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Coloring Media

What Media Should You Color With?

Cup containing various coloring media eg pens, markers, gel pens, and watercolor pencils.

The world of adult coloring is full of wonderful creative choices. There are many coloring media (colored pencils, markers, gel pens, watercolor pencils, pastels, crayons, etc). Within each type there are many more choices. Different media can give you different effects. And, of course, with so many different types of media, there is also a wide range of prices. Any and all of these media can be used to bring your adult coloring pictures to life. All of them have different qualities. It can be hard and even a bit scary to decide what is best to use on your adult coloring pictures.

Types of Coloring Media

Comparison Tables

To help you choose which media types are right for you many of the popular brands have been tested and compared. For each of the major types of media you’ll find a comparison table. To access these free comparison tables you will need to subscribe.

Detailed Reviews

You’ll also find more detailed reviews on each brand tested. In each of these reviews is a common test picture colored with the brand being reviewed.  Also included are:

  • my observations of how the brand performs;
  • links to pictures which have been colored using that brand;
  • a link to the brand manufacturer, if one exists.

So you can get a well-rounded view of the media, links to other people’s reviews of these tools (where available) are also provided.

Price Guide

A price guide is provided to help you compare relative expense of different tools. Generally, you should be able to find sets within this price range in Australia, the USA, the UK and Europe. It is important to note that this is a guide only and gives a relative indication of prices between different brands not an actual price. You may find these tools in your local area for higher or lower prices than shown in this guide.

$ = AUD $5.00 or less / US $3.75 / £2.60 / €3.30
$$ = AUD $5.01 – $20.00 / US $3.76 – $15.00 / £2.61 – £10.00 / €3.31 – €13.25
$$$ = AUD $20.01 – $50.00 / US $15.01 – $40.00 / £10.01 – £26.75 / €13.26 – €33.00
$$$$ = AUD $50.01 + / US $40.01 + / £26.76 + / €33.01+

Color Charts

You will also find a completed color chart for each of the coloring media. These color charts are included to give you an idea of the range of colors included in each of the media brands reviewed. To help you make a fair comparison between the colors of different brands, the same template and paper has been used for each of the color charts. Where the brand uses a color name and / or number system, you will also be able to find pre-prepared templates. You can use these templates to create your own color charts for that brand. To access these free color chart templates you will need to subscribe.

Common Test Picture

To give you a good comparison, the same test picture has been used for all media and brands. Under each brand review there is a version of the test picture colored using the media being reviewed. The picture is a simple one but does have some small details in it so the tools can be tested for how well they can be used to color in tight spaces.

The following colors have been used in each of the pictures: yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, light blue, dark blue, light green and dark green. These colors have been selected as most of the basic sets for these brands have similar colors.

In all cases the test picture has been printed from an inkjet printer on standard printer paper (Reflex® Ultra White A4 80 GSM). This is similar to 20lb printer paper in the USA.