Colored pencils can vary significantly from one brand to the next, so understanding lead types will be helpful as you select a product that will ensure the best results with your coloring adventure. Colored pencil lead is a mixture of color pigment, wax and fillers. Basic colored pencils typically have less pigment and more wax and filler, resulting in a lead that is quite hard. While you can still achieve very nice results, the color with these pencils will not be as intense as with artist-quality pencils, which have a higher ratio of pigment to wax and filler. The lead in the higher quality pencils is therefore softer, making it easier to apply and blend color.