• Post category:TOOLS

Welcome to my very first blog! The question which pencils and paper I use is probably the most frequent one. Therefore I’m excited to tell you about all the pencils and paper I use for my colored pencil drawings.


There’s so many different brands of colored pencil out there which can make it very difficult to find the right one that fits your preferences. Even tough I haven’t tried many different brands, I’ve found what works for me. I like to mix different brands for each of their individual characteristics.


Faber-Castell’s polychromos were the first coloured pencils I got and are definitely my favorite, but maybe I’m just biased because these are the pencils that started my whole colored pencil art journey.
But first we should talk about oil based and wax based pencils. Polychromos, as well as Caran D’Ache Pablos are oil based pencils. Even though they’re called oil based, there’s still also wax in them, just the ratio from oil to wax is higher. The main difference is that oil based pencils have a firmer lead than wax based ones, which is also why I love these pencils so much. They’re super easy to sharpen to a fine tip and they also hold it really well. Therefore they’re perfect for drawing fine details. They’re also very pigmented and lightfast, which means that they don’t fade or discolour even over a long period of time. 


Another widely used colored pencil brand is Sanford Prismacolor Premier. These ones, as well as Caran D’Ache Luminance are wax based, which makes them softer, easy to blend and great for bigger areas. They have quite a few colours in their set you can’t find with Polychromos, especially lighter pastel tones. Both of those points make them a perfect addition to my Polychromos. They’re also very pigmented and blend really well. I usually like to use them to create the base colour for my drawings


For my Caran d’Ache pencils I only bought a few individual ones to add to my colour range. The Pablos are an addition to Polychromos as they’re both oil based and have similar characteristics. Whereas for the Luminance, I only own the white pencil. It’s by far the best white pencil I ever used, it’s great for blending, has the perfect firmness and is all your white colored pencil heart desires. I hope I get the chance to try more of them in the future.

Another question that can come to your mind when buying colored pencils, is what size of set to get. Fortunately I got the full set of Polychromos and Prismacolors, nevertheless I do believe that you can start out with smaller set, especially when you want to try out the brand, you can size up the set any time. Also not having the full set doesn’t limit you in achieving any type of colored pencil drawing, you can always mix colours together. Having all colours just makes your life a bit easier.


As with colored pencils, there’s a very wide range of paper out there. Finding the right paper might be even harder then finding the right colored pencil for you. Smoother paper, like Bristol, makes achieving an even and smooth finish easier, but paper with light grain can take more pigment and therefore more layers. If you’re starting out with colored pencil, I think light grain paper is better, especially because the paper allows you to experiment more. But it always depends on what you want to achieve. I tried different types of paper, but I’m not sure I found the perfect one yet. Eventhough I’m quite happy with what I use, I still want to try more to see if it can get better. But there’s just an endless variety of paper to choose from.


These two types of paper are what I mostly use. They are quite similar in their characteristics, they both have a fine grain, only the colour is slightly different, with Canson 1557 being whiter. Which one I choose for my drawing usually has no particular reason, I basically just pick how I feel.
I’ve also used Bristol paper before, and even though it makes it so much easier to achieve an even finish, it just doesn’t take enough layers for my liking. But again, what type of paper you choose really depends on your personal preferences and style.

Well, that’s it for my very first blog!
I really hope you liked it. Let me know in the comments below what you think, if you have any questions or even suggestions for future blog posts.


This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Tamara Hines

    Have you found a paper that can take both water color and colored pencil that isnt really thick? Like regular water color paper? I have tried muxed media and it buckles under water color.
    Thanks Tammy

    1. Jacqueline - JAMAWU

      Unfortunately not yet. Everything I’ve tried so far doesn’t perform the way I want. It either works well with pencils but not with watercolor (like the mixed media I tried) or the other way around (like watercolor paper). But I’ll let you know as soon as I find something 🙂

  2. Hele Avila

    Can i mix wax based and oil based pencils in my portraits ?

    1. Jacqueline - JAMAWU

      Absolutely, I do it all the time 🙂

  3. Audreyfryer

    Excellent very helpful thank you

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