Are Crayola Colored Pencils Good for Drawing?

Drawing is enjoyed by people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. There are a variety of tools you can draw with, but one type of implement that’s popular for this activity is the colored pencil. There are several manufacturers of colored pencils but Crayola is likely the most recognizable name in the game.

Great for Beginners

The answer to our question is conditional because it’s dependent on the person who is asking it. If you’re new to drawing, Crayola colored pencils are a great choice. If you decide to take things to a higher level and you’ve gained some expertise, or you already had some, you’ll likely want to try another brand of colored pencils that’s better at performing more advanced drawing techniques. More on that later.

Get All the Colors of the Rainbow

Crayola colored pencils can be purchased in boxes of 8 pencils up to 100 now. “The Big 100” is a new addition to the array of colored pencil sets already sold by Crayola that includes 100 colors. You can get the Crayola color sets for relatively cheap compared to other brands of colored pencils. That means you can build your color collection quickly so you can make your drawings that much more impactful.

The colors are quite vivid when you lay them down on paper. It’s been observed to be especially true when it comes to the oranges, reds, and yellows. These colors tend to stand out from the page a little more than the rest, making nature pictures with flowers or seascapes with tropical fish look extra eye-catching.

You’ll also find there are several colored pencil set types sold by Crayola. Examples include dual-ended, eXtreme colors, metallic, silly scents, twistable, and more.

Built to Last with a Long, Useful Life

Crayola designed their colored pencils to be durable and last for a long time. Go to almost any elementary school and you will probably find tons of Crayola colored pencils throughout the classrooms. These art tools are built sturdily so that if they’re dropped, kicked, thrown, or stepped on, they can withstand the action.

Not only that, they take sharpening well, which is extremely important for drawing. There are times when you’ll want a super-sharp tip to add details to your artwork. Crayola colored pencils are easy to sharpen to a very fine tip so you can add in all the details you want. The core is hard wax, too so the tip is less likely to break on you when you apply harder pressure for more bold streaks of color.

The inside of the pencil, the core where the color is, is made of hard wax. That means the pigment that makes up the color is mixed in with hard wax as the carrier. The thickness of the wax helps the color appear more vibrantly on the paper when you lay it down.

The shape of the pencil is round. This makes it more comfortable to grip during a drawing session. There are no ridges to create pressure points against your fingers that make you have to adjust your grip. You can enjoy a nice long drawing session that’s comfortable too.

No Color Guessing

It can get pretty annoying while you’re drawing to have to pick up pencils one after another when you’re looking for a particular color to use. Crayola colored pencils make it so you never have to do that.

The pencils are covered, on the outside, with the application color that’s in their cores. If you are looking for a dark green color, you can simply pick up the pencil that is covered in that hue.

Furthermore, they have the name of their color stamped on the outside of the pencil, too. There’s no searching through tons of pencils that appear to be the same, barring the core, to find the right color. You can easily see the color you need without even having to pick any of the pencils up.

High Value at a Low Cost

There’s a reason Crayola is such a well-known brand. The company delivers value to its customers. These colored pencils are high-quality for what they’re meant for. And to provide even more value, they’re high-quality, but at a low cost to the consumer.

Some of the things that make Crayola colored pencils such a good value, we’ve already mentioned to you above. For instance, the large array of colors you can get without breaking the bank or the incredible durability you get with these pencils. However, you also get peace of mind from the brand name itself, knowing you are purchasing colored pencils from a proven entity that’s been in the industry for a very long time. Their products are tried and trusted.

You’ll also notice that the larger sets of colored pencils sold by Crayola will usually have a lower per-pencil cost. So, if you purchase in bulk form, like the 100 pencil set, you’ll be saving money in the long run.

Why You Could Outgrow Them

We mentioned above that you could outgrow Crayola colored pencils and that they aren’t good for some of the advanced techniques of drawing and coloring. Now we’re going to explain a little more about why we said that.

For starters, standard Crayola colored pencils are not professional-grade artistic implements. A big difference in these is in the amount of binding agent that’s used in the pencil. Artist-quality pencils have more pigment and less binder. That makes for a smoother, more vibrantly colored picture that can even have the look of a painting. Crayola colored pencils are brightly colored to a degree, but not to the degree of professional-grade pencils.

Crayola Colors Stop at 100

We did say that you can grow your color collection to a pretty good size with Crayola colored pencils quickly and inexpensively. While that is true, there are colors beyond what Crayola has to offer. The recent addition of the large box with 100 colors is the end of the line, other than adding metallic editions or the bolder editions of colors you may already have.

The 100 box also lacks in an expansion of some of the color lines in the box. There is an abundance of blues and greens included in this large set, but not nearly as many shades or tones of the other colors like red, yellow, or orange.

One other thing to mention here is that there have been some criticisms of specific colors that don’t apply as they are expected to. The color name may indicate something different than what you see when you draw with the color on paper.

Techniques Are Limited

The core of Crayola’s standard colored pencils is made of hard wax. That makes it hard or almost impossible to utilize some of the techniques used in more advanced drawing and coloring.

An example of this is blending. The hard wax in Crayola colored pencils doesn’t move easily once it’s been laid down. It’s thick and isn’t well suited for blending with any type of tool into other colors. You would need a softer wax core to be able to get it to blend very well.

It’s also hard to get the colors to mix. Again, soft wax will mix fairly easily with another color. The hard wax won’t do that. Instead, you’ll just get separate layers of colors.

The hardness of the wax means that it’s likely you won’t be able to get a thick sweep of color in just one layer, either. If you want an area of your picture to have thick, bold lines, you’ll probably have to go over the drawing more than once.

Built for Comfort, Not Control

Earlier we said Crayola colored pencils have a round body shape. They don’t have the hexagonal body that many other colored pencils have. While the roundness gives you more comfort when you’re gripping the pencil, it doesn’t give you more control.

Hexagonal bodies on pencils make it so that you have better control over the application of the lead, as the ridges let you roll the pencil, swivel it, or keep it completely still when you’re drawing a line or other shape. The pencil can’t just shift within your fingers the way it can when the body is round.

The lack of control also comes in the form of the hard wax core. Just like we said in the last section, blending and mixing is almost impossible with Crayola colored pencils because you don’t have control over the movement of the color on the page when it’s too thick.

Packaging Woes

The standard packaging of Crayola colored pencils is the cardboard box that most of us are familiar with. You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t recognize the iconic packaging of Crayola products.

The problem with their packaging is that it doesn’t provide the colored pencils with very good protection. We did say that the pencils themselves are quite durable, but the box you’ll likely purchase them in is not. It tears easily, is useless if it gets very wet, and doesn’t offer a good case to carry them in or even just to store them on the shelf.

If you’re going to be drawing at a higher level, you’ll want a container for your drawing tools that’s durable, easy to travel with, and protects the implements you put inside it.

Crayola Colored Pencils Alternatives

At some point, you’ve had to have asked yourself, “Wouldn’t a creative giant like Crayola have some kind of alternative for more skilled artists who use colored pencils?” and you would be right in your thinking. Most of the points we made above would apply strictly to the standard colored pencils that Crayola manufactures.

Crayola Color Escapes Premium Colored Pencils

The Color Escapes Premium series of colored pencils from Crayola are great for drawing, and you can use them to create more dramatic effects. Techniques like blending and color mixing that are difficult to do with standard pencils are a breeze with these premium-level pencils.

The core is softer making the lay down of color smoother and easier. You can move the color around on the page once it’s there, too. You’ll be able to blend your colors with ease and make more interesting pictures with these colored pencils.

While the pencils aren’t covered in their application colors, the ends are dipped in their colors. The packaging is slightly more durable, although still not a hard case. It’s an easel-style box, so you can open the lid and fold it behind to prop the box up. You’ll be able to easily see all of your colors, which will make selections less difficult.

Other Options for Creation

If you’re looking for more ways to add depth and detail to your drawings, you can try out some of the other types of colored pencils Crayola has. There are options for different effects, as well as for different age levels.

  • Watercolor pencils: These can be used by kids and adults. The kids shouldn’t be younger than 6 years old, though. You can draw with them dry or you can wet them first and draw using a watercolor effect.
  • Write start pencils: For very young children, this set has thick 5.3 mm tips and a thicker body with a hexagonal shape. They’re easier to grip and to control when you’re using them.
  • Dual-ended pencils: These are meant to help adults add gradation and shading to their pictures. You get 36 colors in 18 pencils which makes them a good choice for those who like to draw on the go.
  • Color FX pencils: These are neon and metallic colors so you can make your drawings look deeper and have more dimension to them. You can add vibrancy and accents to your pictures in a fun way.

The Last Act

So, are Crayola colored pencils good for drawing? We say yes, in most cases, they are. While more advanced artists may find the standard pencils by Crayola have some shortcomings, they’re likely still going to say they have a good array of colors, they’re extremely durable, and they offer a lot of value.

Even the shortcomings they do have can be met by either filling those gaps with another brand of pencils or by checking into some of Crayola’s specialty lines of colored pencils. You’ll be able to draw pictures that have bright colors, add some fun accents, and build a decently large collection of colors with Crayola colored pencils without having to spend a ton of money in the process.

Crayola colored pencils are good for drawing. Just make your collection include more than the standard versions if you want to be able to add special effects through techniques like blending, mixing, and other advanced methods.

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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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