Using Arteza Expert Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring - by Anna Grunduls

Welcome to

Anna Grunduls Design

the blog

  • Save

Using Arteza Expert Colored Pencils for Adult Coloring

Arteza Expert Colored Pencil Close Up Logo Stamp Detail
  • Save

I’ve been testing a new set of colored pencils for you! Let me introduce: The Arteza Expert Colored Pencils, a set of 48.

I received these colored pencils free of charge as part of an artistic collaboration between me and Arteza. I have to say, I’m super excited to finally share a review of these! Read on to find out why I took so long to review them (the reason will surprise you!), what was my favorite discovery and if quality and price always go hand in hand.


The way these pencils are packaged makes a great impression. They come in a metal box, so they are well protected. Inside the box, there are two plastic trays with 24 colored pencils each. I was particularly happy that the trays have a special cut out on both sides for lifting it up. My nails and I are very thankful for that!

The weirdly annoying detail

It’s not quite part of the packaging, but it’s a part of the pencils’ appearance that made me put off this review for so long. Feel free to roll your eyes over, because it’s really not that big of a deal, but…

These pencils don’t come sharpened. If anything, they are very dull when you first open the box.

So imagine this: My new set of colored pencils arrived. I opened the box super excited to try them. I felt the lovely smell of new pencils. I was ready to start testing them right away. I made sure my sketchbook is ready. But I looked at them… And realized that every single pencil needs sharpening. So I closed the lid. Put the pencils away “for later”. Focused on the other products in my package and just like that – I haven’t picked them up for 4 months straight.

Arteza Expert Colored Pencils Professional Tips Colors Close Up
  • Save

Sharpening 48 pencils at once is NOT something I can easily make time for – I’m a working mom of a 5-month old. If you’re thinking of ordering these, definitely make a mental note about that. Turn this into an opportunity – a beautiful ritual of “breaking in” your new pencils by sharpening them before the first use! 🙂


The good news is – these pencils sharpen really well and fast!

The graphite isn’t perfectly centered in some pencils and I cringe at the thought of the wood scratching the paper surface. Thankfully, Arteza’s Colored Pencils will never do that to you. The graphite part is so wide that event despite it being a little off-center sometimes, there’s always a lot of room between the tip of the pencil and the wood part.

As for the quality of the wood itself, I think it’s really nice. It doesn’t chip off during sharpening and it cuts very smoothly, so I didn’t have to put too much pressure into rotating the pencils inside the sharpener.

The coolest feature

Ok, so here’s a small touch that I really appreciate.

When you look at the single pencils, there’s always Arteza’s logo on one side and a row of additional markings on the other side. The first marking is the color’s name (in this case: Carmine Red), then there’s the color’s number (Here: A049), and the third marking is the coolest thing ever. It tells you the lightfast rating of each pencil.

If you’re not familiar with lightfast ratings, it basically tells you how (and if) the color changes after long-time exposure to light. You see, some colors may fade over time and some – stay vibrant even years after being used.

In your everyday coloring, lightfast ratings may not be a big concern, but I definitely think that this information can be incredibly useful. If you’re coloring a page that is meant as a special keepsake and will be framed for a long time, it makes sense to focus on the pencils with better lightfastness ratings.

Arteza Lightfastness Rating Explained

Different brands mark lightfastness in different ways and I think these markings can be a little confusing, so I’ll explain how it works here.

Arteza uses the ASTM norm to mark their pencils. According to that norm, there are the following markings:

+ / Excellent. The color should stay the same for over 100 years.
++ / Very good. The color won’t change for 50-100 years.
+++ / Good. The color won’t fade for 15-50 years.
++++ / Poor. The color will likely start to fade after 2-15 years.

In the set of 48 pencils, there are 27 with the rating +++ (Good), 13 with the rating ++ (Very Good) and 8 with the rating + (Excellent). These are definitely not the most durable colored pencils on the market, but all of them will stay unchanged for 15-50 years straight. If you ask me, that’s not bad at all.


This is what everyone is waiting for, right? A blending test!

I took a few colors and experimented with blending them together. Keep in mind, your results might be different depending on the paper you’re using and the pressure. To keep things simple I used regular copy paper here.

Arteza Expert Colored Pencils Dry Blending Test
  • Save

As you can see, the blending is ok. It’s nothing special, but it’s not bad either. Definitely enough for adult coloring. You can easily create additional colors by mixing colors together and layering available shades. 🙂

If you require a completely smooth blend, you might also consider Arteza’s Watercolor Colored Pencils. They’ll blend perfectly with a little bit of water.

Colored Pencils in use

The pencils are very comfortable to color with. The pressure you need to apply differs a little from shade to shade, but overall I didn’t notice any colors that required unreasonable amounts of pressure. The colors are very vivid and even a light layer shows that the graphite is incredibly well pigmented.

Arteza Colored Pencils create a smooth color surface even after the first layer, which is wonderful! Also, unlike many other wax-based pencils, they can be layered multiple times. Most wax-based colored pencils won’t take another layer after one or two coats of color. With Arteza’s I was able to blend as many as 4-5 layers without issues.

You might actually ask yourself – why bother with layering at all? I’ll admit, I rarely layer more than two colors, but I still like to have that option. Sometimes when the artwork is nearly finished, I notice a few spots that could have been somewhat brighter or darker. This is when you can add an additional layer and adjust the color, even if the area is already a blend of two colors. 🙂

The white one

There’s also a white color in the set. I drew three small swatches to show you the coverage of the bright colored pencils on a dark background.

Arteza Expert Colored Pencils Coverage on Dark Backgrounds Test
  • Save

Colors used:

  • First heart: Arteza A024 White Quartz
  • Second heart: Arteza A022 Peaches & Cream
  • Third heart: Arteza A024 White Quartz (on the bottom) + Arteza A022 Peaches & Cream (on top)

As you can see, the coverage of the white pencil is very good. It’s not comparable to gel pens, but it’s still very impressive. The peach color didn’t show up very well on its own. It’s probably because the background is so similar, but it’s also less pigmented than the white. This leads me to believe that the coverage will differ from shade to shade. I’ll have to test it one day.

The third swatch is these two colors layered together. The colors blended really nice (it looks much better in person). As you can see, adding your final color on top of white will make it appear lighter. This is an awesome trick to get really bright pastel colors that are not included in the set.

Overall quality vs. cost

Do not judge these pencils by their price. They are extremely affordable for a set of professional pencils, but the quality far exceeds their price. I don’t think that you’ll be able to find anything better at this price range.

The pencils have amazing vibrant colors. Just look at these color palette cards that I colored 3 weeks ago. (By the way, you can read more about them here.)

Even despite some disadvantages, these pencils are definitely among my personal favorites. I’ve owned more expensive pencils that weren’t even half as good as Arteza’s Expert line 😉 If you’re looking for a nice set of professional colored pencils to use in adult coloring, these are definitely worth recommending. Personally, I’d rather have a large set of Artezas than a smaller set from another high-end brand for the same price.

Let me know if you found this review helpful! I made sure to keep it completely honest and transparent and I am genuinely in love with these. If you have any additional questions, drop them in the comments below. I’ll make sure to answer every single one <3

Happy Coloring,

  • Save

Written by Anna Grunduls

Meet the Blogger

I'm the Owner and Illustrator of Anna Grunduls Design. I design very intricate coloring pages and use them to create fun and practical stationery to color in. Follow me on social media for blog updates!

Follow the author on: Twitter | Facebook


  1. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the internet.

  2. This is such a valuable post for me to have found. I love colouring but can never find the right pencils. These look wonderful

    1. I’m so glad I could help! These are definitely worth getting ❤️ Let me know your thoughts if you purchase them! I can’t wait to hear about your experience.

  3. Oh wow these are really great colored pencils. I love how the blend and I would use these for adult coloring books!

    1. Oh, their products are great! I also have the Everblend markers and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t end there. Now I’m probably going to buy a ton of their supplies

    1. That’s what I love about coloring! It doesn’t matter when was the last time you colored anything. You can always pick up a set of pencils and keep coloring where you left off.

  4. Oh wow how lovely are these. Ideal for the home office or even to gift to friends and family too xx

    1. Thank you! I agree. It’s always good to double-check the color on a paper scrap. The wrappers can be misleading. Unfortunately the Arteza pencils aren’t all perfectly marked eithr, but I’ve tried many high-end brands and haven’t found one that has perfectly matching wrappers yet. I guess it’s really hard to achieve the same color in printing as the color of the pencil’s graphite.

    1. Ahh, yes! These pencils are a really great tool for young upcoming artists 🙂 They’re affordable, but really high quality at the same time.

    2. I love the art of colored pencils. I have used them on several projects throughout my career. I am wondering if you have used the Arteza brand in watercolor pencils?

    3. Yes, they are great! I do own a set of Arteza watercolor pencils, but I haven’t had a chance to properly try them yet. Which ones do you prefer?

  5. That colorfast rating is really cool! I haven’t really considered that before. This is also color because I am looking to design some adult coloring books. These pencils would be great!

    1. Oh, how exciting! I can’t wait to see your designs 🙂 I’m sure you’d love these pencils. Let me know if you decide to get them. I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

    2. I can be, for sure! I don’t think coloring is the right activity for everyone, but I also know a lot of people who made amazing progress in therapy since starting to color in. In a time like this, coloring is definitely a great way to keep yourself grounded and creative even when stuck at home ❤️????

  6. I never knew about that atsm rating. That’s really interesting. I would also have been bummed that they didn’t come sharpened, but they look like awesome pencils!

    1. Hi Melanie, I’m glad you learned something new here! 🙂 As for the sharpening… Well, I guess it’s a small detail, but the first impression plays a huge role. Thankfully the quality of the pencils made up for that initial disappointment. 🙂

  7. I actually bought these colored pencils for my daughters for Christmas! They both love art and these came highly recommended.

    1. Oh, how wonderful! I’d love to know if they loved the pencils. I honestly think this is a great gift idea. These pencils are affordable, yet very high quality.

  8. I have never colored any books before. My mother and stepfather who are both retired love coloring. In terms of art, I love creating more so than color. These are very beautiful. You actually gave me an amazing idea. Wonderful blog post.

    1. Thank you for sharing and the kind words! I’m so glad you like the review. Now I’m excited to see your creations 🙂

  9. Very cool colored pencils, Anna! Great review. I haven’t really though about them much, if I ever had the need I would buy the cheapest kind at Walmart, haha. But I am not a good artist to begin with. I am sure I would get better quality pencils if I was an artist.

    1. Thank you, Matt! I definitely used a ton of cheap pencils in my life as well. I think you don’t need professional pencils to get started, but they are a great buy once you start to color or draw more 🙂

  10. After seeing your pencils I remember my mom gave me a bunch of really great once as a kid, the kind you could dip in water to get a watercolor look to it 🙂

    1. Oh, yes! Watercolor pencils! I always recommend them to anyone with tendencies to wrist injuries. Once you dip them in water, they give the most amazing colors and you don’t have to press them hard at all! The only downside is that they’re usually not very lightfast, so the artworks won’t last forever.

  11. That’s very helpful, thanks! It can be so frustrating to find the right colouring pencils, you would think that they are all the same but it’s impossible to use them if they are too hard or the colour does not come out quite right. These look very lovely, thanks for sharing.

    1. Yesss, exactly! Even a small detail (like a slightly softer pencil) can make a huge difference in the long run. Especially when someone is coloring every day or a lot at a time.

    1. Kiedyś miałam stronę w dwóch językach – polskim i angielskim. Po jakimś czasie okazało się, że 90% odwiedzających jest anglojęzyczna, a duża część z moich polskich czytelników, rozumie też angielski. Dlatego zdecydowałam, że tak będzie lepiej. Spędzam teraz mniej czasu na tłumaczeniach, a więcej na tworzeniu nowych ilustracji i postów. 🙂

    1. Yay you! I think it’s great. Too many people lose their childhood creativity and curiosity. I’m so happy you keep on creating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


I’m Anna

Top Categories

  • Save

All posts from the blog. Binge-reading ready.

turtle coloring poster gemstones diamonds pattern
  • Save

Get the most out of your coloring! Catch up on my tips, tricks and tutorials.

  • Save

Free illustrated goodies to print, color and craft.

  • Save

Tutorials, inspirations and step-by-step instructions for crafting projects.


Handmade stationery goods to color in and enjoy

  • Save
Share via
Copy link