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5 Best Watercolor Paint Sets

A favored paint medium since the mid 18th century, professionals and amateur artists alike have opted for watercolor paints to bring their visions to life. There are a few things you should note when seeking out the perfect watercolor paint set for your own artistic needs.

Professional watercolor paint is the most pigmented, though student grade paint can be cheaper and is great for experimenting with the watercolor style. The more pigmented paints are often more durable to light exposure and you may find they can last longer. You will also want to think about transparency in that opaque watercolors and transparent watercolors filter light and layer up in different ways.

If you are completely new to the watercolor scene and are looking to experiment with the medium before making an investment, you may want to consider the Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Sketchers Pocket Box. For less than $20, you get 12 half pan colors, making these paints excellent value for money, yet of a remarkable standard.


If you are looking to take your watercolor work to the next level, opt for a brand notorious for its high quality paint such as Daniel Smith. The Watercolor Essentials Set is a great option as you get 3 warm colors and 3 cool colors from the Daniel Smith color collection for less than $40. This set allows you to experiment with high quality paints before investing in a more extensive range.


Popular with many mid-level watercolorists, the French Metal Set by Sennelier adds honey to their paint which makes their colors very responsive to a wet paintbrush, especially important when rewetting and returning to your masterpiece. At $60, the colors are well pigmented and appear vibrant on the page.



If you are really looking to treat yourself to some of the best paints available, the set of 24 watercolor tubes by Holbein is the way to go. For $120, these paints are manufactured in Japan, with finer pigments than the majority of paints on the market and are very smooth.



For a professional watercolorist looking to invest in their craft, the Winsor & Newton Piccadilly Box is the way to go. Priced at a shade under $200, your stylish wooden case houses 18 professional grade watercolors, a tube of Chinese white paint, an eraser, art sponge, two sable brushes and a porcelain mixing palette.




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