Review – Winsor & Newton Cotman Pocket Watercolour Set

Who could think that twelve half-pans of paint could be so magical? But this is a review, so it probably isn’t the best idea to give away the punchline in the first sentence. 😛

The set comes with these colours:

  • Cadmium Yellow Pale
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Cadmium Red Pale
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Ultramarine
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Viridian
  • Sap Green
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Chinese White

The set is small enough for travel, and comes with a small watercolour brush (no. 5). There are two palettes in the set, detachable for easy cleaning.

Okay, now that the facts are out of the way, let’s get going on the opinions.

The colours are super pigmented, as one has come to expect of Winsor & Newton. I’ve also used it on cheap and artist quality paper, and the pigment sits well on either page (though it looks better on better quality paper, but then, what doesn’t). The selection of colours is awesome too, with two exceptions.

I’d have loved a darker blue instead of either of the blue shades included, since the ultramarine and cobalt are pretty close in hue. Prussian blue or indigo would have been awesome.

I’d also have preferred a payne’s grey instead of the white. There’s no end of uses for payne’s grey, and though it is possible to mix a colour close enough to grey when using burnt umber and cobalt, it just isn’t the same.

Initially, I thought I’d have no use at all for the white, but I’ve learned to use it to alter the intensity of other colours when mixing. Still, it wouldn’t be a great loss if it weren’t included in the set.

The colours mix well and one can achieve almost every colour thinkable if you take the time to swatch. I’m not a particularly good swatcher or mixer, so I do miss just being able to pick the exact shade I wanted instead of having to mix. I tend to mix way too much of a colour, or not enough–there’s no in between with me. Having said that, I still enjoy discovering just how versatile this palette is.

Most of all, I love how compact the palette is. It could easily fit in my handbag, which is awesome since we tend to travel a lot and I want to bring my paint along wherever I go.

Highly recommended.

Have you used this set? Please share your thoughts!

Until next time.



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