10 Best Watercolor Sets for Beginners

10 Best Watercolor Sets for Beginners

Watercolor painting has been around for centuries. It is a popular art form to this day! If you are new to the medium, there are many things to consider when purchasing your first set of watercolors. Here is our list of 10 best watercolor sets for beginners that will help get you started on the right foot.

Watercolor paint sets for different skill levels

Student grade

In terms of performance, student grade watercolor paints are not as good as professional ones. However, they offer you great value for money and can help in developing your skills until you become an expert with the medium. They come in sets that contain 12 to 20 colors that allow for a broad range of color mixing opportunities when compared to single pigments.

The student-grade paints come with 12 half pans that contain about 20ml each; they have good quality pigments but may not last as long as professional grade materials since their binders tend to wear down quicker than higher priced sets due to repeated use.

However, these sets are great for beginners since they get the chance to experiment with a broad range of colors in their palettes before investing in higher grade paints that can be more expensive and harder to replace when used up.

Professional grade

They are high in pigment, which provides for intense color that can easily cover white paper or support a bolder application than student-grade paints. They dry faster and last longer without fading when compared to their lower-priced counterparts. However, they also cost more due to the quality of ingredients used in them.

Professional-grade watercolor paint sets usually come with 24 half pans containing 20ml each; this is perfect if you have many ideas in mind because there’s no limit on how much pigment you can mix together!

These high-end materials will provide amazing color saturation while allowing your creativity to flow freely without worrying about running out of supplies too quickly due to frequent use.

Also, professional grades tend not give vibrant results similar to single pigments but require less layering overall – thus saving time when creating large works.

Here is our List for the Top 10 Best Watercolor sets for beginners:

First on the list we have:

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Paint Sketchers’ Pocket Box

Famed for having an extensive range of watercolour paints, Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Paint Sketchers’ Pocket Box are now easier to buy. These lighter versions won’t cost you as much but they still maintain the trusted lightfast intensity, transparency and colour strength that their full-ergonomic counterparts do.

Keep your set up simple with this pocket box that comes complete with 12 colors! You’ll be able to reproduce colors quickly and save time preparing them which will allow you save time on painting landscapes or detailed objects like clothing wrinkles instead of delivering perfect skin tones

Includes Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Cadmium Red Pale Hue, Cadmium Red Deep Hue, Alizarin Crimson Hue, Purple Lake, Ultramarine, Cobalt Blue Hue, Turquoise, Viridian Hue, Sap Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Payne’s Gray, Chinese White.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Paint Sketchers’ Pocket Box is designed for artists on-the-go. The box includes a pocket brush, eraser, and 16 Cotman watercolor half pans that are perfect for detailed sketches or more expensive paintings with bigger brushes. The paints dry quickly to minimize smudging if hands or tools touch them (and it’s easier to recover sketching damage than painting mistakes).

Reeves Student Watercolor Set

Reeves Student Watercolor Set. Ideal for artists who are just starting out in watercolor painting, this set includes 12 brightly-colored tubes of high-quality materials. No more watered down colors or pigments that crack when dry!

When you invest in Reeves student watercolors, not only do you get a wide range of colors to choose from, but they’re also made to last longer and work on finer types of surfaces–including metal!

With consistent inclusion in craft fairs and magazines, Reeves products have been well known for over 100 years. Learn how to take your skills into the next level with these professional paints!

Reeves Student Watercolor Set is an excellent addition to your art set. These paints are made with high quality pigments and give even coverage when laid onto your page. All of the colors are vibrant and work nicely together, perfect for students at all levels!

Schmincke Horadam Aquarell

It’s been said, “A real artist paints not what he sees but what he feels.” But if only the right paint can help artists do just that – paint from their hearts. Well say hello to Schmincke Horadam Aquarell – a superior quality, all natural set of 24 vibrant colors specially formulated for emotionally driven painters and mixed by German chemists with a passion for fine art supplies since 1881! Why are these paints so special?

You get to decide how wet or dry your brushes will be along the way thanks to Oxgall, an ingredient in this high-tech formula mix.

Sennelier – L’Aquarelle

The Savoir Faire Aquarelle set is an excellent entry level watercolor palette that will have your paintings bright, bright and just looking much more professional. The 12 colors are all the traditional hues you’ll need for figurative work to go from flats to intensity, plus it has two fluid acrylics for commercial projects.

The following student grade pigments are included in this set:. Burnt Umber Cobalt Blue Hue Deep Green Green Yellow Orange Payne’s Grey Primary Blue Primary Red Primary Yellow Rose Madder Lacquer Titanium White Yellow Ochre Once you use up the pots you can add new ones of your choice. This travel set is made to last many years of usage both indoors and outdoors.

L’Aquarelle by Sennelier is one of the some of the most revered watercolor paints in the world. We’ve upgraded our formula with a higher honey content because it helps create more vibrant floating pigments and also helps preserve paint pots for longer. Aside from more honey, we still use classic traditional pigments and grinding methods that make this permanent set of colors loved by master painters and students alike.


With its really popular and carefully crafted design on the pans, Kuretake Gansai paint sets are a great choice for any modern artist. With 48 colors in every set you’re sure to find just the right color for your painting! Available in both wet or dry mode, it’s easy to mix and blend these paints with other art supplies also available at so… 

Mix and meet some stunning new paint with this Japan-made watercolor set – we’ve got some fantastic tips and tricks on our website if you want to know more about how best to get started with Gansai paints.

Kuretake GANSAI TAMBI are high-quality, well pigmented eyeshadow pans that are perfect for anyone who wants to spend less time in the studio. Made from rice paper and lead free ink, these 24 palettes come in different variations so there’s always a set of colors you need – whether it’s liquid or matte. Moreover, they have incorporated a patented palette mixer so artists can easily mix any two paints together without having to use water.

Raphael Campus Watercolor Pan

Do you juggle a busy lifestyle while still maintaining your love of art? Raphael Campus Watercolor Pan is the product for you. Easy-to-carry and ultra-lightweight, this set offers 10 beautiful colors in one compact kit.

Featuring a comfortable ergonomic design and durable construction, these paints will accompany you on all of your ventures. Don’t wait to start expressing yourself with this creative tool that can serve as both recreational or professional use!

Sargent Art 32-6012

Sargent Art paints are made with the purest pigments mixed to create vibrant colors for artists of all levels. Mix and dilute them to create painterly stained glass effects, pastels, or bold, colorful strokes.

Sargent’s Professional Artist Quality Watercolors contain 12 rich colors chosen so you can find your favorite hue quickly. Made in America by Wyndham Collection Inc., they’re available in convenient tin storage containers with a carrying case when working on-the-go is required.

Van Gogh Watercolor Paint Set

With these watercolors, you can feel confident in painting. You don’t have to worry about the colors fading away over time because they are rated with the highest degree of lightfastness so your artwork will retain its color for decades. The vibrant, transparent quality paints allow you paint intricately with high detail while also having enough brightness and intensity that stroke-by-stroke paintings pop off the page without looking too “flat.” 

This watercolor paint set includes 12 colors of the highest quality, to create an amazing Van Gogh experience. From brilliant reds, to vibrant blues and sunny yellows, this set has you covered with every color imaginable. The paints are easy to work with and readily mixable so your creativity can flow freely!

Daniel Smith Mineral Mixing Set

The majority of DANIEL SMITH PrimaTek watercolors offer unusual granulating effects which many artists have called magical! The names of the paints come from the actual mineral that they are made from, for example, Amethyst Genuine Watercolor is made from Amethyst.

These unique colors mix beautifully with other shades too. From golds to reds to blues and greens, these vibrant hues will inspire your creative energy to take off!

Sennelier La Petite Aquarelle Set

Be an artist without the hefty price tag. Introducing La Petite Aquarelle Watercolors by Sennelier, a student watercolor set with ten 21ml tubes of vibrant colors for all your projects and moments in-between.

This is a great starter kit with everything you need to excel as an artist: cobalt blue, cadmium yellow light, sap green and sienna brown help create landscapes and portraits alike with accuracy and precision.

The value package includes white fish scales which can be used with any color to achieve that perfect pattern or effect on your canvas. Be sure to stock up now because this deal won’t last!

Choosing the Best Watercolor Sets for Beginners

When choosing the best watercolor sets for beginners, there are a few things to consider. First off, what art style is going to be most appropriate? Is it abstract expressionism or realism? Also think about how much money they have at their disposal and whether this will be a long-term hobby versus something they do just as a one time project.


Watercolors, like other artistic materials such as acrylic paints, are divided into two categories: student and professional. Professional, or artist grade, watercolor paint is typically made with more pigment and comes in a wider range of colors. Student watercolors usually have greater amounts of synthetic binders and fillers, which keep the price down, but

If you’re a beginner, or simply want to give it a try, student-grade materials should be enough. You may not notice much of a difference at first, and it will be less expensive.


Watercolor paint is one of the most versatile and flexible water-based paints available, so you may add a lot of variety to your color palette without having to invest in a large number of colors. So, if you’re considering upgrading to artist quality paint, start with just 5 to 10 colors to test before committing to a bigger collection.

Naturally, single pigment hues will be more vibrant than blended colors, however some artists claim that utilizing a restricted number of single pigments and then expanding from there produces the most effective results. This will entirely depend on your style and the goal you are attempting to accomplish.

What materials do watercolor paints contain?

Watercolor paints are made up of pigments, water, gum arabic or glycerin to hold the pigment together. These ingredients are bound by a binder that usually is either animal glue (a protein) or plant-based natural gum.

The most common watercolor paint pigments are earth colors such as yellow, red and blue ochres. These paints have a natural color tone that can be enhanced by adding more layers of pigment. Pure vivid hues like cadmiums, which come in oranges and yellows, create bright tints on the page when mixed with other pigments.

Aqua, or watercolor paint derived from plants, is a popular choice among artists because they are highly lightfast and have excellent transparency when applied in thin washes over other colors.

These paints can be easily diluted with water to produce subtle tinting effects on the paper’s surface. However, since these paints do not contain binder for binding pigment together you may need to add gum arabic or glycerin while using them.

Pay attention if your set has pre-mixed colors because it will greatly affect how well your painting turns out when completed! Also consider natural versus synthetic ingredients – both offer different qualities that can enhance or limit an artist’s style depending on personal preference. In addition, factors like drying time, transparency and staying power should also be considered when picking the right watercolor paint for you.

Beginner vs Professional watercolor paint sets

Watercolor paints are available in two grades, professionals’ quality and students’ quality, which are better suited for novices. The concentration of pigment in artist quality watercolor paints is greater than that of student quality, as well as superior rating. Student grade watercolor paint will have cheaper pigments and fillers, resulting in a lesser color output

Additional note on beginner watercolor paints

With student watercolor paint sets you have to use more paint to get a certain amount of color in comparison to artist grade watercolor paint. That said… student grade watercolor sets are a great way to start out!

Particularly, if you are a watercolor painting beginner, getting acquainted with the medium for the first time. As beginner watercolor paint sets are at a price point that is much more conducive for practicing painting with watercolor paints.

Why choose a Watercolor Set?

One of the benefits of choosing a set is that it can save money in the long run if you plan on using several colors throughout your projects. Also, depending on what type of painting techniques or styles you are interested in pursuing will determine which size paint brush to select – smaller ones (round) are great for detail work while larger brushes (flat) provide more coverage over large areas.

Also consider how often you will be using your set! If this is a hobby and not a professional artistic venture then there isn’t much reason to go with artist-grade paints unless you simply enjoy having them around as an art enthusiast. On the other hand if painting frequently becomes part of your daily routine – why not invest in higher quality materials?

It certainly won’t hurt to have premium pigments that can create unique designs when put into practice at full capacity! In fact, many artists suggest buying yourself high end watercolor paint sets as a reward for mastering basic watercolor techniques.

What to look out for when choosing the best Watercolor Set?

When it comes down to picking what you think is “the one” – there are several factors that need reviewing before making your final call! One of them being, how many colors does the set come with?

A vast number of colors can be daunting at first glance but also appealing because more color options means greater flexibility and control over painting later on. Another important factor would be whether or not a paint has pre-mixed pigments which will affect how well your finished piece turns out if not considered properly.

In addition, consider natural versus synthetic ingredients – both offer different qualities that can enhance an artist’s style depending on personal preference. Finally, factors like drying time, transparency and staying power should also be considered when picking the right watercolor paint for you.

As a beginner it might not make sense to go with a pricey set but if you are serious about learning how to create awesome paintings then investing in professional quality paints is key!

Once again, this depends entirely on your artistic goals – from painting landscapes or abstract designs at home for fun… there’s no need to worry about which brand of watercolor paint sets will provide better results as long as you have fun while doing so! In addition, beginners may want to consider natural versus synthetic ingredients – both offer different qualities that can enhance an artist’s style depending on personal preference.

Furthermore, take the time to consider the drying rate, transparency and staying power of each water color before making your final selection.

When choosing a set try to avoid sets with too many colors as it will be overwhelming for beginners. Also think about if you want pre-mixed pigments or not since that can affect how well your finished piece turns out depending on preference.

It is also important to note whether natural versus synthetic ingredients are used in the paint so you know what qualities they provide based on personal preference. Finally, take into consideration the drying time, transparency and staying power when picking which paints works best for you!


The most popular way to purchase watercolors is in tiny tubes or in solid paint pans. Pans, which must be activated with a damp brush before use, are ideal for travel. It’s somewhat more difficult to paint huge pieces since the amount of pigment you can take at one time is restricted, but each pan will go a long way.

Tubes, on the other hand, are filled with liquid paint. This makes it a little more difficult to transport around, but it’s simpler to mix and paint on a larger scale. Tubes, on the other hand, allow you to use much more paint in a shorter amount of time; this might imply purchasing paint more frequently for artists.

Artists must also avoid allowing the paint to dry out because many brands don’t endure constant rewetting well.

If you’re not sure which set is best for you, consider mixing and matching until you discover the right combination.


Whether you’re a seasoned artist or someone who’s just starting out, there are many different watercolor sets that will suit your needs. We’ve created this list of 10 best options to help make your decision easier!

If this is something you want to give more thought before buying, we recommend joining our Facebook group where people share their favorite supplies and tips for working with them. You can also ask us any questions about how to use these products in the comments below. Which set would be perfect for you?