6 Best Watercolor Pencils in 2024

drawing of a king fisher made with watercolor pencils next to a box of faber castell albrecht durer watercolor pencils - best watercolor pencils

Watercolor pencils are a versatile and fun medium that can create stunning effects on paper. Whether you want to sketch, blend, layer, or add details, watercolor pencils can help you achieve your artistic vision.

But with so many brands and types of watercolor pencils out there, how do you choose the best ones for your needs?

In this blog post, we will review the 6 best watercolor pencils on the market and give you some tips on how to use them effectively.

Also, if you're interested in all the different types of colored pencils that exist, make sure to check out this article.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a
small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).

What are the Best Watercolor Pencils?

  1. Caran D'ache Museum Aquarelle Pencils
  2. Derwent Watercolor Pencils
  3. Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Artists' Watercolor Pencils
  4. Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils
  5. Prismacolor Premier Water-Soluble Pencil Set
  6. ARTEZA Professional Watercolor Pencils

1. Caran D'ache Museum Aquarelle Pencils - The Professional's Choice

The Caran D'ache Museum Aquarelle Pencils are considered one of the premier choices in the realm of professional watercolor pencils. These Swiss-made pencils are beloved for their unsurpassed lightfastness and exceptional pigment concentration.

What sets these pencils apart is their luxurious feel and superior color delivery. The pencils excel in providing pure, powerful colors that remain vibrant even when diluted with water.

Caran D'ache Museum Aquarelle Pencils have a soft, break-resistant 3.8mm core, enveloped in a premium-quality cedar wood casing. They are available in sets ranging from 12 to 76, allowing for a broad selection of hues.

caran d'ache museum aquarelle color chart - best watercolor pencils

Their color range is extensive, making them an ideal choice for artists who seek a wide array of vibrant, lightfast colors.

ProsCons
Highly pigmented colorsExpensive
Exceptional lightfastnessMay be too soft for detailed work
Luxurious feel 

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2. Derwent Watercolor Pencils - Versatility Unmatched

Derwent Watercolor Pencils are a versatile choice suitable for both beginners and experienced artists. These pencils are made in the UK and are recognized for their adaptability.

Their unique selling point is their versatility, which allows artists to use them for dry coloring, or with a wet brush for a watercolor effect. The pencils perform exceptionally in blending and layering colors.

Derwent's Watercolor Pencils come with a 3.4mm core and are encased in hexagonal barrel for easy grip. The set is available in various sizes, from 12 to 72 pencils.

Derwent Watercolour pencils color chart - best watercolor pencils

The color range of Derwent Watercolor Pencils is impressive, offering a wide palette that includes both soft and bold colors.

ProsCons
Highly versatileColors are less vibrant when dry
Great for blending and layeringLimited lightfastness
Affordable 

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3. Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Artists' Watercolor Pencils - Premium Pigmentation

Faber-Castell's Albrecht Durer Artists' Watercolor Pencils are a high-end choice known for their remarkable pigmentation and consistency. They are crafted in Germany and are appreciated by artists worldwide for their superior quality.

These pencils stand out due to their high pigmentation, which ensures vibrant colors that are easy to dissolve in water. The pencils excel in offering consistent color output and excellent lightfastness.

The Albrecht Durer Artists' Watercolor Pencils feature a 3.8mm core and are encased in a hexagonal barrel. The set is available in various sizes, ranging from 12 to 120 pencils.

Faber castell albrecht dürer watercolor pencils color chart - Best watercolor pencils

Faber-Castell offers an extensive color range with these pencils, ensuring that artists have a broad spectrum of colors to choose from.

ProsCons
High pigmentationSlightly expensive
Excellent lightfastnessMay not be suitable for heavy washes
Consistent color output 

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4. Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils - Intense, Ink-like Colors

Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils are a unique offering, known for their ink-like vibrancy when used with water. These UK-made pencils produce stunning results that are akin to traditional ink washes.

The distinguishing feature of these pencils is their ink-like intensity. Unlike traditional watercolor pencils, the Inktense line delivers vibrant, semi-transparent colors that dry permanently, making them excellent for layering and mixed media work.

Derwent Inktense Pencils have a round barrel and a 4mm core. They come in sets of 12 to 72 pencils.

Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils color chart - Best watercolor pencils

The color range of the Derwent Inktense Pencils is vivid and bright, offering a spectrum of colors that closely resemble ink when water is applied.

ProsCons
Intense, ink-like colorsColors are permanent once dry
Great for layering and mixed mediaNot ideal for traditional watercolor techniques
Versatile 

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5. Prismacolor Premier Water-Soluble Pencil Set - Quality and Affordability

Prismacolor Premier Water-Soluble Pencils offer an excellent balance of quality and affordability. These pencils are appreciated for their soft cores and the smooth application they provide.

These pencils set themselves apart with their affordable price point and impressive performance. They excel at delivering rich colors and smooth blending, making them ideal for beginners and hobbyists.

Prismacolor Premier Water-Soluble Pencils feature soft, thick cores for smooth color laydown. They come in sets of 12 to 36 pencils.

Prismacolor Premier water soluble colored pencils color chart - best watercolor pencils

The color range of Prismacolor is impressive, offering a wide array of hues that can help artists achieve various artistic effects.

ProsCons
AffordableLimited lightfastness
Smooth color laydownColors might be less vibrant
Ideal for beginners and hobbyists 

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6. ARTEZA Professional Watercolor Pencils - Best Value for Money

ARTEZA Professional Watercolor Pencils offer impressive quality at an affordable price. These pencils are known for their vibrant colors and great blending capabilities, making them a favorite among budget-conscious artists.

What sets these pencils apart is the exceptional value for money they offer. They excel at delivering vibrant colors and smooth blending, similar to higher-priced brands, but at a fraction of the cost.

ARTEZA's Professional Watercolor Pencils feature a break-resistant 4mm core and a hexagonal barrel. They come in sets ranging from 24 to 120 pencils.

arteza watercolor pencils color chart - Best watercolor pencils

The color range is quite extensive, providing a broad array of hues for artists to explore.

ProsCons
Great value for moneySome colors may not dissolve completely
Vibrant colors and smooth blendingDurability could be improved
Break-resistant cores 

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