Colored Pencils FAQ

red colored pencil on a red background

This is a collection of commons questions and answers about colored pencils.


Where to store colored pencils?

colored pencil storage

There are various solutions to colored pencil storage. You could either buy a premade solution or you can get creative. Got a coffee cup? Use that. Got foam packaging from a delivery? Use that. 

Where are colored pencils made?

Colored pencils are made all over the world from materials that are from different countries in the world. For instance the company Faber-Castell is from Germany and imports materials from places like Africa and South-America.


Which brand of colored pencils are the best?

Faber-Castell is the most widely recognized and loved colored pencil company. 9 out of 10 artists will vouche for Faber-Castell. You will not see the same kind of love for any other brand.

Which colored pencils are oil based?

Generally high end colored pencils are oil based instead of wax. Wax solutions are generally cheaper and less reliable. Examples of oil based colored pencils would be:

  • Faber-Castell Polychromos
  • Caran d'Ache Pablo
  • Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor

Not oil based:

  • Caran d'Ache Luminance
  • Prismacolor Premier
  • Blick Studio Artists
  • Derwent Coloursoft Pencils


What are colored pencils made of?

Colored pencils are normally made from wood, pigments, graphite, oil and wax. 

What colored pencils are best for anime?

Are you sure you want colored pencils? Are you sure you don't want markers? Markers are what manga artists use. If you still want colored pencils then I suggest you start out with Prismacolors. If you want better quality then look at Polychromous.

What kind of colored pencils should I use?

That would depend on what you're trying to accomplish? Colored pencils can have various purposes. Some colored pencils are water soluable and can be used to paint.  Some are used for make up. Some are used for fine art.

What colored pencils to artists use?

Artist uses all kinds of colored pencils. They use cheap and expensive colored pencils on the same drawing. Because quite often you will be able to produce different effects and results with mixing. The best colored pencils for drawing are ones that are highly lightfast. That means they will not fade as easily as time passes.

What colored pencils make black/peach, gold/pink

When you're looking for a specific colored pencil, then what you need is a color pencil chart. Companies will quite often have their own colored pencil charts, much like interior design companies will have colors for wall paint and tapestry. An example of a color charts would be here.

What color to use for blond hair?

Blond hair comes in a variety of of shapes and sizes ( colors). I suggest you refer to a color chart like mentioned above and look for what fits your need.

What colored pencils are best for coloring books?

I get this question a lot. Any colored pencil will do for coloring books. But you might want to stay away from watersoluable colored pencils. 


Who makes the best colored pencils?

Faber-Castell is considered the best in the business. They are a germany company established in 1761. Originally they made cabinets but then throughout the years evolved into stationary equipment.

Who invented colored pencils?

According to wikipedia although crayons can be dated back to ancient Greece. The same can't be said for colored pencils which first really surfaced in the 20th century for offices and not artists.


Why are pencils colored yellow?

American manufacturers wanted to mimick the regal feel of chinese graphite pencils and thus started painting graphite pencils yellow.


How to sharpen colored pencils without a sharpener?

  • With a sharp knife. Be careful.
  • If you have a sharpening stone that too probably can be used but it needs to be really fine. Because you might break the graphite lead otherwise.
  • Sharpening paper

How to erase colored pencils

Erasers or scotch tape. Apply the scotch tape over the area you want to remove and then rub your pencil over the exact area you want to remove.

How many colored pencils to i need?

A basic set of 32 will do fine starting out.. as time goes by you might want to look into further coloring pencils. Adding more pencils as you grow.

Are colored pencils...


All colored pencils are lightfast to a degree. However only some colored pencils are made to be highly lightfast. If you're a serious artist I suggest you look for highly lightfast pencils for your art.

made from graphite?

Colored pencils are not made from graphite. 

toxic to dogs?

Colored pencils are not toxic to dogs.


Most colored pencils are made to be recyclable and environmental friendly practices are often followed in creating them.

allowed on airplanes?

Yes, they are.

toxic to humans?

They are not normally.


Yes, they are erasable.


Really? But... yes.

How to sharpen colored pencils without them breaking?

Use sharp, high qualirty sharpeners. Also do not drop nor mishandle colored pencils in general.


colored pencils or pastels or crayons

Colored pencils are generally cleaner to use and clean up. Crayons and pastels have higher pigmentation and I think are more lightfast.

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About the author

John Thatch

John Thatcher is a computer science educated artist. He uses technology to solve artist problems. His friends don't like it when he speaks of himself in the third person. But John does it anyway, because he's a rebel.

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