Hi friends! Today we are going to take a look at the new Arteza 36 half pan watercolor set. It currently sells for $34.99 on the Arteza website and there is also a 12 pan set for $24.99 The 36 set is a better deal and the color options would be more useful plus you get 24 extra colors for an extra $10. You can get 10% off with coupon code: PROMO10 and all items ship free making it a low barrier to entry for this or any of their products. You can also find this set on Amazon for $35.99 and there is a $5 off coupon today!
Here is a link to the swatching/color mixing stamps.
I have been using Arteza products for about 10 months and I have been really impressed with the quality for the price. The only Arteza product that I didn’t love was the tube watercolors (they were OK for a student grade but didn’t knock my socks off and I thought there were better student options for around the same price) so when a viewer told me about the pan sets I knew I wanted to give them a try as I often prefer the pan formulations of student/craft grade supplies over tube because inexpensive tube paints contain lots of fillers and water and when you try to dry them down they crack and fall out of your palate most times whereas pans are already dried down so you know exactly what you are getting and they aren’t going to crack. You can see the full review in today’s video:
*Note, these paints are under their “premium” line but I am going to classify them as student grade for reasons I mention in the video. [Edited to add] I heard from two viewers that Arteza’s Premium line is student grade and the Expert line is their artists grade. They also had a Classic line that is kids grade but I never saw any classic supplies on their website so they may have done away with that line.
- Sturdy metal tin palette that is bright white and the paint does not bead up on. Also the mixing flap stays level and doesn’t flop on the table at an angel. *the tin is about 1/4″ shorter than other 48 half pan tins which makes it sturdier but other inserts will not fit in it nor can you sneak an extra half pan in the row.
- Good for glazing as colors are hard to lift and quite transparent.
- Wide range of vibrant colors and no white
- Includes a nice waterbrush
Cons (and I hold Arteza to a high standard so I might be a bit picky here)
- No pigment info or lightfast ratings *The tube paints have this info
- The colors had a tendency to stain so lifting could be difficult (but good for glazing)
- Some of the “fingers” that held the pans in needed to be adjusted with pliers to reach the top of the pans.
Bottom Line: Arteza Pan watercolor paints are fun and inexpensive. They work great on most papers even the really inexpensive Arteza paper. In my tests they worked best wet on dry as they were easy to glide around dry paper with a brush but I found them slow to disperse in a large wet in wet wash. They acted more like Eastern watercolors in that respect. If you like to do loose flowers (like the roses I showed in the video) or paint stamped designs they are a great choice because you can control the flow of the paint better and it stays where you put it but if you prefer large wet in wet washes these might not be the best (or you might need to add some ox-gall as a dispersant/flow enhancer.) They glaze and layer very well but lifting is a challenge so save your whites as you are painting or plan to use mixed media should you want bright white highlights later. At $35 they are a nice set of paints and there is room in the tin if you want to add more (I suggest adding an ultramarine blue) in the future. If you need some inexpensive paints these are a good bet!
BTW a few people asked me how I did my swatches and tests so I will share my process in my next review video that will be out in a week. I think it might be helpful to see how and why I do it because then you can swatch the sets you have and see what the qualities of your paints are. I don’t know why I never thought about sharing that (I guess I thought watching that would be as entertaining as watching paint dry LOL!) but there are things to be learned. I’ll be posting the landscape tutorial from this video on YouTube tomorrow if you want to see that as well, til then happy crafting!