Today I am taking a look at the set of 24 American Journey Watercolor Sticks. They are watercolor pigment in a clear paraffin wax binder. I wanted to find out if they are more like a watercolor pan or a watercolor crayon.
For my test I am working on Strathmore Windpower paper. Watch the video to see how they perform!
The American Journey watercolor sticks are available in sets or open stock. The sets have a handy storage palette to keep them in. Open stock the sticks sell for $7.99 while a 12 color set in a palette goes for $59 bringing the per stick price to $5, a much better deal.
- Price: They cost a bit more than Winsor & Newton watercolor sticks but are 2x as big. They are the same size as Daniel Smith but a bit cheaper
- Pigment info listed on sides of watercolor sticks, stable lightfast pigments are used. If you are picky about your pigments I suggest getting colors open stock.
- All usable product-you can save the shavings if you sharpen the crayons to use as watercolors. You can use all the product so no waste.
- Drawing with the crayons give you more of a “watercolor pencil” experience rather than a watercolor crayon experience
- Transparent (as long as the pigments used are) Most watercolor crayons are opaque and these are luminous and transparent, the reds are stunning and worth buying to supplement a watercolor crayon set that you might already have.
- When used direct to paper from the stick (aka sketching and coloring) I don’t feel like you get as good color payoff as you would with a traditional watercolor crayon or water-soluble oil pastel. I don’t think this is a con for some people but if that is what you want with this product I think you will be disappointed. Also these American Journey sticks are more expensive than Caran D’Ache watercolor crayons which are better for a dry, direct to paper technique. It boils down to personal taste though.
- Not great for glazing as colors easily lift.
I like this product for sketching and then picking up pigment with a wet brush for washes (like pan color) for use on white paper. They are different from a watercolor crayon because they are transparent. I think they are better for direct painting without a lot of glazes because they are very liftable. If I had to recommend one color I would try any of the reds and they really stand out as different from other similar products.
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