I promised this post the other day. I have recently posted about two very nice watercolor paints I have started using, the Schminke Horadam brand and the Sennelier brand. Both are artist quality. I had first used student quality paint because I was told it was artist quality, and then moved to higher quality student paint.
I thought you might like to see what that looks like. This is the set of Windsor and Newton Cotman watercolors I have been using, which I had gotten for about $18.
I have recently read that the term “hue” in a paint color means that the color is of a lesser quality, but then I just read a great article at the Cheap Joe’s website that explains that it isn’t that simple. There are apparently many reasons to use a hue, and it may or may not be a good quality paint. As you can see from the palette map I made, these colors do not have the intensity of the nicer paint, and I have found this very frustrating to work with.
This was also the first set I had which had blocks of color, and I did not make this map right away. The pans are wedged into the set, and so I am not really sure if burnt umber and burnt Sienna are in the right places. The white is for mixing. I never used it.
There are some good qualities to this set. I have used it a lot, and as you can see the paint goes a long way. The little travel brush is nice, although I have found I really love the water brushes so I rarely use it. It’s also interesting to learn about your own color use over time. As you can see, I love the yellows! I did not clean out the lid the last time I used this, but this has a nice mixing surface and is nice and light, but I kept the packaging to make sure the box did not fall open. The pans fall out if you don’t affix them with something, but I find that is happening with the nicer sets, too. I think this would be a great set to start with if you are not sure you will like watercolor or only want to use it occasionally, or if you cannot afford a nicer set, although this is comparable in price right now to the Sennelier set I blogged about the other day. If that’s still the case when you are buying paint, you would probably be better off with fewer pans of nicer color. The other benefit I have myself seen is that I think I appreciate the nicer paints more having used the student quality first. There is so much to learn, but I am having so much fun doing it.