10 Best Drawing Pencils 2019 – Reviews and Buying Guide

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Artists are always looking for the best art pencils that bring out their most creative drawings, sketches, coloring, and other fantastic artwork. They cannot use any old pencil to produce art worth appreciating – they need the best the market can offer.

But the world of art supplies is already crowded with so many types of pencils, not all of which is of good quality.

That’s why a credible drawing pencils review is an essential resource to sort through the multitude of drawing and coloring pencils on the market. You can’t trust sales pitches to select the right pencils you need. We have you covered.

Top 3 Best Drawing Pencils : Editor’s Pick

ImageProduct NameEditor's RatingPrice
ARTEZA Colored Pencil
Castle Art Supplies
ARTEZA Professional

Not only have we combed through a mountain of options out there, but we have also come up with ten recommended art pencils that would meet your needs.

10 Best Drawing Pencils Reviews:

1. ARTEZA Colored Pencils, Professional Set of 48 Colors

Your number one solution among the best drawing pencils on the market is the Arteza Colored Pencils. This set of 48 brilliant colors is yours to purchase at a price that does not break your bank account. Not only are these pencils great for shading and coloring, but they are also ideal for sketching and drawing your art. Expect the same professional quality from your Arteza coloring pencils as you get from any top-quality brand out there.

You won’t regret choosing these easy to sharpen and long lasting colored pencils that produce excellent results again and again. Furthermore, your colored pencils are delivered in a durable tin container for easy storage when you are not using them. So, get your creative juices flowing with these superb coloring pencils that are also used by professionals.

Highlighted Features

  • You’ll get the same professional quality from your Arteza coloring pencils as you get from any top-quality brand and at an affordable price;
  • It is easy to blend and layer your colors with these Arteza coloring pencils. They glide smoothly across any paper you use;
  • All pencils are clearly labeled with numbers, so you know their colors. You have a wide choice of vivid colors to work with;
  • The Arteza pencils are easy to sharpen and effective on any paper;
  • These coloring pencils are also completely safe and not toxic.
  • Your pencils are supplied in a long-lasting, double-hinged tin.

2. Castle Art Supplies 72 Colored Pencils Set for Coloring Books

For the best art pencils, your money can buy, trust Castle Art Supplies, a brand reputed for high-quality tools for artists and lovers of art. Not only are Castle Art pencils great quality for the money, but they also feature an improved set of vibrant colors for your needs. With 72 vivid colors to work with, you will have loads of fun creating your stunning masterpieces.

If you enjoy drawing, coloring, sketching or doodling, you will love using the Castle Art coloring pencils to express yourself. Furthermore, the soft, creamy lead of your coloring pencils allow for shading, blending, and layering so your artwork remains impressive and stunning. Also, the lead core of these Castle Art pencils does not break easily – that saves you the frustration of having to sharpen them too often. You might, however, need to check the colors on a sheet of paper as they do not quite match the actual lead and the pencils are not numbered for you to tell their colors.

Highlighted Features

  • Castle Art colored pencils feature more pigment that some of the leading brands;
  • Choose from 72 vivid colors from Castle Art colored pencils that are good for professionals, school teachers and students, as well as budding artists;
  • Color with confidence with these reliable and robust pencils that feature lead cores that are not easy to break;
  • These smooth coloring pencils are great to use in shading, layering and blending.

3. ARTEZA Professional Watercolor Pencils, Set of 72

Do you have your heart set on having the best drawing pencil set but you can’t seem to find one that fits your budget? The Arteza Watercolor Pencil set is just what you are searching for. Here is a product that brings out the artist in you.  For dramatic and stunning artwork trust Arteza which is made for artists or folks who love pencils that are precise as well as versatile.

You have 72 professional quality coloring pencils that feature soft yet break-resistant cores that give you bright and vibrant colors and tones. With this range of colors, you can blend and layer your drawings or sketches to transform them into eye-popping artwork that others will admire. This product is excellent for people of all ages who love to work with watercolors. See how well you can produce lifelike landscapes, portraits, abstracts, and other art pieces that you can keep in your art collection or sell for money.  For the best results, select your paper carefully as the blends and layers do not give the same effect on ordinary paper as they do on professional-quality paper.

Highlighted Features

  • Blend and layer your colors with water-soluble colored pencils that you can merely wet and apply and produce awesome artwork;
  • Arteza pencils have a soft yet break-resistant core that is made with pigment that does not fade easily;
  • A sturdy tin provides protection and storage for your coloring pencils;
  • Children, teens, and adults can enjoy using these watercolor pencils – they are safe and comfortable to use.

4. STAEDTLER premium quality drawing pencil, Mars Lumograph

Considered a trusted name among pencil producers, STAEDTLER is your source for the best art pencils for your art supply needs. Not only is the STAEDTLER best known for high-quality pencils, but it is also a consistent producer of pencils that satisfy a wide range of needs. If you are into drawing, sketching, writing on paper or matt drafting film, you will be impressed with these pencils and what they can do for you. STAEDTLER’s pencils are made using first-class materials including a super-bonded lead that wears evenly. Yet, the STAEDTLER pencils are easy to erase and easy to sharpen.

Even if you are not familiar with wood pencils or have given up on them, you may still find the best quality pencils among the STAEDTLER art supply products. Surprisingly, the STAEDTLER pencils are easy to sharpen although they feature a mixed lead and graphite core. For best results in sharpening your pencils, though, it is important to get a high-quality handheld pencil sharpener. You might also find the STAEDTLER art pencils to be on the expensive side.  They are, however, well worth the price you pay, and you won’t be disappointed with them.

Highlighted Features

  • Most appropriate for sketching, writing, hatching, and drawing, and for persons who do graphic arts as a professional;
  • Each set of STAEDTLER pencils comes with twelve finely graded pencils stored in a metal tin;
  • It is easy to sharpen your pencil and erase with it;
  • STAEDTLER makes their pencils from premium quality materials using an efficient manufacturing process.

5. Royal & Lang nickel SPEN-12 Essentials Sketching Pencil Set

Your search for the best pencils for sketching ends with the Royal & Lang nickel Essentials sketching pencils.  Made with high-quality graphite that is best for professionals as well as amateur artists. No matter your experience and skills level the Royal & Lang nickel is the ideal product for your art and creative endeavors. With their soft yet thick lead cores, it is easy for you to use the Royal & Lang nickel to produce precise lines and strokes. Produce cross-hatching, shading, detailed lines, and other drawing and sketching styles with these pencils.

Furthermore, the Royal & Lang nickel pencils are good although they are less expensive than other brands. So, if you produce 3D sketches and other pieces of artwork, these pencils are ideal. Both professionals and novices can use the Royal & Lang nickel to create fantastic artwork. You may, however, need to buy an eraser and sharpener separately as the Royal & Lang nickel does not include these items.

Highlighted Features

  • Expect to create precise lines with these high-quality pencils from your favorite suppliers;
  • Serious artists use the Royal and Lang nickel for their sketches as they do not smudge or result in horrible artwork;
  • Expect a range of hardness from the cores of these graphite pencils;
  • The package comes with 12 graphite pencils that feature hardcore.

6. Prismacolor Blender Pencils 2-Packs of 2 Pencils

Consider the Prismacolor Blender Pencils among the best graphite pencils you can find. The number one feature of these pencils is their ability to blend colors. Of course, if you intend to produce artwork that features well-blended colors, then the Prismacolor Blender Pencils are your answer. Why settle for pencils that others claim to blend colors well instead of the real color blending pencils? Expect professional results from these superior quality coloring pencils.

If you expected a big pack of pencils, you might be a little disappointed as the Prismacolor Blender Pencils are supplied as two packs of two pencils. That said, you might be satisfied that these pencils are carefully designed to provide the best experiences in blending that other pencils are not designed to give. You might, however, need to take your time with blending with these pencils rather than trying to mix too many colors at once (you might accidentally erase some colors).

Highlighted Features

  • With these Prismacolor Blending Pencils your art comes to life;
  • Pencils are wax based and non-pigmented;
  • You can soften and blend the edges of your artwork without changing the color palette;
  • Prismacolor Blending Pencils are, however, sold individually or you can purchase with other colored pencils.

7. Castle Art Supplies Drawing and Sketching Pencil Art Set

Here is a versatile and convenient kit that should get your creative juices flowing – the Castle Art Supplies Drawing and Sketching Pencil Art Set. Not only can they be considered among the best drawing pencils for beginners, but they are also just as great for professional artists as well. Your pencil set comes with 26 items that provide a wide variety to choose from when doing your artwork.

As you would expect from Castle Art Supplies, you get premium quality graphite pencils in the “H” and “B” ranges, soft woodless graphite pencils for shading and blending, charcoal pencils and sticks (soft, medium, and hard grades), an eraser that does not leave residue, and sharpeners for graphite and charcoal pencils. So, you have a versatile pencil set that allows you to do so much with art no matter what level artist you are. Castle Art Supplies pencils also make an excellent gift for adults and children who are passionate about art.

Highlighted Features

  • This brand is the number one drawing and sketching pencil set that makes art so much fun whether you are a pro or someone just starting out;
  • Experiment with a variety of shades, tones, and blending with twelve graphite pencils also included in this kit. Create beautiful pieces with fine details using the “H” pencils as well as art with depth using the “B” range of graphite pencils in this kit;
  • Get a variety of pencils and colors with this 26-piece pencil set. This pencil set is a favorite among pros and amateurs alike;
  • Even aspiring artist will love to use the Castle Art pencils as they are easy to use.

8. FunLavie Colored Pencils 24 Coloring Pencils Premium Art Drawing Pencil for Adults Coloring Book

Your search for the best drawing pencils does not need to go further than the FunLavie Colored Pencils which come in a convenient 24 pack. Not only are these pencils fun for shading, blending, and layering, but they are also smooth and soft to apply to your paper. Colors are long-lasting, and with a wide range of colors to work with, you won’t run short of creative ideas.

The color cores are soft and are easy to sharpen although they tend to break during sharpening. The lead is oil-based, so they are perfect for applying color to paper without having to press too hard. These FunLavie pencils are offered at a reasonable price that won’t hurt your budget. So, allow your creativity to flourish with these professional quality art pencils from FunLavie.

Highlighted Features

  • Fun Lavie pencils are vibrant and colorful and are perfect for blending as they go on smooth on your paper. The lead is of a high quality that won’t break easily.
  • Easy to sharpen and won’t break as you do so. Pencils are made of high-quality beech wood that also protects the lead core;
  • These pencils are not toxic and are safe to use by anyone expect children under three years old;
  • Great for your adult coloring books as well as for drawing and sketching;
  • Pencils are supplied in a compact tube with a lid so that you can use outdoor as well.

9. Artist’s Choice 120-Pack Colored Pencils

What would you do if you were offered a 120-pack coloring pencil set from your art supplier? Would you buy it? Even at a price that could hurt your budget, the Artist’s Choice 120-Pack Colored Pencils is still among the best drawing pencil set you can own. Not only will you enjoy using them in your sketches, drawings, and blended artwork, but your kids or other family members would enjoy them too. Express your creative side with the vibrant colors of the Artist’s Choice 120-Pack Pencils.

Of course, the Artist Choice Coloring Pencils feature a strong core that does not break easily. Quickly sharpen your pencils and retain the point for a little longer. With 120 vivid colors to work with it is fun to produce intricate drawings and shades. Furthermore, the colors do not flake on paper.  You might, however, be disappointed that the pencils are not named or labeled so you would have to test or guess their colors. The flimsy case that these pencils are delivered in is also not a deal breaker as you can store your pencils in any case you choose.

Highlighted Features

  • You have 120 unique colors to work with including orange, yellow, green, red, and blue;
  • Artist’s Choice pencils are perfect for such tasks as blending, coloring, writing, layering, and burnishing;
  • The lead is a premium quality that is amazingly soft, smooth, and bold;
  • Artists have come together to design the Artist’s Choice coloring pencils to provide high-quality product explicitly designed for drawings, shadings, and other artwork for professionals and beginners alike.

10. Derwent Coloured Pencils, Watercolour, Water Colour Pencils

You might agree that Derwent is the best pencil brand on the market as it has been around since 1832. Not only should you expect stunning watercolors, but also one-of-a-kind color flows from these coloring pencils. This pack of 24 pencils is easy to sharpen, and the pencils do not break so quickly. Results from these pencils are precise, so if you love to control the lines, you draw this is a great feature.

Create a range of vibrant and textured artwork with a wet tip on damp paper (your edges will turn out soft even with bright colors) owing to the soft formula; the pigment goes on paper quite easily whenever you layer or blend your colors. It is so easy for you to create other colors by adding water to your colors (even after they are dried). You should, however, ensure that you use high-quality paper, like a professional quality watercolor paper, for the artwork you need to do. Not all paper work well with Derwent Colored Pencils.

Highlighted Features

  • Derwent pencils are sturdy – they do not break easily although sharpening them is easy to do. You can use your pencils for an extended period;
  • Their 3.4mm core and hexagonal design allow you to draw whatever you want precisely;
  • These water-soluble pencils can produce awesome watercolor art with a wet tip or damp paper for softening the edges of bright colors;
  • Blending different colors is easy since the pigment can be transferred quickly on paper (formulation is soft). You can also layer your colors to create effects like soft watercolor washes or bold colors;
  • You can mix and produce exciting colors on paper by adding water to the pigment from your pencils, even after it is dry. The dye is non-permanent, so you can make as many colors as you like.

Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Select Drawing Pencils 

Alright, so you have decided to get the best art pencils for your art project.  Great!  The first thing you would need to decide is what type of drawing pencils you need. Pencils for art can be purchased in a variety of lead types – whether soft or hard. Not all pencils are created equal as different lead produce different effects in sketching, drawing, or coloring. Different manufacturers also produce pencils of various styles so you would also need to decide what style of pencils you need for your project.

Here are a few tips to get you started on finding the right pencil for your purposes.

Learn about the rating scales used for drawing pencils.

Do you notice the letters or numbers etched in the pencil you use? These are what is used to tell what type of lead the pencil is made with. The lead in a pencil is mixed with graphite and fillers like clay. It is the graphite that leaves a mark on the paper and depending on the amount of fillers the lead contains the lead is harder or softer. You can tell by the lightness or darkness of the marks made whether the lead had more or less filler in it. The number scale for pencils is 0 to 9 where the higher the number, the lighter the mark left by your pencil. Also, the pencil is graded with either the letter “H” or “B,” where “H” represents hardness while “B” represents blackness. You will notice that the numeric system is different for American pencils than the European ones. Also, Japanese pencils leave darker marks than their European counterparts, although they use the European number scale.

Select pencils in the H-series if you need to produce fine lines.

Pencils in the “H” series contain hard lead (that has less graphite than filler). These pencils produce lighter lines that do not smudge easily and can be easily erased. You will need “H” pencils when you need to produce precise lines and fine details in your artwork.

Select B series pencils for shading.

Unlike “H” series pencils, the B-series of pencils contains softer lead that produces darker lines that are not easy to rub out and tend to smudge on paper. Because these pencils also wear down quickly, you would need to sharpen them more often. Look out too for glares in the graphite that is caused by the graphite’s smooth surface that reflects light.

Try pencils of intermediate grade.

These types of pencils are either the “HB” pencil or the “F” pencil (which can be sharpened to a fine point).

Test your pencils.

You would need to check your pencils to see how it feels in your hand and whether it leaves the mark you want on paper. If you are satisfied with your pencil test, then go ahead and buy it.

Consider different types of pencils.

You have various kinds of pencils to choose from – the classic wooden pencils, clutch or lead holder pencils which are specialized pencils for artists that combine regular with mechanical pencils, charcoal pencils, carbon pencils (for smooth dark lines), and the Conte pencils that contain a mixture of pigment for color and are harder than charcoal pencils.

Try colored pencils.

These pencils are similar to graphite pencils, but they contain pigments and wax. They are easy to use, versatile, and do not smudge easily and are popular among animators.

Choose pencils in sets.

If you are serious about art, investing in a set of drawing pencils is the way to go. You can experiment with a range of pencil grades, colors, and styles. Don’t allow cost to prevent you from selecting a versatile and handy set of pencils.

 

Frequently Asked a Question About Drawing Pencil 

1. What are the best pencils for sketching?

Any type of pencil that suits your artistic needs can be used for sketching. If you prefer regular wood pencils, go for one that has a balanced lead. Pencils that are in the HB series are hard, but they produce marks soft enough to rub out. You may choose an H2 pencil to leave light marks and a B2 pencil to make dark marks. You may also use a mechanical pencil that has a lead diameter of .5 millimeters or more or tries a clutch pencil that has a lead diameter of 2 millimeters or higher. They both contain soft lead ideal for sketching as well.

2. How can I tell which type of pencil is light or dark?

Apart from reading the color scales on the pencils, you may have to test them out on paper for yourself. Know that an “H” pencil is light, and a “B” pencil is dark. An “H” pencil is hard and is ideally used for shading. These pencils produce lighter marks than “B” pencils. You don’t need to press on the paper when using an “H” pencil to draw or sketch with. The “B” pencil which leaves dark marks (“B” stands for black) produces either a light stroke or a dark one depending on how much pressure you apply to your pencil. A high number on the “B” pencil means the graphite is soft and the mark is dark. An “HB” pencil is, of course, in the mid-range between an “H” pencil and a “B” pencil.

3. What is the best way to hold my pencil?

You might see art lessons that recommend that you hold your pencil between the 2nd and 3rd fingers, but you may not feel comfortable holding your pencil this way at all. The best way to hold your pencil is to do so in a way that makes you comfortable enough to produce your best work.  In any event, to get feathery and light strokes on your paper hold the pencil half-way up its shaft and do so lightly. To get a strong effect on paper, hold your pencil low on its shaft and do so firmly. To get down to fine details in your artwork, you may need to hold your pencil very low down its shaft.

4. Do I need to consider the type of paper I use when selecting my pencils?

The main thing to be concerned about when considering which paper goes well with your pencils is the quality of the paper.  Higher quality paper is generally better for most types of pencils. Notwithstanding that, most paper on the market is good to use with your pencils.  You might, however, realize the difference in how your pencil performs when you change the paper you use. For example, wax based pencils or oil-based pencils will work differently on paper because of the different hardness of the lead in your pencils. Another factor that may show the difference in how paper reacts to your pencil is the drawing method you used (whether sketching, drawing, coloring, etc.).

Final Verdict

You might have made the mistake of buying pencils for your art project without first ensuring that they are the right kind to use. While you could have avoided such errors by consulting a reliable drawing pencils review, it is not too late to make up for this by checking out customer or professional reviews before you go shopping the next time. We have done our homework and found great pencils that you can choose from the best pencil brand options on the market. Have you seen the best pencil for yourself yet? Our review is here to help you make your decision.

 

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