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10 Best Watercolor Paint Sets: Reviews & Buying Guide 2020

Are you fond of painting and looking for the best watercolor paints for beginners? If you are a beginner you need some expert knowledge and advice about the watercolor paints.

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There are so many watercolor paints available in the market of different brands. The different brands and their claims might confuse you and you might face several difficulties while choosing the right set for yourself.

Before jumping to a decision, you must consider all the options, which are available in the market and go for that one option which is able to fulfill all your requirements and needs while you create an artistic piece.

Reveal your artistic side with the best watercolor paints for beginners and paint a splendid piece of artwork.

Let us have a look at the best watercolor paints for beginners and find the one best for you.

1. The best in the list- Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors

Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolors are the best watercolor paints which cannot be replaced by any other set. Along with this, they are also extremely cost-effective which furthermore acts as a factor which places Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors on the top of the list. Along with the synthetic products, the coloring pigments used in Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors are derived from some organic pigments such as ochres and umbers. The consistency of the watercolors is uniform and therefore, it works great for beginners. You can use the colors with the least possible adjustments in your painting technique.

The ratings of the lightfastness of these colors are incredible (either II or I which stands for excellent and good respectively) and also, they feature impressive permanence. The colors come in pans and also in solid forms in tubes. You can purchase the colors in the form, which suits your needs. The colors come in a set of 24, 14, 12, 10, and 6.

  • Excellent permanence
  • Cost-effective
  • Impressive lightfastness
  • Great for intermediates and beginners
  • Colors are vibrant
  • The user can buy refills individually
  • Great texture
  • Comprises of synthetic fillers

2. Try the classics- The Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections

If you are a beginner and looking for all the essentials in your palette, then you must certainly go for the Prima marketing Watercolor confections. The Prima watercolor paints have all the basic 12 colors, which you will require for every painting. The colors come in half pans and the property of transparency of the colors will leave no chance to impress you. The color palette of prima watercolors consists of high-grade watercolors, which are bright, smooth, and intense and lasts for long, which works best for your art projects. 

You can purchase the individual pans of the Prima watercolors whenever you run out of a particular color. This will help you to save money. The colors come in pans, which makes the color set easily portable. One of the interesting features of the color palette is that it has sufficient area for mixing the colors. Along with this, the palette consists of wells in which you can pull out a variety of different colors.

  • Consists of all the essential colors
  • Impressive transparency
  • The user can purchase individual pans
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Affordable
  • The user can purchase individual refills
  • Palette provides sufficient area for mixing color
  • Palette consists of wells
  • No rating of lightfast or permanence provided

3. Reeves 24-Pack Water Color Paint Set

Reeves 244-pack watercolor paint set consists of 24 vibrant colors in 10ml tubes. The different colors provided by Reeves will be sufficient for the beginners to paint an artistic piece of work. In spite of the expansive offering of colors, the cost of the Reeves 24-pack watercolor is low. Thus, it will be a great option for the artists who are in their budding stage as it helps them to enter the world of colors without any high fees of admission.

The colors in the palette are of uniform consistency and the colors are vibrant which will help you to create a beautiful piece.  Along with this, the color produces excellent light effects and gives an amazing texture. The Reeves watercolor can be diluted just with the help of simple water.

  • The palette consists of 24 vibrant colors
  • Affordable
  • Colors are of uniform consistency
  • Perfect introductory watercolor set for beginners
  • Does not require any solvent to dilute it
  • The palette for mixing is missing
  • The brush is not provided in the set
  • Specific paint cannot be produced individually

4. Royal Talens Van Gogh Watercolors

Royal Talens van Gogh Watercolors are amongst the best watercolor paints for beginners. The watercolor paints are of high quality and the pack consists of a set of 12 bright watercolors in 10ml color tubes. The high quality of the Royal Talens Van Gogh watercolors can compete with the professional watercolors.

Watercolor paints can be mixed together to produce excellent shades. Along with this, the paints feature breathtaking lightfastness. This ensures that the color will appear vibrant on your canvas or paper for several years. In addition, one of the best features of the paint is their property of transparency. You will be able to produce deep effects on your sheet with the help of these transparent watercolor paints. The pack also comprises a nylon brush (round shape, size 6) and a palette for mixing the colors.

  • High-quality
  • The color can be mixed to produce fantastic combinations
  • Impressive light fastness
  • Long-lasting vibrancy
  • Excellent transparency
  • Size-6 brush included
  • Palette provides an area for mixing the paint
  • Smooth consistency
  • Expensive

5. Daniel Smith Introductory Watercolors

Why not try experimenting with colors? After all, you are going to become an excellent color artist in the near future.

The artists usually prefer going for different colors while painting their masterpiece. However, contradictorily, the Daniel Smith introductory watercolors take a different approach. They go for a basic set of three cool and three warm colors.

You just need to mix the different colors to create different shades. This will help you to learn more about colors and also, it will help you to dig deep into the colorful world of colors.

Become a resourceful color expert by mixing the colors with Daniel Smith introductory watercolor paints. The pigments in the set are perfectly grounded and you just need to mix the colors available in the palette to create vibrant combinations. The transparency and light fastness of the colors are excellent which matches with the watercolor paint of artist grade.

  • Creates vibrant combinations
  • Perfect for beginners
  • The user can buy the refills individually
  • The 6 colors get mixed in a uniform manner
  • High-quality
  • Unbeatable transparency and lightfastness
  • Starter brush is not included
  • Palette is missing

6. Sennelier La Petite Aquarelle Watercolor Paint Set

The French company provides an excellent set of watercolor paints which caters to all the needs of beginners. The company provides half pan watercolors, which are brighter and features outstanding lightfastness. The credit to the bright appearance of the color goes to the honey-base. Along with this, the colors maintain their vibrancy for a longer span of time.

If you want to get the exact shade of a particular hue, you can mix the colors on the mixing palette which comes with the set and get the color which you need. In addition, the palette comes with a hand-strap which helps you to hold the palette firmly.

  • More vibrant
  • Outstanding lightfastness
  • Palette consists of a mixing area
  • Hand-strap for a firm grip
  • Provides a wide array of colors
  • Cost-efficient
  • The brush is not included in the set

7. Grumbacher Academy Watercolor Paint

Get started with the Grumbacher academy watercolor paints and draw your masterpiece. All you need is some water and a sheet.

The Grumbacher Academy watercolor paint consists of everything, which you will need as a beginner. It consists of a palette for storing your color tubes, area for mixing, and an assorted brush for painting. Along with this, the pack comes with a set of 12 colors, which are super smooth and buttery. Just get started with the brush and your palette and create amazing paintings with the vibrant colors of the set. The consistency and lightfastness of the colors are unbeatable. Moreover, the density of pigment is high and it offers higher transparency.

The set comes with a guide which instructs the beginners about the pigments. This is very helpful in creating amazing combinations.

  • Palette has space for storing color tubes
  • Space for mixing colors on the palette
  • Assorted brush
  • The colors are vibrant and buttery
  • Outstanding lightfastness
  • Incredible consistency
  • High-quality paint
  • High pigment density
  • Greater transparency
  • Expensive

8. Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Half-Pan Paint Metal Set

The Schmincke Horadam Aquarell watercolor paint provides an impeccable range of paints to paint a terrific artwork. You will get an English and German description of all the colors in the set along with your watercolor paints. The description comprises of the index name of the color, the glazing characteristic, opacity, lightfastness, granulation and stain rating of the color.

The colors are highly pigmented and you can mix the colors to produce the combination, which you need. The colors are vibrant and produce excellent textures.

One of the limiting factors for the vegans is that the agent used for wetting the colors is obtained from cows.

Otherwise, the set is great for beginners and they can create magnificent pieces of art with the help of the vibrant colors.

  • Highly pigmented colors
  • Colors are bright
  • The set comes with a bi-lingual description of colors
  • Comprises of a palette for mixing the colors
  • Expensive
  • The wetting agent is obtained from cows

9. Holbein Watercolor Set

The Holbein watercolor paint set comprises of everything, which you are looking for! The colors are highly pigmented, show excellent transparency and permanence, and are of high grade. The pack comes with a set of 24 color tubes, each of 5ml.  The set provides you all the color that you will need while creating your splendid artwork. The set helps you to create a professional-quality masterpiece. The paints do not get cracked and they maintain their brightness for years to come.

  • Highly pigmented colors
  • High grade
  • Excellent permanence and transparency
  • Bright colors
  • Colors do not crack
  • Expensive
  • The tubes are of 5 ml

10. M. Graham Watercolor Paint Set

M. Graham watercolor paint set comprises of vibrant colors of high quality. The colors are highly loaded with pigments and the company focuses on producing the colors with the help of organic or natural pigments. High pigmentation is necessary so that the artist gets greater transparency while using less amount of paint.

The brightness of the colors is due to the use of honey in the manufacture of the paints. Honey prevents the pain from drying with time and it produces vibrant colors, which last for a longer span of time. Even if you do not use the paint after a longer period, you will face no problems in getting the paint back to life.

Most importantly, the colors are made via a manufacturing procedure, which is non-toxic, and the energy used during the manufacturing process is renewable. This makes the paint an eco-friendly one.

  • Smooth consistency
  • Bright colors
  • Outstanding lightfastness
  • Environment-friendly paint
  • A high concentration of the pigments
  • High-grade color
  • Features limited selection of colors when compared with others

Buyer’s guide

Whenever you go for purchasing a set of paints for yourself, there are several crucial aspects, which you need to keep in your mind while buying the perfect set for yourself. Given below are some aspects, which you must consider while picking the best watercolor paints for beginners, which fulfill your artistic requirements.


The quality of watercolor paints is an important factor. The watercolor paints are of two types- professional and student. The professional paints are of higher quality and consist of more pigmentation. Also, professional paints have a wide range of tints. On the other hand, student grade water paints possess more fillers and synthetic binders. This reduces the cost of the paint but these paints possess little permanence.

So, if you are a beginner, it is okay to go with student grade paints which even go friendly with your pocket. You can eventually switch to professional grade after furnishing your skills.


A good feature of watercolors is that you can mix the colors to create different shade or color combination. In this manner, you do not need to invest in a variety of colors. Some artists prefer using limited pigments and creating combinations from them. Whereas, others prefer investing in the different shades of a particular color.

All these considerations depend solely on the person who is handling the palette.


The durability of the paint, when exposed to humidity and light, is permanence. Permanence depends on the quality of the water paints and on the amount of filler.


The ability of the watercolors to enable the light to pass through it to give a beautiful effect to the painting. Watercolor paints can be transparent or opaque. It is mentioned on the pans or tubes whether the colors are transparent or opaque. As a beginner, you can go for opaque watercolors, which are thin. Moreover, transparent watercolor paints are needed if you wish to give a layered effect to your painting.


There are some water paints, which penetrate the canvas or paper and create a stain. While the other category of water paints, do not penetrate and get adsorbed on the surface which makes it easy to erase them by scraping or with the help of a sponge. Staining will be helpful while layering as the paints, which do not stain, might get mixed with each other while layering. The type of color, which you should use, depends on the requirement of your painting.

Tubes VS Pans

Watercolor paints come in two forms- pans (trays containing solid paint, which comes to life, when water is added) and tubes. Pans can be carried easily but on the other hand, the amount of paint in the pans is less. Thus, you can only paint a small painting and not a large landscape.

On the other hand, tubes consist of liquid watercolor paint. It can be a bit difficult and messy to carry the tubes everywhere, but they are very useful while painting larger paintings. You can go for what you think is best for you and which suits your requirements.

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