If you’re just beginning to draw or have only just started using colored pencils, our box sets offer the perfect palettes to get started.
Set yourself up with a sheet of drawing paper and a set of pencils and let your creativity flow.


Colored pencils are a part of every schoolchild’s basic supplies. Used in art class or to color in maps in geography, they are a constant throughout a child’s school life as they are so practical: easy to carry around, available in a huge range of colours and long-lasting. Colored pencils are also used by the most demanding artists. In graphic arts and in applied arts, colored pencils are widely used for sketching, technical drawings or even illustrations. Available with hard leads, soft leads, watercolor or permanent, there is a vast range on offer to meet every need.

How to use a colored pencil

Colored pencils are very versatile tools. The wood casing has the same lines as a graphite pencil but the core is made up of pigments to which oil or wax have been added. Precise sharpening of its lead means you can trace fine lines or draw small details. That said, you can also use your colored pencil to color in large areas.
ote that while it is possible to lightly erase a drawing done with colored pencils It is generally difficult to do so, although we shall see that some allow it to more than others, as well as look at complementary tools (blender or eraser). For intense and saturated colors choose your pencil with care; the concentration of pigments will strongly affect the result.

Caran d’Ache’s Supracolor® Soft Aquarelle orPablo® colored pencils contain a very high concentration of pigments which makes them long-lasting.

When you draw, hold the pencil straight and use the point of the lead. The color left on the paper will be bright and richly pigmented. On the other hand, if you hold the pencil at a slant and lightly press down you can color in large areas and leave less pigment on your medium.
This is an ideal technique for color gradients, for layering colors and for burnishing.
Photo d’un aplat de couleur vert réalisé à l’aide d’un crayon de couleur Pablo

Selecting a box set according to the wood

Colored crayons are versatile tools characterised by their sturdiness and easy handling. As well as the high concentration of pigments in the lead, the wood used has also been carefully selected. At Caran d’Ache our colored pencils are made with certified FSC (Forest Stewardship Council ) cedarwood.



Watercolor pencil sets

Watercolor pencils have a core made of wax and color pigments that are miscible in water, that’s to say water-soluble. They are used like classic colored pencils. Go over your work with a wet paintbrush to obtain a watercolor effect. This technique can be used on part of your drawing or all over, making it possible to play with textures, for example by putting a first watercolor layer which you can draw over once dry.

Photo représentant la texture des crayons de couleur aquarellable Supracolor Soft
The Caran d’Ache Supracolor® Soft Aquarelle colored pencils have the largest range of colors with 120 colors available.


Pastel pencil sets

Pastel pencils have the same shape as a colored pencil but have a pastel point, which gives a result similar to soft pastel. Their practical pencil format allows you to explore different drawing techniques with ease.

The pencils available in Caran d’Ache’s Pastel Pencils box sets have highly pigmented and creamy points. Your drawings will be resistant to fading and can be protected it with a fixative.


Sets dedicated to beginners are made up of 12, 18, 30 or 40 colored pencils.
Box sets are conceived to offer a palette of interesting colors that is varied enough to adapt to all your different projects. The type of colored crayon selected will then depend on usage and needs:
-hobbyist, artist or professional
- watercolor or permanent
- hard, creamy or soft points
- lightfastness

Some of our Caran d'Ache box sets have been specifically put together for academic studies of life models (ART BY Terre & Portrait 15 pencils) or for realistic portraits of people or animals (Luminance 6901® "Portrait" set).

While a lot of colored pencil box sets are carefully designed for certain uses, the best set is the one that you enjoy using the most. Whether you’re an occasional or a daily user, go for the Supracolor® Soft Aquarelle, Pablo®, Prismalo® Aquarelle,  Fancolor



Mastering colors and shades

By varying the pressure you apply on the colored pencils point you can play with the amount of pigment you apply. It’s also possible to work with layers by lightly applying color and then building up layers to reach the desired effect. With a watercolor colored pencil you can also play with opacity effects in your artwork.

Color harmony

Go from blue to purple, yellow to blue or even pink to green. To create color harmony, you can refer to the color chart that comes with the set or consult a color wheel which will help you identify complementary colors and select the best choices and combinations of color.
Photo représentant un aplat de plusieurs teintes de couleurs

Adopting the right technique

Colored pencils are adapted to the full range of drawing techniques. The possibilities are endless depending on the direction of the pencil strokes and the space between them, whether you colour using circular movements or straight lines.
By experimenting, you’ll find the method that is best for you and that will become part of your own distinct style.

Using specific tools

Using tools such as a full blender can also have an effect on your colours.
The full blender is a colorless medium that blends, mixes and intensifies colors. Made of wax and oil, it adds light and shine without changing the colors. Applying it leaves a waterproof layer on the paper and makes the colors more resistant to UV light and fading. It’s also very versatile and allows for mixing techniques on paper, cardboard, wood, stone or pottery and is therefore an ideal companion to colored pencils, graphite pencils and wax pastels. It’s high-quality which makes it suitable for all - professionals, art students and amateurs. As a result, just this one tool has many effects :

- Shiny, glossy effect: simply apply the full blender to the drawing done in pencil and polish lightly.
- Blending : blend the colors together in layers or where they meet and smooth it with the full blender.
- Protection: make parts of your drawing waterproof with the full blender and combine it with watercolor techniques.
- Versatile use: it comes in a hexagonal pencil format and can be sharpened just like a pencil for details or be held at a slant to cover larger areas.

Which colored pencil set for an artist ?

The products dedicated to professionals contain highly concentrated pigments that do not fade. These box sets perfectly adapt to the needs of visual artists, designers, illustrators, architects or any other demanding professional.

The most sought-after qualities that come up the most frequently are:
- High quality pigments that do not fade
- Sturdy pencil points that do not break - High quality wood casing that is easy to sharpen
- Lightfastness
- A wide range of available colors
- Different coloring techniques
- Colors that adapt well to blending

For artists and professionals, opt for the Luminance 6901® sets : the pencils come in 100 colors and are 100% light resistant which combines up to 100 years of lightfastness with the creamy texture of a wax core.
You could also opt for the Museum Aquarelle sets, though you should note that these are not actually colored pencils but extra fine watercolors in pencil form. 
Dessin d'un poisson fait à l'aide d'un assortiment de crayons de couleur Museum Aquarelle

Taking care of your colored pencils

Coloured pencils do not like rough treatment or shocks. When you use them, plan a large work surface and a box or a pencil case to store the colors that you are not using. If dropped, the pencil's point can be damaged. It’s for this reason that box sets are particularly practical : when closed they protect the pencils from damage.

A high-quality and sharp pencil sharpener is also a must-have. A blunt blade would damage the wood casing and the lead, and shorten your colored pencil’s life.

As with any wooden tool, keep your box of colored pencils away from heat. It can also alter the texture of the lead.

Swiss madeSwiss made

Our colour and writing products are manufactured in our workshops in Geneva since 1915.


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