• 10 Best Coloured Pencils UK 2022 | Faber-Castell, Derwent and More 1
  • 10 Best Coloured Pencils UK 2022 | Faber-Castell, Derwent and More 2
  • 10 Best Coloured Pencils UK 2022 | Faber-Castell, Derwent and More 3
  • 10 Best Coloured Pencils UK 2022 | Faber-Castell, Derwent and More 4
  • 10 Best Coloured Pencils UK 2022 | Faber-Castell, Derwent and More 5

10 Best Coloured Pencils UK 2022 | Faber-Castell, Derwent and More

Coloured pencils are a fantastically easy to use and a versatile medium for artists of all ages, from beginners to the pros. Clean, transportable and ready to use when creativity strikes, there’s no need for priming or preparation. Whether you are a student, hobbyist or a pro we guarantee there's a set of top-quality colouring and drawing pencils out there, waiting to turn your ideas into amazing portraits.

In this article, we'll help you to determine the difference between oil, wax and water-based coloured pencils so you make the right choice when shopping online. Read on for our top 10 high-quality faves from famous art supplies brands such as Faber-Castell, Derwent and Prismacolor all available to buy on Amazon and eBay.


  • Last updated: 12-01-2022
Table of Contents

Compare the Best Coloured Pencils

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:

  1. ARTEZA - Professional Watercolour Pencils for £21.25
  2. Faber-Castell - Polychromos Colour Pencils for £159.43
  3. Derwent - Studio Colouring Pencils for £33.96
  4. Faber-Castell - Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils for £28.00
  5. Staedtler - 144 10NC24 Noris Club Aquarell Watercolour Pencils for £8.45

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of colouring pencils available and understand how our ranking was determined.

Image
1
ARTEZA  Professional Watercolour Pencils 1

ARTEZA

2
Faber-Castell Polychromos Colour Pencils 1

Faber-Castell

3
Derwent  Studio Colouring Pencils 1

Derwent

4
Faber-Castell  Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils 1

Faber-Castell

5
Staedtler  144 10NC24 Noris Club Aquarell Watercolour Pencils 1

Staedtler

6
Derwent  Lightfast Colouring Pencils 1

Derwent

7
Sanford Wood Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils Portrait 1

Sanford

8
Faber-Castell  Colour Grip Coloured Pencils 1

Faber-Castell

9
Caran D’Ache Pablo Coloured Pencils 1

Caran D’Ache

10
Sanford Wood Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils 1

Sanford

Name

Professional Watercolour Pencils

Polychromos Colour Pencils

Studio Colouring Pencils

Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils

144 10NC24 Noris Club Aquarell Watercolour Pencils

Lightfast Colouring Pencils

Wood Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils Portrait

Colour Grip Coloured Pencils

Pablo Coloured Pencils

Wood Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils

Features

Student-Grade Water-Based Pencils as Good as Any Professional Set

A Dependable Favourite for Artists and Students

Top Notch for Colour Building and a Great Gift Idea Too

High-Pigment Watercolours to Expand Your Artistic Creativity

Sturdy, Good Quality Pencils for Kids to Use Wet or Dry

The Best Choice for Exhibition and Archival Works

Artist Quality Pencils for Every Level of Expertise

The Best Watercolour Set for Back to School

Exceptionally Strong and Ideal for Fine Detailing Work

Entry-Level Artist-Grade Pencils With an Ultra-Soft Core

Price£21.25£159.43£33.96£28.00£8.45£54.91£29.98£7.87£43.09£149.00
Colours in Set72 colours120 colours24 colours24 colours24 colours12, 24, 36 colours12 colours12 colours30 colours150 colours
CoreWater-basedWax-basedWax-basedWatercolourWatercolourOil-basedWax-basedWatercolourOil-basedWax-based
GradeStudent gradeArtist gradeArtist gradeArtist gradeStudent gradeArtist gradeArtist gradeStudent gradeArtist gradeArtist grade
FeaturesUse Wet or DryLightfast, waterproofLightfastLightfastShatterproof coreLightfastLightfastNon-stainingLightfast, water resistantLightfast
Link

How to Choose Coloured Pencils in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. Depending on the Type of Drawing, Select Between Oil, Wax, or Water-Soluble Cores
  2. Pick the Correct Pencil Grade for Your Experience Level and Drawing Needs

1. Choose Oil, Wax or Water-Soluble Cores Based on the Type of Drawing You Want to Do

1. Choose Oil, Wax or Water-Soluble Cores Based on the Type of Drawing You Want to Do

Go For Wax-Based Pencils If You Want Something Soft and Easy to Blend

The binder used in wax-based coloured pencils gives them a soft ‘buttery’ texture perfect for mixing, layering and blending. They provide heavier coverage on paper than other types of coloured pencil and produce vivid and vibrant hues. Wax-based coloured pencils also tend to be easier to erase if you make a mistake or wish to tone down the colour saturation.
While the softness of the pencil core has many benefits to artists, this unfortunately makes them prone to breaking. Sudden impact such as dropping is likely to shatter the core and ruin the pencil.
Wax-based coloured pencils are also prone to “wax bloom”, whereby over time a film develops on the surface of the drawing. This is caused by wax from the binder evaporating and rising to the surface. Luckily, this can be counteracted by wiping away any residue with a damp cloth.

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Harder Oil-Based Cores Are Great for Fine Detailing Work

Oil-based colour pencils are significantly harder than wax-based, making them a sturdier choice. Good for fine detailing, the hardness of the oil-based core can be easily sharpened to a fine point. Like wax-based pencils, they can be layered, although the consistency-wise, it's chalkier, requiring a heavier application to reach the same colour intensity.
Oil-based coloured pencils are the least common type on the market as they are often only produced under premium Artist or Professional lines. This also puts them at a higher price point than most other coloured pencils.

Expand Your Creativity With Paint-Style Water-Based Pencils

Water-based or watercolour pencils technically aren’t coloured pencils if one adheres to the traditional definition. Unlike wax or oil pencils, the binder in watercolour pencils is water-soluble. When the pigment comes into contact with water, it bleeds into the paper and deposits in a similar manner to watercolour paint.
Although watercolour pencils can be used in the same manner as oil or wax-based the effect can be somewhat lacking. A fantastic bridge between drawing and painting, their true potential is only uncovered when teamed with a brush and water. These are a good choice for those looking to expand their creativity, require greater control of texture when blending or are new to watercolour painting.

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2. Make Sure to Pick the Right Grade of Pencil for Your Experience Level and Drawing Needs

2. Make Sure to Pick the Right Grade of Pencil for Your Experience Level and Drawing Needs

Affordable Student-Grade Coloured Pencils Are Best for Beginners

Student grade coloured pencils are favoured among school-age students and are ideal for beginners of all ages looking to experiment with coloured pencils as an art medium. They benefit from a low price point and are often available in multi-pencil sets with more than enough colours to get you started in your artistic endeavours.
Since student-grade coloured pencils have a lower pigment to binder ratio, they are less vibrant than artist grade and you aren’t likely to find ones that are lightfast (resistant to fading in the light). Student-grade coloured pencils also tend to have a limited colour range of around 24 to 36 colours on average.

Select an Artist-Grade Set if You Want the Highest Quality Pigment

Artist grade coloured pencils are designed for professional use and are recommended for more experienced artists. The concentration and quality of the pigment is much higher than that or student grade pencils.
They tend to be studier in construction and are formulated to prolong the longevity of your artwork. Some artist grade coloured pencils are water resistant and many will have their lightfastness rating measured and documented so you don’t have to worry about your masterpiece fading from exposure to sunlight.
Student grade coloured pencils are favoured among school-age students and are ideal for beginners of all ages looking to experiment with coloured pencils as an art medium. They benefit from a low price point and are often available in multi-pencil sets with more than enough colours to get you started in your artistic endeavours.

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10 Best Coloured Pencils in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.

1

ARTEZA Professional Watercolour Pencils

£21.25

Colours in Set72 colours
CoreWater-based
GradeStudent grade
FeaturesUse Wet or Dry
2

Faber-CastellPolychromos Colour Pencils

£159.43

Colours in Set120 colours
CoreWax-based
GradeArtist grade
FeaturesLightfast, waterproof
3

Derwent Studio Colouring Pencils

£33.96

Colours in Set24 colours
CoreWax-based
GradeArtist grade
FeaturesLightfast
4

Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolour Pencils

£28.00

Colours in Set24 colours
CoreWatercolour
GradeArtist grade
FeaturesLightfast
5

Staedtler 144 10NC24 Noris Club Aquarell Watercolour Pencils

£8.45

Colours in Set24 colours
CoreWatercolour
GradeStudent grade
FeaturesShatterproof core
6

Derwent Lightfast Colouring Pencils

£54.91

Colours in Set12, 24, 36 colours
CoreOil-based
GradeArtist grade
FeaturesLightfast
7

SanfordWood Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils Portrait

£29.98

Colours in Set12 colours
CoreWax-based
GradeArtist grade
FeaturesLightfast
8

Faber-Castell Colour Grip Coloured Pencils

£7.87

Colours in Set12 colours
CoreWatercolour
GradeStudent grade
FeaturesNon-staining
9

Caran D’AchePablo Coloured Pencils

£43.09

Colours in Set30 colours
CoreOil-based
GradeArtist grade
FeaturesLightfast, water resistant
10

SanfordWood Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils

£149.00

Colours in Set150 colours
CoreWax-based
GradeArtist grade
FeaturesLightfast

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Written and researched by Wren Mann

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