5 Best Pastel Highlighters

Highlighters are great for emphasizing detail or marking areas that need more brightness, but they can appear garish in comparison to the other tools you’ve used in your adult coloring book project. Pastel highlighters offer a workaround for this garish appearance by providing more muted colors to use on top of your original text or image.

One of the best features when using a highlighter during your coloring book projects is the angled tip, and the lighter colors of pastels allow for color choices that don’t overwhelm your piece.  You’ll have the opportunity to do detailed work as well as the chance to create broader color streaks and controlled curves that require varied thicknesses in one stroke. Listed below are the 5 best pastel highlighters on the market for your coloring needs.

Zebra Pen Soft Mild Midliner Creative Markers

These Zebra Pen Markers are great because of their dual-tip design. Not only do you get the classic chisel end of more classic highlighters, but you also get a pointy end on the other side of the body which is great for small detail work or very thin lines.

These are a great choice because they’re smudge-resistant and won’t bleed through a double-sided coloring book page like some of the other highlighter choices out there. These are the best pens on the market for coloring book artists.

The ink in these pens is water resistant, which is great if you’re coloring over painted parts of a page. Their permanent ink means they dry quickly and won’t cause any watercolors underneath the marked area to bleed. Also, because they are permanent, they can be layered in a manner that just isn’t possible with other highlighter choices.

Stabilo Boss Pastel Highlighters

You’ll probably recognize this highlighter brand as it’s been on the market for a long time. What’s great about choosing Stabilo Boss Pastel Highlighters is that their body is thick, which allows for a better grip when coloring, and they don’t dry out if you forget to cap them while you’re engrossed in your work. They’ll last without drying uncapped for about 4 hours.

The tip of these pens lasts longer than other highlighters, so you don’t have to worry about the end becoming dull and mushy in the long term. They’re a bit more expensive than other options out there, however, they’ll last longer because they are higher quality than the other pens listed here.

Be careful with these pens on double-sided coloring book pages as they are known to bleed through the paper. You’ll want to make sure you don’t care about the image on the back of the page when using these highlighters, or you’ll want to buy a coloring book with single-sided images if you want to use these pens.

Check out this list of recommended coloring supplies!

Daiso Pastel Marking Pens

If you’ve ever been to a Daiso Japan store, you know that they have great stationery for dollar bin prices. Their pastel marking pens bring quality without a hefty price tag and are about half the cost of the other pens listed in this article.

Like most things Daiso, you can only buy these pens directly from the manufacturer in bulk, but the price is still reasonable. Your best bet, however, is to try and find a Daiso store near you that sells these pens or bite the bullet and buy them directly in bulk, as the extreme markup through other retailers is, frankly, a total rip-off.

There are two pastel options from Daiso for pastel highlighting, the cool pastel pack and the warm pastel pack. The great thing about these pens is they have a clip on them, so you can clip them to your coloring book or in your pocket. They’re easy to take on the go because of this feature, which is a rare find with pastel highlighters.

These pens have a dryer ink, which keeps the Daiso Pastel Marking Pens from creating a big blob of color like other highlighters when you remove the pen tip from the page or if you’re prone to hesitating while coloring with these pens.

Marvy Uchida Pastel Liner Highlighters

This product is one of the least smudgeable available, which is invaluable to a coloring book artist looking to make highlighter marks on or near other types of ink and pencil already on the coloring book page. Marvy Uchida Highlighters provide a stronger swath of color than other choices, which is great for people looking for depth and brightness when using highlighters. They work well on top of most inks except fountain pens, so be careful if you’re coloring with a fountain pen instead of a rollerball or gel pen.

A pack of these pens contains six colors with rubber grips on them for more control as you’re coloring. A downside is the cap doesn’t fit on the back of the pen during use, so use caution when placing your pen cap on your coloring surface so you don’t lose it.

Pilot FriXion Light Natural and Soft Color Erasable Highlighters

One of the best choices on the market for a beginning coloring book artist is the Pilot FriXion Light Natural and Soft Color Erasable Highlighters. That’s because their erasable nature makes it easier to correct mistakes, and the ink doesn’t flow heavily out of these pens allowing for more control since the ink won’t saturate the paper.

Light Natural and Soft Color are the two pastel pallet choices with the Pilot FriXion brand of highlighters. The soft color pens are the most muted, with the Light Natural colors being a bit brighter. Keep this in mind when choosing between the two pens so you get what you want out of your coloring markers.

Each highlighter has an eraser on the end, and these erasers are high quality. They don’t leave shavings or a mess behind when used, which is a treat in comparison to the mess that pencils can make when erased. However, you have to use the eraser provided as a regular pencil eraser will not erase the marks made by this highlighter. The ink in the pen technically isn’t lifted off of the page like graphite but instead turns clear when friction is applied. These are only designed to be erased with their specific eraser.

Be careful when trying to erase with these pens, though. Too much erasing, or too heavy of a hand during the erasing process can ruin the coloring you’ve done either under the highlighter ink or next to it. It can also cause the paper to wrinkle a bit, which may ruin your final piece. Use caution when highlighting with these pens so you don’t have to erase too much.  Also, take caution if you live in a hotter climate. Regular heat will also cause the ink to go clear on these pens, which may ruin your coloring book creation.

Some people describe the mark left by these pens as chalky, which is great if you’re looking for a more textured appearance when coloring. Take heed though, as these pens do change the appearance of any markings underneath them more than other pens that have been discussed above.


Coloring with highlighters is an approachable and versatile way to create bright colors on the page, but traditional highlighters can look cheap because they are way too bright when applied to the page. Pastel highlighters provide a means to achieving brightness without overwhelming the rest of your coloring book piece by providing a softer touch to your drawing.

There are highlighters out there that don’t have a chisel tip, but they aren’t as great as chiseled highlighters because they cause too much bleeding and aren’t good for coloring book projects. Stick to the list above when choosing your coloring utensil so you get the ease of use you’re looking for that will complement your coloring book project the best.

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Shawn C

Hi! I’m Shawn and I Love Coloring and Art and the people in it! I created this website as a resource to help those who are considering getting into adult coloring. My website is your one-stop destination for all the inspired instruction and resources you need to start and grow your adult coloring hobby. From geometric to floral to zen doodles and from time to time even mandala’s when I am in the mood. I have researched and gathered the information to help you in your goal of starting your adult coloring hobby.

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