4 Best Wax-Based Colored Pencils in 2024

Best wax-based colored pencils - Drawing of a car Ferrari 488 Pista in rosso corsa next to a box of Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils

Discovering the ideal wax-based colored pencils can elevate your artwork and unleash your creativity.

To help you make the right choice, I've reviewed top brands, including Caran d'Ache Luminance, Prismacolor Premier Soft Core, Derwent Coloursoft, and Bruynzeel Design Colour. Each brand offers unique features and excels in different areas.

So let's find out which one suits your needs best!

Discover all types of colored pencils in this article, listing every type and the differences.

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 Wax-Based Colored Pencils?

These are the top 4 best wax-based colored pencils:

  1. Caran d'Ache Luminance
  2. Prismacolor Premier Soft Core
  3. Derwent Coloursoft
  4. Bruynzeel Design Colour

1. Caran d'Ache Luminance - Excellent Lightfastness

drawing of a ferrari sf90 spider in purple next to a box of caran d'ache luminance colored pencils

Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils are considered one of the best wax-based colored pencils available in the market today.

These Swiss-made pencils are known for their exceptional lightfastness, ensuring your artwork stands the test of time. Artists of all levels (including me) appreciate the quality and performance of Luminance pencils.

What sets Luminance pencils apart from other brands is their unparalleled lightfastness. This means the pigments in these pencils resist fading even when exposed to light for extended periods.

The Caran d'Ache Luminance pencils have been tested to meet ASTM D6901 standards, giving artists the confidence that their work will remain vibrant for years to come.

Some key features of these pencils include:

  • A smooth, creamy texture for easy blending and layering
  • Highly pigmented for rich, intense colors
  • Durable, break-resistant leads
  • Round barrel of exposed wood

The Caran d'Ache Luminance pencils offer a diverse color range with 100 colors to choose from. This selection provides artists with an extensive palette to create stunning artwork. Moreover, the colors are available individually, allowing you to replace specific shades as needed.

Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils color chart
Caran d'Ache Luminance color chart of all 100 colors (source)

The Luminance pencils are available in sets ranging from 12 to 100 pencils.

ProsCons
Exceptional lightfastnessHigher price point
Creamy, blendable texture
Highly pigmented
Break-resistant leads
Available in 100 color

In summary, Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils excel at providing unrivaled lightfastness and a smooth, creamy texture. These high-quality pencils come with a higher price tag but are well worth the investment for artists who value long-lasting, vibrant artwork.

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2. Prismacolor Premier Soft Core - Superior Blendability

Prismacolor Premier Soft Core colored pencils are another top choice among artists and illustrators for their exceptional blendability and vibrant colors.

These American-made pencils have been a staple in the art world for decades and continue to be a popular choice for their performance and reliability.

The standout feature of Prismacolor Premier Soft Core pencils is their superior blendability. The soft, wax-based core allows for seamless blending and layering, which enables artists to create smooth gradients and achieve a painterly effect in their work.

Some of the key features of Prismacolor Premier Soft Core pencils include:

  • Soft, wax-based core for smooth blending and shading
  • High-quality pigments for rich, vibrant and opaque colors
  • Round barrel for a comfortable grip
  • Available in sets and individual colors for easy replacement

Prismacolor offers a generous color range with 150 different shades in their Premier Soft Core lineup. This extensive palette ensures that artists have a vast array of hues and tones to work with, allowing for greater creativity and expression in their artwork.

prismacolor premier soft core colored pencils color chart
Prismacolor Premier color chart of all 150 colors (source)

The Prismacolor Premier pencils are available in sets ranging from 12 to 150 pencils.

ProsCons
Excellent blendabilityMore fragile leads
Wide color range (150 colors)
High-quality pigments
Available individually or in sets

Overall, Prismacolor Premier Soft Core colored pencils are an excellent choice for artists who prioritize blendability and a vast color range.

While the leads can be more fragile compared to other brands, their performance and versatility make them a favorite among professionals and hobbyists alike.

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3. Derwent Coloursoft - Bold, Vibrant Colors

box of derwent coloursoft colored pencils

Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils are a favorite among artists who desire bold, vibrant colors in their artwork.

These British-made pencils boast a soft, wax-based core that delivers intense pigmentation while still providing excellent control and precision.

The soft core glides smoothly on various surfaces, making it easy to achieve strong color saturation and coverage.

Some key features of Derwent Coloursoft pencils include:

  • Soft core for bold, vibrant colors
  • High-quality pigments for excellent color saturation
  • Round barrel for a comfortable grip
  • Available in sets and individual colors for easy replacement

Derwent Coloursoft offers a comprehensive color range with 72 colors to choose from. The selection includes a wide variety of hues and tones, providing artists with ample choices to create eye-catching, colorful artwork.

Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils color chart
Derwent Coloursoft color chart of all 72 colors (source)

The Coloursoft pencils are available in sets ranging from 12 to 72 pencils.

ProsCons
Bold, vibrant colorsSofter leads may require more frequent sharpening
Smooth applicationSmaller color range compared to some other brands (72 colors)
High-quality pigments
Available individually or in sets

In conclusion, Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils are perfect for artists who prioritize bold, vibrant colors in their work. The soft core provides smooth application and intense color saturation, making these pencils a popular choice for creating striking artwork.

While the color range is smaller compared to some other brands, the quality and performance of these pencils make them a great option for many artists.

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4. Bruynzeel Design Colour - Intense Color Application

Bruynzeel Design Colour colored pencils, a product from the Holland-based company owned by Royal Talens, are a fantastic choice for artists who appreciate intense color application and buttery soft leads.

Part of the Bruynzeel Design lineup, which includes Graphite, Aquarel, and Pastel sets, these wax-based pencils take pride in their high-quality pigments and performance.

The Bruynzeel Design Colour pencils are known for their vibrant color output and effortless application. With a 3.7mm core, round barrel, and availability in 12, 24, and 48-count sets, these pencils allow for easy layering and dynamic color manipulation.

bruynzeel design colour colored pencils color chart
Bruynzeel Design Colour color chart of all 48 colors (source)

Their high-quality pigments and impressive lightfastness ensure that your artwork remains vivid for years, even if the largest set has only 48 colors.

The Design Colour pencils are available in sets ranging from 12 to 48 pencils.

ProsCons
Intense color applicationLimited color range (48 colors)
Buttery soft leadsPremium price
Attractive packaging and presentation
Good lightfastness

The Bruynzeel Design Colour pencils deliver a fantastic experience, thanks to their soft leads, vibrant colors, and exceptional lightfastness.

Although their color range is limited and the price is on the higher side, these pencils remain a strong contender in the premium colored pencil lineup.

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