Artsy 24 Watercolor Review: Good Paint but use with Caution!

Hi friends! Before we get into this review of the Artsy set of 24 watercolors I want to let you know of a discrepancy between the pigment info available for this set on Amazon and the Safe, non-toxic, conforms to safety certificates: U.S. ASTM D-4236 & EU EN71 also on Amazon. The pigment info on a photo in the amazon listing claims 2 of the colors (Cadmium Red and Cadmium yellow medium) contain cadmium. Cadmium paints are safe to use however you do not want to spray apply them or eat, drink (or smoke) while painting or until you have washed your hands. Also make sure your pets can’t get to your paint water. Honestly, I am doubtful that these paints have real cadmium for 2 reasons, 1 the price (cadmium paints cost much more than synthetic version) and 2 the opacity. These “cadmiums” are quite transparent and real cadmium are rather opaque. And a 3rd reason, for a paint the be certified non toxic by ASTM it has to undergo independent testing and the packaging must disclose any toxic chemicals. I didn’t see the photo of the swatch before I filmed my review and there was no pigment info on the swatch card in my set or on the pan wrappers. Since that swatch with pigment info is on Amazon I wanted to point it out so that you will have all the info you may need and if you buy this set you can take precautions when using it. The only change I would make to my review would be not recommending it for children just to be on the safe side. Ironically the “cobalt blue” is not cobalt. It is ultramarine and white as I suspected. All of this to say, don’t eat your paint.


Today I am reviewing the inexpensive, 24 half pan set of Artsy watercolors. This set features individually wrapped half pans of paint in a beautiful teal reusable tin tray. Empty tins can cost as much as this set so I was intrigued at how good this set could be, at least I’d have a nice tin regardless of the paint! This set is packaged with a soft polishing cloth similar to the Paul Rubens set and also comes with a water brush. It is packaged in a sturdy chipboard box adding to the luxurious feel. Last year I reviewed their fan and accordion watercolor sets and liked them very much.

Pros of Artsy 24 half pan set

  • Price Reusable tin
  • Includes waterbrush
  • Strong bright colors
  • Lifts fine
  • Glazes well
  • Mixes well (except for black which produced a weird chalky residue when mixing)
  • Flow is OK

Cons:

  • One of the browns is weak
  • They market this as “master level” which implies it is professional quality but without pigment info or lightfast info it is not a reliable claim. *Edited, there is a photo of a swatch with pigment and lightfast info but I am not convinced of some of the pigments and they have + signs for lightfast but no explanation of how many + mean what. They all list++ or +++ and in ASTM 1 star is excellent and 3 stars is fugitive so I am not sure what scale they are using as the 3 star colors they show appear to be ones that would be more lightfast. Plus a professional set of 24 half pans would run between $110-$250 and this set is only around $20. I’m not saying the paints are bad, I just find the pigment info dubious.

Bottom line: Yes I do recommend these paints as a starter set or a travel/sketching set. They are good for the price but with any inexpensive paint set from China you have to take the claims with a grain of slat. They behaved very nicely and they would not hinder the any budding watercolorist who want to learn or an experienced artist who wants an inexpensive set for practice. You also have a great reusable tin! Just be aware of the potential cadmium pigments and enjoy your paint. Happy crafting!

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