Top Colored Pencil Brands for Professional Artists

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I always use colored pencils and I’ve tried a lot of different brands over the years, but five have stood out in terms of quality, performance, and usefulness. In this in-depth guide, I’ll share my thoughts on the best types of colored pencils for professional artists. Each has its strengths and qualities that have helped me be more creative and bring my art to life.

I recommend choosing from the top colored pencil brands such as Prismacolor Premier, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Caran d’Ache Luminance, Derwent Coloursoft, and Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor for superior quality and performance in professional artwork.

  • Quality & Performance: These brands are renowned for their superior quality, offering rich pigments, smooth application, and excellent blendability to achieve stunning results in artwork.
  • Versatility: With a wide range of colors and sets available, these brands cater to diverse artistic styles and preferences, providing artists with the perfect tools to bring their vision to life.
  • Durability & Longevity: Designed to withstand frequent use and sharpening, these pencils ensure consistent performance throughout projects. High lightfastness ratings help preserve the vibrancy and integrity of artwork over time.
  • Cost Considerations: While quality comes at a price, the initial investment in top colored pencil brands may be higher compared to budget options, which can be a barrier for some artists.
  • Availability: Depending on the region, these brands may not be readily available in local art stores, requiring artists to purchase them online or through specialty retailers, leading to longer wait times and higher shipping costs.

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

When it comes to colored pencils, Prismacolor Premier is always at the top of my list. I like how their soft wax core makes it easy for me to add and blend colors, making smooth gradients and bright hues. Prismacolor Premier pencils always give me results that are better than I expected, whether I’m working on detailed drawings or portraits with a lot of emotion.

The wide range of colors from Prismacolor is what I love most about them. They have a lot of different colors, from deep, rich tones to soft pastels, which help me bring my artistic vision to life precisely and correctly. When it comes to color payoff and smooth application, Prismacolor Premier pencils are the best. Their softcore may wear down a little faster than some other brands, but I think it’s well worth it.

Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils

Another staple in my colored pencil collection is Faber-Castell Polychromos. The special oil-based core of these pencils makes them more lightfast and less likely to fade, so my art will stay bright and true to color for years to come. The stiffness of the core lets me finetune details with great accuracy, which makes them perfect for work with fine lines and lots of small details.

What I like most about Polychromos is how long-lasting and strong they are. While softer pencils tend to break or wear out quickly, Polychromos pencils are very resistant to breaking and heavy use, so they will last through even the hardest tasks. Even though they need a little more pressure to lay down color, I like how precise and controlled Polychromos pencils are. They make it easy for me to add fine details and textures.

Caran d’Ache Luminance Colored Pencils

Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils have earned a permanent place in my studio for their exceptional lightfastness and creamy texture. The mix of wax- and oil-based formulas makes the paint feel smooth and soft, and it slides across the paper easily, making it easy to blend and layer. It’s my experience that Luminance pencils have deep, solid colors that stand out on the page and are very clear and bright.

The best thing about Luminance pens for me is that they last a long time. As a skilled artist, it’s important to me that my work lasts, and I know that Luminance pencils will give me consistent results that will last for generations. Even though they are more expensive, I think they are worth it because they work so well and give me peace of mind that my art won’t fade or ruin.

Derwent Coloursoft Colored Pencils

Derwent Coloursoft pencils have become a staple in my colored pencil collection for their velvety texture and rich pigments. It’s easy to blend and build up because the soft, creamy core spreads color out evenly and smoothly. It gives me the freedom and control I need to make my artistic vision come to life, whether I’m drawing big, expressive lines or small, subtle details.

The many colors of Coloursoft pencils are one of the things I like best about them. With so many bright colors, soft tints, and earthy tones to choose from, you can be as creative as you want to be. You may have to sharpen them more often because they have a soft core, but I think the extra work is well worth it because they feel great and produce bright results.

Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor Colored Pencils

Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils have earned a special place in my heart for their outstanding quality and affordability. With a high percentage of pigment, these pencils give me vivid, saturated colors that make my art stand out. I can sharpen and use my pens hard without breaking the core, so they last longer and work reliably while I’m creating.

The best thing about Polycolor pencils for me is how cheap they are. Because I’m a skilled artist, I’m always careful with my money. I like that Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils always do a great job without breaking the bank. They’re an important part of my colored pencil kit because they come in a lot of colors and aren’t too expensive.


  1. Quality and Performance: Top colored pencil brands for professional artists are known for their superior quality and performance. They offer rich pigments, smooth application, and excellent blendability, allowing artists to achieve stunning results in their artwork.
  2. Versatility: These brands typically offer a wide range of colors and sets, catering to diverse artistic styles and preferences. Whether artists are creating detailed illustrations, expressive portraits, or abstract compositions, they can find the perfect colors and tools to bring their vision to life.
  3. Durability and Longevity: Many top-colored pencil brands are designed to withstand frequent use and sharpening, ensuring that they last longer and provide consistent performance throughout projects. Additionally, pencils with high lightfastness ratings help preserve the vibrancy and integrity of artwork over time.


  1. Cost: Quality often comes at a price, and top colored pencil brands can be relatively expensive compared to budget options. The initial investment may be a barrier for some artists, especially those who are just starting or on a tight budget.
  2. Softness vs. Durability: Some artists may find that softer pencils while offering excellent blendability, wear down more quickly and require frequent sharpening. On the other hand, harder pencils may be more durable but offer less smooth application and blending capabilities.
  3. Limited Availability: Depending on the region, certain top-colored pencil brands may not be readily available in local art stores, requiring artists to purchase them online or through specialty retailers. This can lead to longer wait times and higher shipping costs, especially for international orders.


Going through the top colored pencil brands has opened my eyes more than once. Each brand has its strengths that help me with different parts of my artistic process. For example, Prismacolor Premier is easy to blend, and Faber-Castell Polychromos lasts a long time. Luminance by Caran d’Ache has been my go-to paint for keeping the color of my art vibrant over time. Its lasting quality is unmatched.

From my experience, Derwent Coloursoft pencils are essential because of their smooth texture and flexibility. I can easily blend and layer colors to get the effect I want. And when I want great value without sacrificing quality, Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils always deliver, offering solid performance at a price that won’t break the bank.

The type of colored pencil I choose is very personal and depends on my style and tastes. By giving careful thought to the pros and cons of each brand, I’ve been able to choose the tools that work best with my artistic vision. This lets me make art that truly shows how passionate and dedicated I am to my art.

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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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