This adult coloring book movement took off a couple of years ago, with the release of Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden, and is still going strong. You might have picked up your first coloring book because you wanted to express yourself artistically even though art may not be one of your strengths. Or you might have started coloring because of the studies that have shown that coloring is an excellent way to relax and de-stress.

Now that you have started coloring, you are probably interested in finding the perfect pencils for your coloring books.

Finding the perfect pencils can be a challenge because depending on your budget, style, and the type of coloring you like, there are many choices available to you.

This post will help you find your favorites based on your budget and how you like to color.

Student Grade Colored Pencils

There are several student grade pencils available today. These pencils are very affordable and priced at about $0.40 per pencil. They typically have a harder core which can take more abuse than the more expensive pencils.

These pencils usually come in sets of limited color options, and you might find that the colors are lighter and waxier than with the higher priced pencils. You will also probably be disappointed if you want to try some of the advanced blending techniques.

We recommend Crayola Colored Pencils and Crayola Twistable Colored Pencils. Prang Colored Pencils come highly recommended by Matt Fussell at Any of these pencils will be a great choice if you are just getting started or if you have a tight budget.

Scholastic Grade Colored Pencils

Scholastic grade pencils are better quality than student grade pencils. These are usually manufactured using synthetic pigments are created to look like the most expensive pigments used in artist grade pencils.

Because of this, scholastic grade pencils will have softer cores and less saturated colors. These sets also have a more limited color range than artistic pencils and are often limited to sets of 24 or 36 colors.

We recommend Prismacolor Scholar and Marco Raffine Pencils. One advantage to the Prismacolor Scholars is that their colors will exactly match the colors of the Prismacolor Premier, and Prismacolor Verithins, making them a perfect starter set for Prismacolor users.

Artist Grade Colored Pencils

Artist-grade pencils are manufactured with higher concentrations of better quality pigments than scholastic-grade pencils. This allows them to produce brighter colors. Artist grade pencils also have the largest color ranges and come in sets of up to 150 colors.

Artist grade pencils come in three types: wax-based, oil-based and watercolor. Each of these three types has a different feel, softness, and opacity. Wax-based pencils are the most common, but there are several good oil-based and watercolor pencils available today.

We recommend Prismacolor Premier and Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils. The major difference between the two is that the Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils are wax based and the Polychromos Colored Pencils are oil based. These are both excellent artist grade colored pencils, and you will be happy with either one.

We hope this helps you choose the best colored pencils for your coloring project. Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. While it is true that you will get the best results with the more expensive pencils, having a smaller budget should not prevent you from finding a great set of colored pencils. Try some of our recommended colored pencils and let us know what you think.

If you want to share your experience with any of our recommended colored pencils, then please feel free to comment below!