright with just one coating. The tips of the pencils are so smooth that you will not even feel the slightest bit of scratchiness.

One of the flaws with this set of colors is that many of the colored pencils have a dark streak through the surface of their tip. This can ruin any light colored image. Another problem is that the lead tips are quite flimsy. They are highly vulnerable to cracking when sharpened or even if they fall from a slightly elevated height. It was also pointless to have the shades of colors labeled because most of them were labeled inaccurately. For example, the maroon colored pencil was labeled ‘Marshmallow’. It is best for you to try out all the colored pencils on a scratch card before actually using them on any image.


  • 50 unalike colors including rare shades
  • Made from tough but eco-friendly non-rainforest harvested wood
  • Lead tips are absolutely smooth
  • Easy-to-glide, smooth tips that are easy to use
  • Exceptionally bright in color
  • Safe from both adult and children because if conforming to ASTM-D4236


  • Dark streak along the tip can interrupt color consistency
  • Lead tips are quite flimsy
  • Fragile pencil bodies so thick leads crack easily
  • Color labels are inaccurate

4. Kasimir 36-Pack Colored Pencils

The 36-Pack Colored Pencils produced by Kasimir is one of the most preferred sets of colored pencils for artists to possess in these modern times. The main reason behind this is the modern, unique shades of colors that are contained within the sets. Some of the artists in my office and I tried the colored pencils out and found them to be very pleasant and convenient.

We were thrilled to see the modern shades of colors included within the set. There are 36 stunning colors like deep fuchsia, bold lilac, acid yellow, Persian grey, electric lilac, dark terracotta and lichen green just to name a few of those that struck our sight. It was magnificent to have velvety soft core centric textures that made coloring in a breeze. We appreciated the hexagonal shape of the pencils opposed to the usual round shape because it prevents them from rolling off the elevated ranges. This prevents the colored pencils from any damage and makes it ideal for rough use. Along with this feature, the non-toxic and child-safe manufacturing makes the colored pencils suitable for use by both young and adult artists.

A major challenge with using these colored pencils is that the colors are not very pigmented. Even with several coatings and layerings, the colors end up looking unevenly distributed like it usually does with crayons. One of my colleagues had used oil to blend the colors in more evenly so that minimum gaps were left. One of my colleagues also discovered the colored pencils in his pack to be very putrid. We all felt that sharpening these colored pencils necessitated special care. Otherwise, they appeared to break very easily.


  • 36 unique array of modern shades
  • Smooth with velvety soft core
  • Arrive in highly protected (3 layered) packaging
  • Environmentally friendly since made with recycled wood
  • Non-toxic and safe for children and pregnant women
  • Hexagonal shaped structure for ergonomic grip and greater stability on high surfaces
  • Compact design for minimum space occupancy
  • Guaranteed superior customer handling for 100% satisfaction
  • Ideal for rough handling
  • Easy to use


  • Not very bright and pigmented
  • Uneven distribution
  • Rare cases of putrid chemical smell
  • Fragile tips
  • Requires special care while sharpening

5. Colore Colored Pencils

The Colored Pencils from Colore is one of the sets of best colored pencils for artists. This product has been able to gain a huge fan base within a really short time because of its incredible signature artistic quality at a very low price. The illustrators of several reputed media organizations tried these colored pencils out with me. We all felt that the quality of these colored pencils is praiseworthy.

The Colore Colored Pencils were adored for their 72 piece premium quality colored pencils. The set has a vast array of colors with several corresponding shades. There are numerous shades from light to moderate to dark saturation. The set includes skin tone colors, neon colors as well as the true tones of colors. The colored pencils are smooth and soft in the center which makes blending, burnishing and layering the finest. It is largely convenient for the colored pencils to be kept secured in the included metal tin case for high durability and superb portability. Moreover, the case makes it easy to store the colors within a limited space.

These colored pencils, unfortunately were not designed with a thick, robust center. This was well depicted when their tips kept on breaking when a little more than moderate pressure was applied onto them. Another unfavorable experience rose with the colored pencils after sharpening. The pre-sharpened tips were strong but after sharpening, the tips cracked often. We recommend avoiding electric sharpeners altogether as they appeared to extend this issue. It is best to sharpen the pencil carefully up to a minimum length to avoid frequent cracking. Also, freezing the colored pencils before sharpening them can reduce the chances of the tips breaking whilst and after sharpening. This is because freezing hardens the lead center.


  • 72 inimitable colors of varying shades
  • Rare tones included
  • Vibrant and vivid
  • Suitable for all age groups
  • Creamy and smooth texture
  • Lifetime guarantee period
  • Metal tin case for easy storage, portability and protection
  • Compact design so minimum space
  • Smooth and soft center for blending, burnishing and layering


  • Not designed with thick, robust center
  • Poor quality wood
  • Difficult to sharpen without tips breaking
  • Tips break easily

6. Platinum Art Supplies Soft Core Colored Pencils Set

The Soft Core Colored Pencils Set from Platinum Art Supplies is one of the sets of best colored pencils for artists. The students in my friend’s art class all tested out these colored pencils along with my friend and me. We were all enthralled with the colored pencils because they were very resourceful. We feel that this set of colored pencils will be the best option for emerging artists who are looking for art supplies to use at a minimum cost.

We were thrilled to find a vast range of colors within the 72-piece set. There were countless metallic pigments, tints, neon and shades of the basic colors as well as some exclusive colors like charcoal and skin tones. The colors are a pleasure to use for several long hours each day which is vital for both emerging and experienced artists. This is because the body of the pencils consists of a lovely and cozy wooden barrel with color coded labels. The texture of the released colors are creamy so they can be easily blended, layered and burnished. It is convenient to receive a hard shell protective casing to safely store and carry the pencils around.

The most challenging experience with these colored pencils involved their weak lead and poor quality wood usage. This is because the lead could not withstand high pressure. Instead, we thought it would be best to use several coats of colors. This brings us to highlight the next lacking with this product. The colors are not too vivid or vibrant. This can end up reducing your efficiency in getting any artwork done. Furthermore, sharpening the colored pencils is difficult as the tips break easily. Another weakness of this product is the lack of labels that are required to clarify the style of a shade. For example, is it a red tint colored pencil or is it a metallic red colored pencil?


  • 72 alluring colors of various styles and shades
  • Includes hard-to-find colors
  • Comfy white wooden barrel grip
  • Color coordinated labels
  • Sturdy, protective tin casing with 3 trays included
  • Replacement or refund if not satisfied
  • Creamy texture allows easy blending, layering and burnishing
  • Casing allows easy storage
  • Portable with protective casing
  • Very low in price
  • Professional artistic quality


  • Weak lead
  • Poor quality of wood used
  • Not very vivid or vibrant
  • Difficult to sharpen
  • Tip breaks easily
  • Difficult to distinguish the style of colors

7. Ohuhu 72-Color Colored Pencils

The 72-Color Colored Pencils by Ohuhu are contained within one of the sets of the best colored pencils for artists, within the art supplies industry. The reason for this is that these colored pencils are of signature quality at a reasonable price. My coworkers and I used the product for a few weeks. We were satisfied with the resourceful features that prove to be valuable to all professional artists.

The Ohuhu Colored Pencils Set contains some of the brightest hues of colors that cannot be easily forgotten. The colors are unbelievably rich and appropriate for high quality print effect. The 72 colors within the set are all dissimilar to each other. The colored pencils are of premium quality with a soft and creamy texture. This ensures smooth application. It is also easy to blend and layer the colors as per artistic techniques in order to beautify any image. The colors glide smoothly on any paper and cover the images evenly.

One of the major issues with this colored pencils set is that the lead is very fragile. The lead fell out of the colored pencils in many instances after sharpening the colored pencils for the first time since they came pre-sharpened. Overall, the tips broke very easily upon too much pressure. Sharpening them to a fine point was very difficult as it frequently led to breakages. Also, the colored pencils are not suitable for children and pregnant women because they released chemical fumes of certain degrees in several cases.


  • 72 assorted colors
  • Rich and vibrant hues
  • High print effect
  • Smooth gliding, soft and creamy texture
  • Easy to blend and layer
  • Professional grade
  • Eco-friendly as crafted with recycled wood
  • Delicate cylinder casing included for protective storage and carrying
  • Signature quality
  • Reasonable in price
  • Even coverage


  • Difficult to sharpen without breaking
  • Breaks constantly
  • Does not sharpen smoothly and cleanly
  • Chemical (formaldehyde) smell could be detected at various degrees in most cases
  • Choking hazard due to small parts
  • Flimsy lead
  • Difficult to sharpen to a fine point
  • Included cylinder tin box poorly made
  • Most ideal for adults and should rather be avoided by children as well as pregnant women

8. Artistique Premium Colored Pencils

The set of premium colored pencils from Artistique is one of the sets of best colored pencils for artists. The reason behind this is that the colors provide supreme support at a relatively low price. Some of my friends who are artists as well as I tested this product. We were pleased with the results and suggest these colored pencils particularly for those who are novice artists in the industry.

There are 48 magnificent colors of various hues within the set. These hues are extremely distinct and bright. This is why we had to exert no additional pressure to get the colors to be sufficiently bright. What’s more amazing is that we did not need to go over the colors more than a single coat. Thus, we were able to complete our images efficiently. The colored pencils could easily be used to shade, blend and lay over. Even though the lead is thick and rough, it is not brittle but rather stronger than most other soft lead tips.  

We were very irritated to find that almost all the shades of colors within the set are either dark or moderate. Light pigmented colors are not included at all. This can be a big drawback for artists looking to illustrate light colored images like the sky or the sea, for instance. In fact, most colors being somewhat dark, made it difficult to identify and reuse any specific shade. This is why we felt that the colors needed to be named and labeled or at least, coded on the base. Furthermore, the colors are scratchy and not so smooth since the lead is not very soft.


  • 48 differing hues of colors
  • Rich, colorful pigment
  • Easy to blend, shade and lay over
  • Suitable for use by both adults and kids
  • Professional artist quality
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee period
  • Low in price
  • Easy to use
  • Accommodates efficient use
  • Strong and durable lead
  • Tips do not crack easily or frequently
  • Can be sharpened easily without any fear of breaking


  • Does not contain light shades of colors
  • Difficult to identify shades
  • No labeling of shades or any color coding
  • Not smooth but rather scratchy

9. Niutop Colored Pencils of Marco

The Colored Pencils of Marco manufactured by Niutop is one of the top-selling colored pencil sets within the market. These colored pencils are one of the sets of best colored pencils for artists and hobbyists because of several amazing features present at an affordable price. Some of the artists within my neighborhood as well as I tested out these colored pencils. We were impressed at how wonderfully this set of colored pencils had performed despite being so inexpensive.

We were fascinated with the wide array of 72 distinctive colors within the set. These colored pencils had a thick core of lead that was neither too soft nor too hard. This perfect texture of the colored pencils allowed colors to be easily blended, layered over and built up to a desirable level. Since the core is not too soft, the colored pencils are easy to sharpen without any fear of them breaking easily. The tips of the colored pencils are sturdy itself so they do not break easily over large pressure exerted upon them.

One of the biggest drawbacks of these colored pencils is that they are a little too light and dull. You would need to press the tips hard and go over the colored areas with several layers to get the colors to look vibrant. This can slow down a professional. What was more disappointing was that the pigments in the pencils were not rich but rather waxier. This may be more suitable for art enthusiasts and novice artists rather than professional artists.


  • 72 differing shades
  • Blendable, easy to lay over and buildable
  • Medium texture – neither too soft nor too hard
  • Environment-friendly as manufactured using recyclable materials
  • Non-toxic and child safe
  • Full refund or exchange guarantee
  • Affordable pricing
  • Thick core so lead does not break easily
  • Easy to sharpen since not vulnerable to breaking
  • Smooth application


  • Light and dull
  • Requires deep pressing and several coatings to make colors bold
  • Inefficient to use
  • Pigments not rich but more waxy
  • Not suitable for professional artists

10. Pluqis Premium Art Quality Colored Pencils

The Premium Art Quality Colored Pencils by Pluqis is one of the sets of the best colored pencils for artists. This is because the colored pencils perform supremely at a relatively low cost. Some of the artists in my family tried out the colored pencils with me. We felt that these colored pencils are of true value to any artist.

We found that the colors provided in the set is of high quality. The colors released are of a professional standard being incredibly easy to work with. We were pleased to be able to blend them effortlessly without having to smudge and ruin any part of our image. The best part is that these colored pencils are very safe for children so they can be used by both adults, children and pregnant women. The return policy with this set of colored pencils is very reassuring since they can be returned for a refund or exchanged any time.

We were very annoyed when sharpening these colored pencils. We doubt the quality of the wood used is high. The reason for this is that their tips broke very easily and very often. Since the texture of the pencils was a little too hard, we were disappointed that smooth application to some degrees was almost entirely absent. It was a little scratchy most of the time. We also wished that the colors would be brighter and less waxy while the number of shades would not be so limited.


  • Colors blend easily
  • Colors do not smudge
  • Child safe, lead-free and non-toxic so suitable for children, adults and pregnant women
  • Superior return policy
  • Relatively low in price
  • Professional artist standard
  • Easy to use


  • Made with flimsy wood
  • Tips break easily and constantly
  • Difficult to sharpen to a fine point
  • Not very bright
  • Scratchy and hard in texture
  • Application not smooth
  • Too waxy
  • Only 24 different colors


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