Best pens and pencils

I just bought some new coloring books and need some pens and pencils. What are the best ones for coloring? I also don’t want to break the bank when buying them.


That depends a lot on what you want to do with them! If your goal is basic colors for cheap, it’s hard to go wrong with a good pack of crayola pencils out of the back-to-school section. If you want pastels, glitter, or super-brights, I’d go with gel pens. (I’m a fan of the Sakura ones, which are a little more of an investment, but at this point a lot of the cheaper multi-packs are just fine; they just might not last quite as long.)

I really enjoy watercolor pencils-- I have a couple sorts, but there’s nice big set of arteeza wood-free ones that goes on sale a lot on Amazon-- where you color whatever you like and then swoop over it with a water brush and it blends like magic. (crayola does a small pack of watercolor pencils, too if you want to try before stocking up.)

Happy shopping!

I have been happy with my 72 pack of Crayloa pencils. I also got a set of watercolor pencils and love them as well but don’t use them much for coloring books because the paper used in colorbooks is not always suitable to get wet and will warp. The Arteza pencils I purchased for art journaling seem to be the ones I go for the most.

I love gel pens but as @thanate said, they don’t last long and it seems you do use the same colors over and over…I bought a set and now just replace the colors I use the most…some colors dried up because I never used them!

Yeah, my experience has been that the cheaper gel pens die if you don’t use them for a while, whether there’s still ink in the pen or not. (I think it’s something with drying up at the tip, so there might be some way to revive them, but I have not found it yet.)

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I was told you can use a heat gun to heat the tip but I have not tried that yet…

Okay, let’s say you were buying a gift for a friend who is new to coloring and crafting. What would you pick out for them? Someone who is a beginner.

I have gel pens and I agree, the dry out too quickly.
I was reading the reviews of the arteza and the main complaint was that they leak.

Amazon basic pencils 24 set…

In person, I’d hand them one of the 10-pack colored pencil sets that the school keeps giving my kid, since we have about 3 unopened ones. (I need to remember to donate those to the library…) But it really is a question of whether you like the idea of blending colors, or whether you just want a whole bunch of colors to start with. A good 24-pk will kind of split the difference, and once you’ve played around some then you’ll have a better idea if there’s something else you want to try.

HA! Thanks! I’m not sure I’m at blending level yet. Thanks for all the info.

I bought these and I think they are pretty good! I have had them for about two years. They blend fairly well, too. And, I think the price is very reasonable for 120 different colors of pencils. This screenshot is from today on Amazon.

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I haven’t tried them out yet but Crayola has a new line of of skin tone colored pencils and markers. The pencils come in a pack of 24 different skin tones.

If you find you really enjoy colouring, and want to upgrade, the Caran D’ache Pablo coloured pencils are divine. They have a really high pigment load (so strong colours) and last a long time.

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As thanate said, it depends on many factors. On thick paper I really like Staedtler. They’re quite similar to sakura and I love to draw zentangles with them. They make a very nice-looking lineart if you plan to use pens for your lineart. Had them for almost four years, cannot be happier.

As for pencils, I prefer Derwent. Really like the colors, but currently, I’m looking for a wood-free replacement. Trying to keep my hobbies sustainable.