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What is the best thing to color with?

What is the best thing to color with?

Coloring is a fun and creative activity for people of all ages. Whether you’re a child coloring with crayons or an adult enjoying adult coloring books, having the right coloring tools makes all the difference. So what are the best things to color with? Here are some top options to consider.


For kids, crayons are often the go-to coloring tool. They come in every color imaginable, are easy to grip and use, and allow for creativity on paper, cardboard, posters, and more. Here are some benefits of using crayons:

  • Easy for small hands to hold and manipulate
  • Available in many colors, allowing kids to mix and match hues
  • Wax formula makes colors bold and vibrant
  • Affordable and readily accessible
  • Can be used on paper, posters, coloring books, and other surfaces
  • Allow experimentation with color mixing and shading

Popular crayon brands include Crayola, Rose Art, Cra-Z-Art, and Prang. While regular crayons are a go-to, larger jumbo crayons and twistable crayons are other options providing fun alternatives for creative coloring.

Colored Pencils

Another top coloring tool, especially for older kids and adults, is colored pencils. Reasons to use colored pencils include:

  • Provide more control and precision than crayons
  • Allow for finer details and more intricate coloring
  • Come in every hue needed for full-spectrum coloring
  • Can produce subtle shading, blending, and texture effects
  • High-quality pencils have soft, vivid pigments
  • Easier to stay within the lines than messy crayons
  • Can be sharpened for fine points and crisp lines

Top colored pencil brands are Prismacolor, Faber-Castell, and Derwent. Colored pencils are ideal for adult coloring books, mandala artwork, sketches, and more detailed coloring projects requiring control.


For bold, vivid coloring with intense colors, markers are a top choice. Benefits of using markers include:

  • Bright, saturated colors from quality ink
  • Convenient to use with no sharpening needed
  • Range of tip types and sizes for different effects
  • Can blend colors smoothly
  • Fast to fill in large areas
  • Paint-marker types work on non-paper surfaces
  • Permanent markers give lasting results

Top brands for high-quality markers are Copic, Sharpie, Prismacolor, and Faber-Castell. Fine tip markers allow control for details, while large chisel tips quickly fill spaces.

Gel Pens

Gel pens have become a popular coloring tool due to their ultra-smooth ink and vibrant colors. Advantages of gel pens include:

  • Ink flows smoothly without friction
  • Vibrant, translucent colors
  • Range of metallic and glitter colors available
  • Fine tip allows for control and details
  • Ink dries permanently and won’t smear
  • Fun effects like blending and color swirling

Top gel pen brands are Sakura Gelly Roll, Uni-ball Signo, and Faber-Castell. These pens bring sparkling color on dark paper with no bleeding or feathering.

Watercolor Paints

For artistic, free-flowing coloring effects, watercolor paints are a top creative medium. Watercolor advantages include:

  • Soft, washed-out hues when thinned with water
  • Range of vibrant, dense colors when used undiluted
  • Can blend and swirl colors fluidly
  • Fun to experiment by mixing paint on paper or palette
  • Applies thinly, without caking or cracking
  • Ideal for painting landscapes, flowers, animals, and other artistic subjects

Quality watercolor paint brands include Winsor & Newton, Daniel Smith, and Schmincke. With practice, stunning works of art can be created with watercolors.

Colored Chalk

For coloring on sidewalks, pavement, blackboards, and posters, colored chalk is the perfect medium. Benefits of chalk include:

  • Vibrant matte finish
  • Easily washes away with water
  • Creates dusty, blended effects
  • Inexpensive and readily available
  • Fun for outdoor sidewalk art
  • Available in neon and pastel colors

Top chalk brands are Crayola Sidewalk Chalk and Prang Chalk, available in standard and jumbo sizes. Chalk is ideal for temporary, engaging coloring activities.


With their soft, buttery texture that blends easily, pastels are favored by artists. Benefits of using pastels include:

  • Ultra-soft texture blends colors smoothly
  • Subtle matte hues with natural artistry
  • Great for blending and feathering effects
  • Can be layered and mixed directly on paper
  • Ideal for portraits, landscapes, and expressive art
  • Available in wide range of hues in stick or pencil form

High-quality pastel brands include Rembrandt, Sennelier, and Schmincke. Pastels create unique artwork perfect for framing.

Paint Pens

For coloring on non-paper surfaces like wood, metal, pottery, and more, paint pens deliver vibrant opaque color. Benefits include:

  • Acrylic paint formula adheres to many surfaces
  • Convenient marker form factor
  • Bright matte, metallic, or glitter finishes
  • Range of tip types for different effects
  • Permanent color that dries quickly
  • Ideal for art projects, crafts, fabric painting, and more

Top paint pen brands are Sharpie, Uni Paint, and Posca. These pens allow coloring on glass, wood, ceramics, canvas, and many other surfaces.


When deciding the best coloring tools to use, consider the surface to be colored, the level of detail needed, portability required, and personal preferences for color effects. For kids’ crafts, crayons and markers give bold, carefree results. Colored pencils allow more control and intricate designs. Paints, pastels, and chalk create artistic, blended color. And paint pens allow versatile coloring on different materials. With so many excellent coloring mediums available, you’re sure to find tools that unlock your creativity and inner artist!