I just love the cases below. They each have individual pencil slots! The blue stars one has 160 slots and I use it for my Faber-Castell Polychromos 120 set. Because of the extra pencil slots I’m able to give space between the color families. Yellow Greens have their area. Then I put in a spot or drop down into a new area for the next color family. This makes picking color palettes easier.
For my 150 set of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils I’ve gone with a larger case that holds 200. Like the case above its got extra room to really separate my color families into easy to see sets. I’ve found these BTSKY Colored Pencil Cases to be a great value. They’re also very rugged and will help protect your colored pencils if used correctly. For those will smaller sets, you can also find that they sell other sizes. Some other sizes I’ve seen are 120, 64, and 72. Personally I think getting the size up from the amount of colored pencils you have gives you room to grow as well as add in extra tools like colored pencil blenders. Some wiggle room can be nice. If you prefer a different fabric pattern they have loads of choices.
When I have a smaller set of pencils I go for these super easy to use roll up canvas pencil cases. I have a few :). I keep my Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils, set of 60, in the one below.
When it comes to colored pencils I currently have two favorites. No, I will not pick just one favorite :). Each has its pluses and negatives. I suffer from hand aches and fingers tightening to the point of pain if I overuse them. So I like a pencil that doesn’t require a lot of pressure to get the pigment on the paper. I try to work harder and smarter by letting the pencil tool do the work.
I love these Prismacolor Premier colored pencils as they are loaded with pigment color. They’re very soft colored pencils. Meaning they go on creamy and don’t take a lot of pressure. Because they’re so soft the tips do have a tendency to break easily. To keep them safe I put them in a case. When I sharpen them I treat them gently. Depending on the pencil I’ll twist the sharpener instead of the pencil to give less pressure. Twisting the pencil in the sharpener seams to lead to more breakages. As in anything, I encourage you to play around and find the right process for you. Overall I love these Prismacolor Colored Pencils. They come in 150 colors and that provides a load of coloring palette options. The full 150 set also has three ranges of grays including cools, warms and French grays. For those who like metallic accents this full set also has gold, silver and bronze.
I also love that Prismacolor Premier colored pencils come in what is termed “open stock”. That means you can find them for sale as individual pencils. So when your magenta goes out, because you just love the color as much as I do, you can buy just that pencil. I highly recommend Dick Blick, the art store, for open stock pencils. I used to live near their Portland, Oregon store. It was a wonderful place to buy my supplies. They sell the pencils individually, but if you buy 12 or more the price comes down per pencil. So I normally buy at least 12. I keep a journal on what pencils are getting low and then put in my order. If you’re just starting a set of pencils is a great place to start. I’ve listed some of the sets below.
24 Set – Portrait
My Faber-Castell Polychromos are just beautiful in their vibrancy. They come in 120 colors and feel luxurious in the hand. Their production process just puts out a fabulously looking pencil as well as one that produces a beautiful product. With only 120 colors they have some of my favorite colors. The blue green family really is striking as well as the violets. As an added bonus, these also come in “open stock” and are sold at Dick Blick. Polychromos are more expensive than Prismacolor Premiers. I suggest you get some of both companies products and see which ones tick your boxes.
120 Wooden Box Set
The right paper makes all the difference. The lovely Jennifer Stay, from Coloring Bliss, and her husband did loads of research on colored pencil papers and they shared their favorite with us all. Since then I’ve purchased the paper they recommend and I just love it. The ream is huge and only around $12. I love this paper. It has just the right amount of “tooth” / roughness that you can really build up your color pencil layers. But it’s not too rough where too much of the paper shows through. It’s the perfect balance of texture.
Tombow has some of the best small space erasers. You can find the Tombow Knock Eraser in different barrel colors including pink, green and blue. I have the green as it was the only color for sale at Dick Blick when I purchased mine. Once you use the stick of eraser up you can just pop another in. They sell the refills in packages. As of writing this articles I’ve found Dick Blick has one of the best prices on the refills. Amazon is selling for around $8 for a pack and Dick Blick is selling them for around $2.60. The catch is that if you want free shipping on Dick Blick you have to put in a larger order than if you already have Amazon Prime. Personally, I put in a Dick Blick order as they always have something else I want. Then I just stock up on getting 5 or so sets of easers.
For those even smaller spaces Tombow has their Mono Zero. It comes in round and rectangle. Like the Mono Knock it has refills and I suggest you get those from Dick Blick as the prices on Amazon are just out of control. They should be under $2 for a set of 2 refills.
I hope this short supplies and tool list will give you some ideas for your coloring. With the right tools life can be just that much easier and stress free.