WATERCOLOR FAVORITES (Paints, Markers, Paper, Brushes) – 2019 Update

WATERCOLOR FAVORITES (Paints, Markers, Paper, Brushes) – 2019 Update

– [Kristina] Hi, everyone, Kristina here. Over the years, I have
amassed a very large amount of watercolor paper, watercolor sets, watercolor supplies, brushes, you name it, I have been collecting it and adding it to my stash for years, so I have a really large collection. And I get a lot of questions about what I would recommend
to each one of you, so I thought in today’s video, I would briefly go into
what I would recommend. Now, I’m gonna give you
a lot of options today. Any one person, unless
they’re crazy like me, does not need every single one of these but I will give you the
pros and cons of each and why I’ve chosen them for
this recommendation video. So, I’m gonna start off with paper because paper is something that no matter what watercolor
medium you’re using, paper is really gonna
make or break your project because if you use high-quality paints on a low-quality paper, it’s
not gonna look its best. However, you could use
a high-quality paper with maybe a really inexpensive, kind of low-quality watercolor set, and you’ll probably still
have some pretty good results. So, let’s start with paper. I’ve got basically, I guess, like, three
recommendations for you, plus a specialty paper that you’ll need for one of the mediums
that I’m gonna show you, which if you’ve been watching my channel for any amount of time, you probably know what that paper is. Okay, so first of all, ARCHES
Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper is kind of a catchall. It does great for a lot
of different techniques, a lot of different projects. ARCHES Cold Pressed is really great, as well as the Hot Pressed version. However, I’ve got right
here for you two versions of Fabriano Artistico. I’ve got Cold Pressed and Hot Pressed. I recommend maybe for Hot Pressed option to get the smaller five by seven block just because I personally
don’t use hot press as often, so to pay for a big pad like
this might not be as useful, so you might wanna get
something a little bit smaller for your hot press option, and I most only use hot
pressed watercolor paper when I’m doing very
fine-detailed watercoloring where I really need to
have a smooth surface. So, both of these are great. I use these papers in particular
when I’m going to have, maybe I’m painting something that’s going on top of white cardstock and so I want my watercolor paper to match the white cardstock
as much as possible. That’s when I use this Extra
White Artistico from Fabriano, or if I just feel like it. But that’s mainly the reason
why I use the Extra White. Otherwise, I love the texture of ARCHES. The other paper I really
recommend you have on hand, especially if you’re gonna
try watercolor markers or brush pens is Strathmore Bristol. If you’ve ever used like
the Arteza Brush Pens or the ZIG CLEAN COLOR Real Brush markers, I’m gonna talk about both
of those in a minute here, you know sometimes they don’t react well on top of traditional watercolor paper. Try it on Bristol because
Bristol is smooth. It’s great if you’re gonna
stamp an image and then color it or if you’re just looking for really, really detailed painting. Bristol is amazing. And make sure it’s the
smooth surface, not vellum. I haven’t tried the vellum
Bristol but I’ve heard that it does not react
the same with the markers. So, look for Bristol smooth
surface, and this is Strathmore. I’ve also bought some,
I think it’s Canson XL, they have a Bristol version. I haven’t tried it out
yet, but I have bought it, so I’m hoping to use that in a video soon. So, those are my paper recommendations. Speaking of watercolor markers,
I got two options for you. This first set, both
are 48 colors actually, I think that’s kind of funny that I have the same
amount of each marker, different colors, obviously. These are the Arteza Brush
Pens, Real Brush Pens. I find that these are
really, really great. I don’t have any complaints with them, especially when I use
them on Bristol paper. It works great. The color selection’s great. I have no complaints. I really, really love those. They are not lightfast, so they will fade in direct sunlight. So, whatever you use them on, make sure it’s not something
that needs to be archival. Same goes for the ZIG CLEAN COLOR. They are also not lightfast. There’s a wider selection
of both of these, but I only have 48 of each, so if you are like a
full-set syndrome person, you need the full set of something, you’re probably gonna wanna
get the larger marker sets, but 48 seems to be great for me, especially because I tend to
use kind of the same colors over and over again, so I think, really, I probably
only have about 24 of each that I use all the time. But these are the ZIG CLEAN
COLOR Real Brush markers. One of the reasons, well, there’s a couple
of pros and cons to both. The ZIGs are in general more
expensive than the Arteza. However, with the ZIGs, if
you run out of one color, you can buy just that
one color and replace it. Whereas the Arteza, as far as I can tell, they do not sell them
in individual colors. I looked on the Arteza website today and they don’t sell them there. I don’t know if there are other shops who maybe sell the Arteza brushes and they’ve broken the sets apart and sell them individually,
I have no idea. But as far as I could tell,
you have to buy the entire set. That being said, I haven’t run
out of any of these colors. I don’t use them exclusively enough to really give you a good
estimate on how long they’ll last, but I’ve had these for a long time and I haven’t had any drying out issues. But the ZIGs, every once in
a while I’ll come across one that’s a little more dry than the others but I just put a tiny bit of
water right on the brush tip and it kind of, like,
soaks up some of that ink and it gets things going again. So, I haven’t had to
replace any of these either. So, I mean, that being said, maybe the replacing
issue won’t be a problem. By the way, I store these in these little fabric
cuffed, little containers. I got them from The Container Store. I’ll link those down below in
the video description as well if you are wondering. And this one has the,
the ZIGs are shorter. I just pulled down that
cuff a little bit more so that they don’t,
like, get completely lost when it’s all folded up like this. All right, and now we’re
on to the watercolor sets. Now, like I showed you guys in the intro, I have a lot more watercolor
sets to choose from here. I’m just gonna give you the
ones that I really recommend, the ones that I turn to a lot most often and I’m gonna talk about in a little bit. The first set should be no surprise. This is the 30, I think it’s 36 set of
watercolors from Mijello. This is the Mission Gold set
that comes with the pallette and it comes with all
the individual tubes. I don’t think I’ve ever
had to refill any of these, except for this one right
here, which is Bright Opera. I think I refilled that one and that’s because I
love that bright color and I just tend to use a ton of it. So, that’s the only one
that I’ve had replaced. The rest of them have held
up really, really well. I know a lot of people who
use their watercolor set a ton and have never run out of the color. So, I also have another palette with these exact same colors in it because I wanted a larger palette, I wanted the wells be a little bigger, I wanted more mixing space, and so I did buy some larger tubes. I’ll link those down as well down below. So I have another palette
that I tend to use a little bit more now these days but this is the original
set that I fell in love with when it comes to Mijello
Mission Gold watercolor sets. These paints, they react
with water so well. You don’t even have to spray
the palette to get it going. You can just go in with a damp brush and pick up that color right away. They’re creamy, they’re
pigmented, bright colors. I have no complaints
with these watercolors. They’re so easy to use. It’s a lot about personal preference. I know a lot of people love
DANIEL SMITH watercolors. They’re not my favorite. Maybe because these are my first love, this is the one that I gravitate to, but I prefer these over the DANIEL SMITH. I know some of you might
think that’s blasphemous to say something of the sort because DANIEL SMITH is a
well-loved watercolor line, but I really enjoy the
Mijello Mission Gold and the color selection is fantastic and I don’t have any complaints. This is also a well-loved
watercolor set in my craft room. I cleaned off the palette, so
it’s a little hard to tell, but this is, I think this is, what? Like a 24 set? The 24 set from Sakura. This is the Sakura Koi, let’s see, I saw that on the
front, Pocket Field Sketch Box. And I really love this set. It’s very inexpensive, especially if you find it
on Amazon or a craft store where you can use a coupon
or something like that. These watercolors are
really, really great. It’s a great beginner set and it has an awesome
color selection as well. I really recommend this one. It does come with a water brush and these little sponge areas where you can clean off your
brush or things like that. I don’t really use those. I just use this area right here. And I like that you can take this and put that off to the side and you have a lot of mixing area. So, this is a really great
palette, I highly recommend it. There’s also one that
has, I think, 48 colors. It’s a little bigger. There’s a lot of colors in there. I recommend that one as well, but this original set
with 24 is my favorite. This is a recent love, a new recent find. This is from American Crafts
with their Paper Fashion set. I really love the color
palette on this one. This is also a pretty
inexpensive watercolor set. I don’t think it’s quite as
inexpensive as the Sakura Koi, but this color palette’s great. It’s a smaller container,
so it’s great for travel. I really, really like this set. The colors are great. I’ve used this in quite
a few videos recently and I’m frankly really
surprised at how much I love it because I really went into
it with low expectations but it really surprised
me, I really love it. The color mixing is great,
lots of good options. This is one set that I also recommend. I’ve got two more for you. This last one, er, well,
one’s a special one. This set from Amy Tangerine
on American Crafts, I really love this set,
especially for travel. It has this water container right here so that you can fill it with water and then it has kind of a middle point so you can squeeze the
water into your water brush. I really like that aspect. There’s this sponge to clean
up your brushes or whatever. There’s a waterproof pen up here, there’s a black pen, and also a pencil. It’s just a really good all around set. The paints, I enjoy. They’re not my absolute favorite, so I actually bought some empty half pans that I’m going to take my
Mijello Mission Gold paints and squeeze them into the half
pans and then replace these. So, if you aren’t a big
fan of these watercolors, you can replace them with other ones, which is what I’m eventually going to do, but for the most part, these paints are actually
really fantastic. It’s a great kind of
rainbow color selection and I highly recommend this one as well. All right, the last but
not least recommendation is the six gold set from Finetec. This is their pearlescent
colors and it’s got six colors. Now, I’ve used these sets
with more colors in them, like, I think there’s
one that’s 24 right now that I’ve been in love
with, but you know what? This is the set, if I have
to recommend any of them, this would be the one
because I use the gold and these metallic shades the most. In my other Finetec sets
that have even more colors, the gold color is the one that I’m running out of the fastest because that’s what
I’m using for the most. So, Olympic Gold, Arabic Gold, this Bronze is really pretty too. All of these colors are fantastic. They’re just creamy and, like, so shiny when you get them on your project. Highly, highly recommend Finetec. And if you want even more color, check out their 12 sets and the 24 set. I’ll link to those down below
as well if you’re interested, but this is the set that
I think most people need for their crafting or watercoloring, mainly because of the golds. Last but not least, I
wanna talk about brushes, and I’m gonna start with these
set of brushes right here. This is the Zen line of brushes
from Royal & Langnickel, and I really enjoy these,
they are really high quality. I think they’re a synthetic
brush, wide range of sizes, some really good, like, flat washes and some really big ones. And the best part is they’re
very reasonably prized. They’re fantastic. So, I love to use these a lot. I recommend them a lot. The only thing that’s kind of missing is they don’t have a
really super tiny brush. The smallest size that they
have, I believe. is a two round. That’s the smallest size
they have in this line. But for most everyday general painting, you probably won’t need
something smaller than a two. I love the look of these. They’re really classy-looking. I really love them. So, the other set that’s still fairly reasonably
priced in comparison to some other really
high-end watercolor brushes is the Escoda Prado line. And these are synthetic and
they have a wide range of sizes. I even have some, like, really
big ones, let me grab ’em. Like this big mama that’s a Round 22. It’s huge. I don’t know when I’m ever gonna need it but great to have on hand, right? This is a great set of brushes and like I said, just
like with the Zen line, it doesn’t have super, super tiny. It does have a zero. If you can see that, that’s a zero size. That’s a super itty-bitty brush. But I really like a double zero brush, which is this really itty-bitty one. That tip is so tiny. I use this a lot for lettering because I like to have a
little bit more control. And a smaller brush
doesn’t hold a lot of paint so I feel like I have
a little more control. This is an American Journey brush. This is the 00 Round, it’s nylon, and I really, really love this brush ’cause these were some of
the first brushes, this line, that I purchased years ago when I got back into watercoloring. So, I mostly just use that for lettering. So, as far as brushes go,
these are the two lines. In the past, I’ve used Silver
Black Velvet brushes a lot. They’re fantastic. I don’t find they have quite
as much spring to them. They’re a little more, they hold a lot of paint
and have a very fine tip but since I started using the Zen that have quite a bit of
bounce back and spring, you could see that, I
find that I prefer that, especially on the smaller brushes. So, it really just depends. If you are looking for new brushes or if you’re brand new to watercoloring, you might wanna buy just one brush and a couple different types and kind of just see what you like because it really is a lot
of personal preference. These are just the ones that I prefer. All right, so those are my recommendations for watercolor supplies and sets. I hope you guys enjoyed this video. If you have a watercolor set or supply that I have not mentioned
today that you absolutely love, leave it in the comments. Tell us why you love it too. Don’t just say, “I love
this,” and leave at that. Tell us why you like it because the people who are
looking for good watercolor sets, they’re gonna wanna know
why you recommend that one. Thanks so much for watching today. On screen, I’ve got a few more
videos for you to check out. These are going to be watercolor videos where I have used any
one of these supplies that I’ve shared with you today. I hope you check those out. Thank you so much for shopping through my links down below
in the video description. That helps support my channel. And don’t forget to subscribe
and hit the notification bell so you never miss a video again. Once again, thanks for watching and I’ll catch you guys next time.

88 thoughts on “WATERCOLOR FAVORITES (Paints, Markers, Paper, Brushes) – 2019 Update

  1. Good timing!! I’ll soon be taking a watercolour class and I was wondering which supplies should I be getting (I’m a beginner). Thanks 🙏🏾 for sharing!!

  2. I followed your channel long time ago, and I realized that the time comes also the taste changes too. Nowadays I use the 32 kuretake gansai tambi watercolor set with Strathmore hot press watercolor paper. Both of them old suggestions from you 🥰😉

  3. Just realized I've never seen you use Daniel Smith watercolours. Interesting! I was just cursing mine this morning. 🙂 I've just recently switched to using Arches cold press. What a difference it makes! I live in a very dry climate and I find that hot press just dries way too quickly to be able to really play with the colours and blending. Thanks for the tips!

  4. A great review on your faves Kristina. I love the Gansai Tambi's because they are so creamy and the colours are bright, I recently used them to make some galaxy backgrounds and they turned out way better than I had expected. I love their metallic's too.

  5. I concur with your recommendations.I have all of them thanks to you Kristina and as always,you are right.Thank you.

  6. Several of the card makers I watch use the Gansai tambi sets, so I purchased a set. Have you tried them? If so, what are your objections, or reasons they didn’t make your list?

  7. I was hoping you’d do a review of your favorite liquid watercolor brand. I’ve been thinking about getting a couple of colors. They seem so vibrant! Thanks for sharing 😊

  8. Thanks so much for these suggestions of which I may have almost as many as you do. I love them all! However, I’ve been taking classes using the Daniel Smith Watercolors recently to see what they’reall about & I find them to flow very well & the glazing is fantastic for building rich colors & color combos. Thanks again Kristina, Hugs!

  9. I purchased a Gansai tambi palette after seeing you use it a few times. It is great. Very affordable and the formula is fantastic. Very easy to achieve nice results, even for an amateur like me. I have the 18 colour. Would definitely recommend for a novice.

  10. Sorry…continued from below
    I’ve wanted to dip my toes in water coloring my cards and you offered some reasonably priced, still quality products to choose from. Cant wait t to try!! 💗

  11. First thanks for making this video with a look at the products that work well for you. Watercoloring choices is definitely about personal preference from experience. I have been playing with the Finetec assorted gold paints on black paper and don’t know what to expect really. I was expecting a thicker paint so not so much of the Black showed thru. I tried two layers but the same bits of transparency show thru if that makes sense. I love them though even after trying four other brands. What say you regarding these paints esp on black watercolor paper? Thanks again.

  12. So much fun to see all your supplies , the curiosity comes over me sometimes to try to look over your shoulder and take a peak in your drawers 😁 . Now I’ve seen them ! I’ve been taking your watercolor class and other classes on your Online Card Classes for a while now and I love them all !

  13. A few months ago I started to get into watercolor painting. Then I was recently diagnosed with a neurological disorder. I'm thankful that my ability to paint and draw are not affected yet, its been my saving grace. Heading to Amazon to check out the Mijello paints. Thanks! 🤗

  14. Hi Kristina! I have all the Finetec sets you previously recommended. Haven't got a lot of use but oh well. I follow you and watch your videos, you have wonderful skills with soft, paced, tone – Thanks, Denise

  15. Thanks for sharing – it's good to hear your thoughts on these! My goal is to do more watercolor & I love hearing what is working for others. 💜

  16. I love the Prima Watercolor sets! I have the tropical set and the classic set as well. I love the colors they are rich and vibrant!

  17. I currently have 5 grandkids aged 5 to 8. Last year I gave the oldest 2 the Sakura Koi sets as stocking stuffers. This year the younger ones will get their own. That only leaves the 2-year-old with needing something.

  18. Kristina, I really LOVE my Arteza brush pens but when I tried storing then in containers with the points down there was a collection of color in the caps of quite a few colors. Have you had that issue since yours are also stored nib down? I enjoy your videos so much and always have room to learn more. Thank you!

  19. Great video with recommendations! Love arches cold press and the strathmore ❤️❤️ hoping you one day also do a recommendation video on handy watercolor-related tools, like for masking!

  20. Thank you for the most informative video! I am thankful for you sharing your experience as I am a beginner and just started to play with watercolours. I will definitely try to find the metallic ones here in Sweden.

  21. The most of these things I bought because of your recommendation in the past. Thanks for all the great tips! ❤️

  22. Thank you for down to earth "favorites" video that includes Amazon links and why you prefer certain brands over others! That really is so helpful…and honest.

  23. My favorites are your favorites. Over the years I have pretty picked something up when you recommended it. I've never been disappointed.

  24. These are really great recommendations. I have several of these. I started with the Mijello and did love the vibrancy.
    I decided to try Daniel Smith after so many recommending them. I have to say that they are indeed my favorite. I love them because of how they flow and because of their granulation properties. I LOVE texture so I LOVE granulation. As far as their flow, they literally dance across the paper when the paint touches it.
    I know that not everyone like those properties so it is definitely a personal preference.
    If it was not for flow and granulation, I would love the Mijello more.
    I also love the Gamsai Tambi for bible journaling. The Gansai Tambi seem to stay super vibrant w/o much color shifting on the bible pages. Also, there is never any bleed through no matter how much water or paint I use.

  25. Hi Kristina, I’m a beginner w/watercolor. Do pretty good w/zigs when I Watercolor w/ water brush. What sizes do you recommend? I know a 2 and the flat brush but confused if we need all the sizes? Thanks for your great tutorials. Gayle🙋🏻😉

  26. I want so badly to see lightfast tests on liquid watercolors. Lol. I know that the Holtz Distress pads and stains aren't at all (I have a few pictures made from them that have totally changed color). But I am curious if any inks or liquid watercolors are.


  28. Kristine, if u have a picture of ur set up of the original mission gold swatch for this palette, I’d love it!! I set up my mission gold WC awhile back and can’t find my swatch sheet I kept with the paints and palette!! Thank you so much!! Liz 😊💗👍🏼

  29. When you opened your drawer, I saw a Schminke set. I love using Schminke. Are you not as fond of the brand because of its price point or the color selections?

  30. Great video, Kristina!!! I have alot of those products because you use them a lot. Big question: I recently bought the Arteza watercolor tubes and an empty palette. But a few days later, the paint was so hard I could not use. I thought I could do that. Am I wrong?

  31. I use Strathmore Bristol Vellum with Arteza and Zig markers and it works well. I can’t always buy the smooth locally.

  32. In your opinion Kristina, which paper do you prefer for using distress and distress oxide pigments? Blending, stamping etc?

  33. I’ve really gotten into handmade watercolors lately. My personal favorites are from The Sprout Creative and Aloha Watercolors. The consistency is so nice.

  34. Thank you for making this video. It’s so helpful. Im so glad you touched on the Arteza real brush pens and using them with Strathmore Bristol smooth. I bought the pens recently and the results weren’t great. Now I know why. Can’t wait to try them with the right paper. Also, I tried Arches for the first time today after hearing you talk about it in one of your videos and it is life changing! The watercolors spread and blend so easily on it. I love it!!

  35. This was a great review of watercolor sets so I thank you. You named so many of my favorites so I am sure that your recommendations for paint brushes must be good as well. I have been looking for some good brushes so I am going to order what you just recommended. Thanks for your everlasting support and help. I have learned so much watching your videos and just saying thank you doesn't seem enough, but thank you!

  36. Have you used Yupo paper? My personal faves are Winsor & Newton – but I think that Mijello palette looks amazing.

  37. my daughter in law just bought me the Arteza set of 48, I am still getting used to them…but I'm creating from scratch, I have yet to put them down in a stamped card panel….I am used to my actual water color tubed paints, Grumbacher…so I think it will work out fine for the convenience factor as soon as I get used to them!

  38. Thank you! Thank you! This was exactly what I was looking for. Your are great! Thank you for all you do and share with us 😃

  39. Tried to make this envelope. What a disaster. I thought Tombow brush pens could be used this way? Or do I need paper-specific envelopes? TIA

  40. OMG! I love Paper Fashion!! I bought her gouache set and they’re so beautiful and her brushes are my favorite right now. They’re so comfortable and easy to use. You should follow her on Instagram. Katie does some amazing pieces of work!

  41. So appreciate hearing about your updates favorites. I picked up the multi gold palette after hearing u rave about them previously and I so love them having picked up a few more already tho I’ve yet to try them. As a newbie to watercolor I started with good quality more expensive products assuming the more expensive items would make me instantly adept at watercolor. Lol. So I’ve scaled back working more on techniques and basic knowledge tho I adore buying watercolor everything from paint sets to brushes to pencils and all in between. Loved the tip about changing our the pans to ones u like better I’d not thought of that. Thanks again for sharing all with us!

  42. I think that they sell the arteza individual color in a 4 pack. I have to try them on Bristol. I didn't like their reaction on watercolor paper. I have been eyeballing the Amy Tangerine set. It's in my save for later cart in my Amazon. Thanks for sharing your favs. I have been buying 1 at a time on brush sets to find the ones that speak to me. Thanks again

  43. Ever think about giving away some of your supplies?? Lots of us (like me) are poor and trying to paint etc with little to no money. Just a thought… : )

  44. Thank you for this very useful information!! I’m just getting into water coloring, so this info will come in handy.

  45. Kristina. Would you mind sharing what colors you used to custom fill the Amy tangerine palette? I am going to use the mission mijello watercolors. I think you mentioned that you used these also.

    Thanks you

  46. New watercolour painter here.
    I love the winsor and Newton cotman studio set. It has their entire line of colours, and they are EXTREMELY pigmented compared to cheap watercolours that you find at Walmart.

    I also love their brush set with the same name. I’m looking forward to eventually trying other brands tho!

  47. I recently got my hands on the Paul Rubens paint sets off of Amazon. Oh I love the glitter sets he has, because the colors are so shimmery, and easy to use. You also don't need too much water to activate them. They come in a very well thought out packaging, beautiful presentation. The case is also a great size for traveling, much like the cute little black set you showed.

  48. I had recently bought the Fabriano Artistico 300gsm block a few weeks ago and it buckled like crazy( I did a light-medium wet wash and I already noticed some prominent warping)! Maybe I got a dud? But other artists online seem to notice that with Fabriano as well so watch out.

  49. i love and recomend the sennelier watercolor set, i have the 48 half pan set and its amazing, really high quality paints, they are very transparent, and really easy to paint with, very pigmented and easy to rewet from the pans, i love sennelier and this set is incredible ^^ i also use their tube paints and its great too

  50. Thanks so much for all that you do in our cardmaking community! I’d be so lost without all your wonderful insight. Not to mention your talent and creative ideas! I know you’ve done a bazillion videos on watercolor paper, but I searched and couldn’t find one that compared the whiteness against Neenah; only an older video that you showed Fabriano and another brand, that i can’t think of atm. So i was wondering how white Arches is next to Neenah Crest Solar White? I ask because I don’t always paint the entire sheet, but rather a stamped image that I’ll cut into a circle shape; leaving a lot of white on my card. That information would be so helpful! You can make anything work – but me, not necessarily. lol Anyway, blessings to you; you’re such a sweet person and i love your channel. Crafty hugs and thanks again

  51. Never thought of using Bristol for watercolor markers,definitely going to try that out soon. Your studio looks like my image of heaven 👍🏻😀

  52. Thank you. I purchased one silver brush and really hate it and the cost was $15 I found it too soft Will check out the zen

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