Free Art For All - Basics of Watercolor - Paint Pans Vs. Tubes


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This lesson will focus on the different types of watercolors available to you and help you decide what you want to work with.  You can buy watercolor in premade pans of colors.  Prang is a great student grade watercolor coming with 8 colors in a palette.  Their colors mix well together and have enough pigment to give you an impressive painting at a nominal price.  There are other pans of paints sets available.  The important thing is to remember that it is up to you to understand how the colors provided with your set interact with each other.  


  1. Canson Watercolor Paper
  2. Prang Watercolors packaged with 8 colors
  3. Art Philosophy Confetti Set
  4. Daniel Smith Tube Watercolors
  5. Watercolor brush
  6. Water


Decide which color you want to work with.  We looked at the difference between using fresh wet paint (Green Appetite Genuine) and the same paint that was dry on my palette.  Next we looked at the Prang paint.  Water was dropped into the blue and allowed to set and “activate” the color.  We did a simple wash with the blue.  Then we compared it to getting purple without having “activating” the color.  Next I tried the Art Philosophy paint, which I had previously activated.  Then we switched to Daniel Smith Ultra Marine Blue tube fresh from the tube.  We talk about how much fresh tube paint you need to load onto your brush to be successful and frugal.  We end by making 3 roses; one from the Tube of Daniel Smith Perylene Red and Green Appetite Genuine, one from Art Philosophy Pan Set and the last from Daniel Smith Tube Watercolors that had dried on my palette. 

Ideas to take away from todays lesson.  Water is the key to watercolors.  When using a tube of watercolor you need very little of the pigment:water ratio.  You need to know how your colors blend with each other before you start your painting. Lastly, play - play - play, no pressure to perform.