Rating TOP 8 best watercolor paints: saturation, which are better, pros and cons



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The first watercolors appeared in China in the second century AD. The peculiarity of watercolor painting is smooth transitions, a combination of transparency and saturation of colors, the absence of visible strokes. Watercolor is used not only by children, but also by professional artists, using different techniques for this.

On the shelves of stores you can see a variety of watercolor sets and at first glance it seems that their difference is only in the price and number of colors. But actually it is not. Therefore, in the rating, I will not only describe popular watercolors, but also tell you how to choose them so that creativity is a joy.

Features and differences of watercolor from other paints

The main and distinctive property of this watercolor is its transparency. The paintings look airy, light and sometimes you get the feeling that they will melt at the touch.

It’s all about the special composition of the paint. It is a water soluble adhesive. For example, in honey watercolor, honey acts as an adhesive. And glycerin gives plasticity.

The main properties of watercolor paint:

  1. Transparency gives the finished picture a feeling of lightness, tenderness and even a special radiance. The effect is achieved by translucent paper through the color layer.
  2. Saturation. It is low in comparison with oil, gouache and other paints. This is the whole point.
  3. Color. The palette itself is rich, but when drawing, the layers are applied only after the bottom layer has completely dried. Otherwise, you will get dirt and there will be no effect of lightness and transparency.
  4. Light fastness. Watercolor paint is easily damaged by sunlight.
  5. Physical exposure is also harmful. For example, you can easily damage a pattern by touching it with wet hands or by dropping water on it.

Rating of watercolors

GAMMA Watercolor Country Elf, 20 colors (212061)

The plastic case will include 20 colors with the addition of mother-of-pearl. The gamma is gentle and includes all the main shades. But the only advantage is the price. Unfortunately, the mother-of-pearl effect is practically not visible here. The paint itself dries for a long time and there may be dirt when mixed. There is very little paint in the cells themselves and it ends quickly. Rather, this set is suitable for kids from 3 years old.

GAMMA Watercolor Country Elf, 20 colors (212061)
Release form cuvette
Number of colors twenty
Manufacturer Russia
Peculiarities mother-of-pearl, honey
  • affordable price;
  • good palette;
  • suitable for toddlers.
  • pale colors;
  • mother-of-pearl is not visible;
  • take a long time to dry and are very sticky.

Bought for the price and lost. Before that, there was a mother-of-pearl watercolor from another manufacturer, so this effect was visible there. Here it is simply not there, and the colors are somehow pale. The drawing dries for a very long time, and if you fold the album, then the sheets cannot be pasted.

GAMMA Orange Sun (212084)

In this watercolor paint, two effects are considered: mother-of-pearl and fluorescent glow. The palette is rich, consisting of 24 colors. The colors are transparent, which is natural for watercolor. Mother-of-pearl is finely dispersed and is poorly visible, so it is better to use it as a second layer. Due to the fact that the base is honey, there is a feeling of stickiness. Many buyers complain that the paintings take a long time to dry. Therefore, the set is more suitable for home creativity.

GAMMA Orange Sun (212084)
Release form tile
Number of colors 24
Manufacturer Russia
Peculiarities honey, fluorescent
  • affordable price;
  • rich palette;
  • There is mother-of-pearl and fluorescent effect.

I bought watercolors via the Internet for a child to paint at home. The colors are sweet, apparently due to the fact that they are honey. The colors are good, bright and easy to blend. Loved the light shimmer. True, the art dries for a long time and is sticky, as if smeared with glue.

Working with watercolors develops not only color perception in the child, but also fine motor skills of the hands. Thus, he expands his horizons and can express emotions on paper.

BRAUBERG (190554)

Honey semi-dry watercolors with a palette of 24 colors, where there are different shades. It dries very quickly and has good blending and pigmentation, giving good coverage on paper. They lay down evenly and without streaks, but there is no transparency. Therefore, they belong to the children’s line. Non-toxic and safe for children. Are issued in a cuvette in which there is a compartment for one brush. True, under such a length of the pencil case it is difficult to find a short brush. Convenient for school use. The brand is German, but watercolors are produced in Ukraine.

BRAUBERG (190554)
Release form cuvettes
Number of colors 24
Manufacturer Germany
Peculiarities honey
  • compact pencil case in two rows;
  • saturated colors;
  • affordable price;
  • dry quickly.
  • there is no transparency and lightness, which is important for watercolor paint.

I really like this brand, as all its stationery is of high quality. That is why, when collecting the child for school, I bought Brauberg watercolors. The packaging is plastic and convenient. A rich palette of colors, mostly bright, which also pleases. The paint lays down evenly and dries quickly, so after the ISO the album sheets are not glued together.

Pentel Arts Water Colors (WFRS-24)

Typically, watercolors in a tube are classified as a professional series, but this set is more suitable for home use or training at an art school. The set of colors is good, but white is visible in some, which is unacceptable, and some greens and yellows give off “acidity”. In general, it is quite convenient to use such a set, since the paint does not crack or fade. It is easily diluted with water and has transitions from dense to transparent. Easily mixes up with each other, without forming dirt. Japanese brand but made in Taiwan.

Pentel Arts Water Colors (WFRS-24)
Release form tube 5 ml
Number of colors 24
Manufacturer Japan
Peculiarities convenient storage
  • juicy and bright watercolors;
  • retains its qualities for a long time due to storage in tubes;
  • convenient to use.
  • the average quality of the paint, as white comes across and there is acidity.

Such a set is not suitable for professionals, rather for pampering at home or for the entry-level art school. It is easy to use and the paint is thick, which means that the consumption is not fast. But I didn’t like the quality of the pigment itself. White is visible in some colors, while others are clearly acidic. Not bad for cartoons, but something else is not with this set.

ErichKrause ArtBerry (41725)

An excellent solution for children’s creativity, as the watercolor paint is bright, the colors are saturated and the palette is rich. It has dark, bright and even non-standard colors. Several shades of green and yellow are also presented, which will allow older children to develop in creativity. Present in the watercolor set and white, allowing you to achieve shades. The pigmentation is good and no need to soak with water for a long time. There is room for two brushes. But many buyers complain about the lid that breaks quickly.

ErichKrause ArtBerry (41725)
Release form tile
Number of colors eighteen
Manufacturer Russia
Peculiarities UV protection brightness
  • multicolor;
  • affordable price;
  • good transparency indicators;
  • you can work in the technique of glazing.
  • the lid often breaks;
  • end quickly.

Good watercolors in the budget category. They are perfect for children’s creativity, and for lovers of watercolor painting. I worked with them in the glazing technique and showed themselves well, of course, they are far from professional sets.

Glazing technique allows you to give the picture richness and iridescence of color. This is achieved by applying a thin translucent color to the main one.

GAMMA Studio (215003)

Budget paint, which is suitable for amateurs and students of art schools. Available in sets consisting of cuvettes. Therefore, if necessary, there is always the opportunity to purchase the desired color. Despite the fact that the palette consists of 18 colors, most of them are dark. When blurring, dark pigment borders often remain, which is unacceptable for watercolor. And also when mixed, dirt can turn out. It dries quickly, but some buyers have noted that gloss is visible on the finished work. Despite the fact that the series looks like for professionals, in the end it cannot be classified as such.

GAMMA Studio (215003)
Release form cuvette
Number of colors eighteen
Manufacturer Russia
Peculiarities bad blur
  • good palette;
  • you can buy the desired colors;
  • dries quickly.
  • poor blur performance;
  • not bright enough.

Nice watercolor. Used for the soul to draw at home. When I saw it, I thought that it was for professionals and decided to buy it. But after working with this paint, I realized that for such a price you can buy better. For example, when blurring, a sharp edge often remains, and some shades are very similar to each other. In general, she is comfortable to work with.

Nevskaya Palitra St. Petersburg (1942017)

This set is positioned as a professional, but it has its pros and cons. Because of what it can rather be attributed to the amateur series. The packaging is very convenient and has grooves for cuvettes, but the lid opens tightly, and the cuvettes practically do not hold on. In this regard, they often fall out and are mixed. But there is a place to buy more flowers. Speaking about the palette, it is worth noting that the colors have different color fastness. And also some are not pigmented enough or are difficult to type on, and do not lay flat on paper. The cuvettes are filled in different ways, that is, they have different paint weights, which is unacceptable for a professional series.

Nevskaya Palitra St. Petersburg (1942017)
Release form cuvette
Number of colors 24
Manufacturer Russia
Peculiarities have a palette
  • good pigmentation and transparency indicators;
  • it is possible to expand the palette;
  • There is a palette and a place for a brush.
  • not all paints are lightfast and easily diluted with water;
  • the box does not hold the cuvettes well.

I bought several brands of watercolor paint to find my own. I wouldn’t say this one is perfect. Rather, it is good and with its own characteristics. I noticed that European and Russian brands are different. I work in different techniques and use each set for something. The Neva palette liked the fact that the colors mix well without dirt, they can transfer shadows and get dark shades.

Interestingly, Nevskaya palitra produces several watercolors under different names, but with the same palette and characteristics. The differences between «White Nights» and «St. Petersburg» are only in the packaging.

Sonnet (3541139)

This set is perfect for beginner artists. Available in a variety of colors, but it is better to buy 24 pieces. In this case, you get a large palette with different shades and you do not need to mix them. The watercolor is well pigmented and gives good blur and transparency. True, when mixed, some colors can give dirt, so it is recommended to paint. The set itself consists of cuvettes, and some artists manually rearrange them to make it convenient to choose the right colors. Economic consumption.

Sonnet (3541139)
Release form cuvette
Number of colors 24
Manufacturer Russia
Peculiarities amateur series
  • excellent pigmentation, brightness when dried and transparency when washed out;
  • value for money;
  • suitable for art schools;
  • many shades and there are natural ones.

My child went to art school and the teacher asked me to buy this set. We liked the Sonnet series both in terms of price and quality. Best for beginner artists. Watercolor paints are easy to take on a brush, which means they are well pigmented. When blurred, excellent transparency is obtained, and when a dense layer dries, they are quite bright.

How to choose watercolor and what are the differences?

We rarely think about the fact that watercolor paint is different. Nevertheless, there are three types and each of them has its own differences and purposes.

  1. Dry. Used for graphics or small sketches.
  2. Semi-dry. It belongs to the universal and it is what we buy for children to draw at home or at school on art.
  3. Liquid. Applied to the airbrush and has more saturation, and the colors are much brighter.

In addition, watercolor paint is available in different versions. If you plan to paint in the open air, it is better to buy watercolors in pans.

If you are planning a large painting, then you should buy watercolors in tubes. Such paints do not mix with each other when working with them.

Remember that watercolor loves kolinsky or squirrel brushes that have a thin tip. So you can correctly distribute the color, make drawings and stains. And also it is worth considering that the paint is water-soluble, which means the paper must be dense. Buy whatman paper or special sheets for watercolor.

I hope that my article helped you in choosing watercolor paint and now you can fully immerse yourself in creativity. Experiment and embody your dreams and fantasies on paper, and watercolor will become a real helper in this. And even if it doesn’t work out right away, as you want, the main thing is to enjoy the process and believe in yourself.

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