One thing I always get asked about is what my go-to supplies are when I color. And throughout my time as a coloring artist, there has been a lot of trial and error that have led me to my faves for both coloring and paper types. I’m excited to share them with you today and I hope you’ll gain some insight on what’s best for you.
If blending a lot of colors and creating gradients is what you’re after, colored pencils and crayons are probably the way to go. I’ve also found that colored pencils and crayons often have more variety of colors in the average pack compared to markers and gel pens. With colored pencils and crayons, you can control how light or dark the colors appear on the page, and it’s a much more forgiving medium if you make a mistake.
Within this category, my three favorites are: Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Crayola Colored Pencils, and Crayola Crayons.
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
These are my hands-down favorite colored pencils, but since they’re a little on the pricey side, I recommend them for an experienced coloring artist or someone who is looking to take that next step to really push their work. I feel like Prismacolor pencils offer the best variety and yield some of the prettiest pictures. They are almost like oil pastels, offering a smooth, seamless coloring experience. They’re great for blending and making colors really pop. I have three of the 72-color packs and I’m about to get a new pack of 150 colors. So yeah, I’m a bit of a fanatic.
One tip for getting a better price is by shopping on Amazon instead of buying them in store. On Amazon, the 72-color pack is $37. In store, that very same pack will cost you $70!
Crayola Colored Pencils
For beginning artists or those on a budget, I recommend Crayola colored pencils. However, I like to use them too – so they really work for all levels. For a low price of about $7, you get 50 color options. You can feel free to experience and practice blending colors without worrying that you’re using up expensive tools. They’re a great stepping stone to Prismacolors.
If you’re more into coloring with crayons, I per Crayola Crayons as well. They blend pretty well, work great for all levels, and they’re super affordable. This 152-count pack is just around $15! It even comes with a sharpener and a cute storage case with a lid.
If you want solid, bold colors filling all the space on your coloring pages, markers and gel pens might be more your style. Markers and gel pens are often easier to use if you have arthritis or any other type of pain in your hands. You don’t have to increase pressure on the page to get bold colors. You can also finish pages a bit faster.
In the marker and gel pen category, I like Crayola Fine Line Markers, Copic Markers, and GelWriter Gel Pens.
Crayola Fine Line Markers
With markers, I really enjoy Crayola fine line markers (are you sensing a trend here? I’m a Crayola fan and I’m not afraid to admit it!). They’re great for getting lots of bold color into a small space. These markers are especially helpful if you find yourself having pain in your hands or wrists when coloring. The smooth tips make it easier on you. A 40-count pack will cost you just $17.
One of my other favorite marker brands is Copic markers. They’re a favorite of comic book and manga artists. So you can imagine that these are for the more advanced colorist. They can be pretty pricey but you can blend colors together to create new colors. These help ease hand and wrist pain for ease of coloring. You can start off with a 6-piece set for $35.
GelWriter Gel Pens
When it comes to pens, I really like using GelWriter gel pens! They use a cool technology that allows you to press twice on the pen if the ink stops flowing to get it going again. They have an ultra-soft grip that makes it very comfortable to use them and the colors go onto the page smoothly. They’re great for both new and advanced coloring artists with a 48-piece set costing you about $19.
Now let’s chat about the other most important tool you’ll be using – the paper.
With the Coloring Book Club, you’ll be printing out a lot of designs yourself at home. Which is great because then you can control the type of paper you like coloring on.
First things first, though. You need to make sure that the printer paper you choose is compatible with your printer, so you don’t break it or cause a jam.
Standard Printer Paper
Standard printer paper you’re probably used to is 20lb computer paper, which is really thin and doesn’t create a very smooth surface to color on. It also folds and creases pretty easily. However, if you stack paper or a notebook underneath it to create that smooth surface, it can work just fine.
This paper is always available and lying around, so I find myself using it pretty often.
Thicker Printer Paper
However, if you can get 24lb, 28lb, or 32lb paper, that’s definitely more ideal. It’s just a lot sturdier and smoother naturally, but you can also bolster is with a stack of paper or a notebook underneath as well. The more cushion, the better.
You can also buy coated/glossy paper, which is especially great for markers. It makes the colors really pop, but this kind of paper doesn’t work so great for colored pencils and crayons.
Card stock is the thickest paper around. It definitely won’t get any wrinkles, but you definitely need to make sure your printer can handle it. Buy the weight that corresponds with the printer you have.
Happy Coloring – Devin