Best Drawing Pencils for Artist In 2023

The first experience of drawing and creating art with a pencil is usually the reason most artists choose to draw with it. The erasable nature of pencils makes them the tools people usually turn to when sketching out new drawings, sculptures, paintings, and clothing designs. In many cases, pencils have been the tool these artists have used since they first learned to write, so they have plenty of time to find a favorite. Even though pencils seem as familiar as forks, there is an enormous variety of best drawing pencils.

If you are fascinated by pencil sketches and drawings as well, then we have something in common. Okay. No matter how experienced you are or how beginner you are, everyone can discover their inner artist and create intriguing and eye-catching fine art and other modern design projects using graphite, charcoal, colored, and even mechanical pencil.

Listed below are some of the best drawing pencils available on the market, so you can choose one that satisfies your needs. Here’s also a buying guide that explains what to look for and suggests top choices for your art project.

Top Picks: 5 Best Drawing Pencils

Top 10 Best Drawing Pencils to Buy 2023

1. Derwent Graphic Drawing Pencils, Medium, Metal Tin, 12 Count (34214)

In 1832, Cumberland Pencil Company began producing the finest pencils imaginable, and that expertise is reflected in the quality of its Derwent brand. Each of the Derwent Graphic Medium pencils comes in an individual box, as well as a set. In addition to providing smooth lines on paper, they are also ideal for sketching and freehand drawings. There is a set that suits every artistic style.


  • You will gain greater precision for drawings with a hexagonal barrel. 2.2 mm is the core thickness of hard (H) degrees. For softer lines, use black (B) soft degrees with 3.5mm cores
  • There are 20 degrees available to help you realize your vision with Derwent. The items in this set include 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, and 4H.
  • The wide range of pencils helps you select the one that best reflects your artistic vision. With these pencils, you can express yourself through shading, blending, or illustrations.
  • As the core sharpens, one can emphasize even the smallest details with a fine, long-lasting point. With its fine point, it’s possible to capture intricate subjects accurately.


  • Each item is available for purchase individually.
  • Options are available in a wide variety.
  • Durable and sharp core.
  • An affordable price.


  • Some find inconsistency.

2. LYRA Rembrandt Art Design Drawing Pencils

For serious artists, the Rembrandt artist supplies of LYRA are always the best. Drawing pencils of this quality feature consistent hardness through the lead, which is also break resistant, so they offer neatness, accurate drawing, and precision. With 12 graphite pencils ranging from 6B to 4H in hardness, this sketching set is ideal for artists who want to draw freely, as well as illustrators seeking precise lines and lines of varying thickness. In addition to being a great set to experiment with, it is a fantastic value for money. Take your creativity to the next level with LYRA artist products.


  • The pencils in this range feature a high breaking strength and come in a wide range of hardness grades. The pencils are ideal for drawing and designing. 
  • In fine art, graphic design, art, and architecture, LYRA Rembrandt Art Design Pencils present 12 levels of hardness for precise results. 
  • You can buy them in assorted metal tin sets, individually or in boxes by degree. All are AP certified non-toxic. 


  • Top quality solutions are created by LYRA.
  • These boxed sets are unique.
  • Great for sketching, designing, and drawing.
  • Provides accurate results.


  • It is challenging to smudge.

3. Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Sketch Pencil Sets

In fact, Van Gogh spoke excitedly in the 18th century about the pencils made by the Faber family. Known as the Castell 9000, the Pitt Monochrome Graphite range spans 16 grades of hardness, featuring extra-thick B pencil leads to help prevent breakage. For the more accomplished draughtsman on the go, this set includes four pure graphite pencils.


  • A great resource for artist and designer students.
  • Leads are made from graphite and clay that are finely ground.
  • Smooth and scratch-free, these premium pencils are pure and of premium quality.
  • This set of 12 different hardnesses provides an ideal range.
  • There are 16 hardness levels of leads available.


  • Excellent Quality Leads.
  • A guarantee of easy sharpening.
  • Leads that are resistant to breaking.


  • Not the darkest.

4. Staedtler Mars Lumograph Art Drawing Pencils

Lumograph pencils from Staedtler are known for their excellent quality. Thanks to a cedar wood barrel that is impregnated with a water-based lacquer, this sketching pencil boasts a break-resistant lead. Hard and soft grades are offered in sets of 6, 12, and 24, which can help your style advance as you grow more experienced and precise.


  • With its unbelievably break-resistant lead, this drawing pencil is of the highest quality!
  • Suitable for professional graphic and artistic applications that require writing, drawing, sketching, and hatching on paper and matte drawing film.
  • The following degrees are designed in a portable metal tin: 6B, 5B, 4B, 3B, 2B, B, F, HB, H, 2H, 3H, 4H.
  • It is easy to erase and sharpen the super-bonded lead, as it wears evenly and remains razor sharp as time passes.
  • A first-class manufacturing process and materials ensure that the product quality is unsurpassed and outstanding.


  • A first-class manufacturing process and materials.
  • High-quality, unbeatable products.
  • Erasing and sharpening is easy.


  • Bit costly

5. Faber-Castel FC117524 Albrecht Durer Artist Watercolor Pencils

Albrecht Dürer was a German Renaissance artist known for his watercolor pencils. They are manufactured carefully using only the highest-quality materials, featuring vibrant pigments and a special binder that provides fade resistance. 

Both drawing and painting techniques can be performed with these pencils. Artists will appreciate the tins of 12, 24, or 60 colors or the complete range of 120 colors. Albrecht Dürer’s 24 pieces of pencils set are priced above.


  • Watercolor pencils that produce unsurpassed watercolor effects and vibrancy are made with high-quality materials and over 250 years of experience.
  • The pigments will behave like watercolor paints if they are fully dissolved upon contact with the paper being used.
  • Leads with a bonded surface that is resistant to breakage.
  • You can reveal the full impact of the colors with just a few brushstrokes, revealing their strength and unique qualities.


  • A German-made product of premium artist quality.
  • Leads that are completely soluble in water.
  • Color strokes with smooth edges.
  • When a color dries, it becomes permanent.
  • Dry or wet, the color remains consistent.


  • The colors aren’t very vibrant 

6. STABILO CarbOthello Pastel Pencil Set, 24-Color

As we expect from Stabilo, these CarbOthello pastel pencils are of the highest quality. The pencils that come with the 24-piece set sharpen very well, and the colors in the set are decently diverse. It’s easy to blend their dry strokes, but adding water unlocks more fun possibilities – and creating wet areas with dry pencils can yield some particularly interesting results. Those who are just getting started can benefit from this mid-level set of pencils, but it could be a little advanced for beginners. 


  • Using this chalk-pastel pencil set, you can create stunning artwork, making it an ideal choice for students, artists, and anyone wishing to express themselves creatively.
  • When dry, you can smudge in various artistic looks using your fingertips or a blending stump.
  • These pigments are partly aquarelle and can also be worked with brushes and water. You will be able to see the contours, although they are less defined. 


  • Strokes resembling charcoal.
  • Smudgeable and blendable.
  • Vibrant and highly pigmented colors.
  • Suitable for both wet and dry use.
  • This lead has a diameter of 4.4 mm.


  • Not suitable for absolute beginners

7. KOH-I-NOOR Artist’s Soft Pastel Pencils (Set of 24)

This set of KOH-I-NOOR Artist’s Soft Pastel Pencils also has a wide range of colors and excellent quality. Soft and silky smooth, these pencils from the Czech Republic are easy to blend. They have a barrel diameter of 7.5 millimetres and a core diameter of just 4.2 millimeters, so they are pretty slim, but they still possess plenty of pigment and are easy to use and sharpen.


  • The pastel pencils feature an outstanding blend and toning capability. Their drawing characteristics are excellent due to their high pigmentation, lightfastness, and fade resistance.
  • The round soft pastels complement very fine detailed drawings when very fine detail is needed.
  • There are no toxic substances in this product, and, therefore, it can be used by everyone.


  • This is very easy to use and smooth.
  • It comes in a good variety of colors.
  • It sharpens easily and takes up little space.


  • Inconsistent Cores

8. Derwent Colored Pencils, Procolour Pencils, Drawing, Art, Metal Tin, 12 Count

In 2017, the Derwent Procolour range was introduced – yet another selection from the same reliable brand. It’s compact yet feels very sturdy, thanks to its circular shaft. Despite the lead’s thin and waxy texture, it has a high pigment level that allows for easy color gradation and even light touches. During our Derwent Procolour describe, we rated it four and a half stars.


  • This product delivers vibrant, highly pigmented color, a silky smooth texture that glistens like oil yet covers like wax
  • Detailed drawings without losing the vibrancy of color thanks to the core’s strength
  • The unique formula leaves the work clean and smudge free, without chipping or dusting.


  • It blends well
  • Enhance sharpness
  • The shaft is round and sturdy


  •  Bit scratchy

9. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils 

Students and entry-level artists will benefit greatly from these Prismacolor Premier colored pencils. With their dense, soft cores, these pens lay down a smooth layer of color for superior blending and shading. Water-resistant and lightfast, permanent pigments lay down a smooth layer of color without smearing or streaking. 

A wide array of shades and hues can be achieved by blending colors on all art surfaces. You can go as dramatic as you like with these thick leads since they are resistant to breaking.


  • To create shadows and shading, cores with a soft, thick texture are ideal.
  • The pigments used in this collection are richly saturated and lightfast.
  • Laydown of color that is smooth, even, and ultra-smooth.
  • These leads are robust and thick, so they resist cracking as well as chipping.
  • Colors blend easily, wear slowly, and are waterproof when properly applied.


  • Set that’s good for beginners.
  • The core is soft and thick.
  • This is well suited to blending.


  • Wood quality isn’t much good

10. Royal & Langnickel RART-200 Essentials Sketching Pencil Set, 21-Piece

Drawing pencils from Royal & Langnickel are among the best on the market, having been produced for more than half a century. Drawing, sketching, and doodling are all made easy with the Essentials Artist Set.

Eight standard graphite pencils, 3 charcoal pencils, 1 woodless graphite pencil, 3 sketching sticks, 3 charcoal sticks, 2 types of erasers, and one sharpener are included.


  • Getting Started Exploring Your Creative Side With Royal & Langnickel Essentials Is A Must-Have For Any Artist
  • The set includes a carefully chosen assortment of pencil sketching tools that will benefit artists of all levels.
  • Includes 8 Graphite Pencils and a lot more.


  • These sketches are great.
  • Pencils Perfect for Beginners or Practice
  • The set includes a variety of pencils.


  • lead sometimes breaks off

Best Drawing Pencils Buying Guide

drawing pencils set

Here are some tips on choosing drawing pencils that will suit your needs:


A drawing pencil comes in a few different types. It has a specially blended lead made by grinding up graphite (crystalline carbon) and clay. The majority of graphite pencils do not come with an eraser attached, but there are high-quality alternatives.

Another type of mechanical drawing pencil contains graphite lead. You don’t have to sharpen it once a year when you use a mechanical pencil, unlike the standard pencil. There are a variety of tip sizes available for both types of drawing pencils.


The firmness of the solution should also be considered. It is common to find drawing pencils with a wide range of lead hardness. The sets come with a range of options so that you can choose the type of draw you need or how dark you like your lines.

Softness does not equate to flimsiness with high-quality drawing pencils. A good lead will normally be sturdy and resist breaking, even if it is soft. There are some differences, but the fundamental difference is how they work. The lines produced by softer pencils are darker, while the lines produced by firmer pencils are lighter.


A drawing pencil usually has a lead that looks like charcoal. You may also choose from various colors of gray, pearly white, and even lead that’s a little blacker. 

Colored pencils, on the other hand, are sold as sets in which a variety of hues is included. It is possible to sketch and draw with colored pencils. They work better in illustrations for shading, shadowing, and coloring since the lead is typically softer.


What type of pencils are best for drawing?

HB, 2B, 6B, and 9B are the best pencils for drawing and sketching. Buying a set of pencils will be much more effective than buying whole sets.

Which pencil is darker HB or 2B?

Black marks are drawn with the 2B pencil, whereas light marks are drawn with the HB pencil, which are very different. Additionally, the 2B and HB pencils are used differently. The 2B pencil has a darker color and a softer texture than the HB pencil.

What pencils do artists use?

Writing and drawing are commonly done with graphite pencils. You can create dark, rough lines with charcoal pencils, but they are less versatile. In contrast to regular graphite pencils, colored pencils are similar but colored.

Which is better graphite or charcoal?

The graphite pores are less likely to smudge than charcoal, making it easier to protect (needing very little fixative). New artists are therefore more inclined to use graphite. Drawing excursions and classes would be much easier to take with graphite since it is more durable and transportable than charcoal.

Why do artists sharpen pencils?

Drawing with graphite pencils and sharpening them for shading effects. The ultimate goal of your pencils is to be versatile to shade, tone, and draw lines with the side of the graphite while showcasing their texture. To do this, elongate the exposed graphite by cutting away the wood from the graphite.


Using the right tools when crafting is essential for anybody, whether they are beginners or professionals. Based on your artistic style and personal preference, you’ll choose the pencil that’s best for you. Depending on your style of artwork, you will need to select an art supply that will suit you best. Every brand makes its own unique drawing pencil. If you want a rich, deep black mark, you might want to try charcoal pencils or charcoal sticks.

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