Oil-based pencils are less popular among artists than wax-based. They are more expensive, not always available in craft stores, and feel harder on paper. They are a preferred option of expert artists who seek rich color saturation and value their peculiar blending characteristics.
It may be hard to find the best oil-based colored pencils, so in this post, I will help you choose the right set, describing all decent choices available on the modern market. These summaries are based on my experience and multiple oil-based colored pencils reviews from customers. Keep reading to find my honest recommendations!
Good Oil-Based Colored Pencil Brands
The incredible collection from Faber-Castell tops the list of oil-based colored pencils. Professional artists and hobbyists value the unsurpassed writing quality offered by these German-made media. The 120-item set is quite expensive, but it is worth the price due to the numerous advantages provided by these coloring tools.
The Polychromos have a color-coordinated round barrel with gold lettering that runs along the wooden casing. They come with thick leads of 3.8 mm that are break-resistant. The entire length of the lead is glued to the wooden pencil casing. It helps strengthen the pigment core, prevent breakage, and retain a sharp point.
Also, the tools feature top-quality color pigments that are resistant to fading. Their lightfast rating is very high, so they can be used for professional artwork that needs to be preserved. In addition, it results in a supreme transition of colors to paper. The colors are permanent and water-resistant.
Due to buttery consistency, oil leads are easier to blend and layer than wax-based ones. They are soft in the application and offer bright shades.
The media arrive in a lovely metal tin. Three stackable plastic trays with loops for easy removal accommodate them inside the tin.
- Easy to sharpen
- Lightfast and smudge-proof colors
- A vast palette of shades
- Available individually
- They have a circular shaft, which is less preferred by artists than hexagonal
- A high price tag
Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Art 36 Count Colored Pencils
The 36-count set of Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Premium oil-based pencils is created for skilled artists but can also be used by colorists with any level of experience. They feature a round barrel made of plain wood, with its color end that serves as a shade identifier. The color core is pretty thick – 4 mm. The pigment name and the color number of 7 digits are indicated in black print on the barrel.
You can color with these tools on paper, cardboard, textile, wood, and synthetic materials. In addition, the Rembrandt Polycolors are water-resistant.
Their lightfast rating is also quite impressive. Out of 36, 33 pencils have 3 stars, which denotes “extremely good lightfastness.” Three more pencils are rated with 2 stars, which means they have “good lightfastness.” Also, the set includes a white colored pencil and a blender.
The media sharpen well and can hold a sharp tip longer. Because of the thick pigment core, using a manual sharpener is recommended, while the electric one tends to eat up soft leads.
The creamy core allows for good color application. It is great at blending techniques and layering. Artists can easily color large areas and draw fine strokes.
This collection is packaged in a solid tin box, which prevents the pencils from accidental breakage. Each tin comes with a cardboard sleeve to keep it from being bent in transit.
- Can be applied to various types of material
- The media can be purchased separately
- Made of certified cedar wood
- Moderately priced
- Multiple assorted colors plus a blender
- The tips are prone to breakage
- Require more pressure during a coloring process
Art-n-Fly 72 Oil-Based Colored Pencils for Adults & Artists
This set from Art-n-Fly includes 72 pencils that allow artists to create long-lasting artworks. The media are lightfast, meaning the colors won’t fade when exposed to humidity or light. Also, they feature an innovative oil-based lead, which is more pigmented and offers a creamier texture than in wax-based tools. The core is sturdy but soft. It allows the instruments to hold a fine tip for a long time, and at the same time, it is flawless at layering and blending techniques.
The described selection includes 48 vibrant shades, skin-tone colors, and a white pencil that are important for portraits.
The tools are made of basswood, which is soft for sharpening with no splits. They have a round shape, color-dipped ends, and color-numbered barrels. They arrive in a travel-safe metal case presented on 2 plastic layers.
- The application is soft and creamy
- Contains rich color pigments
- On the box lid, there is a color chart
- Break-resistant tips
- Can be bought individually
- In some pencils, the core is not centered
- The lid of the tin is flimsy
- Some shades are close to each other
Southsun 160 Colors Wood Oil-Based Colored Pencils Set for School Drawing
Discover a fantastic set of 160 colored pencils with the Chinese brand Southsun. Comprising 72 vibrant colors and 12 metallic hues for extra shine, this vast selection gives you a way to unlimited coloring creativity. The media are round-shaped and have individual color numbers written on the barrel. Made of high-quality poplar wood, they are resistant to breakage. On the contrary, the pencil core is very soft. It ensures smooth application and gives an uninterrupted coloring feeling. The lead pigmentation is very high, and it results in amazing blending and shading characteristics.
This giant collection is packaged in a PET box grouped in 5 plastic trays. Each in an individual slot, the pencils are nicely organized and protected. They come arranged in a color sequence.
- Toxic-free and non-odor
- Sharpen without cracking
- A portable packaging
- Don’t smudge
- A budget-friendly option for school drawing
- Some media have off-centered cores
- It can be an issue to sharpen the metallics
- The trays are cheaply made and can be easily bent or broken
- In some pencils, the lead is fragile and crumbles
- The name Brutfuner runs along the barrel, not Southsun (it arises a lot of questions from customers concerning the actual manufacturer)
Magicfly 72 Professional Oil-Based Colored Pencils for Adults and Kids
The 72-media set from Magicfly is suitable for colorists of all ages. The first thing that catches your eye is the pencil’s appearance. It has a sleek black body, which is round and holds a color cap. Each medium is labeled with a lightfastness rating, color number, and a color name. So, all necessary information is always at hand.
The pencils have a 3 mm break-resistant lead, which doesn’t break from an accidental drop. Aside from being strong, the oil core offers smooth application and is easy to blend. The use of a manual sharpener is preferable to an electric one.
All tools come in a black metal case organized in 3 plastic separation layers, which are convenient for a quick hue selection. On the box lid, there is a color chart.
- Made of non-toxic materials
- An incredible selection of hues
- Highly-pigmented and strong cores
- For the price point, they’ll exceed your expectations
- The trays are hard to remove from the tray
- Some customers complain that there is a strong chemical smell upon opening the box lid
Bajotien 120 Oil Pencils Wood Square Barrels Colored Pencils
This extensive palette from the Chinese brand Bajotien includes 120 oil-based pencils in assorted colors. It contains metallic silver, gold, skin tones, and lots of pastels. The hallmark of these media is their square barrel that ensures a comfortable grip. They have a color number that helps for an easy hue selection. The core is pretty soft and offers smooth application. Made of basswood, they feature a 3 mm lead, which is highly pigmented and great for layering and blending.
The media arrive in a cute metal box with a hinged lid. It contains 3 plastic trays with elastic ties that help pick them up. The tin is an excellent way of packaging for drawing on the go. The pencils are nicely organized in accordance with a color gradation so that all media are on display.
- For artists on a budget
- The square shape prevents the instruments from rolling off the table
- The tin is a nice storage solution
- An incredible variety of shades
- Includes a blank swatch sheet
- The pencils may require a special (two-hole) sharpener because of their shape
- The color name on the barrel is written in Chinese
- A little scratchy on paper
This collection from STAR-JOY contains 72 oil-based pencils that come in a beautiful woven canvas wrap performed in a Bohemian design. It is very convenient and offers maximum protection and organization of your coloring instruments. It displays all tools in separate loops and is easy to carry.
The media have a round basswood barrel and a 3.3 mm lead. The individual number is written on the body for easy hue identification. The top-quality core is quite soft and gives an incredibly even color laydown. It offers a decent color saturation and blends well.
The set includes an eraser, a pencil extender, and a manual sharpener.
- Arrive with extra accessories
- Made of recycled wood
- Include silver, gold, and white
- The fabric roll is very convenient with a flap of material that protects the sharpened tips
- A reasonable price point
- Some users find the pencil holder useless
- The lead can break during sharpening
Other oil-based pencils to try are a 72-count set from GOODYISM. Manufactured in China, the Schpirerr Farben collection includes media that come in a beautiful metal box with a hinged lid and 3 plastic trays that are easy to view. The trays are sturdy and don’t curl up, keeping the tools safe. All pencils are carefully pre-arranged in an ascending rainbow order.
The instruments have a round barrel, which is divided by a silver ring into 2 sections – one half painted gold and one half with a color. Aside from being color-coded, they show numbers and names of the hue on the housing.
The media have a 3.3 mm core with richly saturated color pigments. The oil lead is soft and ensures an even and smooth color laydown, which is also good for shading and blending.
- Non-toxic and safe for kids
- A durable lead
- Suitable for wood coloring
- Sharpen beautifully and hold a sharp point
- There is a color chart on the back of the box
- Not lightfast
- Lacks pastels
- Some customers complain that their pencils don’t have color names
Hueeyes 48 Oil-Based Colored Pencils for Adults with Color Wheel
This set of 48 colored pencils from Hueeyes is a good gift idea for both kids and adults. The media have a hexagonal barrel, which feels more comfortable in hand than round. They feature a black housing with a color end that matches the pigment core. Also, there is a color number identification.
Eco-friendly technology is used in the production of the pencil coating. The basswood is covered with non-toxic water-based paint that includes no heavy metals.
The pencil core is pretty thick (3 mm) and not prone to breakage. It ensures smooth application and is good at blending and shading.
The pencils are packaged in a nice metal tin that contains 2 plastic drawers with elastic straps. Inside the case, there is a helpful color wheel. Made of laminated cardboard, it looks very durable.
- Arrive with a coloring book
- The pencil coating is safe for kids in case of occasional biting or chewing
- Strong tips
- Cost-effective and great as a beginner set
- Can break during sharpening
- A lot of customers are confused with the lettering “water-based paint” on the barrel, which refers to the barrel exterior but not to the lead
H & B 122 Oil-Based Soft Core Colored Pencils Kit with Case and Sharpener
Another Chinese manufacturer with an awesome pencil set is H & B. The kit includes 122 pieces, containing 120 oil-based colored pencils, a metal hand-held sharpener, and a vinyl eraser. All items come in a sleek zippered fabric case. It opens like a book and has 8 “pages” each containing 15 pencils. The tools can be easily replaced or removed due to elastic loops.
The media have a round black barrel made of basswood with color-coordinated ends. They also have color numbers and names. Due to a matte finish, the tools are convenient to hold.
The pigment core is 3 mm wide. It is break-resistant and soft to apply. The colors are lightfast and not prone to fading.
- The case is portable and serves as a nice storage place
- Non-slip grip
- The set that doesn’t break the bank
- A fantastic assortment of shades
- The paper eats up the lead very quickly
- Some colors are duplicates
Some artists are hesitant about adding oil-based media to their toolset because they may lack information about them. It is natural since the media are not cheap and require a thoughtful purchase decision. This section includes the most typical questions and answers that will be helpful for potential customers.
What Are Oil-Based Colored Pencils?
The core of colored pencils ✏️ contains different proportions of pigments, binding agents, and other additives. As it goes from the name, in oil-based pencils, an oil binder is used to hold their pigment, which is usually vegetable oil. These media are high-priced and considered more superior than wax- or water-based colored pencils.
How to Use Oil-Based Colored Pencils Correctly ✔️?
This section explains how to use these tools correctly, regarding their specifics. Oil pencils are harder than wax-based. As a result, their lead is prone to breakage, but its tip can remain sharp for longer. They allow artists to achieve beautiful layering and blending, but more layers should be applied because of the lead hardness. By the way, these media don’t develop waxy bloom on paper like wax-based ones.
Is It a Good Idea to Mix Wax and Oil-Based Colored Pencils?
Artists can use both kinds of pencils for their artwork ?️ at the same time. In fact, these tools are not opposites and work well in conjunction. You can combine both kinds to yield lots of interesting results.
Where Can You Buy ? Best Oil-Based Colored Pencil Sets?
Where can I find these media? You can visit the official website of the manufacturer to buy the set you like. Some new Chinese brands sell their art products via trading platforms like eBay and Amazon. The best oil-based colored pencils can be found in online craft stores such as Michaels, Dick Blick, Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore, etc. Except for the manufacturers described in this review, you can consider other brands such as Arteza, Derwent, Crayola, Prismacolor, Marco Raffine, and many more. You can find collections that include 150, 300, or 500 items.
Oil-based pencils are unique media that offer vivid shades, have hard leads, and layer flawlessly. They are an integral part of any artist painting toolset. They are pricier than wax-based instruments but really worth trying. If you are on the hunt for these tools, this review will help you choose the right set.
- Polychromos® Artists’ Color Pencils – Tin of 120 – #110011 – https://www.fabercastell.com/
- Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Set – https://www.fila.it/
- 72 Oil Based Color Pencils for Drawing & Illustration | Art-n-Fly – https://www.artnfly.com/
- Paints & Pencils – Magicfly – https://www.imagicfly.com/
- Brutfuner Colored Pencil Review | Brutfuner Test and Demonstration Results (Video) – https://www.youtube.com/
- Unbagging Star-Joy Colored Pencils – https://www.youtube.com/
- Schpirerr Farben Colored Pencil Review (Video) – https://www.youtube.com/