Watercolor pencils are an amazing form of art where you can both draw and paint at the same time with the same mediums. There are a lot of sets out there and finding the best watercolor pencil set for you could be a challenge. Below I have assembled a list of what I think are great sets that fit a variety of situations, from the casual gift to something for the serious artist.
If you are looking for something to get started in the art, try one of the first two out and see how it strikes you. When you are ready to start selling your art, look at the bottom two. They all will help make the art inside you jump out.
Not a single best watercolor pencil set on this list of 5 best watercolor pencils for artists will disappoint, so let’s get looking!
If you are looking for a casual gift, best watercolor pencils on a budget, or something to get your feet wet with, it is hard to deny the value of the Art Magic Pre-Sharpened Watercolor Pencils Set 1With 48 pencils, an eraser, waterbrush pen, paintbrush, and sharpener, you just need to add paper to have everything you need to get started in this amazing and fun hobby.
While certainly the best watercolor pencil set for the money, the colors are not that vibrant and they tend to get a little brittle when you add water making them more of a challenge to use than some of the more expensive brands. As for sketching, they do just fine.
This is absolutely a nice gift for anyone you might think has even a passing interest in an art form. It is good enough to give them an idea of what it is like and cheap enough that if they hate it, you don’t feel too bad.
This 72 Watercolor Pencils Set with 2 x 50 Page Drawing Pad is another excellent starter set which trades the brushes for more pencils and a couple of books. With 72 pencils you get a much nicer selection for the budding artist to choose from and I love the way they all fit in the nice little tin.
The quality of the paper is perfectly acceptable although not really great. For someone starting out, they should be just fine. They are far superior to the beginner trying to use standard printer or copy paper.
The pencils in this set are probably just as brittle as the last set, you just have more of them. This, unfortunately, is a common theme in the cheaper sets.
Even with these little flaws, I would say this is probably the best watercolor pencil set for beginners who want a lot of colors and some paper to start with.
The Colorarty 48 Watercolor Pencils Set is the first set I would consider purchasing for someone who actually wanted to start art seriously, such as taking a real art class. You get enough variety, with pretty good quality, in an awesome roll-up case.
The pencils in this set are a step above the previous two, yet still a little brittle. Their reaction to water, however, is very much improved over previous kits. This makes them a lot nicer for doing washes, blends, and bleeds.
My biggest problem is just that you have to be careful when sharpening them or you will keep breaking the lead off. Still, more than adequate quality and a nice array of colors to choose from in a great case make this the best watercolor pencil set at this price and quality point.
Now we start getting into artist-quality territory with the ARTEZA Watercolor Bundle Set. 4 With 72 colors, six waterbrush pens, and two pads of watercolor paper, this set will be the pride of any budding artist wanting to get into watercolor pencils.
The arteza watercolor pencils here are obviously higher quality with far less brittleness than all the previous pencils. The colors they produce both dry and wet are a step up as well with more vibrancy. Even just sketching these are a joy to use.
One really nice feature here is the paper. This is not just regular paper, but two 32-sheet 9″x12″ 140lb watercolor pads. Wet or dry, this paper will really make your art shine its best. This is some of the best paper for watercolor pencils.
Once you want to start brushing, the included six waterbrush set has different width brushes so you can do everything from fine detail work to sweeping washes and everything in between. While I normally prefer standard brushes to waterbrushes, these are actually pretty nice to use.
So you have someone who wants to be a professional artist, or maybe they are going to art school, or who is taking a college-level art class? Then the Derwent Colored Pencils, WaterColour 5is about as good a set as it gets. Yes, they are expensive, almost seven times what the cheapest set in this best watercolor pencil set list costs, but they are that good. The Derwent watercolor pencils 72 is also just the perfect number of pencils, not too many colors, not too few.
I own a couple of sets of Derwent pencils and know a lot of people who own them. We all complain about the price, but I have never once heard anyone complain about their performance.
You want the best colors dry or wet? The best lead that holds its edge well yet is soft enough to lay down a beautiful line? This is the set you want.
I only have one complaint. I have the feeling that there are some knockoffs of these pencils floating around. I have seen some of these pencils that look like Derwents, all the packaging looks perfect, yet the pencils themselves are pretty poor quality. I have not had this problem with ones bought from reputable art stores, or from Amazon if it says “sold by and shipped from Amazon.com”, but I would be very careful from other vendors. In fact, if you read some of the online reviews you will see where people bought them from vendors which stipulated no returns, which would have stopped me right there.
While I could write a Derwent watercolor pencils review taking up a whole page, I will just say that if you get a good set, this is the absolute best watercolor pencil set for beginners or anyone else you can buy.