What brand of watercolor paints do you like?

Artyczar

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I really love the Holbein watercolor sets. I get the 18-color ones, then I'll buy a few extra single colors. For gouache, I like the Winsor-Newtons. I once bought a set of 24 gouache colors imported from Japan, but I forgot the name. Anyway, I splurged on it. It was like $75 bucks and I absolutely hated them. I think it was because they were acrylic gouache? I'm not sure, but you can't reuse them with water after you use them once, just like acrylics. Not like some other gouaches that work like watercolors. You can revive those again with water. Maybe they're not as opaque, but I like those better.
 
Through a fortuitous purchase on WC, I acquired 50 tubes of Daniel Smith to supplement the few tubes I already had. This was my 'go to' brand of paint up until I needed to refill some Cadmium colours. DS subscribes to the left coast philosophy that all Cadmium is bad, so Cheap Joe's watercolour paint is now supplying my needs in that area.

Full confession: I am no longer a watercolour purists. I've added gouache and acrylic to my watercolour and ink paintings. Just the direction my painting took me.
 
I say, whatever works for what the art asks for. Evolution is a good thing and I'm glad it is all working well for you. I think mastering your own technique is way better than being a purist.
 
I really love the Holbein watercolor sets. I get the 18-color ones, then I'll buy a few extra single colors. For gouache, I like the Winsor-Newtons. I once bought a set of 24 gouache colors imported from Japan, but I forgot the name. Anyway, I splurged on it. It was like $75 bucks and I absolutely hated them. I think it was because they were acrylic gouache? I'm not sure, but you can't reuse them with water after you use them once, just like acrylics. Not like some other gouaches that work like watercolors. You can revive those again with water. Maybe they're not as opaque, but I like those better.

Holbein, maybe? They call it acrylic gouache. I tried it on a carving in a seminar and didn't like it.
 
Not going to lie, my favorite is a cheap-o Prang school set with just primary colors and black. The pigment is actually quite brilliant and they're not at all chalky. IDK about lightfastness. They don't appear to make the primary sets anymore, so I've considered getting a nice set of cakes whenever I decide to pick watercolor up again. I inherited a bunch of decent tubes (along with some crappy chalky tubes that were gifted to me, bleh), but I prefer working with cakes.

The Holbeins were one of the sets I was considering. They seemed decent from reviews?
 
I really like the Holbiens, and know others that do, but I used to use cheap stuff and they did the trick in a pinch.
 
Recently I decided to try and learn watercolour (beginning of the year) but since I didn't know if I was going to like it I didn't want to spend too much on the best brands (DS, Schmincke, QoR, Holbein, etc) but I still wanted artists quality, after some research I read very good things about Mission Gold (made in Korea), on ebay I found a set of 26 single pigment tubes for a very affordable price (the set doesn't include cadmiums but there are some other usually pricey colours like cobalts and quinacridones, definitely a good selection and 15ml tubes!).

They're very nice, vibrant and with excellent pigment load. Highly recommend them!
 
I've only ever bought one brand of watercolour, or maybe two if you count different versions. I have Maimeri Blu and Maimeri Venezia. Had them a long time now, over a decade and I think a couple of tubes dried up, but rest are in good condition. I like them, my problem is with finding good paper rather than paint.
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Those are some seriously lovely bright colors. You should have some great paintings from those!
 
For most of my life, I painted with WN pan watercolors. I bought individual pans and put together two large pan sets of cool and warm. Then DS came out with their Primatek, and I started using their tubes, and maybe five years ago, I came across Guerra Paint's liquid pigment dispersions. I used them in acrylics and then tried them with water and either gum arabic solution of QoR watercolor medium and I still use them today, together with the DS. The pigment dispersions don't granulate, so they kind of act like WN colors but they have colors I haven't found in watercolor tubes plus they are way cheaper. I still have my WN pan sets but haven't used them for years.
 
I just started dabbling in watercolor last spring. I had the same line of thinking as Tinkertrain, not wanting to spend too much money on a medium I was going to try out. In my case I looked at what retails here at what prices. For instance the cotman set is for sale in a shop that charges waaay too much.
So I found an art supply store that sells amongst other brands products from White Nights. I decided to get their 24 color full pan student grade, Sonnet.

I am reasonably happy with it. Good pigmentation, rewets easily, I think it behaves well on the paper ( disclaimer, I have no personal experience with more expensive artist quality paints). Most colors are good single pigment paints.

There are some downsides; a couple of colors are fugitive, the two violets and the one orange are worst, I don't use them (because, you know my work should be preserved for coming generations:ROFLMAO:).
Also a couple of unnecessary double pigments ( the sap green, and green hued blue are mixes from pigments, that are in the set as single pigments, supposed to be convenient I guess).

So all in all I think Sonnet has a great price/quality ratio for beginners like me. A good selection of colors to find out what you like.
That said I do plan to upgrade to artist grade, most likely in phases, starting with better options for the more fugative paints.
 
Not a 75% clearance (how lucky!), but in Europe currently a couple of shops online have Schmincke Horadam with a good discount:
UK: https://www.greatart.co.uk/schmincke-horadam-watercolours.html
Spain: https://www.mundo-artistas.es/acuarela-superfina-horadam-schmincke.html

It's the same shop with presence in different European countries, I compared prices with other places here in Spain and Jackson's in the UK, and the discounts are of about 30% 😃

If you haven't heard of Schmincke before, their line "Horadam" is their top quality line and it's supposed to be at the top in general together with Daniel Smith, I haven't tried them yet due to being a bit on the expensive side, so I took the opportunity to do it now with the discounts. Nothing like new art supplies! 🎨
 
I'm relatively new to watercolors, having just started with them less than three years ago. I finally upgraded to professional grade paints two years ago. I have White Nights, Shin Han, Schminke (which I think may actually be a student grade) and Windsor Newton. Of them I love the White Nights the most I think. I got those and the Schminke pan sets on the Wet Canvas swap section of that forum and then ordered the Shin Hans from Amazon along with a little travel pan set of White Nights from Amazon, too. I've also had a few others but these are the main ones.

I've moved from Washington back to Oregon two years ago and kept up painting up till about a year ago and then got more into beading and other things. Now I'm taking up my painting again but being out of practice for a year when I wasn't an experienced watercolorist hasn't done me any favors. I feel like a beginner again almost, although it seems like what I learned has gelled with my understanding more while I wasn't painting, if that makes sense.
 
Do you have the White Nights pans or tubes? This brand is for sale at my favorite art supply store here, not too expensive, hence my interest.
 
I use the pans. I've never tried the tubes of that brand. The paint reconstitutes very easily from the pans, though, and the colors are nice and rich. There's a green in the sets that's really beautiful but in moving I lost my swatch cards somewhere and I can't remember the name of the green. It's deep, dark and vibrant and I just love it. The paints are slightly sticky in the pans so I think they have honey in them. The quality of the paints is very good and they're full pans, not half pans, which I also like.
 
I haven't used the pans since I was very young. But I don't think it's a bad idea since sometimes the tubes can dry out over time.
 
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