Resources for Beginning Colored Pencil Artists (Links)

resources for beginning colored pencil artistsWhat Pencils, Paper, Books, and Online Classes Should I Get?

I always get asked what are the best colored pencils and papers to use. Below I share with you my favorite brands of pencils and paper. This list will get you started and you will also learn a lot more by participating in our Facebook Group


I would personally recommend ordering your pencils from Blick’s if you want to buy them open stock. Amazon sometimes has better deals on the colored pencil sets. Blick’s is a trusted art store and they do a tremendous shipping job. Also, if something is broken they will replace it, and they have good customer service. Clicking on my affiliate link will take you to their page with their list of colored pencils:

The best brands are Caran D’ache Luminance, Caran D’ache Pablo, Faber-Castell Polychromos, Lyra Rembrandt Polycolors, and the Prismacolor Premiers. If you are on a budget I recommend the Koh-I-Noor Woodless and the Blick or Utrecht brand colored pencils. The best watercolor pencils are Caran D’ache Aquarelle, Caran D’ache Supracolor, Derwent Inktense, Faber-Castell Albert Durer, and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Magnus Watercolor Pencil.

The best paper brands for colored pencils are: Stongehenge, Stonehenge Aqua Hot PressCanson Mi Tientes Toned Pastel Paper, Hot Press Arches Watercolor Paper,  Dura-Lar Matte double sided .005, Grafix Drafting Film matte double sided .005, and Bristol Vellum, or Bristol Smooth. You want to get the 300, 400, or 500 series when buying from Strathmore. The pastel papers also work great with colored pencils like Uart 600 or 800 and Claire Fontaine Pastelmat. Pastelbord is also another option if you want an archival hard surface to draw on.

Blick also has many other goodies that you might like. You can go shopping here:

My favorite drafting film at Blick’s that is hard to find on Amazon:


If you prefer Amazon here are some affiliate links to my favorite pencils and papers : – 72 Inktense Set – Pablo Pencil Sets – Luminance Pencil Sets – Derwent Drawing Pencils – love these creamy lightfast pencils. Great price, too. – Prismacolor 150 set – great price – Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils – Museum Aquarelle – Both the 12 and 20 sets are good prices. – Stongehenge Pads – Mi Tientes Toned Pastel Paper – Hot Press Arches Watercolor Paper
Watercolor paper – Dur-Lar Matte Double sided .005 9 by 12 pad – Bristol Vellum Pad 11 by 14– Bristol Smooth Pad 11 by 14

Jumpstart Jetpack

Another thing I recommend even before buying pencils is to check out Ann Kullberg’s Jumpstart Jetpack PDF Handbook & Video through my affiliate link here:

This is a great resource guide for beginners. It explains pencils, papers, erasers, sharpeners, tools layering, blending, and burnishing. It also includes a glossary and a bonus 20 minute video instruction with Ann Kullberg.

This PDF guide will help you to get started with colored pencils by recommending the best tools and techniques. The video goes over different colored pencil brush strokes and how to transfer photos to drawing paper.

Our group gets a special coupon code: CP4B10 – it will take 10% off any item in the Jumpstart Collection. This will also make you eligible for our Jumpstart contest. You can learn about our challenges here. (You will need to be a member to our Facebook Group to access the page.)

The Jumpstarts kits on the Anne Kullberg site are now bundled, so that you can save over 50% when you get the complete collection of the Jumpstart digital download projects.

You can find the special offer here:

There are many great resources at the Ann Kullberg website: cp books, a magazine subscription, jumpstart kits, and other colored pencil kits would make great gifts!

Here are some of my favorite things from the Ann Kullberg Website:

Kits – Portrait Tool Set. Their best seller. – A kit that shows you how to do a blurry background. – Judith Selcuk’s beautiful pansy Jumpstart Kit – The Jump Start Kits are made for new beginners – The Jump Start Jet Pack has some great info for new beginners. – Their in-depth kits are great – Karen Hull Art amazing still life on drafting film kit. – Save 50% of when you get all 8 Jumpstart kits. Includes the Jet Pack, too. Killer deal!


I recommend the Vivid Colored Pencil Step by Step Instruction Book by Irina Garmashova-Cawton. You can get it with my affiliate link on the Ann Kullberg Website here: – They have an amazing selection of colored pencil instruction books. – The Colored Pencils on Drafting Film Book – The Colored Pencils on Dark Paper Book – Cynthia Knox amazing CP Florals Book – The amazing Portraits in Colored Pencil
Book with Karen Hull’s portrait on the cover!

Another fantastic beginning cp book is The Art of Colored Pencil Drawing: Discover Techniques for Creating Beautiful Works of Art in Colored Pencil. Here is my affiliate link to it on Amazon:

Online Classes

If online classes are more your thing. Craftsy has some great classes on sale! Here is a list of their drawing classes under 30 dollars:

* Some of these link are affiliate links, meaning I get a tiny commission from each sale. Whatever the case, I will only recommend products that I believe are of the highest quality.

Author: Cecilia Kinzie

I'm a California gal who enjoys the sunshine and the ocean. I love my small rescue dogs and colored pencils. I'm a free spirit with a practical side and a big heart. You will find me sharing the joy of colored pencils in Southern California, Facebook, and beyond!

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