3 of the Best Pastel for Portraits & Drawings Today

Pastel pencils are becoming more popular with time. Many upcoming artists and professionals turn to pastel pencils for fine drawings.

Because these pencils can be sharpened, you can produce neat edges and detailed work. In the case of oil pastels, however, you might struggle to go into the smallest details of the drawing.

Pastel pencils are not untidy like oil pastels, acrylic-based colors, or watercolors. They are much easier to use and smoother too. You can also blend the colors together to get the results that you desire.

If you are searching for affordable, high-quality, and colored pencils, you have come to the right place. We have got the 4 best pastels for drawing and portraits listed below for you.

Take a look!

Best Pastel for Portraits & Drawings

Best pastel for portraits

1. Pentel Arts Oil Pastels

These pastel pencils are oil-based and soft. The box’s dimensions are 0.8 x 6.5 x 10.1 inches each.

There are 50 different shades of colors that come in a box and all the colors are sorted with their closest shade beside them.

The Pentel Arts Oil Pastels are acid-free, non-toxic, and long-lasting.


The hues you get from the pastels are highly pigmented and long-lasting. You can produce a great piece of drawing that won’t lose its glow for a very long time. You can be sure that your drawing will stay as it is for quite a while.

Since there is a range of 50 colors in this set, you will have no trouble finding your desired shade. This will also save you some time from mixing colors to get the one you’re looking for.

The pastels are acid-free so you are free to use them on any surface like paper, canvas, and more. The colors in your drawing will resist fading at any temperature.

Pentel Arts Oil Pastels are ideal for all ages, beginners, and professionals.

  • Wide range of colors
  • Produce clear and bright colors
  • Long-lasting
  • Can get messy since they are oil-based

2. General’s Pencil Multi Pastel Pencils

Here is a set of other great-quality pastel pencils. These are soft-tipped pencils that are suitable for blending.

These pencils are almost 10 inches each, and you get 24 colors that come in a box.

The General’s Multi Pastel Pencils are non-toxic, acid-free, and not oil-based. They are ideal for any kind of drawing/sketching and on any surface. They can also be used by both professionals and beginners.

General Pencil 4401-24A Multi Pastel Pencils, 24-Pack
  • Pastels are ideal for multiple uses
  • Includes 24 pencils


The quality of the pastel pencils is certainly great. You will see that the colors you achieve from these pastel pencils are radiant and refined.

Since the colors are acid-free, your drawings will look alive for years.

The tips are soft so the pencil glides smoothly on the surface as you draw. The colors can easily blend without producing harsh lines so you can choose this set of pastel pencils if you are going to work on a lot of color blending.

You can get a lot of different effects from the pencils according to how light or hard you choose to work with them.

  • High-quality pastel pencils
  • Different range of shades
  • Soft and smooth
  • A bit expensive

3. Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil Set

Another set of high-quality pastel pencils is the Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils. They produce strongly denied color effects.

The pencils come in a box of 24 colors with compact and soft tips. Each pencil is about 8.5 inches long. The tips can be sharpened quickly and easily.

All the pastel pencils are chalk-based which makes them soluble in water. The colors are sorted in an orderly manner.


These chalk-based pastel pencils produce overall coverage effects on drawings. The pigmentations you get are highly concentrated and sharp.

The pencils can be used in two different ways. One is your normal sketching/drawing and the other is that you can mix them with water if you want to give your drawing a watercolor effect.

One of the best features of these pastel pencils is that they can be sold loose. In case you lose or run out of one color, you do not have to buy a whole new packet. You can just order one piece of the color that you need and it’s done.

  • Can be mixed with water
  • High-quality
  • Individual sale of pencils
  • A little pricey
Best pastel for drawings

Buying Guide For The Best Drawing and Portrait Pastel

Okay. It’s time to get to another part of our topic: what you should consider before getting yourself a set of pastel pencils. Yes, there are a few things to look at especially if you are a beginner or if your previous pencils did not live up to your expectations.

So, here we go.

  • Luminous effects

Once you decide to get yourself a box of pastel pencils, you need to look for those that produce vibrant effects. Colors that do not give out vibrant effects will leave your drawings looking boring and average.

  • Easy to blend

Another important aspect to look for is if the colors can blend or not. It would be a disaster if your drawing shows harsh lines in areas they shouldn’t be. This is where you need soft tips. Pastel pencils which are soft on the tips can blend smoothly and easily. You do not require any extra tools to do that.

  • Great quality

The final, yet most vital thing to consider is the quality of the pastel pencils. You need to ensure that you get yourself a great set of pencils that comes at a reasonable price. Pastel pencils that are of high quality will take care of all your drawings for years to come.


We believe that all creative drawings deserve the best colors as well. With pastel pencils, your work will not get messy and disorganized. Pastel pencils are made to give your work a clean and harmonized effect.

If you’re planning to create realistic drawings, a set of good-quality pastel pencils is a must-have.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a pick from the best sets of pastel pencils today and bring all your drawings to life!

Enjoy coloring!

On Architecture Lab you can also find best paper for acrylics, best pens and markers for woodbest alcohol based markers and the best sketchbook for markers in our review section where you can find a lot of legendary gear for professionals!

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