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Best colored pencils

I need some help. I am a pretty active portrait painter and I love the ease and precision of graphite but would love to learn more about using and choosing colored pencils. I know some are very waxy and that some break when sharpening. I am looking for pencils that will blend easily and are user friendly. Any ideas?

Hi Hilarie, just a little tip. sharpening with a blade instead of a sharpener stops them from breaking.

You could try Prismacolor Art Stix. Just the pencil and no wood-- they’re shaped like pastels.

If you are near a library, check to see if there are book on colored pencil - if not, ask them to locate some books available at other libraries. Check Amazon or other online book sellers - there are good books giving very helpful tips - sharing types of colored pencils, erasers, sharpeners, info on color fastness, etc.
Good luck.

Thanks to all of you for your advice

Also - ck out the website by Ann Kullberg (I think that is correct spelling) - she has lots of info on colored pencils - tutorials, books, etc. Good luck.

Thanks for all your help. DPW is so helpful to me. I will try all your suggestions and see what works?

I am using Stabilo Carb-O Pncl 24-Color. I truly enjoy working with Charcoal because it blends so well. This is also my favorite because some of the other sets I have do not have the selection of colors that this one has. These pencils are wonderfully chalky but not too chalky that they would leave too much of a powdery residue upon each stroke. They are rich and highly pigmented that even with a rub of your finger, the colors stay true. The one warning I would give about this product is that since charcoal is so soft you must be careful when using a pencil sharpener. If you are not keeping an eye on the sharpener, your pencil will be ground to dust in a heartbeat.

I love these Stabilo Carb-O pencils. They’re incredibly simple to work with, sharpen well, and don’t crack as easily as some of the others I’ve tried. I really like how bright the colors are; they really make the image pop! They allow you to give your drawing just the right amount of definition.