Best Colored Pencil Sets in 2023

Pencil set

Do you remember television before color sets came out? Then why imagine drawing without colored pencils? From elementary school through adulthood, colored pencils are perfect for expanding the imagination by adding shading, blending and layering. They provide dreamy hues that show the true depth of creation. Plus, they’re just plain fun. If you’re shopping for a colored pencil set for students of any age, consider these options.

Crayola Colored Pencils

For any age

These are ready to use straight out of the box. Perfect for a birthday party or art class. Amazon

Don’t let the brand name Crayola fool you – these aren’t crayons. This set has 120 pencils with no repeat colors. That means you have your pick from classic colors, nostalgic neon shades and even soft pastels for more subtle creations. Crayola got its start in 1885 creating industrial pigments and colorants for barns and car tires. Their signature product – wax crayons – were first sold in 1903.

Buy Now: Crayola Colored Pencils, Bulk School Supplies For Kids And Adults

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils


Made for ideal shading and shadows with thick leads that are durable and hard to chip. Amazon

Ready for a little bit of history to go with your art? The use of wax-based colored pencils dates back to the Golden Greek Age. Artists loved these because they were resistant to decay. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that colored pencils were mass-produced and within reach of regular families. This set from Prismacolor has 72 wood pencils with a soft, thick core. The hues include such interesting colors as ginger root, pale vermillion, poppy red and Copenhagen blue.

Buy Now: Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Amazon Basics Premium

Tin storage case

Don’t casually dismiss the importance of a sturdy case with a built-in tray to keep your set organized. Amazon

This set from Amazon Basics might not offer the dizzying variety of colors of its competitors, but we’re betting you’ll still find exactly what you need in this 48-pencil set. This is a good set for beginning artists but doesn’t have the “lightfastness” – or resistance to UV rays – that some more premium brands offer. The pencils are easily resharpened and ready for hours of drawing.

Buy Now: Amazon Basics Premium Colored Pencils

Castle Art Supplies 72 Colored Pencils Set

Includes a tutorial

Refine your skills as you’re guided through re-creating the unicorn illustration. Amazon

These soft-touch pencils from Castle Arts come in 72 hues that are organized into color families so the pencil you need is easier to find. These pencils were designed to work on paper, canvas, wood and even eggshell (if you dare – maybe boil them first?). They’re also super durable and less likely to have the leads break.

Buy Now: Castle Art Supplies 72 Colored Pencils Set

Soucolor 72-Color Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring Books

Smart organization

These come in an eco-friendly tube so artists can easily store them and still see each hue with a quick glance. Amazon

If you combine the strong points – no pun intended – of all the competing colored pencil sets, you end up with this collection from Soucolor. The pencils here have soft leads that are easy to sharpen. They don’t fade, break, crack or crumble. They’re made of an odorless material but one note of caution: because of their size, they are a choking hazard and thus aren’t recommended for those under 3 years of age.

Buy Now: Soucolor 72-Color Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring Books

Crayola Twistables Colored Pencil Set

Plastic barrels

Unlike many other options, these are designed for younger, smaller hands. Amazon

These 50 pencils from Crayola are different because the color core is contained in a plastic barrel. Just twist the barrel and the color center pops up. That means no sharpening is required – a nice perk for younger artists. The brand Crayola has evolved over the last century to become a real pop culture institution. Crayons became common items handed out to children at restaurants and hotels. In 1998, Crayola Crayons were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Buy Now: Crayola Twistables Colored Pencil Set

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