The best pencils for artists in November 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. And if you want to test our your new pencils, why not get one of the best colouring books or one of the best sketchbooks?

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

If you're looking for more options, also see our dedicated guide to the best coloured pencils.

Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where she worked as 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 magazines including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. In 2018, she joined Creative Bloq, where she now assists with the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves the reader as best it can. 

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