The Best Watercolor Pencils for Artists

The Best Watercolor Pencils for Artists

Watercolor pencils are an excellent tool for artists because they provide vibrant colors and blend well with water. The following article will discuss some of the best watercolor pencils available today. We hope you enjoy reading this guide to artist-friendly art supplies.

Factors to consider when choosing watercolor pencils

  • Thick wood casings
  • Water-resistant lead
  • Won’t smear or smudge when wet
  • High pigment saturation

Here’s our list of the top 5 best watercolor pencils for artists :

First on our list,

Staedtler Karat Aquarell Watercolour Pencils

The Staedtler Karat Aquarell watercolor pencils are one that many artists swear by! They’re known for their high-quality lead and rich color pigmentation. These were the first watercolors I ever bought—they quickly became my favorite art supplies after using them just once!

The soft cores blend easily on any surface, from paper to plastic to canvas. These feature a thick wood casing around each block, which helps prevent breakage while allowing you to control how sharp your point gets when being used easily. In addition, the thicker core preserves color saturation throughout use—which means fewer ruined projects due to fading over time!

These work best with light washes since pigment tends to build up rather than spread evenly across large areas. Of course, you can always use a wet paintbrush or tissue paper to help spread the stain. These pencils are an excellent choice for beginners!

The brand’s website has a few tips and tricks on using these and plenty of other artists’ works to inspire you! They also have some fun projects, from coloring book pages to art contests with awesome prizes!

Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Magnus Watercolour Pencils

These Faber Castell mid-range watercolor pencils are another fantastic option if you’re looking for something versatile yet affordable. When appropriately applied, the soft cores easily blend into each other without leaving behind harsh lines. Plus, they work great on surfaces, making them perfect for beginners!

These pencils are made in Germany, so that you can expect high-quality art supplies. The thick wood cases around the lead help prevent breakage during use without compromising how sharp your point gets when using them. These cores blend well but don’t spread out very much across larger areas. So keep this in mind if you’re looking to create a specific effect with watercolor paints or pencils on large canvases or anything else similar.

Derwent Watercolour Pencils

Derwent watercolor pencils are some of the most popular on the market today! They’re a bit more expensive than other brands, but their high-quality lead and thick wood casings make them well worth it.

These come in sets that include both light and dark colors-so, if you want to buy one pack instead of two separate ones, then be sure to check out Derwent’s website for deals! These blends quickly, but they don’t always evenly spread across large areas without additional help from paintbrushes or tissue paper. The color saturation is also less intense than other brands’ products, which might not work well with specific projects depending on what type of effect you’re going for.

Prismacolor Premier Watercolour Pencils

These Prismacolor premier watercolors pencil sets are trendy among artists—and for a great reason! The rich pigmentation of these leads is unmatched by any other brand on the market. They’re also very affordable, even tho they come in high-quality wooden cases that won’t warp or break apart during use. These feature thick cores that blend well together but only smear slightly when wet, making them excellent for starter art supplies.

  • Includes 12 watercolored pencils
  • Artist quality water-soluble colored pencils
  • Excellent solubility for a smooth, even laydown of pigmented color

Prismacolor Premier Watercolor Pencils

The Prismacolor Premier watercolor pencils are extremely popular among artists – and for a great reason! The rich pigmentation of this l

  • Soft, thick cores are perfect for shading and shadows
  • Lightfast, richly saturated pigments
  • Ultra-smooth, even color laydown
  • Thick, robust leads resist cracking and chipping
  • 150 premium colored pencils

The Prismacolor website has plenty of tips and tricks available from fellow artists who have been using this product line for years. Plus, it’s fun to browse their site and check out some of the other products available there!

What makes a good set of watercolor pencils?

  • Versatility of colors
  • High pigment saturation means more vibrant colors that won’t fade or lose vibrancy when dry.
  • ease of application (smooth laydown, creamy consistency)

Common mistakes beginners make when using watercolor pencils.

  • applying too much pressure
  • trying to blend too soon, which will smear the wet pigment
  • “shake” can be introduced into your brushstrokes. Don’t worry, though; this is normal for new artists. It will happen less as you practice.

Watercolor pencils are great tools for all artists, especially those new to watercolor painting. They are portable and can be non-porous on surfaces.

How Do Watercolor Pencils Work?

Watercolor pencils are a type of colored pencil in a water-soluble binder. When they come into contact with water, the color will spread out and become diluted. The amount of pigment in the lead will determine how light or dark the color will become when it is wet.

Because watercolor pencils are water-soluble, they create various effects. For example, they can be used dry like regular colored pencils, or they can be used wet to produce more painterly results.

When used dry, watercolor pencils can blend just like regular colored pencils. Blending is achieved by layering different colors on top of each other and then using a brush or your finger to blend the colors lightly.

When used wet, watercolor pencils will produce more vibrant and intense colors. The color can be applied directly to the paper and then activated with a brush or your finger. Alternatively, wet brush before being applied to the paper. This will result in a softer and more diffused effect.

watercolor pencil vs. colored pencil

The main difference between watercolor pencils and regular colored pencils is that watercolor with water creates different effects.

Watercolor pencils are great for artists who want to have more control over their work. They are also perfect for those new to watercolor painting, as they provide an easy way to get started.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using watercolor pencils. First, make sure to apply less pressure than regular colored pencils. Second, be aware that the colors will appear lighter when they dry. And finally, don’t try to blend the colors too much – this will cause them to lose their vibrancy.

What to Look for When Buying Watercolor Pencils

There are a few things you should keep in mind when purchasing watercolor pencils:

  1. Consider the brand. Some brands, like Prismacolor, offer high-quality pencils that are perfect for artists of all levels.
  2. Think about the price. Watercolor pencils can be pretty expensive, so compare prices before purchasing.
  3. Take into account the type of lead is in the pencils.

Some leads are better for beginners, while others are better for experienced artists.


Watercolor pencils are colored pencils that are soluble in water. This allows you to dissolve watercolor pencils in water with a wet brush or by dipping them into the water, extracting pigments, and creating wet effects.

For watercolor pencils, this is a no-brainer. However, you should be aware that not all water-soluble color pencils have the same solubility qualities.

Some watercolor pencil sets, also known as aquarelle pencils, dissolve quickly in water and have textures and properties similar to traditional watercolor paint. However, some brands are the opposite; they sell water-soluble pencils but require a lot of brushing or dipping to get the colors to liquefy.

With this in mind, it’s critical to check if your watercolor pencil set has good solubility and can provide good results. You may create a variety of watercolor designs and render clean color gradients and blends this way.


The ability to combine watercolors is one of their most remarkable features. When blended with water, the most trusted watercolor pencils can create effortless gradients and varying depths of shadow. Combining conventional watercolor paints’ original textures and properties with high-quality watercolor pencil sets should enable seamless blend-ability.

Water-soluble pencils with smooth and creamy cores are a good option because they lay down colors nicely. These features enhance the versatility of pencils by showcasing bright tones and colorful watercolor methods. As a result, you’ll be able to mix and combine colors to create a unique color pallet with various styles.

A Wide Color Palette

A beautiful watercolor painting has a wide range of colors. As a result, the best watercolor pencil set should have a broad spectrum of colors. However, while the vibrant colors can add life and beauty to your watercolor art, you can also improve your blending and shading methods.


The best watercolor pencil should be able to resist repeated sharpening and use. Watercolor pencils with soft yet solid and robust cores and bodies that do not split when used dry or wet are long-lasting and sturdy. In addition, these watercolor pencil cores or leads do not break when sharpened and glide effortlessly on surfaces.

Ergonomic Design

The body of watercolor pencils can be round or hexagonal. The best watercolor pencils are about more than just colors and versatility. They should also be easy to operate. As a result, choosing ergonomically constructed barrels or pencil shapes that feel good in your hand is critical, especially if you’ll be working for extended periods.

Some prefer watercolor pencil sets with a hexagonal or triangular shape because they provide more comfort, precision, and control. Some people like round shapes because they are more comfortable. The only real difference is that round pencils roll off the table quickly, whereas hexagonal pencils and triangular barrels don’t.

The reputation of the Brand

Searching for the finest watercolor pencils brands is a quick solution when the choices get overwhelming. As previously indicated, this includes Derwent watercolor pencils and other well-known and reliable brands. Furthermore, these companies are pioneers in the art supply sector and may offer various sets to suit your talents and techniques.

Watercolor Pencils vs. Watercolor Paints

While watercolor pencils and watercolor paints may seem similar, there are some critical differences. Watercolor paints are typically more expensive than watercolor pencils, and they can be harder to control. However, watercolor paints provide more vibrant colors and can be easier to blend. So, which is right for you? It depends on your needs and preferences as an artist. But if you’re starting, we recommend trying watercolor pencils first.

4 Tips for Using Watercolor Pencils

1. Apply less pressure than you would with regular colored pencils.

Watercolor pencils spread color more quickly, so you don’t need to apply as much pressure.

2. Be aware that the colors will appear lighter when they dry.

When choosing colors, keep this in mind, and don’t be afraid to go a little darker than you think you need.

3. Experiment with different brushstrokes.

Watercolor pencils can create various effects, from broad strokes to fine lines. So get creative and see what you can come up with!

4. Don’t try to blend the colors too much – this will cause them to lose their vibrancy.

If you want to blend colors, do it lightly. A little goes a long way with watercolor pencils.

You’re ready to start experimenting with watercolor pencils with these tips in mind! Have fun, and don’t be afraid to get creative. There are no wrong answers when it comes to art.


Keep reading if you’re an artist or a beginner trying to find the best watercolor pencils. Whether it is your first time using these types of pens or if you need a great new set, give one of these sets a try and see how they can help improve your work! Remember that all three brands offer different service levels, so be sure to read thru our descriptions of each before making any decisions about which might be right for you. Join us on Facebook today too, where we share tips and tricks from professionals and provide encouragement and support for those starting with watercolors.