26th February 2018

Pens and Pencils I Recommend for Colouring


Everyone has their favourite creative tools and part of the fun of colouring is finding the things that you like to use best!

Here are some recommendations of my favourite Colouring Tools:



Pencils are the best option for anyone starting out. You can blend the colours together, vary tone and vibrancy and there’s no risk of bleeding through the paper.

Faber Castell Polychromos. These colouring pencils are divine to use, but pricey. Let’s be honest, I would never have been able to afford them at Art School which makes me hesitant to recommend them, but they really are lovely to colour with. The pigment is rich and dense whilst the leads are firm enough to sharpen to a good point but luxuriously soft enough to blend like a dream. They have a HUGE range of colours and also offer the option of ‘open stock’ (so you can buy individual pencils, more green anyone?!). Lastly, they are oil based as opposed to wax (like say Prismascolor) so no wax build up or bloom will appear over time.

Not as expensive are the Staetler Ergosoft range. I’ve loved these pencils for a long time. They are a great entry level pencil, soft enough to blend, hard enough to sharpen nicely. Admittedly Staedtler don’t do a huge range of colours, but the joy of pencils is that you can blend and mix your colours to create a wide range of shades. These are a great set for anyone just getting into colouring or if you are gifting a book and want to give some pencils with it.



Pens offer a more vibrant pop of colour, but can be tricky to control.

Stay away completely from anything alcohol based like Sharpies or Posca Pens, these will definitely bleed unless you are colouring an Artist Edition, which is printed single sided onto thicker paper.

Staedtler Triplus Fineliners are a good, water-based pen in a nice range of colours with a nice fibre tip nib. Be careful though, if you press too hard or have a long ‘nib to paper’ contact time, the ink will bleed.

Sakura do a great range of gel and glitter gel pens (for when you are feeling fancy!) but if I had to recommend getting one, it would be a white. Adding a few little white highlights can make berries look shiny, eyes glisten and treasure sparkle!

I always suggest caution with pens, if you are finding that they bleed, switch to pencils!



Remember to try a small patch test of any new pens or pencils in the back of your book, either on the Colour Palette Test Page or somewhere inconspicuous.

For details of my favourite sharpeners, blending pencils etc, take a peek at this blog.

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