Right from cave drawings of men over 35,000 years ago to this day with top artists, charcoal has been used quite extensively. Every artist, be it beginners or professionals, are always on the lookout for the best charcoal pencils on the market. Sketching using charcoal has a very realistic, strong, and bold result, and since it is a workable medium, it can be controlled easily to identify various values and tones in any subject.
Charcoal is available in several different forms. These include vine, compressed, powder, and pencil. Hence, it is essential to know which one you exactly need.
That said, we will be reviewing three charcoal pencils. Each of them is well-known for their brilliant quality and amazing results. While these charcoal pencils are perfect for beginners, professional-level artists can also benefit from them.
Best Charcoal Pencils: The Contenders
The three charcoal pencils we are reviewing below are made from highly reputed brands, which have been around for a long time and are popular amongst all artists because of their pencil’s versatility and durability, as well as the rich and bold results they offer.
1. General Pencil Charcoal Pencil Kit
Based in New Jersey, USA, General Pencil is a company founded by Edward Weissenborn more than a century ago. The company is still owned and operated by the very same family. This company uses traditional methods of making charcoal pencils. All of their products are handcrafted and well-known for their premium quality.
If you are looking for a pack of charcoal pencils that offer stunning results and are made from high-quality wood, then the General Pencil Charcoal Pencil Kit is exactly what you need. These are available in a pack of five, and the pack measures nine inches by three inches by 0.5 inches. The entire package weighs no more than two ounces.
What comes in the package are five things, which are three charcoal pencils, a white charcoal pencil, and a kneaded eraser. Interestingly, every single one of the products is completely free from latex and are non-toxic.
The three charcoal pencils in this package are 2B, 4B, and 6B, and these ample choices make this pencil kit perfect, especially for beginners. This also makes it great for artists who need to shade, blend, or sketch.
Additionally, along with the white charcoal pencil, it makes a perfect set as you can use it to create highlights, and that’s not all; you can use the white charcoal pencil as a wash-out pencil if you wish to mark on fabrics.
The kneaded eraser works phenomenally well. You can use it to for fine work and erase any smudges from the charcoal on the drawing pad. The eraser is also safe to use and is PVC-free. Overall, the General Pencils Charcoal Pencil Kit is a perfect and economical choice for students.
- Available in a pack of five
- The pencils are free from latex and are non-toxic
- Ample choices in pencils
- Eraser works well and is PVC free
- Not the best pencil for detailing
2. General Pencil Peel-and-Sketch Charcoal Pencils
Available in a pack of three, the Peel-and-Sketch Charcoal Pencils is yet another fantastic product for artists from none other than General Pencil. The package measures 0.5 inches by 2.9 inches by 9.7 inches and weighs less than an ounce.
What’s truly unique about these pencils from other charcoal pencils are that you do not need a sharpener to sharpen them constantly. The primary advantage of General Pencil Peel-and-Sketch Charcoal Pencils is that you can pull a string barrel and that will simply peel away the unwanted paper to expose more of the charcoal.
This makes it perfect for those who could forget carrying an eraser during important moments like an examination. That being said, you can use a sharpener too to sharpen the pencils, especially, if you need a sharp point.
In terms of the pencils included, you get three different kinds. There is a soft pencil, a medium pencil, and a hard pencil. All of them are perfect for in-studio as well as outdoor use. Lastly, you also get a kneaded eraser with it, which is ideal for adding highlight and fine details to your work.
- Doesn’t require any sharpening
- Comes with three different choices of pencils
- Perfect for indoor and outdoor use
- Peeling off the paper isn’t as easy as advertised
3. Mont Marte Woodless Charcoal Pencils
Mont Marte has become one of the market leaders in Australia for art products in less than 15 years, and their products are available in over 70 countries. Mont Marte’s brilliant range of products is well known for their excellent value and quality.
The unique thing about Mont Marte Charcoal Pencils is that the pencils in the package are completely wood-less, which have a lacquered coating to prevent the charcoal from being transferred to your hand. This offers cleaner handling than most other charcoal pencils, and it adds substantial weight to the pencil in comparison to wooden charcoal pencils.
In the package, you will receive three different grades of charcoal pencils. These include a soft pencil, a medium pencil, and a hard pencil; each of them comes with sharpened points which can add the finest of the finest details to any charcoal drawings. Additionally, if you hold the pencil at an angle, you will be able to create broader lines which look very bold.
While these pencils do not come with a sharpener, it can be easily sharpened using a regular sharpener, blade, or a sandpaper block. Hence, if you are the kind of an artist that prefers to have a bit more of heft in your art tools, then the Mont Marte Woodless Charcoal Pencils is definitely worth looking at.
- Does not transfer charcoal from pencil to finger
- Available in three different types of charcoal pencil
- Can be sharpened using a regular sharpener or a blade
- The difference in the charcoal’s hardness is not very significant.
As a beginner artist, you are likely to benefit from any of these three best charcoal pencils. Each of them has their own unique feature, but ultimately, all of them offer phenomenal results on paper.
That said, we personally liked the General Pencil Charcoal Pencil Kit because the pencils are the classic type of charcoal pencil which works well. For a beginner, these make the most sense. The other two pencils are great too, but we would recommend them for artists who are more used to drawing with charcoal pencils.