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My Many Watercolour Paint Sets.





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

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