The 5 Best Pastel Pencils in 2020

There is nothing that can give you a lively and natural artwork than the right piece of pastel pencil. These pencils will give you an array of beautiful colors that will simply jump off a page or a portrait and catch the attention of a discerning and art-loving eye.

If you love using pastels for your artwork, you should consider choosing the right ones to use. Oil pastels can be a bit messy but pastel pencils seem to be just perfect because you can reinvent several ways to blend them.

There are so many brands of pastel pencils available in the market today and it can get a bit tedious trying to pick the right ones. Consider our picks which come highly recommended by many pastel pencil artists

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencil Set

Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencil

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These world-famous pastel pencils have water-soluble lightfast pigments. Their blending characteristics are simply amazing, and the coloring is of high quality. These versatile pastel pencils allow you to make your additional colors that come out so natural and real.

Enjoy making broad strokes with these large diameters leaded pastel pencils. For finer details and lettering, Stabilo Carbothello Pastel Pencils can be sharpened on the tip to allow you to draw as you would with a pastel stick. Their opaque colors are easy to erase, and they respond well to a dampened surface or a wet brush.

These acid-free and non-toxic pastel pencils are pre-sharpened, and their leads are semi-soft. They are wood-cased, and each set is packaged in a metal box with a hinged lid.


  • It has an even distribution.
  • The colors do not bleed
  • It is break-resistant.
  • It fits well in a sharpener.
  • It comes in a variety of shades.
  • It works on both dry and water techniques.
  • It is acid-free and non-toxic.
  • The colors are easy to erase.
  • The pigments are lightfast.
  • It is not messy.


  • It has irritating residue.
  • The color saturation is not good enough for a topcoat.
  • It is expensive.
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General’s MultiPastel Chalk Pencil

General's Multi-Pastel Non-Toxic Chalk Pencil

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This top-quality pastel pencil is a great handiwork of General’s. Its smooth formula is perfect for traditional fine arts and scrapbooks. These pencils are easy to blend using fingers, paper stump, kneaded eraser, or tissue. They are great for beginners and amateur artists and are the most favorite pastel pencil in the art students’ community.

If you love dramatic effects on your artwork, you can use this pencil on dark, rough surfaces. The MultiPastel Chalk Pencil is incredibly sturdy, and it can be sharpened into a sharp point tip. This pencil is excellent for large scale projects that do not, however, require deep details.

MultiPastel Chalk Pencil is both acid and oil-free and when blended, they give stunning results. The set comes encased in cedarwood and the tips are crowned with a soft vinyl eraser. A set contains pre-sharpened pastel pencils with a range of color themes, a sponge applicator, and a project booklet.


  • It is one of the cheapest pastel pencils.
  • It is easy to use.
  • The lead is durable.
  • It is both acid and oil-free.
  • It has a range of color themes.
  • It is blendable.
  • It is sturdy.
  • It is perfect for large scale projects.
  • The pencils have erasers.


  • The pencil is not too soft.
  • The colors are not available individually.
  • Control can be an issue.
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Faber-Castel Pitt Pastel Pencil

Faber-Castel FC112160 Pitt Pastel Pencils in A Metal Tin

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Faber-Castel prides itself as the world’s biggest quality art stationery producer and its Pitt Pastel Pencil is no exception when it comes to quality and versatility. This pencil is most suitable for lines, shading, and delicate color transitions. It gives a smooth flow of color over an extended area without being spent too quickly.

Pitt Pastel Pencil gives dense shading because of its rich pigments. The colors do not exchange when exposed to light and its consistency is light with buttery smoothness. The water solvent binding in them will allow you to moist them into rich watercolors. The leads are oil-free and they are not messy on the fingers.

These wipeable colors are pre-sharpened and each casing has individual lightfastness ratings.


  • It is versatile.
  • It is perfect for large detailed projects.
  • It has a color chart.
  • It is affordable.
  • It works perfectly with water.
  • The colors are vibrant and smooth.
  • It works in extended areas without being spent.
  • The colors are richly pigmented.
  • It is oil-free.
  • It is not messy.
  • They are pre-sharpened.


  • It does not have enough shades.
  • It requires careful sharpening.
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Derwent Pastel Pencils

Derwent Pastel Pencils

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Derwent Pastel Pencils are professional-quality grades with a genius 72 different color variants. They are excellent for use as an individual medium. They are also great for detailing in combination with pastel work for the highest degree of purity and lightfastness. These pencils have a soft powdery texture that gives a smooth velvet finish.

These pre-sharpened pencils are great for vibrant, unique artworks. These handy media for globetrotting artists and outdoor painters are excellent for various plein air painting. Its performance is highly consistent in most surfaces and each shade can be purchased individually. These pastel pencils blend and mix well with each other for new exquisite shades.

These pencils are encased in an attractive metal tin and they have a color chart for guidance.


  • They give great control.
  • The color numbers are labeled on the pencil.
  • Each shade can be bought individually.
  • They allow a smooth application.
  • They have a variety of brilliant colors.
  •  They are perfect for on the go artists.
  •  They are professional quality pencils.
  • They provide the highest degree of purity.
  • They are lightfast.
  • They give a velvet finish.
  • They blend and mix well.
  • They are pre-sharpened.


  • The dusty residues are a health risk.
  • They crumble and break easily.
  • It cannot be used with a standard sharpener.
  • They are dry.
  • They scratch the paper.
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Caran D’ache Pastel Pencils

Caran D'Ache Pastel Pencil Set - Assortment of 40 Dry Pastel Pencils

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This high-end art stationery is designed with a very interesting formula that includes pure raw materials and oven drying in special baskets. Everything from the onset of its crafting right to the sharpening process is not your usual pastel pencil manufacturing process. Despite its fragile nature, these pastel pencils are sharpened in a double cone process.

Caran D’ache Pastel Pencils have smaller lead diameter but with a strong point. Its texture which is creamy to apply adheres well to most surfaces. The shade easily and the breakage is controlled by the rounded barrels.

They are lightfast and their colors can go up to 100 years without any slightest sign of fading. These vivid and luminous colors come in 84 different shades. They respond excellently to the requirements of professional pastelists. Use these pencils for finer detailing and intricate patterns and you can never go wrong.


  • They are top quality pastel pencils.
  • It comes in different shades.
  • They are lightfast.
  • They come with color charts.
  • They have the best smooth texture.
  • They are sharpened in the double cone process.
  • The shade easily.
  • They do not break easily.
  •  Best for professional pastelists.
  • They blend well.
  • They are the opaque pastel pencils.
  • They are well made.
  • They give awesome coverage.
  • They come with color charts.


  • They are the most expensive.
  • They are a bit heavier than other brands.
  • It is hard to read the numbers.
  • They are fragile.
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Things to Consider Before Buying Pastel Pencils

Before you finally make that decisive trip to your nearest art stationery shop, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first. There are also some factors you need to consider before investing your money blindly on pastel pencils that you might never get to use because of their poor quality.

Lead diameter- If you are a seasoned artist, you will know for sure that controlling your pastel pencil is important to work comfortably and with ease. Pastel pencils come in both small and large diameters and it all depends on your project.

Purchase Options- You should consider a brand that will allow you to buy an individual shade in case you run out of that particular shade. Most brands will dictate that you buy the whole set.

Watercolor Use- Many of these pastel pencil brands can be turned into watercolor by mixing them with water. It all comes down to the media you prefer to work with.

Artist’s Level- If you are a student, a beginner, or an amateur artist, you need to start very small and easy with these pastel pencils. If you are on a professional level, you will have to consider factors such as lightfastness and pigment purity.

Cost- There are those pastel pencils which are relatively cheap and there are those ridiculously expensive ones. It does not only depend on the size of your pocket. You need to ask yourself if the brand gives your money’s worth.

Ingredients- Go for products that are acid-free and non-toxic. Some brands emit harmful residue and you should avoid them.