If you’re looking for a way to create stunning and creative paintings with a tool that is easy to use even for beginners, we recommended watercolor pencils. With the ability to be used wet, dry, or in a combination of the two, watercolor pencils enable budding artists to switch between drawing and painting.
Watercolor pencils are made with a water-soluble binder that is activated when the tip of the pencil is dipped in water or when water is painted onto a drawing made with watercolor pencils. This allows artists to choose between a traditional pencil crayon drawing and a watercolor painting, or a combination of the two.
In addition to the versatility in the look of the finished product that comes from using watercolor pencils, we also like how easy they are to use. Watercolor pencils don’t have the same messy trays that are required for painting, with the cleanup of using brushes and an easel skipped with watercolor pencils.
Watercolor pencils are also easy to hold and use, with artists having more control over fine points and details with watercolor pencils than with a traditional watercolor brush.
For best results, we recommend using watercolor pencils with watercolor paper, with the thick and textured paper acting as the perfect canvas for watercolor pencils.
Check out three of our favorite watercolor pencil sets below and get ready to create.
1. Castle Art Supplies 72 Watercolor Pencils Set
Featuring 72 vibrant colors and using a unique water-soluble binder, the Castle Art Supplies Watercolor Pencils Set can be used dry, wet, or a combination of the two. Easy to use, the watercolor pencils can be used dry like regular pencils or dipped directly into water for a watercolor effect. Water can also be painted on or dripped onto a drawing done with dry Castle pencils to create a stunning watercolor effect.
Pros: The Castle is the most extensive set on our list, with an impressive 72 vibrant colors to choose from. We like that the Castle pencils come in a tin that can be used for storage.
Cons: Castle pencils aren’t ideal for use on adult coloring books because the paper is often too thin. Instead, the pencils are better suited for a thicker, watercolor paper that has more texture.
2. OOKU Watercolor Pencils Arist Set
With a roll-up carrying case, you can take the 48 pencils in the OOKU Watercolor Pencils Artist Set anywhere, with the case also including room for a paintbrush and pencil sharpener.
Pros: The OOKU is ideal for artists on the go who want to be able to take their tools with them. Made with soft, non-oil based led, the 7-inch pencils fit into elastic holders and the durable wool canvas wrap easily rolls closed. The set comes with a brush to add water to images and a pencil sharpener. The OOKU are pencils but are easy enough to use that even beginners will love them. The pencils can be used dry or wet and can be applied to mediums that are dry or wet.
Cons: The OOKU pencils don’t have color names or marks on them, so it’s challenging to know which color you’re using.
3. Arteza Professional Watercolor Pencils, Set of 120
With more lead than traditional pencils, the ARTEZA are watercolor pencils made from graphite, offering a non-toxic option that any artist is sure to love.
Pros: The water-soluble ARTEZA brings pictures to life simply by adding water. Made from graphite, the pencils have a long life span with more lead than traditional wooden pencils. The set of 120 pencils come pre-sharpened, are non-toxic, and unlike the first two options, the ARTEZA are great for coloring books. We love the massive amount of options with this set, as well as its handy carrying tin which makes keeping them all together a breeze.