Best Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring Books

adult coloring book pageThe Peter Pan Syndrome is growing strong, fueled by the unforeseen popularity of adult coloring books. But since we are adults, shouldn’t we at least explore coloring options outside the crayon box?

Adult coloring books come in all shapes and sizes, featuring subjects ranging from meditative patterns to generous pages of blank space, all the better to release the Mighty Creaton within. But with all this artistic platform comes the question of tools, more precisely, which ones should you be using?

Let’s explore that question.

What are you coloring?

Remember that saying by a certain wild-haired scientist? The one about how impractical it is to ask a fish to climb a tree? Well, same goes with colored pencils- there really isn’t a bad kind, but if you try to fill in detail with the blunted end of a crayon, you’re going to judge the crayon harshly.

When it comes choosing a colored pencil or pencil set for your coloring book, you have to look at what you’re coloring as well as the type of paper you’re coloring on and your personal coloring preferences.

Colored pencils come in different grades, each one catering to a different level of coloring ability and purpose. While most adult coloring books are marketed for meditative use, many people find that coloring can develop into an artistic interest.

Asking yourself why you’re into coloring is the first step in deciding what colored pencils will work best for you. Maybe you don’t really care as much about the finished product as you do about the repetitive motion of scratching a pencil across a page. Maybe you do care about the composition, color combination, and artistic value of your coloring projects. These preferences will be the primary factor in deciding what colored pencil is best for you.

Best Colored Pencils for Casual Use

If you’re more into the motion of coloring and just need a practical coloring pencil that will do the job, the best option is a wax-based colored pencil in a multi-colored set.

A basic, hard-cored, wax-based colored pencil is going to be easy to sharpen and works well with almost any type of paper material. This type of pencil doesn’t perform very well with textured paper because the color tends to miss spots- but if you’re into textured paper, it is likely that you’re not into casual coloring anyway and will find yourself a nice, pore-drenching coloring substance instead.

There are a variety of wax-based colored pencils on the market, from school grade to professional grade. When it comes to choosing between grades, it’s really a matter of preference. The wax-based pencils are very versatile and coloring book fanatics of all walks of life swear by them for the simple fact that they are multi-dimensional.

RECOMMENDED: Prismacolor Premiere Artist Colored Pencils
These are our top recommendation for casual use. They are what you should go for if you want a more sophisticated tool than that 64-pack of Crayola Pencils. That shallow comparison being made, the Prismacolors are actually the most popular colored pencils among coloring book fans because of their significant difference in quality, durability, and value.

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Best Colored Pencils for Artistic Use

People who see their coloring books as a canvas for artistic manifestation have a wide variety of colored pencils to choose from. That being said, it is here where the issue of paper material becomes a matter of frustration.

Adult coloring books are generally not manufactured (much to the dismay of hardcore colorists) for use with inky, gel, or smeary colored substance- any colored pencil praised for its moistness in other applications is a messy culprit on a coloring book.

While the printing press works on churning out coloring books with nonporous pages, there are still a few coloring pencil options for those with an artistic flare.

RECOMMENDED: Staedtler Colored Pencils
These are our top recommendation for artistic use. They are actually recommended for use with a coloring book by the author of some famous coloring books, Johanna Basford. As the designer of a coloring book herself, she recommends the Staedtler pencils because of their ability to be sharpened for work with detail as well as the ease with which they blend (for shadow work).

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