Best Drawing Pencils For Artists (2024 Update)

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If you’re looking for the best drawing pencils for artists, there are a few factors you should consider. One of the most important is the grade of the pencil lead. Different grades of pencil lead offer different levels of hardness and darkness, allowing artists to create a range of effects and textures. You should also consider the type of pencil, whether it’s a traditional wooden pencil, a mechanical pencil, or a graphite stick. And of course, you’ll want to look for pencils that are comfortable to hold and use, with features like a comfortable grip and smooth, easy sharpening.

When shopping for drawing pencils, you should also think about your artistic style and specific needs. Are you a fine art student looking for a versatile set of pencils for a range of sketching and drawing tasks? Or a professional artist with specific shading and detailing needs? Additionally, you should consider whether you prefer environmentally-friendly options or are willing to spend more for higher-quality materials.

With so many factors to consider, it can be overwhelming to select the perfect set of drawing pencils. Some questions to ask yourself before making a purchase include: What level of shading and detail do I require? What type of pencils will be most comfortable for me to use for extended periods of time? And what is my budget for high-quality art supplies? By taking these factors into account, you can narrow down your options and find the best drawing pencils for your artistic needs.

10 Best Drawing Pencils For Artists

# Product Image Product Name Product Notes Check Price
1
This art set is ideal for beginners, kids, or any aspiring artist who wants to sketch and draw with different mediums.
2
The product is ideal for professional artists who need sketching materials with high-quality pencils, pastels, stumps, erasers, and sharpeners.
3
The product is ideal for sketching, drawing and other artistic activities that require different levels of graphite darkness.
4
Ideal for artists looking for a complete set of graphite drawing pencils, charcoals, pastels, and a zippered carry case.
5
The product is ideal for sketching and drawing with a range of graphite tones from soft to hard.
6
This product is ideal for sketching, drawing, and shading in black and white.
7
Ideal for drawing, shading and sketching with various line widths, suitable for artists, students and professionals.
8
This product is ideal for artists and beginners who want a range of graphite pencils for drawing and shading.
9
The product is ideal for artists looking for high-quality, break-resistant graphite pencils in a convenient metal case.
10
The product is ideal for drawing and sketching with graphite pencils, providing a full range of shades and tools.
This art set is ideal for beginners, kids, or any aspiring artist who wants to sketch and draw with different mediums.
The product is ideal for professional artists who need sketching materials with high-quality pencils, pastels, stumps, erasers, and sharpeners.
The product is ideal for sketching, drawing and other artistic activities that require different levels of graphite darkness.
Ideal for artists looking for a complete set of graphite drawing pencils, charcoals, pastels, and a zippered carry case.
The product is ideal for sketching and drawing with a range of graphite tones from soft to hard.
This product is ideal for sketching, drawing, and shading in black and white.
Ideal for drawing, shading and sketching with various line widths, suitable for artists, students and professionals.
This product is ideal for artists and beginners who want a range of graphite pencils for drawing and shading.
The product is ideal for artists looking for high-quality, break-resistant graphite pencils in a convenient metal case.
The product is ideal for drawing and sketching with graphite pencils, providing a full range of shades and tools.

1. Castle Art Set: 26pc Beginner Sketch Kit

The Drawing and Sketching Set, expertly curated by in-house professionals, is an essential tool for both novice and experienced artists. Enclosed in a convenient, see-through clamshell case, this set contains a carefully chosen selection of twelve graphite pencils, three charcoal sticks, one soft graphite sketching pencil, and accompanying tools. The case is designed with individual compartments for effortless organization, allowing for quick and easy access to the desired medium.

Crafted with precision, the pencils are balanced and shaped for a comfortable grip and precise control. Made from high-quality materials, the leads offer smooth application while resisting splintering and breakage. The set's reliability and exceptional performance have been tested and proven by studio experts, who have confirmed its superiority over competing products.

For those seeking to build their skills, the set includes a simple tutorial that unfolds in five stages. The tutorial provides a step-by-step guide to drawing the cover image and applying the lessons to one's own artwork. The Drawing and Sketching Set is also a valuable teaching tool, making it an excellent choice for classrooms and workshops.

2. Sketchpro: 20-Piece Art Set With Hard Case

This premium quality set is a must-have for any aspiring or professional artist. It has been produced with carefully selected materials and high-quality pigments that ensure long-lasting, vibrant color in every stroke.

The set includes 20 pieces, which makes it a versatile and comprehensive collection. It contains 8 sketch pencils, 3 charcoal pencils, 1 round pastel, 2 charcoal sticks, 2 blending stumps, 2 erasers, and 2 sharpeners, providing the perfect tools for any project.

The soft leads of the set create a smooth color laydown, making blending and shading a breeze. The thick, long-lasting cores also resist breakage, allowing for bold statements to come to life on the page.

Whether you need vivid and intense colors or subtle and soft hues, this set has got you covered. It offers a range of colors that can create stunning effects with just one stroke. The set's versatility makes it ideal for any project, from sketches and illustrations to detailed drawings and portraits.

3. Sketchmaster Graphite Pencil Set – 6 Shades

The Faber-Castell graphite pencils are a must-have tool for artists and beginners alike. These pencils have an ergonomic hexagonal shape and a smooth graphite texture that makes them perfect for sketching, graphic design, and shading.

The Sketching Pencil Set comes with six artist quality Faber-Castell graphite pencils in various degrees of lead hardness: 2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, and 6B. Made of finely ground graphite and clay, these pencils provide a smooth and balanced laydown for superior performance.

The Faber-Castell graphite pencils feature a break-resistant lead that is glued the entire length of the pencil to ensure limitless drawing and easy sharpening. This feature makes the pencils perfect for extended use and ensures that they last longer than other pencils on the market.

Faber-Castell is proud to manufacture their graphite pencils with carbon neutral production using reforested wood grown from FSC certified sustainable forestry. The CO2 emissions caused by the manufacturing process of this item are neutralized by certified projects, making these pencils an environmentally conscious choice.

Since 1761, Faber-Castell has been creating art and school supplies for kids, adults, and professional artists alike. The Faber-Castell Sketch Pencil Set provides durable, flexible, and quality drawing supplies for the art student and aspiring artist. These pencils will inspire creativity and help artists to produce high-quality drawings and sketches effortlessly.

4. Castle Art Graphite Sketch Kit With Stand

The Ultimate Drawing Set is a must-have for artists, whether seasoned or starting, who want to push their creative boundaries. The set comes in a robust and stylish zipper case that unfolds into organized sections, making it easy to select and carry your tools anywhere you go.

Curated by in-house artists, the set includes everything you need to draw and sketch, such as graphite, charcoal, and pastel pencils, charcoal and graphite sticks, blenders, and other tools. All the tools are made of premium quality materials, ensuring smooth application and reliable performance. The non-splinter wood and break-defying leads make these tools a joy to use.

The set also includes a detailed 20-page guide that is easy to follow, crammed with demos and tips to help you make the most of the art supplies. The fold-out tutorial allows you to create a drawing using different techniques and media, making it easy to build your skills and explore new techniques.

The Ultimate Drawing Set has been tested and trusted by the ultimate judges – 1.5 million customers worldwide. It has also been tested by studio experts to beat competitors, making it a reliable and trustworthy choice for any artist. Additionally, the set is backed by a unique Money-back Plus guarantee, giving you peace of mind with your purchase.

5. Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch Pencil Sets Art 8b – 2h Set Of 12

The Castell 9000 Drawing Pencil Sets are a must-have for any artist or designer seeking high-quality pencils for their artwork. The set includes 12 pencils with accurately graded, exclusively formulated leads ranging from 8B to 2H. The pencils are designed to provide optimal performance and precision for all types of drawing and sketching applications.

The set comes in a durable metal box that keeps the pencils organized and protected. The box is also compact and easy to carry, making it perfect for artists on-the-go. The pencils themselves are made with high-quality materials that ensure consistent performance and long-lasting use. The leads are strong and break-resistant, allowing for detailed and precise lines every time.

One of the standout features of the Castell 9000 Drawing Pencil Sets is their accurately graded leads. Each pencil is formulated to provide a specific level of hardness or softness, making it easy to achieve the desired level of shading or detail in your artwork. Whether you are a beginner or a professional artist, these pencils are sure to deliver outstanding results.

6. Derwent Artists Black & White Pencils, Set Of 6 Art Pencils (2302342)

The Derwent Artists Black and White Pencils offer a one-of-a-kind set of six pencils that come in warm, cool, and pure black and white colors. These pencils are designed to complement each other when used together, resulting in subtle and impressive color releases. They are an ideal choice for those who enjoy creating bold and contrasting work, portraits, or detailed illustrations.

These pencils are equipped with a wide core that is highly pigmented, providing intense saturation of color. Alternatively, users can blend and build up layers of subtle tones for a more nuanced effect. The Derwent Artists Black and White Pencils are crafted with the finest quality materials, ensuring that they hold a strong point and are encased in Cedarwood, making them both durable and elegant.

Artists of any level can benefit from using these pencils. They are perfect for beginners who want to experiment with different techniques, and professionals who require high-quality tools to create their masterpieces. The Derwent Artists Black and White Pencils are versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes, including sketching, drawing, and shading.

Each pencil in the set has its own unique properties that make it stand out. The warm black pencil is perfect for creating rich, velvety tones, while the cool black pencil is ideal for creating crisp, clean lines. The pure black pencil is perfect for creating dramatic contrast, while the warm white pencil allows for subtle shading. The cool white pencil is perfect for creating highlights, and the pure white pencil is perfect for adding a bright pop of color.

7. Derwent Graphic Pencils, Metal Tin, 24 Count (34202)

The Derwent Pencil Set offers a sturdy and precise drawing experience with its hexagonal barrel design. The set includes both hard (H) and soft (B) degrees, each with a different core size for sharp or softer lines. With a broad range of 20 degrees to choose from, including popular options like HB and 9B, artists can find the perfect pencil to fit their creative vision.

The versatility of the Derwent Pencil Set allows for a wide range of artistic executions, whether used for blending, illustrations, or shading. The strong core sharpens to a fine, long-lasting point, perfect for emphasizing even the smallest details. The fine point also allows for professional-level precision on intricate images.

To achieve the best results, the Derwent Pencil Set can be combined with other Derwent products such as the Derwent Canvas Pencil Wrap, Derwent Sketching Paper Pads, Derwent Pencil Sharpener, and Derwent Battery Operated Eraser. With these accessories, artists can take their work to the next level and create stunning masterpieces.

8. Artists' Essential Sketch Pencil Set

The Arrtx Professional Drawing Pencil Set is an essential tool for artists who want to create high-quality sketches and drawings. This set consists of 14 high-quality graphite pencils, ranging from 4H to 8B. Each pencil is designed with a unique color to fit the artist's aesthetic, and they are not pre-sharpened.

Crafted with high-grade lead, the Arrtx sketch pencils are easy to sharpen and erase. The advanced bonding technique ensures that the graphite leads are exceptionally break-resistant, allowing artists to sketch for extended periods without concerns about the tip breaking. This professional-grade quality ensures that artists can achieve lines of varying thickness and color saturation with a smooth writing experience.

The pencil design pays meticulous attention to detail, incorporating a non-slip grip that ensures easy handling and control. This guarantees both precision and accuracy in your sketches while providing a comfortable drawing experience. These versatile artist pencils are perfect for sketching, drawing, shading, doodling, and writing.

The Arrtx Professional Drawing Pencil Set empowers artists to create professional-grade artistic expressions. It makes an ideal gift for artists, beginners, designers, creators, adults, art-loving children, students, neighbors, and friends.

Arrtx is dedicated to providing top-quality art supplies and services for art enthusiasts. They offer a one-year warranty and 24-hour online support. If you encounter any issues with their sketch drawing pencils, please don't hesitate to contact them.

9. Artists' Best Companion: Staedtler Lumograph Pencils

If you're looking for a high-quality drawing pencil, then this product is perfect for you. With its unbelievably break-resistant lead, it's particularly suitable for writing, drawing, sketching, and hatching. It's also perfect for professional graphic and artistic applications on paper and matte drawing film.

The design set comes with 12 finely graded consistent degrees in a portable metal storage tin. The degrees range from 6B to 4H, ensuring that you have a wide range of options to choose from. Whether you're a beginner or a professional, this set has everything you need to create your masterpiece.

One of the best things about these pencils is the super-bonded lead. It wears evenly and is easy to erase and sharpen. This means that you can use it for a long time without worrying about it breaking or becoming dull. You can also erase mistakes easily, which is essential when working on a project that requires precision.

The first-class materials and manufacturing processes used to make these pencils guarantee outstanding and unbeatable product quality. You can rest assured that you're getting a high-quality product that will last you a long time.

10. Prismacolor Premier Graphite Drawing Pencils With Erasers & Sharpeners, 18-Piece Set

Introducing a set of professionally graded artist pencils that cater to all your drawing needs, from highlighting to mid-tones and shadows. This set includes a range of 14 pencils in total, which are divided into three categories: Turquoise drawing pencils, woodless graphite pencils, and water soluble graphite pencils.

The Turquoise drawing pencils come in seven different values, ranging from 8B to 6H, allowing you to experiment with a variety of tones. The woodless graphite pencils can be used sharp for details or blunt for coverage, thanks to their casing-free design that doesn't slow you down.

The water-soluble graphite pencils are perfect for creating rich, dark marks that can be mixed with water to produce a transparent wash. This feature comes in handy when you want to add a watercolor effect to your artwork.

The set also includes a steel sharpener and sanding board to ensure that your pencils are always sharpened to perfection. The Magic Rub vinyl eraser is gentle on delicate surfaces and absorbs graphite effectively, while the kneaded rubber eraser can be molded to fit the shape of the area you're erasing.

Best Drawing Pencils For Artists FAQs

Can I use colored pencils for drawing and sketching?

Yes, you can definitely use colored pencils for drawing and sketching. Colored pencils are a popular and versatile medium that can be used for a variety of art styles and techniques. They are useful for creating intricate details, layering colors, and achieving a range of tones and textures.

When selecting colored pencils, it's important to choose a good quality brand that will produce vibrant colors and smooth application. Some popular brands include Prismacolor, Faber-Castell, and Derwent.

To get the most out of your colored pencils, it's important to experiment with different techniques such as layering, blending, and burnishing. You can also try using different types of paper with varying textures to achieve different effects.

Overall, colored pencils are a great choice for artists of all levels who are looking for a versatile and convenient medium for drawing and sketching.

How do I care for and maintain my drawing pencils?

Caring for and maintaining your drawing pencils is essential to ensure they last longer and produce the desired results. Here are a few tips to help you keep your drawing pencils in good condition:

1. Keep them sharp: Always sharpen your pencils before use. Use a sharpener with a fresh blade to get a fine point. Blunt pencils can damage the paper and produce poor results.

2. Clean them regularly: Clean your pencils regularly with a soft cloth to remove any dirt or debris. You can also use a soft brush to remove any graphite dust from the tip.

3. Store them properly: Store your pencils in a dry place and away from direct sunlight or heat. You can use a pencil case or a box to keep them organized and protected.

4. Use a light touch: Avoid pressing too hard on the paper when using your pencils. This can cause the lead to break and damage the paper.

By following these tips, you can ensure your drawing pencils stay in good condition and produce beautiful artwork.

How do I choose the right drawing pencil for my artistic needs?

Choosing the right drawing pencil can make a big difference in your artistic creations. Here are some tips to help you choose the right drawing pencil for your needs:

1. Consider the lead grade: Drawing pencils come in different lead grades, ranging from hard (H) to soft (B). If you need to draw fine lines or details, choose a harder lead pencil like 2H or 4H. If you need to draw darker lines or shading, choose a softer lead pencil like 2B or 4B.

2. Think about the type of drawing you want to do: The type of drawing you want to create also affects the type of pencil you should use. For example, if you want to do technical drawing or architectural drafting, a harder lead pencil like 2H or 4H is ideal. If you want to do sketching or portrait drawing, a softer lead pencil like 2B or 4B is better.

3. Experiment with different brands: Different pencil brands have different textures and qualities. Experiment with different brands to find the one that suits your needs and preferences.

4. Consider the pencil’s shape and size: Drawing pencils come in different shapes and sizes. Some have round barrels, while others have triangular or hexagonal shapes. Choose a pencil that feels comfortable in your hand and allows you to draw with ease.

Overall, choosing the right drawing pencil is a matter of personal preference and experimentation. Try different pencils until you find the one that works best for your artistic needs.

Should I use mechanical or traditional drawing pencils for my artwork?

The choice of using mechanical or traditional drawing pencils depends on personal preference and the type of artwork you are creating. Mechanical pencils are great for precision drawing, technical drawing, and fine details. They come in various lead sizes and are easy to control, providing consistent lines throughout your work. They also don't need sharpening, reducing the risk of breaking the lead.

On the other hand, traditional drawing pencils are ideal for shading, tonal drawing, and creating different textures. They offer a wider range of lead grades, providing different levels of darkness and softness. Traditional pencils also offer a more organic feel to your artwork, as you can vary the pressure and angle of the pencil to create different effects.

In conclusion, both mechanical and traditional pencils have their advantages and disadvantages. It's best to experiment with both and see which one suits your style and needs best. You can also use a combination of both to achieve different effects in your artwork.

What are the best drawing pencils for artists?

As an artist, the best drawing pencils for you will depend on your personal preferences and the type of artwork you create. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow when choosing drawing pencils.

Firstly, consider the hardness or softness of the pencil lead. A harder lead, such as an H or 2H, is ideal for creating fine details and precise lines. A softer lead, such as a B or 2B, is better for shading and creating darker tones.

Secondly, consider the quality of the pencil. Higher-quality pencils tend to have better consistency and durability, allowing you to create more consistent lines and tones over time.

Some popular brands of drawing pencils include Faber-Castell, Staedtler, and Prismacolor. It's often a good idea to try out a few different brands and types of pencils to see what works best for your specific needs and preferences.

Overall, the best drawing pencils for artists will depend on your personal style and the specific artwork you create. Experiment with different brands and types of pencils to find the perfect tools for your artistic vision.

What are the different types of drawing pencils available for artists?

There are several types of drawing pencils available for artists, each with a different level of hardness and darkness. The most commonly used types of drawing pencils are graphite, charcoal, and colored pencils.

Graphite pencils are the most widely used type of drawing pencils. They come in different levels of hardness, from 9H (hardest) to 9B (softest). The harder the pencil, the lighter the mark it creates, and the softer the pencil, the darker the mark.

Charcoal pencils are another popular type of drawing pencils. They come in different degrees of hardness and are known for their ability to create rich, dark lines. Charcoal pencils are typically used for creating large, bold strokes and creating shading in drawings.

Colored pencils are also a popular choice for artists. They come in a wide range of colors and are ideal for creating detailed drawings and illustrations. Colored pencils are typically used for color blending, layering, and creating intricate details.

Overall, the type of drawing pencil an artist chooses depends on their personal preference and the type of drawing they are creating.

What are the pros and cons of using different types of drawing pencils?

Different types of drawing pencils offer various benefits and drawbacks, depending on the artist's preferences and the intended outcome of the artwork. Here are some pros and cons of using different types of drawing pencils:

1. Graphite pencils – Graphite pencils are the most common type of drawing pencils. They come in different levels of hardness, ranging from soft (9B) to hard (9H). The pros of using graphite pencils are their versatility, ease of use, and ability to create a range of values. The cons are that they can smudge easily, and the softest ones can break easily.

2. Charcoal pencils – Charcoal pencils are excellent for creating high-contrast, dramatic drawings. They have a soft, powdery texture that allows for easy blending and shading. However, the downside of charcoal pencils is that they can be messy and difficult to control.

3. Colored pencils – Colored pencils are great for creating vibrant, colorful drawings. They come in a wide range of hues and can be layered to create different colors and effects. The downside of colored pencils is that they are not as opaque as other mediums and can take a long time to build up color.

4. Mechanical pencils – Mechanical pencils are convenient and easy to use. They come in a range of lead thicknesses and are great for creating precise, detailed drawings. The downside of mechanical pencils is that they can be expensive and the lead can break easily.

In conclusion, the choice of drawing pencil depends on the artist's preferences, style, and the desired outcome of the artwork. It's important to experiment with different types of pencils to find the best fit for your creative process.

What is the best brand of drawing pencils for professional artists?

Choosing the best brand of drawing pencils for professional artists can be subjective as it depends on personal preferences and the type of artwork they create. However, some of the most popular and highly recommended brands among professional artists are Faber-Castell, Staedtler, Derwent, and Prismacolor.

Faber-Castell is known for their high-quality graphite pencils that provide excellent shading and precision. Staedtler is also a well-respected brand, particularly for their Mars Lumograph line of pencils, which are known for their consistent lead quality and durability. Derwent offers a wide range of pencils, including watercolor and colored pencils, which are popular among artists who work in those mediums. Prismacolor is renowned for their soft, creamy, and vibrant colored pencils that produce rich and highly pigmented results.

Ultimately, the best brand of drawing pencils for professional artists will depend on their specific needs and preferences. It is always a good idea to try out different brands and types of pencils to find the ones that work best for your style and technique.

What is the difference between graphite and charcoal drawing pencils?

Graphite and charcoal drawing pencils are both popular tools used by artists for creating drawings, but they differ in a few key ways.

Graphite pencils are made of a mixture of graphite and clay, which allows for a range of values (from light to dark) and fine detail. They come in different grades, ranging from 9B (softest) to 9H (hardest), with HB being the middle grade. Graphite pencils are ideal for technical drawing, sketching, and shading.

Charcoal pencils, on the other hand, are made of compressed charcoal, which is a much softer material. They come in different degrees of softness, from soft to hard. Charcoal pencils are great for creating bold, expressive marks and dark values. They are often used for life drawing, portraits, and landscapes.

In summary, graphite pencils are best for precise, detailed work, while charcoal pencils are better for creating expressive, dark marks. Both types of pencils can be used together to create a wide range of effects and textures.

What type of drawing pencil is best for shading and blending?

The best type of drawing pencil for shading and blending is a soft graphite pencil. The softness of the graphite allows for a smoother and darker line, which is ideal for shading. The most commonly used soft graphite pencils for shading and blending are 2B, 4B, and 6B. The higher the number, the softer the graphite and the darker the line.

In addition to graphite pencils, charcoal pencils are also great for shading and blending. Charcoal pencils come in different levels of hardness, but the softest ones are ideal for shading. Charcoal pencils can create a richer, deeper tone than graphite pencils, but they can be messier and harder to control.

When using either graphite or charcoal pencils for shading and blending, it's important to have a good eraser on hand to lighten areas and create highlights. It's also important to use a blending tool, such as a blending stump or your finger, to smooth out lines and create a seamless transition between light and dark areas.

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