Like most colourists, I have far too many pencils and accessories that I probably need, yet there are more things I could probably use. Here is my current inventory of materials that I use to colour with.
These are my favourite pencils to colour with. They are nice and soft so they blend really well and there are so many shades of colour. My only problem with these pencils that I sometimes have breakage when I sharpen them. These pencils were actually my last purchase and I use them the most.
These are my second favourite pencils and were my second set of pencils. I received the 24 pencils for Christmas and then spent a fortune buying the remaining pencils to make up the 120 colours. The cores are stronger and my pencils have lasted longer than Prismacolor, however, they are a lot harder and take more coats to blend. There are plenty of shades of green, flesh and brown that are lacking in my other sets but they do lack pastel shades.
I love these pencils for doing watercolour. These are not water colour pencils, so they do not reactive with water once dry. I don’t find this a problem, as they dry rather quickly so feel like I have more control of the colour. The only problem is that the shades are all quite vibrant and the pack lacks pale shades. I have bought a few open stock Faber-Castel Albrecht Dürer Watercolour Pencils in pale colours to accompany this set. I may buy those too at a later stage.
These pencils are probably my least favourite and least used a set of pencils. I originally bought the Derwent Studio Pencils, not realising that they were different to the Artist pencils. So I started my colouring journey with the hardest, scratchies pencils. I eventually gave those away and bought these ones to accompany my Faber Castell Polychomos. They aren’t great at blending but they do blend well with Polychromos. Unless you’re crazy for pencils and doing tutorials that utilise these pencils, I would probably skip these pencils in favour of Prisma or Polychromos coloured pencils.
When I first started colouring I bought this small set to accompany my Derwent Studio pencils. I found the Derwent colours a bit too dull and these colours are very vibrant. They are also a lot softer. I never bought another larger pack as you can’t buy open stock of them and I only really used most of the greens up. If you’re not too serious about colouring these backs are cheap and lovely to colour with. They also come in watercolour sets.
I bought this cheap set of watercolors to color in Otana Disney Nice Coloring Lesson Book by Inko Kotoriyama. This colouring book recommends these pencils. I am pretty happy with them. The colours are vibrant but you can get nice paler tones for doing skies and skin tones. They come with a paintbrush, but it isn’t very good so I prefer to use my Pental Aquash Brushes.
I have heard good things about the Derwent blending pencil and was excited to finally come across it in my local art store. The pack includes the two burnishing pencils, two blender pencils, an eraser and sharpener. The blender is used to blend colours together or give a smoother appearance. The burnisher gives a glossy sheen to the pencil. I found that both pencils worked really well with my Derwent Artist pencils. I also tried them with both my Polychromos and Prismacolor pencils and was happy with results. These pencils are a bit harder than a Prismacolor blender so you do have to take care when using them. The little eraser that is included is also quite good for removing most of the colour if you make a minor mistake.
I use these pens for adding details or fix pictures that are missing details. I use the thick Brush pen for doing black backgrounds. I always put down black pencil before going over with the Pitt pen, so that there is no bleed through. I haven’t had any problems with them.
I use this pen the most in my colouring books to add any white, such as stars, sparkles and shine spots and lines. I first began using the same pen but in a thinner version, but I find the broader pen has a lot more juice and is easier to lay down.
The Posca pen does soak into the pencil a little so it’s not my first choice for doing white detailing. However, when I want to add some sparkles that won’t be so bright and are a bit faded I use my Posca instead of Signo pen.
For gold and silver details I use these two pens. I find that their shades are more realistic. I also found I can shade over to the top of these pens lightly with a pencil.
I got these at Costco in Australia and I’m not sure if they stock them regularly. I’m pretty happy with them. They come in a variety of colours, which include classic, neon, pastel, metallic and glitter colours. I haven’t used them a lot, but I have found them to be good quality and I like the shades. By Agie has done a nice video review on them.
I bought these little fine liners to get into tight little areas, primarily for Johanna Basford’s Lost Ocean. I didn’t want to spend the extra to get the normal size unless I was happy with these. To be honest I am yet to use them. They are on stand by.
I use these pens with my Derwent Inkense Pencils. I have the fine tip and medium tip. These refillable multi purpose brush pens that are filled with water, to use with water soluble art products. You can control the water flow by squeezing the pen to release the water and active the coloured pens. I have seen people use a paint brush and water, but if your serious about using Inktense or water colour pencils these brushes are the way to go.
I bought this pack just to try out watercolour. They aren’t bad, but are very limited palette. I would like to upgrade to a larger pack eventually and do some more watercolour in my books.
I originally had some cheap student pastels and wanted step it up. I found these pastels on Ebay on another artists recommendation and I love them. There are so many shades and they are so vibrant. I’m not sure on quality compared to higher end brands, but for colouring books they are perfect.
I initially bought these pastels just to try out since they were cheap. They weren’t bad and great if you’re just starting out. There aren’t many colours thought and the pigment was a bit pale.
I bought this big set of pastels by accident. I didn’t realise they weren’t soft pastels. So I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet. It comes in 48 beautiful shades.
This eraser was life-changing. It can take off so much pencil pigment off the paper if you make a mistake and really gives your hand a break. It is also easy to get into tight places.
I was previously using this Eraser. I quite liked it. It can be sharpened and get into small areas. You can find a similar brand in Prismacolor and Faber-Castell.
I go through sharpeners so frequently. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I spend on a manual sharpener, the blades dull within a month. So I thought it was time for something a bit stronger. On a few recommendations, I decided to buy this Derwent Super Point Mini Manual Sharpener. When I first got it I was not happy with it. I didn’t seem to do anything. Silly me was not using it properly. The sharpener needs the face pulled out and the pencil placed all the way in.
Now I know how to use it correctly I am very happy with it. It gives a nice long sharp point. I found that I sharpened my pencils a lot less and of course got a lot more pigment out. It worked well for my Derwent Artist and Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. However, I do not like it for my Prismacolor Premier pencils. Although it can give the same long sharp point I found that these soft pencils chip and the core wobble when I used them. I’m not sure if it’s because my pencils cores have been weakened from transportation or dropping but the space between the coloured core and the wooden barrel seemed to make them very fragile and prone to breakage.
I bought this pencil case for my Polychromos 120 set. I love it. It was a bit pricey, but it is very durable and good to travel with. It was also one of the only cases I found that fit this many pencils. However, it is a little big and some of the side pockets are a bit tight. I did try to put my Prismacolor 150 set to travel. This meant fitting 3 pencils per hole. I got them all in but it was just annoying to take them in and out.
I bought a few of these cheap pencil bags from eBay. They are a great budget option. Although they aren’t as well made as the Trans, they are good enough. I haven’t had any problems with mine. I have a 50, 75 and recently the 150 (for my Prismacolors). I think they would be ok to travel but you would have to be careful not to scratch them. They are also pretty small so they are less cumbersome to carry around.