I am yet to meet an artist (or wanabees, they are the worst) that doesn’t revel in art supplies and whose idea of a heaven isn’t a large warehouse with 84,154 different colours of their preferred medium. I’ve been a sucker for all stationery and art supply for most of my life and I always had more pencils and pens than anything else in my house.
It’s then probably not a surprise for anyone that when I bought some new watercolour paints, I literally had to take a walk around the house in my mid-review because I was just too excited. Overdosed on paints.
Never done a proper review (whatever that means) for a watercolour brand, so if I missed some info or detail you might’ve been interested in, please let me know.
TURNER ARTIST’S WATERCOLOUR
When these where introduced by Jackson’s Art Supply I have been very sceptical – mostly because I am just so happy with my ‘White Nights’ and I am yet to find a better choice for my money – but couldn’t pass the opportunity to try the mini-box of 6 paint tubes for a measly £6.
When one says Turner, immediately we think at the glorious landscapes, amazing watercolours as only a master can do. So, I was a bit taken aback when I realised that these particular 5ml tubes of paint (with the catchy name ‘Turner’) were actually made in Japan. As I am in complete awe of all that is Asian in watercolour painting, I was twice as excited to try them.
So here is it
Really unusual choice of colours (I always thought that a very small selection will give me just the basic colours) but I was utterly hooked. The turquoise is superb and the burnt sienna (my favourite) just as it should be. A bit watery when I squeezed the minuscule tube, but really pleasing feel when painting. To explain, not the paint was watery, but an odd transparent liquid that came out with it. Don’t know anything about the chemistry of paint-making, so apologies for my ineptitudes.
Played a bit with it and I quite liked the green and the purple colours I was able to concoct. Nice vibrant colours that remained unchanged in the two weeks or so.
As I never clean my palette, I was able to use them again a couple of weeks later and they behaved absolutely beautiful – and didn’t even fall off the palette like some other paints do when dry. I liked that.
I went on the website for a bit of window shopping and I drooled all over seeing how many other gorgeous colours there are (didn’t count them, but looked over 100, with options to buy in set or sepparately in tubes of 15ml). You can see them here.
So, for this particular set of paints, I would give them an 9 out of 10 – the 5ml are so diminutive that my chunky fingers spent a lot of time trying to put back the caps. Price is a bit (just a bit) spicy for the more financially challenged when buying a proper set, but a definite ‘BUY’ for the near future.
“COMBINATUL FONDULUI PLASTIC” ARTIST’S WATERCOLOUR
I can’t even translate the name of these paints, as much as I pride myself of handling well the English language – they don’t have a ‘proper’ name and ‘combinatul fondului plastic’ basically means ‘the painters factory’ (well, more or less). How did I get to buy these paints? Because I grew up with them – back then, these were the only paints we could buy, be it watercolours, gouaches, acrylics or oils. They do them all. I haven’t used them in ages, in all honesty, I didn’t even know if this factory still existed – but Romanian artists told me it does and they still produce a very good quality paints.
Happy childhood memories? Check. Friends from back home recommending it? Check. I should be biased. I am biased. But I still think I can be objective. Just bare with me.
Firstly, took a good look at the packaging – HUUGE 4cm in diameter round pans (the size is a plus, has to be). Minus point for the fact that there is no way to travel with these – being round, you can’t just put them in a box and go. Not to mention that I spent the better part of a half an hour trying to open the buggers. The blue (can’t remember which one, told you I have an issue with remembering the proper name of paints) even spilled over – which was a surprise, but a good one in a way. That meant these paints were moist! And everybody knows that a moist paint pan is a good pan.
Secondly, it was the label – showing an expiry date. Haven’t even thought about watercolours expiring, although it does make sense. Only two years though? Considering that most of them were produced last year (and some of them even two years ago) that means my window of ‘opportunity’ is really small. We shall see – since I almost got hurt opening them, I don’t see myself using them too often.
The entire colour choice available is probably around 40 colours (I might be wrong though) – I refrained myself to 13 (double for the orange) but the only negative thing I could say about them, I already said it. They are absolutely beautiful and work like a charm. Well, the burnt sienna is a bit on the cold side, but the rest are spot on. The China green is exactly like the ready made green I use in my ‘White Nights’ palette and the Ceruleum Blue is a dream. The colours remain bright and intense and honestly, I cannot praise them enough.
Too bad the packaging is a nightmare, their website is a joke – really, I bought them all blindly, no one bothered to add a pic with the colour next to the name – and I would probably need another room just to have them all spread and ready for me.
It’s sad really.
But overall, I have to say even if I would be accused of taking sides, the paints are a joy and truly a wonderful surprise for me. If I tell you that each of them (8ml pans) costs less than 50p you might be able to go past the bad points too. An overal 8 out 10 from me. You can buy them here. (no English translation though)
They also have the miniature version of these paints, in a tiny 5x7cm box which I used heavily in my university years.
So, after my (too) detailed review of these new paints, how do I look? Do I change my ‘White Nights’ to the new comers? Don’t think so, definitely not yet – have a generous supply of ‘White Nights’ and the comfort of not having to do anything, just open the box and paint… is hard to beat. As a comparisson, these are the colours of the three watercolour paints we discussed. In all honesty, not even I can truly differentiate them all – so it’s a work in progress. What I can say is that all of them have brilliant, bright and vibrant colours that look just as well few weeks down the line.
Hope you enjoyed my adventures with new paints. Don’t forget to tell me your discoveries or questions, I will be more than happy to discuss anything ‘artsy’ with you!