Staedtler colored pencils vs. other brands

Reader question: Hi, I love working with colored pencils and I recently came across your blog. I have a set of Staedtler - Luna Pencils (24 shades) and I really like these pencils. I haven't used any other brand before and would like to upgrade my pencil set. Is there a brand that you recommend or is Staedtler good enough? Also, how many shades should I buy?

I've provided links below to the relevant products so that you can easily find them on Blick Art Materials, my favorite online art supplier. I'm a member of Blick's affiliate program, which means if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I'll receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Your purchase helps support this site and keeps it free of ads. Click here for more info.

Staedtler colored pencils are a good brand. They can be considered as "Artist Grade" colored pencils, which means they are professional quality. If you like Staedtler colored pencils, you can stick with them, but it doesn't hurt to try different types of colored pencils to see for yourself which ones you might like best.

Other Artist Grade colored pencils include:

Prismacolor Set of 132 Colored Pencils


My personal favorite colored pencils are the Prismacolors. I have the set of 132, which is perfect for my needs. That's not to say that everyone needs 132 shades! You can do a lot with just the 24 shades that you currently have. If you want, you might try increasing your number of shades to 48 or so, and seeing if and how that changes your art.

If you would like to try other brands, you can always get 1 or 2 colored pencils from each brand to test them out, and then compare them. Some art supply stores sell them individually and they will often let you test the colored pencils right in the store.

It's always best to get Artist Grade colored pencils rather than Student Grade colored pencils. The Artist Grade colored pencils will be more expensive, but the quality is worth it. They contain more pigment and less filler, which results in richer color. They are also lightfast, which means they will last longer than drawings made with Student Grade colored pencils.

I hope that helps!

Check out my Guide to Buying Art Supplies