Best Watercolor Paints for Beginners

Best Watercolor Paints for Beginners

Watercolor paint can be challenging to use. Since there are so many choices and price points, selecting a watercolor paint set can be challenging when starting. How are you supposed even to begin?

Make sure you select the finest watercolor paints for your skill level, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced watercolor painter.

Your requirements will change based on your degree of expertise. I’ll try to cover the finest watercolor paints for beginners and those more appropriate for art students or professional painters.

Best Watercolor Paints for Beginners

Winsor Newton Fine Watercolor Paint


  • The colors are intense and rich
  • Paint does not bead up on a metal palette
  • High-quality tube design, lead-free poison
  • Cost-effective, 10ml tubes in a cardboard box

Although artist and expert quality paints are comparable, this set is a steal at less than $19 and ideal for beginning and intermediate artists.

I recommend getting the 12-color pocket set for beginners. 12 colors were plenty to start with.

They move beautifully, lift effortlessly (sometimes too easily), and gradually darken in my hand, giving me plenty of time to work the page.

The 18 tubes provide beginners with a range of pigments and make it simple to learn the art of watercolor mixing, though they are more colourful than a collection of professional-grade watercolors.

The majority of the hues in this set were neutral shades like browns, yellows, greens, and oranges. This set’s darker hues—gray, black, and white—make it ideal for portraying skin tones or autumnal environments.

Regarding watercolors, Winsor & Newton is a well-known name for beginners. Technically speaking, the pigments contain synthetic fillers to reduce costs, but each hue still has impressive quality and durability.

This line also comes in tubes, but I chose the pans because they are more portable and come with all the colors you need to start painting with watercolors.


  • Compared to most other watercolor kits, this one primarily uses neutral hues.
  • They are excellent for beginning and seasoned artists due to their highly pigmented nature.
  • Shades are lightfast.


  • It is necessary to buy a separate mixing palette.

Customer review

“It’s “student” quality, but… I never noticed any issues with coverage, saturation, or anything at all. This feels like a pretty safe bet to buy again.”

Van Gogh Watercolor Paint Set, Plastic PocketboxFeatures

  • Van Gogh’s watercolors are a student and artist-level paint range.
  • Very subtle effects that will build up great atmospheres within your pieces.
  • Brilliant, transparent, and intense colors with a high tinting strength
  • These watercolors are easy to work with and easy to mix.

I found Van Gogh watercolor paints excellent for beginners. There are 12 hues available, including split primaries, greens, and earth tones.

Shades ranging from deep shadow hues to skin tones can be blended. The colors were versatile and blend well with various watercolor methods.

These had a softer, more pastel-like appearance and are less granular.

Even after I had dried them, the hues were vibrant and mixed well. Honesty is a nearly expert-level trait.

This set is ideal for beginners if you have a larger budget, but because of the vibrant, realistic-looking hues, many expert artists also use them in their palettes.


  • Exceptionally clear and pigmented
  • outstanding lightfastness (rated to last 100 years)
  • The set contains 8 single-pigment colors 
  • It can be used with most techniques.


  • Chinese White occasionally applies with tiny droplets.
  • A little more costly.

Customer review

“Quite impressed with the quality of the watercolours in this set. The colour range could have been done with a sepia or burnt umber instead of the ubiquitous Chinese white. A few of the colours didn’t look that brilliant on the swatch I made up, which sometimes happens, but actual use may prove different.”

Prima Marketing Watercolor ConfectionsFeatures

  • These are artist-quality watercolors.
  • The paints come in a professional metal tin, costing around $18-$20.
  • Three of the colors are white, gray and black.
  • The set does fit nicely in your hand.

Compared to the “classic” Prima version, this particular watercolor set sticks out for its distinctive color palette.

This watercolor collection is categorized as a student grade but almost qualifies as an artist-grade. It offers you 12 various, excellent colors that are all highly pigmented.


  • Comes with a metal tin that, if purchased individually, would likely cost around $30.
  • This is an excellent collection for a watercolor enthusiast.
  • The paints are of excellent quality and have a lovely selection of warm colors.


  • Doesn’t include a brush.
  • The palette you have limited your ability to paint more significant subjects.

Customer review

“This is a great pre-mixed watercolor palette; I believe every artist should own one. The colors are beautifully muted, so the final artwork comes out very professional-looking, rather than the “flashy” and juvenile primary colors you see on artworks by newbies. Basically, the palette takes away the need for mixing your own colors to mute them, it does it for you. That’s its true value (apart from being great while traveling too).”

ARTEZA Watercolor PaintFeatures

  • 36 vibrant colors in professional-grade tubes
  • Vibrant and pigment-rich colors.
  • Easy to blend and suitable for all those just starting out.
  • Non-toxic formula.

The best watercolor for kids is ARTEZA’s line of paints. It includes a brush, a tin, and a collection of 36 hues. You can start painting immediately if you’re a total novice like me.

The acrylics were vivid and rich, and they tint the paper nicely. You can paint anything you want, thanks to the excellent palette variety. It blends incredibly well, and the hues have enough variety to produce a brand-new favorite color.

Students created these paintings. Despite unfavorable evaluations, most amateur and aspiring artists have nothing but positive things to say about this set.


  • The colors are vivid
  • A mixing plate and a high-quality brush are included.
  • Before switching to the more expensive watercolors, this is an excellent practice set.
  • The hues take on a dark paper well.
  • The aluminum casing is expertly crafted.


  • Not very vibrant
  • Excludes the shade of White
  • Other watercolor kits are lightfast than this one.

Customer review

“Lovely set of watercolours. I was a bit disappointed that I had to unwrap them all separately, and I didn’t get the colour chart shown, but the swatch-ready card was very welcome as I didn’t need to write the colours down, paint them into the correct squares.”

Daniel Smith Best Essentials Introductory Watercolors Sets


  • The ‘Essentials’ set contains six tubes, a warm and a cool red, yellow and blue.
  • It’s a great mixing set or starter set for those getting into artist-quality watercolors.
  • These colors are ultra-rich.
  • It comes with 24 half pans, a mixing tray, and an elastic strap for field painting.

Another well-known name is Daniel Smith, and this particular Daniel Smith watercolor set is designed to introduce you to the watercolor medium. There are only 6 5 ml tubes, 3 of each warm and cool hue.

I found that each color was highly pigmented and yields unique bright hues despite only having 6 tubes. These are designed for blending, which is fantastic if you start with color theory.

The paint is exceptionally high-quality and comparable to professional watercolor paint, which makes mixing it a breeze and enables you to produce a wide variety of vibrant colors.

Excellent levels of clarity and lightfastness! The cost is a drawback. Ultimately, it was pretty expensive, particularly considering that I only receive 6 colors and neither a brush nor a mixing palette.


  • Top-notch clarity
  • High pigment Possibility to understand color theory
  • Suitable for artists and novices


  • Just six acrylics
  • Lack of white paint
  • Lack of a blending palette or brush
  • Quite expensive

Customer review

“I really like these paints; they are very pigmented and flow beautifully when mixed with water. I really appreciate this set as you are able to mix a huge amount of colours because of the difference in each of the primary colours. Buy a colour wheel to make the most of this set.”

Things to Consider When Looking for the Best Watercolor Paints for Beginners

When searching for watercolor paints that will meet your needs, there are a few factors to consider. There are various paint sets on the market, and if you’re starting, the selection of watercolors will undoubtedly be overwhelming.

Here are a few factors to watch out for when purchasing watercolors.

Transparency & Texture

Watercolors can allow light to travel through them, which results in a lovely washed-out effect. By looking at the label, you can determine whether you’re receiving opaque or transparent.

Though opaque paints can be thinned and watered down, transparency is crucial to achieving the layered effect.

The thickness of the paint should also be considered because it has a significant impact. It is simpler to work with and combine water coolers with water when they are creamier than when they are not.

The paint’s texture will also impact how the watercolor applies to your chosen paper, canvas, or other material.


How well the color of the paint stays up over time is called permanence (or lightfastness). It is the paint’s resistance to fading in humidity and sunshine.

The colors and amount of filler in the paint have a significant impact on how long the paint will last.

Permanence, or lightfastness, is the watercolor’s capacity to endure contact with light and humidity without fading.

You must locate a watercolor with a high permanence rating if you want your paintings to retain their original color over time.

It would help if you aimed for an “Excellent” or “Very Good” lightfastness rating.


Depending on the sort of watercolor you purchase, watercolor paint sets can cost various amounts.

The price will increase with the level of excellence. As mentioned, student-level paint kits are typically less expensive than professional-level paints.

Since the raw materials used to make these pigments vary and some minerals are more uncommon and expensive than others, some pigments will have varying prices.

Because student-grade watercolors swap synthetic fillers for rare pigments, they are less expensive and have standard pricing.


Student-grade and professional-grade watercolor painting sets are the two different categories.

Because they are less expensive, student-grade types are better suited for novices. This watercolor paint tends to have less durability, more synthetic binders, and less expensive pigments.

However, this does not imply that you won’t get excellent results from them. Numerous high-quality student-level watercolor sets are available from reputable companies with vibrant pigments and excellent permanence.

More pigment is used in professional-grade watercolor sets, giving you vibrant colors that are simple to work with.

It is strongly advised to purchase the student-grade paint sets for novices. When you first begin watercolor painting, you will see little change, and it will be less expensive.

Additional Tips to Watercolors Beginners

Prewet Your Colors

If you buy a cheap watercolor set, prewetting your colors with a spray bottle of water might make you happy. If your paints seem opaque, don’t hesitate to add much water to get the colors flowing and give you a proper watercolor consistency.

This is especially true of less expensive colors. Water should be transparent in watercolors, so all you need to do to create a lighter hue is to add more water.

Use Paper Towels for Damp Brushes

For blotting, damp brushes, paper towels or an old terry fabric cloth rag work well. And while you are learning the ins and outs of blending your colors with a new palette, it is always a good idea to keep some scraps of paper on hand to try your colors on.

Round brushes are pretty versatile, but some lovely, reasonably priced kits are available right now that include a set of both rounds and flat brushes in addition to other shapes.


Watercolor is a beautiful, expressive medium, but it can be challenging to know where to begin, particularly when deciding which watercolor paints are ideal for beginners.

Each of the listed watercolors above is a great choice. The professional grade will consistently outperform the student/amateur versions. This is true for pretty much anything. 

In the category under $50-$100, I recommend Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolors. The colors were beautiful, and its quality dramatically overshadows the price, which was quite affordable!


Can a watercolor fade away?

There is a shelf life for watercolor pigments, which is typically noted on the packaging. While some manufacturers predict that paint in containers will last up to 5 years, paint in cans lasts a lifetime. The greatest thing about watercolors is that you can revive old paint by adding water to it.

Can I watercolor on regular paper?

Technically, you could use watercolor on plain paper, but most papers are too thin to absorb water properly and crease up quickly, making them unsuitable for watercolor drawing.

You will be left with an outcome that could be more visually pleasing. You can see how it responds by lightly wetting the paper you intend to use.

How dangerous are watercolors?

Watercolors can generally be used without any risk. However, some colors might include toxic amounts of cobalt, cadmium, and zinc.

Remember that you must consume a lot of paint to feel its toxins. Numerous producers have also eliminated those colors from their goods.


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