Do these watercolors look familiar to you?

Hi friends! Man there are a lot of new watercolors springing up on Amazon these days! I feel like I’ve tried all the watercolors by now and to some extent I have as many companies have their paints made from the same factories overseas. That doesn’t mean that they are bad but it does mean that you can end up buying virtually the same paints twice. I had a viewer request to review the new Phoenix half pan watercolors that recently popped up on Amazon. They were on the pricier end of the budget paints with a 12 set going for $16 and the 48 set at about $38. I was set to ignore these newcomers to the scene but after several viewers asked about them I decided to order a 12 color set to try as it looked to have a nice range of colors and I am cheap LOL! Watch the video for my full review!

So, what do you think? Do they remind you of Cotman paints?

Pros of Phoenix Watercolors:

  • Price
  • Nice tin in a pretty metallic blue
  • Tin has room for more pans down the center (12 set anyway)
  • Colors rewet well Layer well *Be careful because you might end up lifting if you are too aggressive.
  • Lifts well
  • Pigment info available transparent Decent lightfastness
  • Student grade
  • A more affordable equivalent to Winsor & Newton’s Cotman paints


  • The color selection in the 12 color set is lacking, it has 2 warm reds, one of which is fugitive, a burnt umber which is a mixed pigment, and 2 greens that are not very useful. A 12 color set should feature the most useful colors and this is lacking. !he 24 color set is much better.

Bottom Line: If you want more Cotman quality paint give the Phoenix watercolors a try. These are a traditional watercolor of a student grade quality. They are not bad at all. They area bit more expensive than other “private label brand” paints but they are a bit better than many of those budget brands. I think the Pretty Excellent watercolor is still the best bet in the budget/student range but you don’t get pigment info with those so if lightfastness is important this would be a better bet.

I hope you enjoyed this review and it provides the information necessary to make educated art supply purchases. FYI I used Amazon affiliate links in this post so if you make a purchase via those links I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Have a great day and as always happy crafting!

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