How many watercolour sets does one person need? Maybe not this many if I am honest, but this was an interesting little task I set myself.
It all started when I began to think about getting or making a new travel set of watercolours for myself. I wondered whether to buy a ready made set or make a new set with a small tin and some gum trays. Any excuse to buy some new tubes of paint, right? When I started to look at the price of the paints I was coveting – wrong! I have so many watercolour sets as well as a good selection of tubes, I decided to get them out and see what I had and what colours were among the many many sets past and present.
My small collection consists of a vintage M. Grumbacher set from an estate sale which has great colours and pigments even now it has been around for a few decades.
Then there is my homemade travel set in an Altoids tin and the paints are Windsor and Newton tubes squeezed into empty gum trays. See how I made it here and gasp at how clean and shiny it was when I made it!! I love this tiny box because I filled it with colours I wanted and used a lot at the time.
I have a stacking set which is a fine travel set as it is super compact with many colours, even if they are not top quality.
My other basic set by Artist’s Loft has a great colour selection and has lasted me well.
The Windsor and Newton travel set I have had since I was a teenager and the colours are a great selection and very nice quality.
The colours in the Kuretake set are super vibrant and a great selection except for me it is missing a good pink. This is one of the reasons making your own set is so good, so you can get the colours you want!
The little Koi travel watercolour set has a good variety of colours but they are so small and so close together is is awkward to use with anything except a teeny brush. I do like that it also has a removable mixing palette though.
Now I have done swatch sheets of all my watercolour sets, I am going to look and see which colours I can do without in my new travel set and which I absolutely have to have – Paynes Grey and Opera Pink have to be in there, a million shades of brown I can live without.
The conclusion I never thought about until today and doing this funny exercise is that I will buy a couple of new colours and carefully co-ordiante a new travel set maybe using an Altoid tin or maybe I will get all fancy and buy an empty box with little pans for my colours. Having said that I don’t see any bought boxes holding 24 colours in such a small space with room to maneuver.
I am off to buy some Altoids and a couple of packs of gum sold in trays!
Happy Monday x