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Best Colouring Pencils For UK Artists And Doodlers

best colouring pencils in a row

You are looking for some decent colouring pencils, and quite frankly, the choice is overwhelming! Yes, you have a budget in mind. But is your budget too low, or too high? Basically, you are looking for gorgeous colours on your page, decent points that sharpen well and don’t break, and within your budget? We are here to help.

There is a lot to consider — what type of paper will you be drawing on; do you like vibrant colours or muted colours; do you want to blend and layer? How many colouring pencils will you need (ok, we all want loads of gorgeous hues and shades). Maybe the colouring pencils you have right now are just not working for you, yes those, recommended by Carol.

Perhaps you have a set of really great colouring pencils, and you are looking for a complementary set. The following reviews will help you decide on the best fit with your current pencils. Let’s compare pigments, core thickness and lightfastness. It is also helpful to know whether a brand sells ‘open stock’ or not. This means having the option to buy individual pencils before buying the whole set.

We have hand-picked a range of colouring pencils that will suit the artist and doodlers alike. There is no need for guesswork, this guide will help you to select the best colouring pencils for your needs. Hopefully, we can guide you to that wonderful moment of opening up a brand-new set of pencils, inhaling the glorious smell of wood and wax and the satisfaction of putting pencil to paper. 

Table of Contents

The Best Colouring Pencils for UK Artists and Doodlers - A Buyers Guide

Before choosing the best colouring pencils you need to ask yourself a few questions on how you want to use your colouring pencils and what you need to achieve with your colouring pencils.

The answers to those questions will help you choose the best colouring pencils for your needs and avoid a disappointing purchase.

What is the Best Colouring Pencils for UK Artists and Doodlers?

The best colouring pencils can range from professional colouring pencils to good quality colouring pencils. If you are selling your artwork or creating art for a living a professional colouring pencil will be more suitable. If you are a hobbyist or student creating fan art or doodling on a sketch pad, then you probably have a wider choice of what the best colouring pencil is for you.

Professional artists who sell their work will want a Lightfastness rating. Lightfastness is how resistant the pigment is to fading when exposed to light.

None of the colour pencils we tested is certified Lightfast.

Do I need the Best Colouring Pencils For UK Artists And Doodlers?

Good quality colouring pencils are definitely worth the investment, especially if you get satisfaction from laying down vibrant hues, blending colours and shading. Having a generous range of colours to choose from and using the best colouring pencils helps to expand your artistic process.

Using the best colouring pencils will also save on frustrations, like leads that break constantly. Using the best-recommended colouring pencils will save you from wasting money on inferior quality pencils that do not deliver.

The best colouring pencils for your application will definitely deliver quality artwork that you will enjoy creating.

Benefits of the Best Colouring Pencils

  1. Pre-mixed – The best colouring pencils are pre-mixed and consistent which makes it easy to identify and utilise the colour you want. The premixing consistency also makes it easy to layer colours to achieve the colour and share you want on your drawing or art.
  2. Therapeutic – Using the best colouring pencils comes with therapeutic benefits. For adults, using colouring pencils brings many advantages – amongst them being reduction of stress and anxiety, improving motor skills and vision, improving sleep, and improve focus, just to mention a few.
  3. Good for kids – Similarly, the best colouring pencils come with great benefits for kids too. For kids, colouring is not just a fun activity. It is also an important developmental activity. Colouring for kids helps to improve their fine motor skills, concentration, colour recognition, and hand & eye coordination, to mention a few.

Key Features of The Best Colouring Pencils For UK Artists and Doodlers

  1. Wax Core -Wax core pencils are smooth and put down layers of intense colour on a page. They also break easily and require a lot of sharpening to keep a point.
  2. Oil Core – Oil core pencils are harder than wax pencils and require more layers of colour to get to an intense hue. They are easier to keep a sharp point and require less sharpening.
  3. Pigment – the best colouring pencils have more colour pigment in a pencil colour. This makes for a more vibrant colour. The pigment is expensive, so the more pigment used in colours, the more expensive the pencils.
  4.  Layering – the best colouring pencils can lay down multiple layers of colour on the paper. Layering allows colours to intensify on the page. Good quality colouring pencils will let you put down five-plus layers of colour before showing a wax bloom. 
  5. Hard or Soft – The softer, wax-based colouring pencils will give creamy textures and work well to cover large areas. The harder pencils, usually oil-based, are better for doing fine detail work.
  6. Quality – even the best colouring pencils have differing qualities. In general, you will find student quality and artist quality colouring pencils. Artist quality pencils for example, contain more pigment and les binder which makes them richer and allow them to leave more marks with less applied pressure. Furthermore, artist quality colouring pencils are normally layered with colours on top of each other and blended more easily – making them light fast. Student quality pencils on the other end are the opposite. This makes artist quality pencils more expensive but a better choice if you are a serious artist (or at least want to be one).

How Much Should You Pay for The Best Colouring Pencils for UK Artists and Doodlers?

As you can see from our product reviews of the best colouring pencils, prices can vary greatly. ‘Artist grade’ pencils are generally more expensive than ‘Student grade’ pencils. It is really all about the pigment. 

Artist-grade pencils generally contain more pigment than binder. The pigment makes colours richer and more vibrant. The pigment is expensive and drives up the price of pencils.  Prices for the best colouring pencils will start at about £20 and can reach over £100 for a set.

best colouring pencils in a circle

What are the best quality colouring pencils?

Our choice for the best colouring pencils is the Castle Arts set of 120 pencils. We were really impressed with the vibrant, juicy colours and the way colour layers on the page. The pencils look stylish and are presented in a convenient zip up travel folder.

What are the best colouring pencils for adults UK?

Our recommendations for the best colouring pencils for adults UK is the Arteza colouring pencils. These professional colouring pencils come with the advantage of being made from the best quality material which enhances their durability and ability to hold colour. Their colour tones on the other end combined with their quality makes them ideal for adult colourists who want to achieve more realistic and subtle art.

What are the best colouring pencils for artists?

Our top recommendation for the best colouring pencils for artists is the Castle Art supplies 120 Coloured Pencils. The professional colouring pencils are built with everything that an artist needs – whether it’s the sophisticated travel case to carry all your colouring art needs, the easy colour number identification, the colour range, r superior colour pigmentation – these  good quality colouring pencils are made for artists!

What are the most vibrant colouring pencils?

If you are looking for the most vibrant colouring pencils, we recommend the Castle Art Supplies 72 Coloured Pencils. With a choice of up to 72 different options, these good quality colouring pencils offer a generous selection of bright and vibrant colours. Each pencils also brings with superior pigmentation and saturation to give more light to your art. Plus, these best colouring pencils for artists come with the advantage of being relatively budget friendly.

What are the most expensive colouring pencils?

Our selection of the most expensive colouring pencils is the Castle Art Supplies 120 Coloured Pencils. Whilst they are expensive, these professional colouring pencils offer features that compromise with their high prices. The best colouring pencils for artists and professionals are housed in a premium zip up travel case and fabricated with great colour pigmentation whilst their wax allows them to smoothly glide on your paper without cracking or breaking.

Are expensive colouring pencils worth it?

Yes, at times expensive colouring pencils are certainly worth it. With expensive colouring pencils, you are guaranteed vibrant colours, subtle pigmentation and saturation, as well as overall long lasting durability. Whilst you can find the best colouring pencils at low cost and cheap prices, you still have to work hard for it as it can take you some time – trying out and sampling different brands until you find the best colouring pencils at a low cost.

What colouring pencils do professionals use?

Our selection of the best colouring pencils used by professionals is the Castle Art Supplies 120 Coloured pencils. With over 120 colouring pencils, these professional colouring pencils offer wide possibilities of artistic outcomes. In addition to offering a vast selection of colouring options, these coloured pencils also deliver great quality and strong colour pigmentation to ensure professional quality art.

Best Colouring Pencil Brands

Castle Arts USA

An American brand, the Castle Arts USA is amongst the top rated brand is the market. The brand produces a wide selection of art supplies including colouring pencils, water colours, painting sets, and gel pens, just to mention a few.

Faber Castell

Amongst the world’s oldest, largest, and best quality art supplies brand, the Faber Castell brand was launched in 1761 in Germany and has proven its stellar attention to quality and superior craftsmanship by surviving n the market for centuries. The art brand produces everything from pencils to fine writing and art & graphics products.


Launched in 2016, the Arteza brand is relatively new in the market. However, it has so far, proven its worthiness amongst the top brand position for arts and crafts supplies. The brand produces everything from colour pencils to painting sets and paint brushes – and continues to reinvent new products every day. Thanks to the focus on quality and longevity, the brand continues to grow and claim its permanent seat in the market.

So...Which Colouring Pencils Should I Buy?

The review of the best colouring pencils above outlines some of the top quality options in the market. Choosing the best colouring pencils is one way to boost the look of your art work. Therefore, whether you are a beginner or seasoned professional artists, it is important to learn how to choose the best colouring pencils.

Whilst the list above shares our recommendations for the best colouring pencils for this year, we’ve also included a buyer’s guide. With the buyer’s guide, you will be able to make a more informed decision about which coloured pencils to go for. So what’ left is to go back to the list above and choose a set that works best for your artistic needs.

Our recommendation for the best colouring pencils in overall for this year is the Castle Art supplies 120 Coloured Pencils.

Last update on 2022-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 For entry level and beginner artists, our recommendation for the best colouring pencils are the Arteza Colouring Pencils and Castle Art Supplies 72 Coloured Pencils.


Health Benefits of Coloring for Adults

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Colouring is known to be a relaxing and mindful activity. If you’re looking to take your relaxation one step further then check out our guides to the best massage chairs and the best inflatable hot tubs.


Donaldina is a lifestyle writer who focuses on home goods and outdoor gear. She is passionate about sharing tips and recommendations on the best products in the market.