Every art student knows that working with charcoal can be messy. Most commonly found in the form of sticks, this age-old medium covers more than the paper with its bold, black marks—often resulting in messy hands and clothes. Now, thankfully, there's more than one way to experience the striking expressive strokes of this material. Charcoal pencils are an inexpensive, portable, and durable way to experience the joys of sketching.
Just like regular pencils, these utensils typically feature a wooden body, except instead of graphite inside of it, there's a piece of charcoal. This allows the artist to use the medium with more control and slightly less mess. There's also the opportunity to produce much finer details, as you can sharpen these pencils to a point. And while you can buy charcoal pencils individually, a great way to experience their variety is by trying sets. The Cretacolor Noir Charcoal Drawing Set, for instance, includes soft pencils, extra-soft pencils, medium pencils, hard pencils, as well as a blending stick to help you smooth out your marks.
Check out all of our selections below.
Want to try charcoal pencils? Then, check out our selection of the best sets!
Cretacolor Noir Charcoal Drawing Set
Whether you're brand new to charcoal or an avid fan looking to stock up, Cretacolor has a great all-inclusive set. Inside the tin case is one hard charcoal pencil, one soft charcoal pencil, one medium Nero oil charcoal pencil, one extra-soft Nero oil charcoal pencil, one black chalk artist pencil, one hard compressed charcoal, one soft compressed charcoal, one sketching coal, one natural vine charcoal, and one paper blending stick.
Derwent Charcoal Pencil Set (Set of 4)
This four-pencil set by Derwent ensures you have everything you need to start sketching. Inside the pack is one light, one medium, one dark charcoal pencil as well as one white pencil.
Prang Wrap Charcoal Pencils (Set of 2)
Prang‘s pack of two pencils is great for those who want to experiment with the medium before they invest in a large set. These utensils are especially unique for their paper-wrapped design. To expose more of the pencil, simply pull on the string.
Winsor & Newton Studio Collection Charcoal Pencil Set (Set of 6)
Winsor & Newton's Studio Set is ideal for trying out several different types of hardness values. Inside the tin case are two pencils in soft, two in medium, and two in hard.
Koh-I-Noor Gioconda Artist's Charcoal Pencil Set (Set of 6)
Koh-I-Noor is famous for its high-quality art supplies and their set of charcoal pencils is no exception. It features a charcoal pencil, white chalk pencil, black pencil, as well as colored pencils in sepia dark, sepia light, and red chalk.
General's Classic Charcoal Set
General‘s charcoal pencils are a staple of many art classes. This classic set includes two white charcoal pencils, eight black charcoal pencils, one Primo Bianco charcoal pencil, one carbon sketch pencil, 10 compressed charcoal sticks, two compressed charcoal white sticks, one red All-Art sharpener, and one magic black eraser.
Wolff Carbon Pencil
For those that aren't entirely sure about charcoal, there's also a compromise in carbon pencils. This medium is made of a combination of charcoal and graphite and features consistent softness and easy blend-ability. Wolff‘s set includes a pencil in B (hardest), 2B, 4B, and 6B (softest).