The best pencils for artists in June 2023

best pencils - coloured pencils in a line
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The best pencils for artists can help your work shine – and can help you work more comfortably too. There are thousands of different pencils out there, so it can be tricky to whittle down your options, but in the guide below, we compare the best pencils of different categories to help you choose.

Our reviewers have tested out the best pencils for a range of creative tasks, including the best pencils for drawing, watercolour, colouring and pastels (you can use the quick links to skip to your preferred option). We've aimed to include options for both professionals and hobbyists, evaluating each pencil on value as well as quality, performance and durability.

For inspiration, see our essential guide to pencil drawing techniques and our pick of the most realistic pencil drawings. We also have a roundup of tutorials on how to draw.

The best pencils for drawing and sketching

The best pencils for colouring

The best mechanical drawing pencils

The best watercolour pencils

The best pastel pencils

Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where her blogging prowess led her to become Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on art and design magazines, including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw, and got the 'Apple bug' when working on US title, Mac|Life. In 2018, she left the world of print behind and moved to Creative Bloq, where she helps take care of the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach through trying to please the Google Gods, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure its content serves its readers as best it can. Her interests lie in branding and illustration, tech and sexism, and plenty more in-between.

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