Watercolor painting is a wonderful hobby that lets your creativity flow. The soft, blendable colors and textures make it satisfying for both beginning artists and experienced painters alike. If you’re interested in trying watercolor painting, using washable watercolor sets is the perfect way to start.
Washable watercolors are formulated to be easy to use and easy to clean up. They are ideal for worry-free practice, taking to classes, and painting anywhere inspiration strikes without concern of stains. This makes them great for kids too!
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting started with washable watercolors. First, we’ll look at the top 5 washable watercolor paint sets that are perfect for beginners. Next, we’ll go over some tips for how to choose between the different sets and what to look for. Finally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about working with washable watercolor paints. Let’s get creative!
Top 5 Washable Watercolor Paint Sets
Here are my top recommendations for high-quality washable watercolor sets that have all the colors and supplies you need to start painting in no time:
1. Sakura Koi Watercolor Paint Set
The Sakura Koi set is an excellent choice for beginners because it comes with 24 vibrant colors as well as a brush, watercolor paper, and a mixing palette – everything you need in one portable case!
The pan colors are very rich and blendable while maintaining their bright, transparent look when mixed with water. The colors activate quickly and the large pans give you plenty of pigment to work with.
Since the set comes with a brush and paper, it’s extremely convenient for getting started painting right away. The included brush is a decent quality synthetic hair blend that holds a good point.
Overall, this set from Sakura is perfect for budding artists thanks to its vibrant colors, portability, and budget-friendly price for the amount of materials you get. The colors wash off easily from skin and surfaces, making this set fun and worry-free!
2. Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Color Paint Set
For artists who want excellent quality in a convenient, travel-friendly set, look no further than Winsor & Newton. This compact set has 14 half-pan paints in a sleek metal tin case along with a brush and color mixing guide.
Winsor & Newton has been making top-tier art materials for decades, so you can trust their vibrant, highly pigmented paints to give you professional looking results. The Cotman line offers beautiful blendability perfect forLayering washes and graduated tones.
The compact set size is easy to take anywhere to paint on the go. The paints re-wet well after drying on the palette so you can use a little or a lot at a time.
While this set is on the higher side of budget friendly, it delivers serious quality that will last through many paintings. It’s an excellent value for the price.
3. Prang Washable Watercolor Pan Set
Prang is a top choice for student grade washable watercolor sets. This set comes with 16 bright pan colors, 3 brushes, a sponge, folding palette – everything to get kids painting masterpieces in no time!
The colors are specifically formulated to activate quickly with water and provide opaque, vivid mixing. The set contains a wide spectrum of primary colors for painting versatility.
Since the paints are washable and child-safe, this set is perfect for classrooms, camp, or home. Kids can explore blending colors and experiment with layering washes without worrying about stains.
While very budget-friendly, this Prang set still delivers decent quality for student grade paints. The colors have nice even flow and the brushes will last through many projects. It’s easy to clean up spills and stains wipe away from skin and clothing.
4. Castle Art Supplies Watercolor Paint Set
Castle Art Supplies offers a top quality 24 pan professional grade watercolor set in a convenient package. You get their vibrant, highly pigmented paints plus 3 brushes and a folding palette all in a reusable plastic box.
The rich opaque paints provide excellent color payoff when activated with water. You can achieve bold brights or soft, blended washes thanks to the professional grade pigments.
The removable pans are formulated to prevent colors from running together on the mixing wells. This makes it easy to keep your paints organized on the palette.
Castle Art sets provide incredible quality at an affordable price point. The portability is also excellent for plein air painting or taking a class. This set works well for beginners and advanced artists alike.
5. Sargent Art 22-Piece Washable Watercolor Pan Paint Set
For a budget-friendly starter set, Sargent Art’s 22-pan assortment is tough to beat. These bright, opaque pan watercolors activate quickly and provide vibrant pooling washes.
The set contains a wide variety of both warm and cool primary colors, so you can mix virtually any hue. The paints are formulated to be easy to control on paper without too much unpredictability when wet.
Everything you need is included – pans, 3 brushes, sponge, and a snap-close reusable palette for easy portability. As a bonus, the plastic packaging is designed to prevent any leaks or breaks.
Sargent Art has been making affordable student grade supplies for decades, so you can trust their quality. While inexpensive, these paints deliver satisfying color vibrancy. It’s perfect for younger artists, classrooms, or anyone looking for a wallet-friendly starter set.
How to Choose the Best Washable Watercolor Set
With so many options on the market, here are some tips for evaluating washable watercolor sets to find the right fit:
Consider the number of paint colors – Look for sets with 12 to 24 pans, which will give you a versatile mix to work with. Too few colors can limit your mixing abilities.
Vivid, opaque paints tend to be the most beginner-friendly. You can achieve richer color payoff.
Quick activating paints flow smoothly with just the touch of a wet brush. This allows for easier blending and layering.
Flexibility in mixing colors comes from having both warm and cool primaries. You can adjust hue and temperature as needed.
Good rewetting ability – Quality paints can be re-activated after drying on the palette so none goes to waste.
Convenience of supplies – Look for kits with brushes, paper, a palette for easy setup.
A washable formula is key. It makes practicing stress-free and allows easy cleanup from spills.
Child safe sets are great for worry-free painting – perfect for kids or taking to classes.
Artist quality offers the highest pigmentation, but student grade can still deliver bold color at an affordable price point.
The quality of the brushes matter too – natural hair is best but costs more, while synthetic brushes work well for starter sets.
Portability is clutch if you want to paint on-the-go – look for durable packaging and storage.
If possible, test the actual paints by creating swatches before purchasing a set.
Labeling takes the guesswork out of the colors. It helps you recreate mixes.
Brand reputation says a lot – many have been trusted art suppliers for generations.
Read reviews and look at feedback from other buyers to learn more about a set.
Purchasing from art stores allows you to see sets in person before you buy.
By keeping these factors in mind when comparing washable watercolor paint sets, you’re sure to find a high quality set to match your needs and spark creativity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are washable watercolor sets good for beginners?
Absolutely! Washable sets are the ideal way for beginners to get started with watercolor painting. The paints themselves are formulated with beginners in mind – they activate easily with water and blend seamlessly. Cleanup is a breeze, so you can focus on creating instead of worrying about stains. Many sets also conveniently include the paints, brushes, paper, and mixing trays to provide everything you need in one portable case. The washability makes these sets perfect for worry-free practice and building confidence with watercolor techniques.
Do you need special paper for washable watercolors?
The best paper for washable watercolors will be a heavier weight, around 140lb at minimum. Look for cold press watercolor paper or mixed media paper pads that have a bit of texture. The paper texture allows the paint to grip so it won’t pool and run unintentionally. Watercolor paper will also hold up better to repeated washes without warping too much. While you can use any sketchbook or heavier duty paper, having that texture makes a difference in achieving vibrant colors that don’t bleed all over the place.
How do you get stains out of clothes from washable watercolors?
One of the perks of washable watercolors is that stains wipe up a bit easier than traditional watercolors. If a spill happens on clothing, run the spot under cold water as soon as possible. Gently rub the stain between your fingers to help dissolve it, and then launder the garment normally once the stain is removed. For dried stains, soak the clothing in cold water for 30 minutes before washing to loosen up the pigment. You can also try dabbing the stain carefully with a spot remover or hydrogen peroxide prior to laundering. laying the garment out in the sun can help bleach out any remaining discoloration too.
Can washable watercolor cakes be rewet after drying on the palette?
Absolutely! This is one of the advantages of watercolor cakes compared to tube paints. Even after drying out completely on your palette, the cakes can be rewet and the colors will dissolve again. Just be sure to store your palette with the pans sealed so they don’t dry out between uses. A few spritzes of water or touching your wet brush to the surface of the cake is all it takes to reactivate the paints. If very dried out, you may need to give them a minute or so of soaking time before stirring up the color again. This ability to rewet the paints makes the cakes last indefinitely.
How should you care for your brushes with washable watercolors?
Taking good care of your brushes ensures they’ll last through many projects. Never leave brushes sitting in water, which can loosen the ferrules and damage the bristles. After painting, give them a final rinse and gently reshape the bristles to a point before setting them out to dry. Letting them dry upright with the brush end facing up keeps the shape intact. For deeper cleaning, you can swirl the brushes gently in a bit of mild soap and water. Always thoroughly rinse out all soap then let the brushes dry bristle-side up. Store brushes in cases, sleeves or laying flat to prevent damage.
Can you mix washable watercolors with other mediums?
Absolutely! One of the joys of watercolor is how versatile it can be. Washable pan sets can be mixed with other water-based mediums like inks, gouache, or acrylics. You can build up really interesting layered, textured effects by combining mediums. Just be mindful that adding a lot of water will dilute the opacity and staining power of the paints. Watercolors also work nicely for tinting white air dry clays. Be sure to use a dedicated brush when mixing watercolor with other mediums to keep your colors pure.
Time to Get Creative!
Now that you know what to look for in a starter washable watercolor set and have some handy beginner tips, it’s time to choose your palette and start painting!
The 5 excellent beginner-friendly sets we covered offer quality supplies to suit any budget. Watercolor painting is meant to be fun, intuitive, and experimental. The soft, fluid colors lend themselves perfectly to creative expression.
Take your new washable set anywhere inspiration strikes. Paint carefree indoors and outdoors without worrying about stains. Let the vibrant colors blend and transform before your eyes.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match your acrylics, gouache, and inks too for dazzling effects. Play with balance in your compositions, contrasts in textures, and depth through layered washes.
No matter your skill level, washable watercolors open up a world of artistic possibilities. So break out your favorite brushes and pans and let your inner artist shine bright! The versatility of watercolor is endless.