Professional artists always require higher quality products, and, as a result, experienced artists know what to pay attention to and how to use each device in order to achieve better results. This time, WoWPencils has collected all the necessary information about the best drawing pencils for artists and tips on how to use them properly to improve their outcome. By the way, if you want to know, there were 145 hours spent in searching, identifying their strong and weak points, and investigating their perception by users. You are kindly invited to learn more about them.
Good Quality Pencils to Use for Artists
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Best Pencils for Drawing
Faber-Castell Polychromos: Great Quality Pencils
The fashionable metal tin of Faber-Castell contains a set of 120 high quality colored pencils that will cover all the needs of an artist or a beginner. The colors are vivid, bright, and durably resistant to light. Thus, you can be sure that your drawing will stay unchanged for a really long time.
Another pleasant thing about them is that all the colors are available individually, consequently, you do not need to worry if you run out of a particular shade.
The application of these tools is also seemless, thus any user who owns them will be pleased with their smooth gliding over the surface. By the way the width of the lead is 3.8mm which is also firm.
In addition, as the manufacturer claims, these tools are also resistant to any damage, thanks to an additional layer of bond, which is called secural bonding.
- They sharpen nicely
- The core is soft
- Wonderful applying to the surface – they glide smoothly
- They keep a fine point for a long time
- The colors are vibrant and saturated
- They don’t require a special sharpener
- They come in a metal tin and separate trays
- Some tools don’t blend so good
- The tin is quite flimsy
- Despite having a soft core and applying smoothly, they do transfer color on the surface badly
ARTEZA: Well Made
Unlike the previous product, this item is a set of 12 Arteza graphite utensils that also come in a metal tin. The nice advantage of these tools is that they come pre-sharpened, thus they are ready to go.
There is a variety of those with hard and less-hard cores, thus they are nice for drawing some realistic tiny details, shading and sketching. Their lead deserves additional attention since it’s made of high-density graphite which is why it nicely resists any accidental breakage. As for the barrel, there is nothing extraordinary, but it does have something special – the wood is basswood that is rarely used by stationery manufacturers, and it is well-known for its good quality.
- They come in a light-weight metal tin
- They come pre-sharpened
- The applying ability is superb
- Good for beginners
- There may come 2 identical B or H cores, instead of 1*B and 1*H
Staedtler Mars Lumograph: Well Sharpening
The brand Mars Lumograph is considered to be one of the top Staedtler pencils, thus they are well-known tools to draw with among professionals and beginners. This set consists of items that have blacker leads, but not a range of soft and hard leads. They are specially designed for graphical drawing; however, they also can be used for sketching and other art techniques related to pencils.
- The 8B pencil is one of the darkest among other brands
- They sharpen very well
- They blend well
- They keep a fine point for a long time
- The core texture is creamy
- They are declared as matte, however, they deliver some glossy effect
- There is no big difference between 6B, 7B, and 8B
Faber-Castell 9000: Best for Professionals
Another Faber-Castell product appears in this chart of the best drawing tools. This time it is a set of 12 graphite items that promise to be smooth in gliding over the paper. This is thanks to a special chemical formula that excludes trapping any ungrinded particles that cause the annoying scratchy effect.
These tools will be highly appreciated by those who are related to art. The wide range of hard and black leads will be useful in drawing portraits, shading, and other art elements.
- They come in a metal tin
- They write smoothly
- They have the right size, thus they are easy to hold for a long time
- The wood may crack along the barrel
STAR-JOY: Good for Colored Drawings
Star-joy is a wonderful option for everyone. This is a set of 72 oil-based colored pencils, an eraser, a sharpener, and an extender wrapped in the one of the best pencil cases that is hand-made. Students might adore this set, because the variety of colors is a huge advantage of Star-joy.
As a pleasant addition, there are some metallic cores which will decorate your drawing and extend the variety that they can be applied to. Thus, you can be sure that your future purchase is worth it.
- They layer very well
- They blend nicely
- The variety of colors is decent
- The set comes in a case with an eraser, a sharpener, and an extender
- Top-rated for adult coloring books
- Lead breaks while sharpening
- The pencil requires some pressure on it for the color to appear on the paper
Tombow MONO: Excellent for Portraits
Another set of pencils, but this time it’s a set of graphite pencils. It consists of 12 tools, and the range of core type is from 6B to 4H – which is enough for any kind of drawing, especially portraits, schemes, and different tables.
The manufacturer guarantees receiving a perfect experience with these items due to a perfectly designed structure: they have a well-centered core, and as a result, the user won’t have a broken device every 5 minutes of usage. There is one more thing about them — the lead is bonded along the wooden barrel, thus this product will survive any accidental falling.
Another advantage of this set is the eraser and good manual pencil sharpener. Thus, it must be said that the manufacturer takes into consideration the user’s opinion and does everything to please the potential customer.
- They provide very deep and dark marks
- They are applied smoothly
- They do not have a graphite shine
- Construction is breakage-resistant
- The wood is rough after sharpening
- They leave some scratches on the paper
Kasimir: Perfect for Art Classes
The Kasimir set of 14 graphite pencils would be a nice option for anyone who is involved in art, especially when you are a student and use a graphite core often during your art classes.
These items have a well-centered core, thus it’s not easy to break them. By the way, the barrel is made of wood and covered with a comfortable-to-hold finish.
The range of soft and hard cores allow performing anything on paper or canvas. Thus, you don’t need to keep other tools from various sets since these will definitely be winners.
- Wide range of cores
- They provide dark shades
- They withstand accidental dropping
- The wood doesn’t splinter
- The core breaks while sharpening
- Most of the information about these items are in Chinese
Prismacolor Premier: Top for Anime Drawing
Lovers of anime will definitely adore this set of colored devices. This collection consists of 23 pieces, and the special selection of colors and shades would be a nice option to decorate your anime drawings. Particular attention should be given to their lightfastness and the durability of applied color.
The texture of the core resembles butter, and this feature allows them to blend and spread over the paper smoothly without any additional pressure. By the way, this is another reason why anime and comics lovers prefer to work with this collection of colorful tools.
- This collection comes in a box with rigid sides, which serves as a stand
- The blending ability is wonderful
- The colors are vibrant
- The core is soft enough
- Some pencils tend to break while sharpening
- They are pricey
Tombow 8900: Good Graphite Quality
The small yellow box can attract anyone’s attention, but before buying this product, any user would want to know about its art quality.
As you might know, Tombow is one of the popular brands among stationery products. As a result, this brand has to keep up with its quality and produce items that are worth customers’ attention. Consequently, the 12 graphite tools are comfortable to hold and work with, they are made of cedar wood, and they are breakage-resistant, thanks to a special method of bonding.
- They have a nice feeling
- They work smoothly
- They don’t need any pressure to achieve dark lines
- They leave smearing marks on paper
- Quite difficult to erase
Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor: Best for Starter
Lyra is a wonderful set of colorful pencils, with 72 pieces. The colors are vibrant and bright, thus they can give life to any drawing. In addition, their features of light, water, and breakage-resistance is commendable. This is the wonderful list of features for beginners.
As for the texture of the lead – it’s awesome. It’s not hard so you have to press on it, and it’s not too soft, just like it should be. This feature is a wonderful thing to deal with when you work on various type of surfaces such as wood, textile, cardboard, etc.
Another advantage is their package, and in fact, all the items are in a metal tin that has a few trays. That’s why you can be sure that the pencil won’t fall out and the lead won’t break.
- Wide variety of colors
- Blendability is great
- They provide velvety look to the drawings
- There are some color duplicates
- They require quite pricey sharpeners
Derwent Graphic: Recommended for Artists
Derwent Graphic tools is another set of 12 graphite pencils. The broad variety of grades allows the user to draw both thin and bold lines wonderfully. This effect is achieved with different widths of cores: 3.5 mm for soft and 2.2 for hard.
Another advantage is being sturdy. The point keeps a fine angle for a long time and doesn’t require frequent sharpening, which is performed without any issues. This feature will be highly appreciated by professional artists, since drawing tiny details requires not only skills but the right tool.
- The B cores provide dark lines and smear wonderfully
- Great quality of materials
- The wood splinters while sharpening
- They leave some scratches
rOtring 600: Top Mechanical Pencil
Finally, it’s the mechanical pencil’s turn. Mechanical devices are actively used by lots of artists in the world for their artworks. This sample even proves how good mechanical devices are.
First of all, the metal body is well-designed, and it will work for a really long time. There is a grip that prevents accidental dropping and a clip that keeps it safely attached to a pocket.
Moreover, it has a huge advantage – it doesn’t require sharpening and the lead can be replaced easily.
- Comfortable metal grip
- The construction is quite solid
- It has a core grade indicator
- It’s made of aluminum
- It’s pretty heavy
- The clip is quite inflexible
Tombow Irojiten: Best Wax Based Pencils
Wax-based colored pencils have always been considered to be professional grade tools. Thus, the Tombow Irojiten is no exception. This collection is beautifully arranged in a pastel-colored box with a few layers that contain wax-based drawing tools.
The core is soft but it’s sturdy enough to keep a fine point for a long time. This reduces sharpening and promotes a longer time of usage, which is quite valuable for anyone.
There are 30 colors and 10 of them glow in the dark. The texture allows layering and blending with each other nicely.
- There are fluorescent colors
- They are richly pigmented
- The colors have pastel shades
- They don’t blend with other brands very well
- The core is too hard
Koala Tools Bear Claw: Good for Drafting
And if you are in search of devices that perform good drafting, you might be interested in this item. The Koala is a kit of 6 tools that will pass high pressure and breakage tests. In fact, they have quite firm lead and wooden barrels, and these are the main reasons why Koala is so sturdy.
The shape is another point that should be observed. The triangular shape allows children to hold the writing tools properly and this will prevent from fatigue in the hands in the future.
The slightly bulky eraser at the end eliminates written things effortlessly.
- Comfortable to hold
- The pencils don’t roll
- The lead withstands dropping on a concrete floor
- It requires a special sharpener
- The tool itself is quite short
Best Pencils for Sketching
Marco Renoir: Best Sketching Set
This box of 100 brilliant colored oil-based items are made from materials that do not influence human’s health, thus children and pregnant women are safe.
This sketching set comes in a metal box which can really be a top gift for your children who like making illustrations.
- They work smoothly and have a creamy texture
- They have very bright vivid pigments without Vaseline
- These items are easy to sharpen
- They work amazingly on grayscale coloring
- It requires very little pressure to apply their pigment onto the picture
- The tray is made of thin, lightweight plastic which can be easily broken
- Some colors are pretty close together
Leda Art Supply: Top Clutch Pencil
The Leda Art Supply is a perfect clutch set of six-sided polymer devices for your graphite art creations. These tools are tipped with fine brass finishes and are really easy to grip while making precise sketching.
- The core is firm and comfortable to hold in the hand during usage
- They have a clip which makes it more profitable
- They are quite cheap and affordable
- The pigment can be too light
- The set comes with no instructions enclosed
Castle Art Supplies: Great for Students
If you want to achieve sketching perfection, you may want to use this convenient 26 piece Sketching & Drawing set which includes all the required drawing tools for any aspiring artist.
The Castle Art Supplies box is made of top-quality materials and will make you enjoy your art activities.
- They are very soft and smooth and blend wonderfully
- The sharpeners work properly
- Wide grade range
- The price of this set is affordable
- The set case is not practical if the artist uses it on a daily basis
- 3H is more like 2B
Dainayw: Good Variety of Grades
This set of 24 graphite utensils can be a perfect gift for a beginning artist as well as for artists who are looking to take their sketching to a professional level. They are crafted from the finest basswood.
- They withstand pressure very well
- They are very smooth
- They have a quite cheap price
- Some have a bumpy rough feel on the drawing paper while gradation
- They are difficult to sharpen
Blackwing Palomino: Softest Lead
Blackwing Palomino utensils are made from the finest materials including premium cedar from California and Japanese graphite. This set is perfect for writers, musicians, and everyday users.
- They glide smoothly on paper
- They are longer than regular are
- They have a removable / changeable eraser
- They are not cheap
- The metal part breaks easily
Dyvicl: Great Choice for Beginners
If you are an artist or an amateur who is looking to develop your drawing skills, these utensils can be a real bargain as they are ideal for drawing, sketching, and doodling.
- These are smooth and well-pigmented
- They are perfect for architecture
- They sit well in your hand
- They can be washed out very well
- The price is affordable
- The charcoal doesn’t smear unless desired by blending
- Some shades are very similar to each other
- HB and 2B do not match
Bellofy: Easiest to Use
This is a sketching set that comes with a travel tin which can be perfect for beginners and artists who want to improve their shading and sketching skills to a high level. This set will allow you to comfortably draw during all hours without chafing or finger cramps.
- The utensils are very smooth and do not scratch the paper
- The tin can be easily transported and is convenient to travel with
- The set has a great assortment despite being cheap
- This product might not be good for experienced artists
- There is no variation from soft to hard
Royal & Langnickel: High Quality Pencils
The Royal & Langnickel set includes 12 graphite core pencils, an eraser, a sharpener, a pad, and a case with a zipper. This set is made for easy traveling and storage.
- All of the utensils are secured well and they are not hard to remove or place back in the case
- The erasure works properly
- These are easily transported
- The price is quite affordable
- Some pigments are too light
- The core is waxy and has some bloom
- They are not easy to sharpen
Lyra Rembrandt: Most Unbreakable
This Lyra Rembrandt set is perfect for drawing, sketching, and designing. It has a convenient tin case which can be easily transported. The pros and cons are the following:
- The lead is smooth with no grit
- Sharpening is easy with no breaks or splitting
- The pencils can be applied without drag or dryness
- The price is not good for this set
Derwent Graphic: Longest-Lasting Pencils
Derwent Graphic products are famous among artists and beginners. They provide a professional quality product with amazing performance. They are quite comfortable, thanks to a hexagonal barrel. There is a wide range of 20 degrees that supplies the user with an unrepeatable experience.
- These are made of good quality lead and wood
- They are pretty smooth
- They come in a nice tin organized in a tray
- They have large hard chunks of dried clay in the lead
- They can be easily broken while sharpening
Finex: Perfect As Gift
If you are searching for the highest quality sketch pencils, Finex can be a perfect deal for you. This set is convenient for transportation and ideal for aspiring artists.
- A small x-acto knife is included
- The case is pretty sturdy
- The leather is not real
- The quality of the material is low
Royal & Langnickel Essentials: Great Price
This set of 12 graphite pencils is a wonderful option whether you are a beginner or an advanced artist. The reason for their high popularity is a reasonable price. Fortunately, the price doesn’t influence the quality.
- They are great for shading on 3D sketches
- The graphite is soft
- There is a key on the front of the box that shows each performance
- The pencils can be broken easily
- They can be difficult to sharpen
Derwent Water Soluble: Best for Blending
Derwent Sketching Pencils are water-soluble tools that are appropriate in various cases. Their performance during freestyle sketching is decent which makes them quite popular for this type of art. In addition, the variety of colors provides a rich and velvety texture. In addition, the blending ability is beautiful.
- The pigment is easily removed
- The core glides smoothly on paper
- They are easy to blend
- They are easy to push around the page when water is added
- These items are a little thicker than the standard ones, so they will not fit in standard sharpeners
Best Pencils for Shading
Cretacolor Monolith: Fine Woodless Pencils
The Cretacolor Monolith Set is comprised of 6 pieces of graphite pencils that do not contain wood, a 1 graphite water-soluble aqua monolith, a holder with a cap, a kneaded eraser, and a regular sharpener. All the tools are in a metal tin box which is comfortable to travel with.
- They are not very heavy
- Switching from dark to light can be easy with them as they are excellent for shading
- They are cheap and pretty affordable
- The sharpener is low quality
- It is very difficult to get a clean, crisp line
- The tin constantly opens
Soucolor: Top Soft Core Pencils
This is the box of 72 colored items is convenient as the colors are all visible in storage and you will not have any trouble finding the color you are looking for.
They are perfect for drawing, sketching, and coloring adult coloring books. They are made from non-toxic and odorless materials.
- The devices are easy to sharpen
- They simplify blending and shading
- They have huge varieties of colors
- There is a color name for identification
- They lay down very good
- Blue violet and prussian blue are the exact same color in their cores
- The materials have pretty low quality
General’s Kimberly: Best for Amateurs
The Kimberly 25 graphite drawing kit is comprised of 10 pre-sharpened pencils. All of them are made of cedar and have hexagonal barrels. The variety of hardness is from 8B to 4H. Besides that, there is a sharpener and eraser. This is a great set of drawing pencils for beginners or adept artists.
- The eraser that comes with the kit is very good
- The sharpener is convenient
- They can be sharpened easily
- They are smooth
- The price is pretty cheap
- There is almost no difference between graphite darkness
- The 8B looks like a 2B, the 2B looks like a 4H
Caran d’Ache Pablo: Strongest Pigment
This is a set of 120 colored devices that are usually used for any type of art technique. They are water-resistant and will be a perfect gift for your children. Take this colorful drawing set with you to go wherever your imagination takes you.
- They have a creamy texture and lay down smoothly
- They have true pastel pigmentation
- The barrel finish is very true to the color of the core
- The tin is not convenient
- The price is high
Artist’s Choice: Easiest to Hold
The set of Artist’s Choice comes with 120 bright colors that work nicely with shading, blending, and other art techniques.
This product will be a great discovery for professionals, amateurs, or beginners in art activities. The set was created to offer a high-quality product designed specifically for all types of artists.
- The colors lay down reasonably smoothly
- They have a controllable transparent color that is good for creating delicate glowing effects
- They can be sharpened perfectly and do not have a problem with lead breaking
- They shade well
- The package is not good
- There are no color numbers or names
Sargent Art: Good for Adults
This 50-item set was created for artists and illustrators of all ages. Being good-looking also adds respect and trust in the product. The barrels match the lead finish, thus nobody will mess up the colors. Furthermore, the thicker lead provides smooth gliding over the paper, which will make their usage easier and more comfortable.
- There is a great variety of colors
- They are erasable to a degree which simplifies shading
- They can be sharpened well
- The price is pretty affordable
- The color does not transfer to paper very well
- They may not be recommended for professional artists wanting to color
Positive Art: Most Vibrant Colors
Another set of 120 pieces with vibrant colors from Positive Art. They are a nice option to hone your art skills since all the features are specially designated for such purposes. The core of these tools is quite thick, equaling 3.3mm, and besides that they are fade-resistant which is highly valued in drawing, shading, and sketching.
- They have soft cores which blend very well
- They have a great variety of color
- They can be sharpened quite well
- They have an excellent affordable price
- There is no numbering system or names
- They are difficult to take out of the tray
Art-n-Fly: Best Oil Based Pencils
Art-n-Fly are high quality oil-based colored pencils that provide the user with an unbelievable effect on paper. The colors are more than vibrant and vivid, and besides applied colors can last for a very long time. Thus, an experienced artist or a beginner will appreciate such a gift. In addition, this kit is an affordable alternative to famous products of the same high quality.
- The color goes down smoothly and blends easily
- They require light pressure
- The barrel is thinner and weighs less
- The quality is worth the price
- They have vibrant colors which adhere nicely to paper
- There are no color names
- The color of the tip is not always an accurate representation of the lead color
OOKU: Good Watercolor Pencils
Do your kids love to color all day or are you an artist yourself and are looking for the right color? Choosing the right tools gives the best inspiration! OOKU presents the Watercolor Pencils Artist Set with 48 dry coloring items/wet watercolor painting. This watercolor drawing set is primed for beginners and professionals alike who are looking for a perfect balance of quality and value. These watercolor devices are magically transformative.
- e a great range of colors
- The price is quite cheap
- They do blend beautifully when you get them wet
- They come with a watercolor paint brush and a small sharpener
- They don’t perform well as a watercolor core should
- Sharpening can be quite a difficult process
Crayola Blend & Shade: Creamiest Colors
50 colors come in the set of Crayola Blend & Shade, with unusually decorated barrels. All of them have a black matte finish and the end is dipped into the correspondent color the same as the lead.
With Crayola you can easily blend, shade, and add detail to your art and craft projects. Designed for smooth color laydown, these premium devices add vivid color to both light and dark paper.
- They have a soft core
- The color goes down smoothly and the colors are rich
- They come in a metal tin
- You can’t get a sharp point easily with them
Prismacolor Scholar: Perfect Shading Kit
The Prismacolor art kit supplies the customer with 6 pieces of graphing tools. The pencils would work nicely whether you are specialist or just starting your path in an art trade.
The main advantage is their ability to work on a big area as shading tools. However, their performance in shading is not limited.
- The price is affordable
- The eraser is very easy to hold
- The pencils sharpen nicely
- The material of the pencil is good quality
- They are incredibly rough on paper, especially when going over the same area more than once
- The eraser does not completely eradicate the color
General’s Layout: Smoothest Shades
The General’s Layout Pencil is a set of 1 dozen items. The pencils have decently dark lead with smooth textures that are applied without any issues. Besides, the core is a little thicker than usual pencils. These features are useful in making precise and tiny details or even shading.
- The core is soft enough to shade with
- The sharpening performance is perfect and doesn’t cause breaking
- They have excellent quality, texture, and color
- They roll onto the paper nicely
- The core is not black enough
Strapright: Perfect for Colorist
Whether you are a professional artist or a beginner, you always should keep your knowledge updated, as this will help to achieve wonderful outcomes. In this case, the 72 vivid colors from Straprigth is an unrepeatable option. As a pleasant bonus, you will also receive a 50-sheet coloring book, thus you will never be bored.
- These items are pretty cheap
- They have a nice variety of colors
- They flow smoothly and blend perfectly
- They are easily sharpened
- They are numbered
- The tin case is a little difficult to handle
- The colors do not correspond 100% to the colors on the description picture
The first thing you should consider is what your purpose for buying pencils is — and you should follow some basic rules. The second thing is taking into account whether you are an experienced artist or a beginner. There are some features that help you make a decision.
Buying drawing utensils is not as difficult as it seems. However, lots of users have questions that are left without answers. By the way, even some experienced artists have questions despite having a proven track record. Consequently, here are collected some frequently asked questions and the answers to them.
What Is Drawing Pencil 🖍?
The question “what is a drawing pencil” is quite common. A drawing pencil is a pencil that can have different grades of core where B stands for a softer and blacker core, while H means harder and lighter.
What Is Sketching Pencil?
A sketching pencil is a device which is used for sketches. In fact, all the pencils can be used ✍ for sketches no matter what type of hardness it is.
What Is Shading Pencil?
A shading pencil is considered to be a pencil with a softer and black core. Thus, a pencil with B core can be a shading one.
Can I Use Mechanical Pencils for Drawing, Sketching or Shading?
Why not? A mechanical pencil 🖊 is literally a barrel where you can load any type of lead. Thus you should use the particular size and grade of lead required to achieve the desired effect.
Are Colored 🎨 Pencils Can Be Used for Drawing, Sketching or Shading?
All the colored pencils can be used for any type of art technique. The only thing is that you should pay attention to the core hardness or softness depending on the result you want to get.
There are lots of interesting facts that surround us in everyday life. However, information about writing and art utensils is not common. Thus, we suggest you find out some interesting facts about drawing tools.
- The type of graphite pencil in a wooden shell has not changed for more than 200 years.
- A simple pencil with a hardness of HB and a length of 17.5 cm can let you write about 45,000 words.
- In 1869 in the USA, Alonso Townsend Cross invented a mechanical pencil with a retractable rod. This pencil became the prototype of the modern mechanical pencil.
- Approximately 300,000 pencils can be made from one large tree.
- Hemingway wrote only with wooden pencils.
- At the end of the 18th century, graphite pencils were produced in Germany (Nuremberg), but they could easily break and soil hands. Later, they were produced throughout Europe, but in a wooden barrel.
- In the mid 19th century, Count Lothar von Faber-Castell invented the hexagonal shape of the pencil body. He also proposed to create pencils of the length and diameter that we usually see them today.
There are plenty of tools that can be used for drawing techniques, but how they can be differentiated? The answer is obvious, of course, and by reviewing all their features, advantages, and disadvantages a user can get a complete picture. And only after a thorough investigation can the user can make firm decision, thanks to WoWPencils team.
- What Are the Best Pencils for Drawing? – https://www.reddit.com/
- What Pencils Do You Use for Sketching? – https://www.reddit.com/
- Recommend Best Quality Drawing Pencils – http://www.wetcanvas.com/
- What Is an F Grade Pencil For? – https://www.quora.com/
- What Are Sketch Pencils? – https://www.quora.com/