Tube paint vs pan paint


Contributing Member
What's the difference? Why choose one over the other?
About 5 years ago I was given paints still in tubes, but all had about half the tube put into little plastic lidded tubs, which I'm just starting to use. Many of the tubes of paint have hardened, anyway.
I think, depending on the make and how they are stored (and closed back up), the tubes can harden at times.

Well, I use both, and here's the difference (for me, anyway): I like using the tube paint when I'm working on larger pieces, and with it, I will use a larger ceramic palette to mix colors with the water. I can make a lot more paint that will go much farther. Maybe I'll snap a picture for you in a sec here.

With the pan paints, I use a smaller plastic or metal palette and don't need as much paint.

The palette type does not matter, it's really the amount of paint and the size of the palette I'll use. Maybe the amount of mixing I'll do as well.

I bet Kay will have even better answers for this than I have.

Not so messy after all, :)
What are the little dishes (blue one on top), what do you use them for?

With a couple of exceptions, my tubes are pantels. Is that a good paint?
If I continue on with wc, I would probably get pan paint. What I have now is a student (8 color) Prang set. What brand would you recommend? Yours has a lot of colors, what is it?
Those are ceramic bowls that I use for gouache. When they're dry, I can stack 'em like that. :)

Pentels aren't bad. They're not the greatest, though. I have a small set of them that I don't use very much. Let me know if you want them.

My pan set was expensive. They are Holbein. I bought the set of half-pans of 36 ($350+) and a few extra colors that I wanted to add in there.

I would recommend any student grade. They are still very high-quality. Even professional-quality watercolors need to be protected from light, but the cheaper the paint, the faster the paint will fade. The less brilliant the color, too.

The Winsor Newton "Cotman" line pans are super, and very reasonably priced. Sakura Koi are also very good but think they might be more money. Maybe not for a big set, though.
LOL! I won't be getting Holbeins, LOL! I have a few tubes of their oil paint. I like it, but it's really thick.
I looked at the Cotmans several years ago, but didn't get any, I wasn't that interested in WC at the time. We/ll see. The prang and the pentel will last me a long time.
Either way paints are sold work well. Still use an old Winsor Newton compact travel kit that has tiny wells their cubes are in. I’ve a White Nights pan set from Amazon that are luscious. Travel kit was $67 in 1993 when purchased and Nights were even higher a year or so ago. Usually in the studio I use tube paints in a Frank Webb palette. Recently ordered a Daniel Smith pan paint in Moonglow to compare it to tube paint. They’re the same as far as I can tell. Tubes are juicier no doubt.