Top 6 Best Beginner Watercolor Set: Top Picks for New Artists in 2024

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Watercolor painting is a time-honored art form that allows for a range of expression from delicate washes to bold, vibrant strokes. For those just dipping their brushes into the world of watercolors, selecting the right set can dramatically affect their artistic journey. A beginner watercolor set provides the essentials: a spectrum of colors, ease of use, and the ability to mix pigments for a limitless range of shades. It offers an accessible entry point into a medium that has captivated artists for centuries.

When considering a beginner set, it’s important to examine the quality of the paints, which can significantly impact their performance, such as pigment concentration and lightfastness. Paints with higher pigment loads offer richer colors and better blending capabilities. Another consideration is the range of colors included, ideally with a balanced selection that allows for extensive mixing opportunities without overwhelming the novice with too many choices. The inclusion of a palette for mixing and user-friendly brushes can also enhance the painting experience for beginners.

We understand the importance of a strong foundation in any artistic endeavor. That’s why we’ve taken the time to evaluate several beginner watercolor sets, ensuring they encourage creativity and skill development. Our assessment focuses on sets that combine quality, completeness, and value, laying down the ideal palette for those starting their watercolor adventure.

Top Beginner Watercolor Sets

Our selection of beginner watercolor sets is tailored to help new artists embark on their painting journey with ease. We’ve curated high-quality, user-friendly options that offer excellent value without overwhelming novices with too many choices. Each set provides the essential colors and tools to start creating beautiful watercolor art right away.

1. ARTISTRO x HANNAH M.P Watercolor Set

This set should capture the attention of any budding watercolor enthusiast looking for quality and versatility.


  • The palette boasts highly pigmented colors that blend seamlessly.
  • Comes as a comprehensive kit including brushes, paper, and tutorials, ideal for beginners.
  • The sustainable bamboo box adds a touch of eco-friendliness and sophistication.


  • Beginners may find the price point slightly intimidating.
  • The large pan size, while generous, might be cumbersome for those used to more compact sets.
  • The plastic mixing tray is prone to staining, which could distract from the overall aesthetic.

Brush in hand, we recently tried the ARTISTRO x HANNAH M.P Watercolor Paint Set and were quite impressed with its performance on paper. The pigmentation of the colors offered an excellent range, portraying vivid and rich watercolor paintings that dried evenly. Mixing these watercolors felt intuitive and professional, which was definitely a highlight for us.

We appreciated the thoughtfulness behind the inclusion of two custom brushes and a pad of watercolor paper. As beginners, having these tools at our fingertips allowed us to dive right into the craft without the additional stress of gathering materials. Plus, the eco-friendly bamboo box makes it not just a toolkit, but a statement piece for any artist’s collection.

The inclusion of tutorials and access to exclusive video lessons was a boon. We were able to brush up on techniques and gain new insights, enhancing our artwork further. This feature stands out, especially for beginners who might be seeking guidance as they explore the nuances of watercolor painting.

2. Paul Rubens Watercolor Set

We believe this Paul Rubens beginner set is a fantastic investment for those new to watercolor; its high-quality pigments and user-friendly layout make for an intuitive and enjoyable painting experience.


  • The colors blend seamlessly and maintain their vibrancy.
  • Individual pans can be rearranged or replaced, allowing for a personalized palette.
  • Exceptionally convenient for travel with its compact and sturdy design.


  • Paint pans might be smaller than expected, which could limit their longevity with frequent use.
  • The included mixing palette may be too limited in space for some.
  • Some users may find the professional presentation a bit daunting as beginners.

The moment we laid out the Paul Rubens Set, the range of colors struck us; they’re not only vibrant but diverse enough to cover a wide spectrum of scenes and subjects. With a few strokes, the high-quality pigments come alive on paper, showcasing their ability to capture both subtle gradients and bold hues.

Handling the actual pans is a breeze. We appreciate that we can adjust the layout to suit our painting flow, which reflects a thoughtful design. The smooth, creamy consistency is something we relish, as it translates into a gratifying painting process that encourages exploration and expression.

Portability is another key advantage. Whether we’re venturing into the field or just moving around our studio, the set’s secure and chic casing provides peace of mind and an unexpected touch of professionalism to our beginner’s toolkit. It convinces us that our artistic journey is being taken seriously, even at this early stage.

3. CHROMATEK Watercolor Set

If you’re delving into watercolor, this CHROMATEK set packs a punch with its range of features suitable for new artists.


  • Generous assortment of vibrant colors
  • High-quality synthetic squirrel brushes included
  • Educational video tutorials beneficial for beginners


  • Color intensity might be lacking for professional artists
  • Brush sizes may not cover all needs for detailed work
  • Limited paper quantity in the sketchbook

Recently, we had the chance to test out the CHROMATEK Watercolor Set, and we were pleasantly surprised by its versatility. Straight from the box, the pigment tubes radiate with potential, offering an impressive array of choices for your palette. Unlike other kits, these paints mix effortlessly, allowing for a nuanced exploration of shades and tones.

The synthetic brushes really emulate the feeling of working with genuine squirrel hair. They hold an optimal amount of water, making each stroke on paper a satisfying experience. Transitions between colors are seamless, thanks to the brushes’ ability to maintain a fine point.

One of the standout features is the included video tutorials, which guide you step-by-step through various techniques. This is particularly useful for us as we refine our skills. However, while the tutorials are a boon, we did wish there were more sheets provided in the watercolor pad to practice on.

Ultimately, the CHROMATEK Watercolor Set is a solid choice for beginners and those looking to practice. The well-thought-out combination of educational materials and quality supplies fosters a great learning environment for mastering watercolor basics.

4. AOTEMOON Watercolor Beginner Set

We find this set to be a solid starting point for new artists given its comprehensiveness and ease of use.


  • Comprehensive kit with an assortment of tools
  • Robust build with a convenient carrying handle
  • Watercolors are vibrant and mix well


  • Drawer space can be quite limited
  • The easel may have rough edges need smoothing out
  • Durability might be a concern with heavy use

After spending some time with the AOTEMOON Watercolor Beginner Set, we’ve noted that it really does include everything needed for a beginner to dive into the world of watercolor. The variety and vibrancy of pigments make it possible to create a wide range of hues, which could inspire anyone to keep experimenting.

Transporting the set is hassle-free, thanks to the leather handle. Whether heading to a class or finding a peaceful spot outdoors, this kit easily becomes a portable art studio. The act of setting it up puts you in the right frame of mind to start creating.

We’ve noticed the construction could benefit from a bit more finesse. While it generally does what it’s designed to do, we advise a once over to smooth out any rough spots. Despite some minor issues with the easel and storage drawer, our overall experience has been more than satisfactory. We’re confident that this set can spark artistic journeys for many budding painters.

5. Chalkola Beginner’s Watercolor Set

Whether you’re just starting or returning to watercolor, this set is comprehensive and user-friendly, suitable for both children and adults.


  • Variety of vibrant colors with the inclusion of unique metallic shades
  • Paint tubes allow for controlled usage, reducing waste
  • Non-toxic materials making it safe for all ages


  • Brushes included are basic and may not satisfy advanced techniques
  • Some may find the color range lacking for complex projects
  • Paints may require proper dilution for desired transparency

Recently, we had the chance to explore the creative realm with the Chalkola Watercolor Set. With 36 color options at our fingertips, including metallic hues that added a special touch to our artwork, we found the set quite enticing. The palette was also a convenient addition, enhancing our color-mixing experience.

While using the provided brushes, we noticed they served well for beginners. However, as we refined our techniques, we yearned for a more professional set of brushes to compliment the quality of the paints. For those just starting, these will suffice, but the transition to more sophisticated tools will likely come sooner than later.

As for the paints themselves, they impressed us with their consistency and vibrancy on canvas. Yet, mastering the art of dilution was key—too much water and the colors would become too faint, too little and they might lose their delicate translucency special to watercolors. A balance was necessary for the perfect stroke.

In our collective experience, this Chalkola Watercolor Set has proven its worth for new artists and those seeking a reintroduction to the medium. It sparks imagination without overwhelming, which is essential when nurturing artistic growth.

6. Grabie Watercolor Set

We think this set is a great choice for those starting their journey into the world of watercolors, offering vibrant colors and a portable design.


  • Wide variety of colors for versatile painting
  • Paints are blendable and rich in pigment
  • Compact and travel-friendly with included accessories


  • Some colors appear less vivid than others
  • Paint pans may be smaller than expected
  • Brushes provided could be basic for some users

The instant you open the Grabie Watercolor Set, it’s clear the spectrum of 50 colors is crafted to inspire. Whether you’re laying down basic washes or exploring nuanced shades, each pigment tells a story on the paper. We’ve found the colors to be rich and bold, easily blending to capture the subtleties of light and shadow.

Comfort is key when painting, and this set understands that. The inclusion of different brushes and a sponge adds convenience, especially when alternating between delicate lines and broader strokes. The water brush pen is particularly handy for on-the-go touches and adjustments.

Portability cannot be overstated. We appreciate how this kit packs into such a sleek, lightweight box. As we took it to various settings, the durable case was a quiet reassurance that the artistic process wouldn’t be hampered by the rigors of travel. It’s been a pleasure to set up shop anywhere from the serenity of a park to the bustle of a city cafe.

Overall, the Grabie Watercolor Set has been a delightful companion for our creative endeavors, proving to be as reliable in quality as it is charmingly compact.

Buying Guide

When we look for a watercolor set, quality of pigment is paramount. Sets with high-quality pigments will give us bright, clear colors that mix well. We should also consider the lightfastness of the paint, which describes how well colors resist fading when exposed to light.

Quantity vs Quality: It may be tempting to opt for a set with a large number of colors. However, it’s often better to have a smaller palette of high-quality paints than a vast array of inferior ones. A set of 12 to 24 colors is typically sufficient for beginners.

Permanence is another key feature. A good watercolor set should include a chart that indicates the permanence of each color, which is an assessment of the paint’s durability over time.

Pan vs Tube: Watercolors come in pans or tubes. Pans are convenient for portability and use less space but can have less pigment load than tube paints. Tubes offer more paint and can be easier to mix in larger quantities. Choose based on your personal painting habits.

Ease of Use: For novices, sets with a user-friendly layout and easy color activation are best. We don’t want to struggle with poor design when we’re learning how to blend and apply color.

Lastly, accessories like a mixing palette, water brush, or sponge can also add value to a watercolor set. With these considerations in mind, we can confidently select a watercolor set that meets our artistic needs and helps us grow as watercolor artists.

Frequently Asked Questions

In watercolor painting, the right tools can make a significant difference. Knowing what to get can help you start your journey with confidence.

What are the essential items to buy for beginner watercolor painting?

As beginners, we should focus on a set that includes basic paints, a palette, a few brushes, and watercolor paper. A mixing palette and a water container are also useful for creating blends and washes.

Which watercolor paint brands are recommended for new artists?

We suggest brands like Winsor & Newton Cotman, Daniel Smith Introductory Set, and Sakura Koi for their reliability and beginner-friendly quality. These brands offer good pigment load and a smooth introduction to the medium.

How do beginners choose the right watercolor paper?

We should look for watercolor paper that is 100% cotton and labeled as cold-pressed with a weight of 140 lb (300 gsm) or higher. This makes it absorbent and resilient to warping.

What are the best types of brushes for beginner watercolor artists?

We will benefit from a set that includes a round brush for general painting, a flat brush for washes, and a smaller detail brush. Synthetic brushes are more affordable and still offer good quality for beginners.

Can you recommend a watercolor set that is suitable for beginners but also of professional quality?

The Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Paint Sketchers’ Pocket Box is highly recommended. Despite its affordability, it provides a selection of high-quality pigments that are suitable for learning and can satisfy more advanced needs.

What features should one look for in a beginner’s watercolor painting kit?

We must ensure the kit contains a range of primary colors for color mixing, a palette for blending, and a diverse set of brushes. The inclusion of watercolor paper in kits is a plus for testing techniques directly.

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