Drawing & Pastels
What are the best types of coloured pencils for you?

What are the best types of coloured pencils for you?

Basic creative tools and coloured pencils. Follow us from the school benches to the drawers of the artist’s studio … More than just a love story!

What Are The Best Type Of Coloured Pencils For Beginners & Artists?

Whether you are a beginner and professional artist, coloured pencils have always been used as a predominate tool in drawing, illustration, comic strips, technical drawing, cartoons, advertising, etc.

Coloured pencils do not all have the same characteristics; some are more tender than others. The choice is therefore a simple matter of taste but it’s not always obvious when you start …

How To Make A Coloured Pencil?

The coloured pencil is a mixture of water, coloured pigments and binders (glue, resin) which gives a paste. To solidify the lead, one must immerse the mixture in a fatty substance to harden it before it can be used. When using the pencil on paper, the base (wax or oil) deposits the coloured pigments.

The wood (often cedar) used for the body of the pencil is generally soft and knot-free to facilitate cutting.

I use coloured pencils for artists which allow me to work more on overlays, transparencies and gradient effects. Depending on the desired effect, I use various levels of grained paper. There are many colouring techniques: successive light lines, close hatching, criss-crossing or overlapping.

The coloured pencils can be sold individually or in boxes ranging from four to several hundred pencils

The Qualities of A Coloured Pencil

  • the lead is resistant (bevelled or pointed)
  • the colours are intense and mix easily with each other
  • the colours resist light and time (archival quality)
  • the wood is easy to sharpen

Wax-Based Coloured Pencils

  • soft consistency making them pleasant to work with
  • ideal for filling large areas
  • easy and gentle application on paper
  • the pencil strokes are not very noticeable
  • the lead wears out fairly quickly
  • perfect for colouring, sketching, drawing, shading, scrapbooking, bullet journal, mandalas, art therapy and colouring books for adults and finally, writing
  • generally affordable prices that make them popular in Art stores or even supermarkets


GOOD TO KNOW: You can use a paper towel to blur any pencil strokes.

Oil-Based Coloured Pencils

  • harder, dry, water-resistant lead
  • precise and clear layout preferable for details
  • the lead wears less quickly
  • possibility of being mixed with wax-based coloured pencils
  • they create beautiful effects when you use them in-conjunction with solvents
  • more expensive coloured pencils are distributed in artist stores only


GOOD TO KNOW: Be careful, these coloured pencils can stain the paper because of the oil-base.

Gum Arabic-Based Coloured Pencils

  • lead containing gum Arabic
  • water-soluble colour that can be diluted in water
  • can be used on dry or wet paper
  • can be combined with a brush when applying the colour
  • coloured pencils distributed mainly in art stores


GOOD TO KNOW: On wet paper, the coloured pencil line is stronger and its colour more intense.

Hybrid-Based Colour Pencils

  • combined colour
  • resistant and tender lead
  • perfect for sketches and illustrations or to enhance watercolours, and can be used with acrylic or paint markers
  • coloured pencils distributed mainly in art stores


GOOD TO KNOW: Posca coloured pencils can be diluted with turpentine to make beautiful effects.

How to Start A Collection Of Coloured Pencils?

The ideal is to collect a set of coloured pencils that can do everything; from the drawing through the colouring.

Equip yourself with a box of 12 pencils then add pencils to the unit as needed.

I also recommend that you always have a sheet of paper (blotting paper type) on hand to protect the work in progress because the unwanted rubbing blurs the colours.

GOOD TO KNOW: Coloured pencils do not like to be dropped, hot weather, but also humidity which makes the wood swell.

Content provided by Amylee Paris

The passion of Amylee Paris, painter, consultant and author is to share her paintings between galleries, art collectors and her community. Beyond her pictorial skills and her several ebooks available online, Amylee is also recognized as one of the most influential francophone artist-entrepreneurs. She helps beginners or professional artists to optimize their artistic activity.

You can visit her colourful portfolio, her Facebook and Instagram or find all Amylee’s posts published in GreatArt online Magazine by clicking here!

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