Tonight I decided to tell about my watercolors, and what I like and what I don’t. I have some definite likes, and some pretty definite dislikes, but some of the paints are situational. So, here are my favorites:

My favorite type of paint is tube paints. I like them because, even though they look small, there is a lot of paint in the 8ml size tubes, which is the size I generally like to buy. I like most professional tube paints, not one brand over the other. Mainly I buy Windsor and Newton and Daniel Smith, but that’s just because they are readily available at my local art store. I like the professional paints as opposed to the student grade. They don’t seem to flake as easily, and they have a more vibrant color. I love these, because they can sit in my tray and dry out, and I just spritz them with water and wait a few minutes and they are good to go. Plus, I can have only one color out on my palette, or a whole bunch and I don’t have to worry about them melting into the water and losing their shape when I put them away. I can also put just a little bit of a color out when I know I don’t need as much, so I am not wasting any paint.

I do have some pans though, and I have enjoyed these 2 sets. The one on the left is Derwent, and I just recently purchased this one. It’s a graphite set, and has a little bit of metallic shine when the paint is dry. The one on the right is Koi. The Koi colors are not my normal colors, as I tend to stay with a more earthy palette, but these are a fun, brighter set of colors that I enjoy playing around with when I travel. I don’t dislike pans, but I prefer the tubes, just simply because I can control how much is on my palette at any one time, and the tubes are easy to close, they seal up, and they are wet and ready to go next time I need them. Pans have to be dampened frequently, and they dry out a lot quicker. At least the way I use them. I like these little kits for traveling, but I don’t use them for everyday painting.

The one thing I really dislike about these kits is that they aren’t big enough to fit a normal brush in. They have these water brushes, but I have yet to figure out exactly how to get the exact amount of water I want at any given moment. I either don’t have enough or I have a sudden puddle, usually where I don’t want it. I much prefer carrying water and brushes, to using the water filled brush. But, maybe with enough practice I’ll figure it out. I just don’t know if I want to practice that much!

This last one is also a travel size, but I also use it if I want to watch a movie with the family and paint at the same time. My sister gave me this one for Christmas, and I love it. This one is kind of the best of both worlds. It came with empty pans that I fill with my tube watercolors. There are enough pans to completely fill the tray, but I usually only have about a dozen colors at any given time in there. It is also big enough to hold brushes, which means I lose them less often, especially when we go somewhere. The pans are magnetic, so they stay where I put them. The only draw back to this case is that mixing colors on the lid of the pan is difficult because it is metal. It’s hard to see exactly the color I am ending up with, and my puddles don’t build up very well or stay where I put them, especially in the car. But all in all, I like this set the best for travel or watching TV.

So, for my everyday painting at my painting table, and the paints I use by far the most, is the tube watercolors. But there is a place for the travel sets for mobility, especially when I’m waiting for my boys at their various activities. I am grateful that my sister filled the gap between what I love to paint with, and how to make it more portable. I like being able to have the variety of brushes, as well as more of the colors I know I use all the time, waiting to be used whenever they are needed. Do you paint? What are your favorites?

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