Staedtler Presharpened Ergonomic Watercolor Pencil Set, 12-Count

Last updated date: October 19, 2020

DWYM Score

9.3

Staedtler Presharpened Ergonomic Watercolor Pencil Set, 12-Count

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We looked at the top Watercolor Pencils and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Watercolor Pencil you should buy.

Editor's Note October 19, 2020:
Checkout The Best Watercolor Pencils for a detailed review of all the top watercolor pencils.

Overall Take

With this watercolor pencil set, you'll feel like you're actually painting a beautiful masterpiece. The tips are smooth and glide neatly over your canvas as you express your own unique creativity. Since the pencils on activate when they come in contact with water, you'll have no trouble packing them for an art class or family road trip.


In our analysis of 24 expert reviews, the Staedtler Staedtler Ergonomic Watercolor Pencil Set, 12-Count placed 3rd when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The formula is secret -- the pencil is world-famous. Staedtler's success story began over 180 years ago, with manufacturing pencils - which gives us quite the head start on research and innovation! To this day, first-class manufacturing processes and sustainably sourced materials outstanding and consistent product quality. Staedtler water soluble pencils are specially made for both drawing and painting on paper or canvas. Our super-bonded core resists breaking while sharpening and drawing, both. Staedtler leads wear evenly and the color dissolves beautifully on your chosen surface. This watercolor pencil kit is not only an ideal creative companion for drawing and sketching purposes, painters, hobbyists and crafters will benefit from the finest German manufacturing processes. Create a true spectrum with 12 vibrant colors to choose from, for deep, jewel-like tones on through delicate, translucent mist effects. Whether it's scientific or creative endeavors, in the home, office or classroom, Staedtler helps bring ideas to life.

Expert Reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
419 user reviews

What experts liked

What experts didn't like

Our Expert Consultant

Amy Markham   
Artist and art educator

Artist and educator Amy Markham is the creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Amy has been an art educator since 2001. Today, she teaches middle school art at a school outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Her personal artwork explores myth-making and symbolic understandings. Through her brand, Starling Creative Living, she leads others to explore art production as a method for enriching their life experience.

An Overview On Watercolor Pencils

Take your art to the next level with the best in art supplies. There is no better feeling than stocking your art bin with new, fresh supplies and starting on a new work of art. There are countless types of colored pencils to choose from but if you are looking for a watercolor effect, you’ll want the best watercolor pencils you can find to bring your project alive. There are multiple sets to choose from, but how do you know if you’re getting the best quality? There are a few factors to consider.

Watercolor pencils can give a similar finished product as watercolor paint. Although they look exactly the same, watercolor pencils are made differently than regular colored pencils. What makes watercolor pencils different from regular colored pencils is their ability to intensify color when they come in contact with water. This gives artists the same effect as watercolor paint. To better understand this, it’s essential to learn how watercolor pencils are made.

First, traditional colored pencils are most likely the tool artists start with when learning coloring techniques. What matters the most in the pencil is the medium and binder. The binder is an ingredient that holds the pigment together until it is transferred to the surface you are coloring. The binder is what will determine the type of paper you use with the pencils. So for traditional colored pencils, an oil binder or a wax-based binder is used. The wax base is most likely what you’re buying since oil is a bit rarer. Because of this, traditional colored pencils can be used on most paper types.

So, what makes one package of traditional colored pencils better than another? The biggest indicator of the quality of a colored pencil is the ratio of the binder to the pigment. If the binder is too overwhelming for the pigments, the results will be a waxy finish that could potentially flake off the paper. When the binder is too small in comparison to the pigment, the colors will be extremely light when coloring. In addition, the quality of pigment used is a contributing factor to the overall quality of the colored pencil set.

One advantage of traditional colored pencils versus the other types is the ability to burnish. Burnishing is when an artist repeatedly colors over the same area, creating a build-up of the color. This makes the wax or oil binder build up to the point where the picture looks like it is painted. In addition, this technique allows artists to experiment with different solvents to achieve different results. Turpenoid, alcohol or a blender pencil can be used to get a painted appearance that you want. Just remember that traditional colored pencils are not water-soluble with their wax or oil binders.

Now that we know how a colored pencil is made and what influences their quality, we can look more in-depth at watercolor pencils. With a water-soluble binder mixed in the pigment, watercolor pencils produce a much different effect than traditional colored pencils. There are several ways to use watercolor pencils. You can use a brush to gently brush over the applied colors, you can dampen your paper and then add color, or you can dip the pencil in water before coloring. The pigment becomes brighter as it comes in contact with the water and creates an incredible blend of colors with one sweep of the pencil. Because of the use of water, you’ll want to make sure you use watercolor pencils on the right paper. The watercolor paper is usually a bit rough in texture and thicker to help absorb some of the water while not tearing. This is how you can get a watercolor paint result from watercolor pencils.

There are a few benefits to using watercolor pencils. The first benefit is control. As arts expert Amy Markham, an artist and the creator of Starling, a podcast geared towards artists and their growth, says: “Watercolor pencils give you the control of drawing with the ability to diffuse the linework you create with water and create the effects of watercolor painting.”

In comparison to watercolor painting with a brush, most artists find better control with a pencil. The second is detail. Markham supports this by saying, “They are great for adding small details that are hard to create with a paintbrush. So, you can draw in thin lines and complex details over your watercolor paintings.”

With a nice sharpened watercolor pencil, you can get extremely fine details that would be difficult with a paintbrush. The third benefit is convenience. When you don’t have a lot of space, time or money, it is so much more convenient to pull out a set of watercolor pencils rather than set up with paints and brushes and easels. All you need for the watercolor pencils are water, a brush (if you so choose) and the paper. Even Markham concurs that they are quite “portable.”

Now that you know how they are made and what makes them so useful, you can confidently shop for a great set of watercolor pencils. There are just a few sets that come highly recommended to get you started on your watercolor journey.

Check out the huge variety of colors in the Castle Art Supplies 72 Watercolor Pencils Set. This set has all the colors for blending and layering.

Look for a gorgeous collection of highly pigmented watercolor pencils. In addition, you want them to be specially bonded to resist breaking. This set will give you a complete range of colors to create vibrant pictures for beautiful art.

Beginners would do well with a simple set of just 24 pencils. With basic but essential colors, you’ll find all that you need for adult coloring books, beginner watercolor art and detailed drawings.

If you’re looking for a complete kit, the Magicfly Water Color Pencil Set comes with it all. With two fine-tip paintbrushes, a sharpener and 72 pencils, you will have it all. Plus, it is all organized in a durable, metal case for easy transport.

The Watercolor Pencil Buying Guide

  • Determine the best set for you depending on your skill level. Start with a smaller kit if you are just beginning out and a larger set if you’ve got some experience.
  • You can use quite a few things to add water to your watercolor pencil art including spray bottles, cotton swabs, spray bottles and toothbrushes even.
  • A good sharpener will make a world of difference, especially with the wooden watercolor pencils.