• 10 Best Watercolour Paints UK 2022 1
  • 10 Best Watercolour Paints UK 2022 2
  • 10 Best Watercolour Paints UK 2022 3
  • 10 Best Watercolour Paints UK 2022 4
  • 10 Best Watercolour Paints UK 2022 5

10 Best Watercolour Paints UK 2022

Choosing watercolour paints can be tricky, especially if you're a beginner. Fortunately, whether you want to get into botanical painting or urban sketching, you're in the right place. Our article breaks down your decision; helping you tell your Derwent from your Faber Castell and your Arteza from your elbow. 


We've selected the ten best watercolour painting sets for artists to buy from Amazon and eBay, ranking them so you don't have to. There are solid watercolours, tubes of paint and even some watercolour brush pens. All easy to use and great value for money, many come with watercolour brushes, sponges and mixing palettes included in the price. 

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 27-01-2022
Table of Contents

Compare the Best Watercolour Paints

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:

  1. Faber-Castell - Watercolour Paints for £33.30
  2. Derwent - Watercolour Art Supplies Gift Box for £29.99
  3. Crafts 4 All - Watercolour Paint Set for £12.99
  4. Arteza - Premium Artists Watercolour Paint Set for £15.99
  5. Daniel Smith - Watercolour Essentials Set for £28.79

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of watercolour paints available and understand how our ranking was determined.


This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.

Image
1
Faber-Castell Watercolour Paints 1

Faber-Castell

2
Derwent  Watercolour Art Supplies Gift Box 1

Derwent

3
Crafts 4 All Watercolour Paint Set 1

Crafts 4 All

4
Arteza   Premium Artists Watercolour Paint Set 1

Arteza

5
Daniel Smith Watercolour Essentials Set 1

Daniel Smith

6
Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolours 1

Winsor and Newton

7
Royal and Langnickel Watercolour Paint Tubes  1

Royal and Langnickel

8
Chalkola Watercolour Brush Pens 1

Chalkola

9
MozArt Watercolour Paint Essential Set 1

MozArt

10
Kathryn Coyle Watercolour Craft Kit 1

Kathryn Coyle

Name

Watercolour Paints

Watercolour Art Supplies Gift Box

Watercolour Paint Set

Premium Artists Watercolour Paint Set

Watercolour Essentials Set

Cotman Watercolours

Watercolour Paint Tubes

Watercolour Brush Pens

Watercolour Paint Essential Set

Watercolour Craft Kit

Features

Fine Quality Watercolours in an Exceptional Range of Tones

A Stylish Gift Box Filled With a Basic Range of Top-Notch Paints That Blend Easily

Spectacular Range of Paints With Exquisite Pigment

High-Quality Tubes With a Great Price to Pigment Ratio

Professional Quality Tube Paints That Mix to Perfection

Best-Selling Paint Box Beloved by Watercolour Artists Everywhere

A Comprehensive Set of Watercolour Tubes With High Quality Paint

An Ideal Option for Controlling Water Drops With Handy Squeezy Brushes

Excellent Colour Range and Top Quality Pigment

A Cheap and Cheerful Craft Kit of Mixable Colours

Price£33.30£29.99£12.99£15.99£28.79£12.49£8.35£19.95£13.49£15.00
TypeSolidTubesTubesTubesTubesSolidTubesBrush PensSolidSolid
Number of Colours481224246 1224282412
Brushes/Sponges Water brush with cap, sponge4 brushes3 brushesNoNo1 brushNo28 built-in brushes1 brush9 watercolour sheets, 2 brushes, 1 eraser, 1 pencil
PaletteSpace to mix in lid6 space mixing paletteNoNoNoSpace to mix in box lidNoNoSpace to mix in lidSpace to mix in lid
Link

How to Choose Watercolour Paints in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. Consider the Advantages and Disadvantages of Pans, Tubes, and Brush Pens
  2. Select a Watercolour Paint With 24 Colours or More to Reduce Mixing.
  3. Go for Sets With Painting Tools Such As Brushes and Sponges to Save Time and Money
  4. Opt for Watercolours With Built-in Palettes to Keep Everything Contained

1. Make Sure to Explore the Pros and Cons of Pans, Tubes and Brush Pens

1. Make Sure to Explore the Pros and Cons of Pans, Tubes and Brush Pens

Choose Classic Pans if You Want a Portable and Low-Effort Option Suited to Smaller Scale Pieces of Artwork

Solid blocks of watercolour paint, popularly referred to as pans are neatly contained in a single set or box; none can go astray, and they're easy to take on-the-go. Another benefit is that they can be blended together and usually come with mixing space built into the lid of their box, allowing you to create new colours without a separate palette. There is no faffing with multiple tubes or fiddly lids, and much less mess in general!

Now to the downsides. Solid pans of watercolour paint can sometimes break in transit or become crumbly after a long time without use, but a more significant drawback is that they're not as well suited to painting large areas as the blocks are so small. Instead, they're better for smaller brushes and smaller-scale pieces of artwork. 


Compared to tubes, it is also difficult to control how much of each colour you want to use when mixing a new shade. The final and biggest disadvantage of watercolour pans is the fact the little blocks of colour are so close that they can become tainted with the shade of a neighbouring pan, making them tricky to clean.


Give any dull clothing a makeover with our favourite tie-dye kits!

If You'll Like to Have Complete Control When Mixing, Opt for Tubes

The positives of tubes are pretty convincing. Firstly, you have complete control over colour mixing, as you can use as much or as little from whichever tube you like. Overall the concentration of pigment used in watercolour tubes is higher than it is in pans, so if you're careful, they should last a long time when blended with water. 


The key benefit has to be that you can cover a large surface area on your page simply by squeezing out a bigger quantity of paint and using a larger brush. On the negative side, tubes with tiny lids can be awkward and inconvenient, you may lose your favourite shade, or a lid could go missing, causing a tube to dry out.


Paint tubes are generally messier – you'll find paint on your fingertips and tabletops more often than with pans. Finally, you may waste time searching for the right colours, rather than having everything you need in one handy palette. 

Consider Brush Pens if You Want a Watercolour Paint That Controls Water Quantity

Another option you might like to try is the brush pen – a pen-shaped tool with a soft tip that is pre-filled with water and can be re-filled again and again. These are a top pick for experienced painters who already know how paint reacts with water to create the desired effect. 


That said, maybe you're a beginner and feel like your command of the humble pen could be translated into watercolour painting, in which case we think they could be fun for newbies, too.


However, it's important to say that just as with the regular brush-and-colour technique, practice really does make perfect. There is no magical product that can make you an instant watercolour genius, but a brush pen can definitely save time as you have colour and water in one convenient place!


Browse our 10 best coloured pencils in the UK!

2. Pick a Watercolour Paint With About 24 Colours or More to Reduce the Need for Mixing

The more colours in your watercolour set, the less mixing you'll need to do. An average, generous paint kit will have about 24 colours. This means you'll have the whole rainbow and a couple of shade variations, plus black and white. With packs like this, you need not make a mess or waste time mixing colours you end up discarding.


Other kits, including some on our list, have close to 50 colours. This may be overwhelming for new users, but could equally provide great inspiration and help you create natural-looking, realistic images thanks to the broad range of mixable shades. 


If you choose a set with fewer colours, look out for the basic primaries of red, yellow and blue. Get yourself a decent palette and mix up a rainbow to your heart's content! Minimal sets are also a pertinent pick if you want to invest in more costly, well-known arts brands – you can mix up myriad colour results without paying more. 

3. Look Out for Watercolour Sets That Come With Their Own Brushes or Sponges to Save Money and Time

3. Look Out for Watercolour Sets That Come With Their Own Brushes or Sponges to Save Money and Time

To save time and money on shopping separately, look out for a watercolour set that comes with its own brush, brushes or sponge for neatening and soaking up excess liquid. However, with cheaper packs, you may find the brush thrown in is of pretty average quality. 


But if you're giving watercolour painting a go for the first time, or just for fun, you'll still be able to create lovely images, knowing you've kept to your budget. Higher-end paints tend to come with equally great quality brushes

4. Check if It Has Built-in Palettes to Keep Things Contained

4. Check if It Has Built-in Palettes to Keep Things Contained

When it comes to watercolours, you don't want to be mixing the water with the paint – let alone the colours themselves – directly on the paper. It's good to have some space to mix water in with your colour before your brush hits the page.


If you're using solid pans of colour, the water can be blended in on top of the pan, but you won't have much room for manoeuvre. Luckily with pans, there's usually a built-in palette or at least space in the lid where you can blend your paint more freely. When it comes to tubes, you will need to get hold of somewhere to mix your colours, but a recycled pot or lid from around the house can be ideal and save a few pennies. 


Thinking of trying knitting as a new hobby? Check out these awesome knitting wools to help get you started!

10 Best Watercolour Paints in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.

1

Faber-CastellWatercolour Paints

£33.30

TypeSolid
Number of Colours48
Brushes/Sponges Water brush with cap, sponge
PaletteSpace to mix in lid
2

Derwent Watercolour Art Supplies Gift Box

£29.99

TypeTubes
Number of Colours12
Brushes/Sponges 4 brushes
Palette6 space mixing palette
3

Crafts 4 AllWatercolour Paint Set

£12.99

TypeTubes
Number of Colours24
Brushes/Sponges 3 brushes
PaletteNo
4

Arteza Premium Artists Watercolour Paint Set

£15.99

TypeTubes
Number of Colours24
Brushes/Sponges No
PaletteNo
5

Daniel SmithWatercolour Essentials Set

£28.79

TypeTubes
Number of Colours6
Brushes/Sponges No
PaletteNo
6

Winsor and NewtonCotman Watercolours

£12.49

TypeSolid
Number of Colours12
Brushes/Sponges 1 brush
PaletteSpace to mix in box lid
7

Royal and LangnickelWatercolour Paint Tubes

£8.35

TypeTubes
Number of Colours24
Brushes/Sponges No
PaletteNo
8

ChalkolaWatercolour Brush Pens

£19.95

TypeBrush Pens
Number of Colours28
Brushes/Sponges 28 built-in brushes
PaletteNo
9

MozArtWatercolour Paint Essential Set

£13.49

TypeSolid
Number of Colours24
Brushes/Sponges 1 brush
PaletteSpace to mix in lid
10

Kathryn CoyleWatercolour Craft Kit

£15.00

TypeSolid
Number of Colours12
Brushes/Sponges 9 watercolour sheets, 2 brushes, 1 eraser, 1 pencil
PaletteSpace to mix in lid

Tips for Beginners Learning to Paint in Watercolour

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Watercolour Paint Be Used on Canvas?

If you wish to paint on canvas using watercolours, we recommend using a canvas made specially for them. Watercolour canvases are ideal for artists who enjoy working with watercolours but prefer the look and feel of canvas. They are available in a variety of forms, including stretched canvas, canvas boards, and canvas pads.

Can You Paint Watercolour Over Acrylic?

Watercolor can be used over acrylics and vice versa. They can be used independently or in combination with one another, depending on the sort of painting and the effect you wish to achieve.

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Written and researched by Annie Hopkins

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