Many individuals think they are past crayons. Until they open a new box of neatly packed, bright-colored crayons and suddenly snap into euphoria.
That’s because a new pack of crayons holds more than just colored wax sticks. It also unlocks profound joy and beautiful memories from childhood.
Adults use crayons for adult coloring, expressive sketching, fine art, mixed media art, textile projects, among others. Besides, they are the most affordable and easily accessible art media.
But what are the best crayons for adults? The best crayons for adults come with a wide range of colors, are durable enough to last a long time, and are the right size and shape to be comfortable for adult hands.
However, to produce a masterpiece that sets itself apart from childlike coloring, you need crayons for adults. For a medium that is heavily marketed for kids, you must be wondering where to begin finding crayons for adults.
You don’t have to look far. In this post is an adults crayon buying guide plus recommendations and reviews for the 7 best crayons for adults.
Crayons For Adults – Buyer’s Guide
Children’s institutions are the biggest consumers of crayons. As a result, many crayon brands you’ll come across are built with child-friendly features that you do not need as an adult.
If at all, some can even be an inconvenience, for example, the short length of the crayons. Therefore, what should you be looking for in crayons for adults?
When choosing crayons, the first thing to check is the color count. Not that you can’t do much with basic colors – you can. But more colors and tints help bring your artwork to life by enhancing realistic imagery with better gradation and shadows.
A point to note is, do not assume the number of crayons to mean the number of colors. Some brands repeat colors in a box. Ensure a box of 48 means 48 unique colors.
Also, choose crayons by the theme of your coloring. For example, go for a pack with more flesh and hair tones for portraits, or multiple blues and greens for landscapes, and so on.
The best thing about coloring as a kid is getting away with choosing colors randomly. You can use any color you want anywhere anytime.
There is that freedom of expression and creativity as an adult too. However, you often need to be particular with colors, and you’ll be happier if you choose the exact color you intend to use each time.
When the crayons are labeled, it makes identification easier, eliminating confusion and chances of mixing up colors and ruining your piece. So check that the crayons either have a name or color code imprinted on them.
Size and Shape
The next thing to consider is the profile of the crayons. This includes the diameter, shape, and length.
Crayons come in all shapes and sizes to suit different users’ needs. If you have large hands or joint conditions such as arthritis, you should be looking for wide-diameter crayons.
The shape is a matter of personal choice. Some people find rounded crayons more comfortable, while others prefer hexagonal or triangular ones.
Length is critical too. Kids crayons are usually short, a little over three inches. That is an uncomfortable length to hold by adult-sized hands for extended periods.
If you can, try and pick something a bit longer. More length also means more product.
The hardness of crayons is of utmost importance. Good quality crayons are dense yet smooth. They don’t break easily with a bit of pressure or by getting dropped.
Alternatively, opt for crayons in an acrylic barrel with a mechanism that advances a small portion of the tip each time. You’ll kill two birds with one stone.
It solves the problem of accidental breakage caused by the impact from falling and also leaving wax and pigment on your fingers.
The color intensity is also part of the quality of the crayons. It is better to keep off crayons that are washable as these are designed for kids and have a low pigment to binder ratio.
Since children are pretty messy and get colors on anything and everything, washable crayons have little pigments and are not so bright.
If you are not sharing these crayons with kids, choose non-washable crayons loaded with pigments for a more vivid illustration. The crayons should at least wash off of hands, though.
Lastly, consider how the crayons are packaged. Well, this is not a major issue if you are careful, organized, and always keep your crayons away in a drawer.
But the truth is, cardboard boxes tend to wear out within the shortest time. This is especially true if you are always on the move with the crayons, carrying them to class or a studio and regularly taking them in and out of a bag.
A plastic or metal case offers better durability for the crayons and keeps them organized. A sturdy case also promotes portability.
You can throw the case in your backpack without fear of it getting squashed by other items and the crayons breaking.
The 7 Best Crayons For Adults
It’s finally that exciting time to choose crayons. You probably have some childhood favorites in mind. However, a lot has changed since back then.
There are new players and better versions of those brands suited for mature coloring by hobbyists, architects, students, and accomplished artists. Here are the 7 best crayons for adults from our research and expert-based recommendations.
|1.||Crayola Ultimate Crayon Collection||154 pcs, sharpener included, case included|
|2.||Neocolor I Water-Resistant Wax Pastels||30 pcs, smaller sets available|
|3.||Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels||Water-soluble, highly pigmented, 15 colors|
|4.||Conté à Paris Colored Crayons Set||12 colors, blendable, premium quality|
|5.||LYRA Aquacolor Water-Soluble Wax Crayons||Water-soluble, highly pigmented|
|6.||U.S. Art Supply Super Crayons Set||36 pcs, gel crayons, smooth|
|7.||Mr. Pen - Crayons Gel Crayons||12 pcs, gel crayons, twist tube|
1. Crayola Ultimate Crayon Collection
Nothing will spark your inner child more than this fantastic set of crayons by Crayola. There are a whopping 152 crayons in it, and each color is unique.
It is about the largest set of crayons out there with every color imaginable. There’s a mix of 104 classic colors, 16 neons, 16 metallics, and 16 glitter crayons.
Each piece of crayon is double wrapped to enhance durability. The color names are also printed on the wrappers for easy identification.
The plastic carrying caddy this set of crayons comes in is also a game-changer. It is way sturdier than the ordinary cardboard box that is easy to smash and will last through the crayons’ lifetime.
It is an excellent storage case and an organizer made with tiers, so every row of crayons behind another is visible. It also has a grip handle for portability.
If you’ve used regular Crayola crayons before, these are of even better quality. They are smoother and more vivid. A sharpener is included for keeping the tips sharp when you need to make crisp lines or detail coloring.
We seriously couldn’t find anything negative about them. Well, except for the random color arrangement when you open it for the first time.
The colors are not sorted in their color family, making searching a tad bit difficult. You have to spend time sorting them all out. Also, the lid isn’t very secure; it’s only a thin plastic cover.
Other than that, you will be elated with this purchase if looking for color options. Many reviewers confessed to ordering this set for their kids but ended up keeping it for themselves upon arrival because of how fascinating it is.
2. Neocolor I Water-Resistant Wax Pastels
Caran d’Ache is a market leader in the manufacture of premium art supplies. They offer nothing but the best quality art tools, including this slick 30 count set of crayons.
The Neocolor I pastels are remarkably great crayons for adults. Just as Crayola is the most recommended crayon for school children, so is Caran d’ache for adult artists.
The crayons are water-resistant, bursting with pigment, and lay down as smooth as butter. They strike the perfect balance between creaminess and firmness, making them multi-surface crayons.
They are nearly as smooth as pastels yet as firm as traditional crayons. You can easily sharpen the end for a much finer tip and use the shavings for heat press on textiles or other creative uses.
The range of colors is generous, to say the least. And there are smaller sets of 10-15 too, if you want to try them out on a small scale before committing to a more significant investment of 30.
If you are serious about top-notch crayons, then get these. You’ll notice a significant price gap compared to regular crayons but worth every extra penny.
3. Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels
There’s so much to love about the Neocolor II, a water-soluble version of neocolor I. The small yet comprehensive range of colors, the vividness, and opaque coverage are all qualities you can’t find with ordinary crayons.
The artist-grade wax crayons are dense yet offer a silky smooth lay down. You can use them on their own (dry) or in combination with water (wet) or other media for an interesting mix of elements and techniques such as watercolor and sgraffito.
And the best part is, they can go on paper and boards, canvas, and multiple other surfaces. They show up really well, even on black surfaces.
There are 15 colors in a nice rigid tin box. The colors are listed at the back of the box, and also each stick has the color name imprinted on it.
We love that the crayons are also available as individual colors. If you ever run out of a specific color from using it too frequently, you can stock up without buying the entire set again.
If you are an upcoming artist, art student, or even professional looking for exceptional water-soluble wax crayons, you should seriously consider these. They are on the pricier side but so are all premium quality art materials.
4. Conté à Paris Colored Crayons Set
There are good crayons and great crayons. Conte a Paris is the latter. The centuries-old brand of crayons is known for their unique rectangular shape and, even more, superior quality.
These crayons are hard yet very smooth when laid down and don’t produce much dust. The colors are intense, too, providing excellent coverage.
In the pack is an assortment of 12 colors which may seem few, but if you know your stuff, they can do a lot. With their excellent blendability, you can mix colors to create interesting tones and new colors.
This crayon set is designed for dry coloring, making it the perfect sketching and drawing tool, loved by professionals. The narrow rectangular blocks also make the Conte crayon ideal for both broad coverage and fine detailing and are suitable for adult coloring.
You can tag it along with you when you are inspired to work outdoors while traveling or at a park. It is a compact, lightweight set that can fit anywhere. Many first-time users are often shocked by how small the crayons are. They are slightly shorter than standard, so if you buy them, you should open the box with that expectation.
The price tag is also on the high end, but that is expected for a brand of its reputation that upholds the highest quality standards. Pair this set with the sanguine and bistre sets, and you are sorted all the way to the top.
5. LYRA Aquacolor Water-Soluble Wax Crayons
This Lyra aquacolor water-soluble wax crayons pack is not the standard crayon set you can get at the dollar store. These are artist-grade crayons used by skilled colorists, though artists of any level can try them out too.
They are water-soluble hence can be used as regular crayons or mixed with water using a wet brush or wet paper for watercolor effects.
There is a lot more creative work you can achieve with these; multimedia art, journaling, adult coloring books, among other activities.
Lyra crayons are heavily pigmented and draw vividly. They have a higher covering power than regular crayons.
Their consistency is almost creamy, and they are so easy to lay down and blend. We also love that they are lightfast and odorless.
The set consists of 24 assorted colors. There’s a little bit of every tone.
The crayons are in a durable eco-friendly tin storage case and cardboard sleeve. You can throw it in your backpack or duffel bag without fear of anything breaking.
If you are looking for premium crayons like Caran d’ache Neocolor II but at an affordable price point, Lyra comes close.
6. U.S. Art Supply Super Crayons Set
If this set of crayons doesn’t tickle your fancy, then we don’t know which one will. The 36 pieces set of twistable gel crayons is everything you may want in adult crayons.
To begin with, the color diversity is fantastic. You get 36 brilliant colors with comprehensive hue representations. There are reds, blues, greens, earth colors, pinks, monochrome colors, etc.
The crayons are super soft, almost like gelatos, and go on paper and other surfaces as smooth as lipstick. They are also rich in pigment and brighter than ordinary crayons.
They are blendable and soluble. You can brush over them with a wet paintbrush for the watercoloring technique.
A twistable plastic barrel contains the crayons so you can say goodbye to messy fingers, breakage and sharpening. Once the tip flattens out, you only twist the end, and more of the tip will pop up.
The crayons are narrow and measure 5 ¼ ” long, which is a comfortable length for adults. When not in use, they can be stored in the strong case provided.
While they perform well coloring large areas or drawing chunky lines, they are not the best for detail work and small spaces as the tips are not pointed and cannot be sharpened.
But for what you get, it is surprisingly affordable, offering great value and great fun too.
7. Mr. Pen – Crayons Gel Crayons
Like the US art supply super crayons, Mr. Pen crayons are not your traditional wax crayons but gel-based crayons. Only this time, you get fewer colors but the same impressive experience.
These crayons are butter-soft, and it is oddly satisfying how they glide through paper. They are excellent for blending and smudging techniques.
Because they are incredibly soft, you need lighthandedness when using these crayons; a clear sign that they are not meant for little ones. Though, teens and adults will absolutely love them.
The pens are made of a twistable plastic barrel with a crayon core. Once the tip becomes too short, twisting the bottom extends the crayon outwards.
The crayons have a greater pigment to binder ratio, hence feature bright drawings. You get 12 classic colors in a snap button bag perfect for anyone looking for a brilliant compact set at the most pocket-friendly price.
Unfortunately, brown is not on the list of colors which is such a bummer since it is a key color. The tips are also blunt due to the softness, and you can’t help going outside borders in small areas.
Well, if a fine point or the color brown is not crucial for your purpose of these crayon pens, then it is a worthy purchase. If you happen to love them so much, an upgrade to the 20 colors set gets you more color options, including brown and flesh.
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