Essential Coloring Supplies for Beginners

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Oil-based pencils use oil as a binder for pigments, giving them a stronger core and feel than wax pencils. Oil-based pencils are not easy to blend or erase, but they are less likely to break. Recommended oil-based pencils to try are Faber Castell Polychromos and Brutfuner’s oil-based set.

Water-soluble colored pencils are known as watercolor pencils. This requires a different technique than regular colored pencils, so we’ll save it for another blog post.

We recommend getting small sets of different brands and types of pencils to try and find your liking.


A good sharpener is a must in your coloring kit. Sharp-edged pencils are easier to use and apply color to the page more effectively than sharp-tipped pencils.

Portable sharpeners are easy to use and allow you to control the speed and pressure of sharpening. The basics have a fixed blade and sharpen the pencil in one length. we love T’GAAL Adjustable SharpenerAllows you to sharpen the pencil tip to 5 different lengths. We use setting #1 for colored pencils. As the numbers increase, it creates a longer tip, but that also means more pencil is shaved off (which is why we recommend 1 for colored pencils).

An electric sharpener is another option, but it’s hard to control, so we prefer a hand-held sharpener. You can also try a rotary sharpener, such as 133 The sharpener, which has a hand-held crank that you can sharpen. Most colored pencil brands sell their own sharpeners made specifically for colored pencils, so you can try them out as well.

A helpful tip is to always run the sharpener instead of the pencil at the sharpener. This reduces the risk of extreme pressure and breaking of the pencil tip.

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