My tools of the trade as a coloured pencil artist

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When I first started out using coloured pencils I thought all I needed was the pencils and paper. But over the years I have come to realise that there are quite a few other tools of the trade.

For the purpose of this blog post I will be sharing my tools of the trade as a coloured pencil artist.

Coloured pencils

The number one tool is the most obvious and that is coloured pencils. There are so many brands out there like:

I have only tried three brands, those being: Prismacolours (great for blending) Polychromos (great for detailing) and Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor (Great pigment). I really want to buy myself a set of Caran D’Ache Luminance and the Derwent lightfast.


Another essential and obvious tool of the trade is paper. In the early years I was overwhelmed with all the different papers out there for coloured pencil artists to try. I have loved (and hated) so many different types. Here is a list of my favourites:

I am always looking for suggestions of good paper for coloured pencils. I would love to know yours.


I only tend to use three erasers. My Tombow Mono is great for erasing coloured pencil to create subtle highlights and also erasing intricate details. Because of it’s pencil like design it is great to use on smaller parts of a drawing.

Tom Bow Mono Eraser

My Faber Castell kneadable eraser is used for lightening my sketches so that the graphite does not show through the coloured pencil.

Kneadable eraser

I also use a basic pencil and ink eraser that I have had for years. For the life of me I cannot remember the brand or where I got it from. What is your favourite eraser?


Don’t get me started on pencil sharpeners. I have used so many over the years and most of them have really let me down. The amount of times the lead has broken and wasted my colour pencils is unbelievable.

It is only recently that I have actually found two really good sharpeners, those being:

Derwent super point
Derwent Pastel

The Derwent Super point is the best sharpener I have ever used. It gets my pencils super, super sharp and I don’t get any wastage and no breaking.

The Derwent pastel is ideal for those stubby pencils that have been used so much their is hardly any pencil left. These pencils don’t fit in the Super point so the pastel sharpener does the job.

have you got a sharpener that you swear by?

Pencil Extenders

These gadgets are perfect for those stubby pencils. You just insert them into the end of the pencil extender and tighten to fit. it gives the pencil an extended shelf life and feels like a real pencil again. The ones I use for my Polychromos and prismacolors are the images below.

Pencil extenders with marble effect
Double ended pencil extenders


When it comes to blending without solvent I use blending stumps in different sizes and they work great. I also use a colourless blender pencil.

Blending stumps in various sizes
colourless blending pencil


When I need to blend my coloured pencils with a solvent to make it easier, quicker and less strain on my wrist, I will use Zest It pencil blending solution. The bottle lasts for ages and has a pleasant citrus aroma. When I am blending with solution I use Filbert Brushes, which is just my preference

Graphite pencils

My go to pencils for sketching is a set of sketching pencils by Faber Castell. It is a set of twelve pencils ranging from 8B through to 2H. I haven’t really used any others as these have lasted forever, but would love to see your suggestions.

Sketching pencils set of 12

Dusting Brush

I have ruined so many drawings by brushing coloured pencil and eraser dust from them with my hand. Using your hand just smudges all that hard work. I use a large, soft bronzer brush that is intended for cosmetics but it works perfect for me. I really want to buy the Faber Castell dusting brush 1600 pictured below.

Dusting brush

White Highlighters

I have tried many ways to add highlights to my drawings including erasers. I also use a Gelly roll white gel pen and Uniball white gel pen. However these are not archival (won’t last forever and will fade or peel off after a certain time) so if you intend to sell your artwork like me then you will need something archival. I have just received a sample of Pearl Burnish liquid white coloured pencil from my Scrawlr art box subscription. So I am going to try it out and see how well it works.

Gelly roll gel pen white
Uni ball signo white gel pen

So there you have all the tools I use when I am creating art with coloured pencils. I would love to know what your go to tolls are.

Check out my art on Ebay

I would love for you to join my Facebook group: Coloured pencils help and community I will see you there.

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