Colored Pencil Art Supplies

I put this list of colored pencil art supplies together because colored pencil is a pretty big part, probably the main part, of all of my artwork. I love the medium even it is a little mind numbingly slow at times. It seems to fit me best out of all the mediums I have used. I am the type of artist that often craves detail and control over what I’m doing so colored pencil is pretty perfect for that.

***I only review the supplies I have actually used for colored pencil art so that I can give an honest assessment. As I try new things, I will add them to the list. Also, I only list the places where I actually buy my supplies and therefore know what to expect. I usually recommend Amazon, Dick Blick, or Michaels as they always seem to have what I need and aren’t ever out of stock. You are not obligated to buy them there but if you do from visiting my site, I earn a small commission which always helps. On occasion, I have ordered from an online place called Cheap Joes.***

Paper

 

Stonehenge White 90lb paper 

Price: $2.99 (22″ X 30″ White Sheet)

$15.95 (9″ X 12″ Pad of 15 White Sheets)

Where I Buy: Dick Blick Art Supplies

My Rating: 10/10

I absolutely adore this paper. I used Mi-Teintes for years because I could buy at it Michaels if I needed it in a hurry. Stonehenge, I have to order online. You can get Stonehenge paper here at Amazon too but the price is much better at Dick Blick’s if you are ordering more than one thing.

I finally splurged one day on this paper after hearing so much about it through my own colored pencil art studies. Whenever I read a book on colored pencil or went to other colored pencil artists sites, they always talked about this paper. They talked about other papers too but I noticed Stonehenge came up the most. When I finally got it, I understood its appeal.

It is so nice and smooth, takes a lot of layers of pencil, comes in a nice range of colors (though I have only used the shades White and Natural) and Dick Blick always packs paper really well even if you only decide to order one measely sheet (which I did the first time…LOL). I have ordered paper through Amazon before and it seems like my orders always come with a ding somewhere on the edges. I’ve even ordered pads of paper through AZ before (pads at least have an extra piece of cardboard protecting them) and they still had a ding on one side. I guess that’s because Amazon has a variety of different sellers.

But anyway, I am spoiled by this paper now. I have no complaints about it other than I wish I could I have a real art store nearby that sells it so I don’t have to pay extra for shipping.

Canson Mi-Teintes Pads

Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Paper

Price: $2.19 (19″ X 25″ Sheet)

$7.19 (9″ X 12″ Pad of 15 Assorted Colors)

$10.71 (12″ X 16″ Pad of Assorted Colors)

Where I Buy: Dick Blick Art Supplies

Amazon (if this is the only thing I am buying)

My Rating: 8/10

Before I started using Stonehenge, I would have given this paper at least a 9/10. I used it all the time. Actually, I still use it. I still have a lot of it left. This paper is still extremely good for colored pencil art projects. It’s not as smooth but it still takes a lot of layers of pencil and blends pretty well. It also comes in a huge range of colors, which is always enticing to me. I have used a lot of different shades with this paper and was happy with every one.

The main thing that irritates me about this paper is that it is mainly sold as pads in assorted colors. While a few sheets of white are available when you buy the pad, if you want just plain white, you have to order that online in the large sheets. Also, if you choose to go through Amazon, they usually only have the pads.

Strathmore Bristol 300 Series

Price: $8 (11″ X 14″ Pad of 20 Sheets)

Where I Buy: Amazon (if this the only thing you are buying, otherwise Dick Blick or Michaels)

My Rating: 6/10

For me, this paper is okay in a pinch. It’s just that it is so smooth, it doesn’t take a whole lot of layers of pencils. The finished effect can be very nice though.

I bought this paper when the price happened to be really low on Amazon which is why I have it. It is cheaper on Dick Blick but only without shipping costs. If you are ordering a bunch of supplies on Dick Blick and want to give this paper a try, then add it in with your order. Otherwise, if you are a Prime member, just buy it off Amazon because it’s only about $1.50 more. Dick Blick will charge you at least $4 dollars extra in shipping.

Pencils

Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Sets

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils

Price: $1.29 (per pencil)

$7.99 (24 ct Assorted Colors)

Where I Buy: Dick Blick Art Supplies

Amazon (sometimes)

Michaels (if you have a 40% off coupon)

My Rating: 8/10

I have a soft spot in my heart for these pencils. They were the first ones I ever used after learning about professional colored pencils. I used to be one of those people who thought the only colored pencils that existed were the ones out of the kid supply section in the store. These are smooth and rich and usually do exactly what I want them to. The only thing about them is that their lightfastness is not as good as some other brands. And your drawings do get that waxy bloom at some point long after a drawing is completed. You can wipe it off but still, it would be nice if you didn’t have to.

They come in a massive variety of colors. You can buy them per pencil or full sets up to 150. If you want to buy them per pencil like I usually do, I just run over to Michaels with a coupon – especially if I only need a small amount like 3 or 4. But if I’m placing a more significant art supply order online, I get them from Dick Blick. Amazon only sells these pencils in the sets not per pencil.

Caran d'Ache Luminance Colored Pencils and Sets

Caran d’Ache Luminance Pencils

Price: $4.49 (per pencil)

$55 (20 ct Assorted Colors)

Where I Buy: Dick Blick Art Supplies

Amazon (sometimes)

My Rating: 10/10

These are the best pencils ever! I love, love, LOVE them. Way more than even my beloved Prismacolors. BUT they are soooo expensive. Because of that, I still use Prismacolors most of the time. But wish I could use Luminance ALL of the time. They are thicker than Prismacolor. They are harder. But they still produce incredibly rich results – more so than Prismacolors. They also much better with lightfastness. I adore these pencils. I don’t have one single complaint about them except for the price. Oh, there is no store nearby for me to get them. I have to order online.

You can get the sets on Amazon but not usually per pencil. The few times I see per pencil, it’s usually just White and costs twice as much as Dick Blick. Sometimes, the set of 20 on Amazon will beat out Dick Blick but only if you are a Prime member.

Blending

Gamblin Oil Mediums

Gamblin Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits

Price: $5 (Dick Blick)

$8 (Amazon)

Where I Buy: Dick Blick Art Supplies

My Rating: 10/10

I use a round paintbrush to apply this to my paper when I’m blending my pencil layers. I have been really happy with it, much more than any other solvent I have tried. It dries really fast and helps almost melt your colors together. If you’re ordering art supplies through Dick Blick and want to try this too, just add it in. It costs more at Amazon but Dick Blick will charge you shipping.

Sharpeners

Bostitch Vertical Electric Pencil Sharpener

Price: Under $20

Where I Buy: Amazon

My Rating: 6/10

My husband bought this for general household use in 2015. It doesn’t have the greatest reviews. But so far, it is still going for us. Its main annoyance for me are that pencil tips sometimes come off and then jam up the sharpener. When that happens, I have to almost beat the thing against the kitchen floor to dislodge the tip so we can use it again.

My other complaint is that while I can use it to sharpen my Prismacolor Pencils, I can’t for my Luminance ones. This is because my Luminance pencils are thicker and simply don’t fit. Which is what led me to purchase the much better hand held sharpener below.

Mobius & Ruppert Brass Round Double Hole Sharpener

Price: Under $8

Where I Buy: Amazon

My Rating: 10/10

After I bought this, I had a new respect for the simplicity of a hand held sharpener. For a long time, I thought the electric ones were the way to go for my colored pencils. The hand held ones I had had before just seemed to chop up the pencils and the electric ones did not. Now, I realize I just hadn’t bought the right kind of sharpener. This one outshines my electric ones. I never have issues with it. It gives me a perfect pencil point Every. Single. Time. I’ve had this for a year now and it shows no sign of giving up.

Finishing

Krylon Fixatif 11oz Aerosol 

Price: $7

Where I Buy: Amazon

My Rating: 10/10

So far, I have no complaints with these for finishing off and protecting my colored pencil drawings. I have been using this can for over a year and I still have a ton of it left. Just make sure you take it outside before you spray.


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