Ultimate Guide to the Best Watercolor Paint

Calling all watercolor enthusiasts! Are you on a quest to discover the holy grail of watercolor paints? Look no further as we unveil the best watercolor paints that will take your artistic creations to new heights!

Imagine a world where vibrant, translucent colors flow effortlessly across your paper, creating stunning works of art. With the right watercolor paints, this dream can become a reality.

Our selection of the best watercolor paints is carefully curated to meet the needs of both beginners and experienced artists. These paints are known for their exceptional quality, intensity, and luminosity. They will inspire you to unleash your creativity and express your artistic vision with confidence.

Whether you prefer traditional tubes, pans, or liquid watercolors, our comprehensive guide will help you find the perfect paint for your masterpiece. From professional-grade brands to student-friendly options, we’ve got you covered.

So, join us on this artistic journey, as we dive deep into the world of watercolor paints and help you find the ones that will unlock your true potential. Let your brush dance with these best watercolor paints and watch your imagination take flight!

Choosing the best watercolor paint
Choosing the best watercolor paint

The importance of choosing the right watercolor paint

Selecting the best watercolor paint is crucial for achieving the desired results in your artwork. The quality of the paint directly affects the vibrancy, transparency, and longevity of your paintings. Investing in high-quality watercolor paints will not only enhance the visual appeal of your artwork but also ensure its longevity over time.

Factors to consider when choosing watercolor paint

When choosing watercolor paint, there are several factors to consider. One of the most important factors is the pigment quality. Look for paints that are made from high-quality pigments, as they will offer better color intensity and lightfastness. Lightfastness refers to the paint’s ability to resist fading when exposed to light over time.

Another factor to consider is the transparency of the paint. Transparent watercolors allow light to pass through the layers, creating luminous effects. On the other hand, opaque watercolors cover underlying layers and are more suitable for adding texture and highlights.

Different types of watercolor paint - tubes, pans, and liquid
Different types of watercolor paint – tubes, pans, and liquid

Different types of watercolor paint – tubes, pans, and liquid

Watercolor paints come in different forms, including tubes, pans, and liquid. Each type has its advantages and is suited for different painting techniques.

  • Tubes are the most common form of watercolor paint and are convenient for mixing colors.
  • Pans, on the other hand, are compact and portable, making them ideal for outdoor painting.
  • Liquid watercolors are highly versatile and can be used for various techniques, including pouring or spraying.
Understanding watercolor paint characteristics
Understanding watercolor paint characteristics

Understanding watercolor paint characteristics – transparency, lightfastness, and granulation

Transparency, lightfastness, and granulation are important characteristics to consider when choosing watercolor paint.

  • Transparency refers to the paint’s ability to allow light to pass through, creating depth and luminosity in your artwork.
  • Lightfastness is the paint’s resistance to fading when exposed to light over time. Look for paints labeled with a high lightfastness rating to ensure the longevity of your artwork.
  • Granulation refers to the paint’s ability to create textured effects on the paper. Some watercolor pigments naturally granulate, creating interesting patterns and adding depth to your paintings. Consider experimenting with different granulating pigments to add unique texture to your artwork.

Top watercolor paint brands in the market

There are several reputable watercolor paint brands in the market that offer high-quality paints. Some of the top brands include;

Holbein - the best watercolor paint for all levels
Holbein – the best watercolor paint for all levels

#1. Holbein; the best watercolor paint for all levels

My personal favorite and go-to watercolor paint! Beautiful in all ways with an amazing selection of hues.

Where to purchase? Blick art or Amazon are both reliable online outlets for purchasing Holbein watercolor paints.

Buy Holbein at Blick

Buy Holbein at Amazon


M. Graham Watercolors = Excellent choice for all levels
M. Graham Watercolors = Excellent choice for all levels

#2. M. Graham & Co.; Outstanding Watercolor Paint!

A lesser known brand with incredible value. Tends to be less expensive but doesn’t sacrifice of quality. Highly recommended!

Where to purchase? Blick art or Amazon are both reliable online outlets for purchasing Holbein watercolor paints.

Buy M. Graham at Blick

Buy M. Graham at Amazon


Cotman's; Best watercolor paint for budget minded and beginners
Cotman’s; Best watercolor paint for budget minded and beginners

Cotman by Winsor & Newton; Budget friendly and Ideal for beginners

Ideal for beginners, especially the Cotman series which is made with more pigments than most student grade paints.

Where to purchase? Blick art or Amazon are both reliable online outlets for purchasing Holbein watercolor paints.

Buy Cotman at Blick

Buy Cotman at Amazon


Daniel Smith Watercolor Paint
Daniel Smith Watercolor Paint

Runner Up Watercolor Paint Brands

Daniel Smith – another favorite with professionals, you can’t go wrong with their paint. Can’t go wrong with this brand.

Purchase Daniel Smith at Blick

Purchase Daniel Smith at Amazon


Schmincke Watercolor Paint
Schmincke Watercolor Paint

Schmincke – Pricey but fabulous, well worth it if you dont mind spending a few extra bucks. Offer an extensive range of colors, excellent pigment quality, and lightfastness.

Purchase Schmincke at Blick

Purchase Schmincke at Amazon


Best watercolor paints for beginners
Best watercolor paints for beginners

Best watercolor paints for beginners

For beginners, it is important to start with a reliable and affordable watercolor paint set. Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolors are popular choices for beginners. These paints offer a good range of colors, decent pigmentation, and are easy to work with. They are also available in sets, making it convenient for beginners to experiment with different colors.

Best watercolor paints for professional artists

Professional artists often prefer artist-grade watercolor paints, which offer superior pigment quality, lightfastness, and a wider range of colors. Some of the best watercolor paints for professional artists include Holbein, M. Graham & Co., Daniel Smith Watercolors, Schmincke and Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolors. These paints are known for their intense colors, excellent blending properties, and archival quality.

Watercolor paint sets vs individual tubes – pros and cons

Watercolor paint sets and individual tubes both have their advantages and disadvantages. Paint sets are a convenient option for beginners or artists who prefer a pre-selected range of colors. They are also cost-effective compared to buying individual tubes. However, paint sets may not offer the same level of color intensity and pigmentation as individual tubes.

Watercolor Sets VS. Tubes
Watercolor Set

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of watercolor paint sets. Then we will do the same for watercolor paint tubes, this way you can make a good decision on what works best.

Pros:

  1. Versatility: Watercolor paint sets offer a wide range of colors that can be easily mixed and blended, allowing artists to create a variety of shades and tones. This versatility gives artists the freedom to explore different techniques and styles.
  2. Portability: Watercolor paint sets are generally compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry around. This makes them perfect for outdoor and on-the-go painting, allowing artists to capture scenes and inspiration wherever they go.
  3. Transparency: Watercolor paints are known for their transparency, which allows light to pass through the layers of paint, creating luminosity and depth in the artwork. This makes watercolor paintings visually appealing and gives them a unique charm.

Cons:

  1. Learning curve: Watercolor painting has a steep learning curve and can be challenging for beginners. Achieving control over the water-to-paint ratio, understanding the techniques for creating different effects, and mastering the art of layering can take time and practice.
  2. Lack of permanence: Watercolor paintings tend to be less durable compared to other mediums like oil or acrylic. Over time, watercolors may fade or become susceptible to damage if not properly protected and framed.
  3. Limited opacity: Watercolor paints are known for their transparency, which can restrict the artist’s ability to achieve solid and opaque colors. This limitation may be a drawback for artists who prefer bold and vibrant compositions.

Overall, watercolor paint sets offer versatility and portability, enabling artists to explore different techniques and styles while on the go. However, the learning curve, lack of permanence, and limited opacity can pose challenges for beginners and artists who prefer more vibrant and long-lasting artwork.


Watercolor tubes
Watercolor tubes

Individual tubes, on the other hand, allow artists to customize their color palette and have more control over color mixing. They are ideal for artists who have specific color preferences or require a wide range of colors for their artwork. However, buying individual tubes can be more expensive in the long run.

Pros:

  1. Convenience: Watercolor paint tubes offer great convenience as they are portable and easy to carry around. This makes them perfect for artists who like to paint outdoors or travel frequently.
  2. Longevity: Compared to watercolor pans, paint tubes tend to last longer as they contain more pigment. This means that artists can use them for a longer period of time before needing to purchase new tubes.
  3. Control: Paint tubes allow artists to have better control over the intensity and consistency of the paint. This is because they can squeeze out the desired amount of paint and adjust the pigment-to-water ratio according to their preference.
  4. Variety: Watercolor paint tubes come in a wide range of colors, providing artists with a vast array of options to choose from. This allows for greater creativity and the ability to mix custom colors easily.

Cons:

  1. Cost: One disadvantage of watercolor paint tubes is that they can be more expensive compared to watercolor pans. Artists who are on a tight budget may find it more economical to use pans instead of tubes.
  2. Drying out: If not properly sealed, watercolor paint tubes can dry out quickly. This can be frustrating for artists who forget to close the tubes tightly after each use or who have tubes with faulty caps.
  3. Waste: Sometimes, artists may squeeze out more paint than they actually need, leading to wastage. This can be especially true for beginners who are still learning how to control the amount of paint they need for a particular artwork.
  4. Limited portability: While watercolor paint tubes are generally portable, they can be bulkier and heavier compared to watercolor pans. This can be a drawback for artists who prefer to travel light or have limited space in their art supply kit.

Where to buy watercolor paint
Where to buy watercolor paint

Where to buy the best watercolor paint

The best watercolor paints can be purchased from art supply stores, online retailers, or directly from the manufacturers’ websites. Local art supply stores often have a good selection of watercolor paints, allowing you to compare different brands and colors in person.

Online retailers such as Amazon and Blick Art Materials offer a wide range of options and convenient shopping experiences. Buying directly from the manufacturers’ websites can also provide access to exclusive colors and special promotions.

Tips for using and storing watercolor paint
Tips for using and storing watercolor paint

Tips for using and storing watercolor paint

To get the most out of your watercolor paint, it is important to use them correctly and store them properly. Always use high-quality brushes and watercolor paper for the best results. Experiment with different techniques such as wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, and glazing to explore the full potential of watercolor painting.

When storing watercolor paints, keep them in a cool and dry place to prevent them from drying out or becoming moldy. It is also a good idea to label your paints and keep them organized for easy access.

FAQ’S

What should I consider when purchasing watercolor paint?

When looking to buy watercolor paint, there are several factors to take into consideration. These include pigmentation, color range, lightfastness, transparency, and the type of paint (whether it comes in tubes or pans). Additionally, you may want to think about your budget and whether you intend to use the paints for professional or personal purposes.

What sets pans and tubes of watercolor paint apart?

Watercolor paints are available in two primary forms: pans and tubes. Pans consist of solid blocks of dried paint that can be activated with water, while tubes contain wet paint that can be squeezed out onto a palette. Pans offer greater convenience for travel and outdoor painting, while tubes are favored by artists who require larger quantities of paint or prefer to mix their own colors.

How do I select the right color range for my needs?

The choice of color range depends on your personal preferences and the kind of paintings you plan to create. If you’re new to watercolor painting, it is advisable to start with a basic set of colors. This will allow you to mix a wide variety of hues. As you gain more experience, you can gradually expand your color range to include more specialized shades.

What factors should I consider when purchasing watercolor paint?

When purchasing watercolor paint, there are several factors to consider. These include the pigmentation, color range, lightfastness, transparency, and the type of paint (tubes or pans). It is also worth considering your budget and whether you will be using the paints for professional or personal use.

What is the difference between pans and tubes of watercolor paint?

Watercolor paints are available in two main forms: pans and tubes. Pans are solid blocks of dried paint that can be activated with water, while tubes contain wet paint that can be squeezed onto a palette. Pans are more convenient for traveling and outdoor painting, whereas tubes are ideal for artists who require a larger amount of paint or prefer to mix their own colors.

How do I choose the appropriate color range for my needs?

The choice of color range depends on your personal preferences and the type of paintings you intend to create. If you are just starting out, it is advisable to invest in a basic set of colors that can be used to mix a wide range of hues. As you gain more experience, you can gradually expand your color range to include more specialized hues.

Conclusion: Finding the perfect watercolor paint for your artistic journey

Choosing the best watercolor paint is a personal decision that depends on your artistic preferences, budget, and painting style. Consider the factors discussed in this guide, such as pigment quality, transparency, and lightfastness, to make an informed decision.

Experiment with different brands and colors to find the perfect watercolor paint that enhances your artistic journey. Remember, the right watercolor paint can elevate your artwork and bring your creative vision to life.