“What are the best pencils or pens for colouring?”
“What pencils or pens did you use for colouring?”
are perhaps the most discussed questions in colouring groups.
The second question can only be answered by one colourist with regards to one specific work – and it does not mean that when I use exactly those materials, my work will look the same as this colourist’s!
The general answer to the first question “What are the best pencils or pens for colouring” however is very easy: Whatever coloured pencils, gel pens, fineliners, markers, crayons, pastels, eye shadow, watercolours,… you prefer to colour with. And that means: Test, experiment, keep creating – that’s the only way to find out what works for you. 🙂
Each material or tool has its own characteristics: A pencil for instance makes different marks from a marker, and some materials like crayons, alcohol-based markers and watercolours require special papers.
Some are better for filling in large areas, others are more suitable for fine detail – but that’s self-explaining: You wouldn’t want to colour large shapes with a fineliner, nor is it likely that you’d try to do fine details with pastels and a cotton swab.
Similarly, one product, let’s say coloured pencils, differs from one manufacturer or brand to the other. But although quality products (more on that in a different post) do usually justify the higher price, cheap, no-name products can do the good job just as well!
What matters much more is
- that you start with what you’ve got right now – when you feel like being creative, don’t wait until you’ve “got the right material”, “time” or “[fill in any excuse you like 😉 ]”; any pen and scrap of paper will do for a doodle,
- and that you keep testing and experimenting. Only by trying things out yourself can you find out what works best for you – and without testing yourself, the best collection of pens and pencils and the best advice in the world will never satisfy you; you’ll always search for “new and better” tools and materials. Nor will not-doing improve your skills or experience…
That said, there are some pointers for choosing your material, and this, too, is a reason why we are so interested in reviews and other people’s experiences.
A review and Guide to colouring pens and pencils
For me, this wonderfully concise and detailed review and Guide by Claire from Colour with Claire is the go-to article, especially as I’ve never used most of these pencils and pens (I can’t get them locally anyway, only by mail order).
Included in this amazing review are
a Glossary of terms for types of pens & pencils
- followed by a list of products in order of cost and quality
- and including occasional links to her more in-depth reviews of specific products.
I hope you find it as helpful as I do!
Image source: bodobe via pixabay